As we approach the winter season we begin hearing all the things we should do to avoid these germs. I suppose we had germs when I was a kid, but I don’t remember us being so cautious. We were considered clean by our standards but I don’t know if they would be considered a germ free environment. I ran out of paper napkins the other day and it put me to thinking about how we cleaned our hands. Of course, we washed our hands before a meal – but we used the same wash pan – the first got clean water. I guess that lye soap probably killed the germs, but it was hard on you hands. We all dried on the same meal sack towel hanging on a nail above the washstand on the back porch. As I said we didn’t have napkins, my Mom brought a “dish rag” to the table and when we finished eating we passed by and wiped our hands on it. We washed dishes by hand and scalded them, so I guess that got the germs off, but we were only concerned they were clean and dried by hand. I don’t remember cloth napkins until after I married. Now we have paper towels to wipe off everything after we clean the cabinets and counter and etc. We had a cedar water bucket on the back porch with good cool water in it and an aluminum dipper in it. We all drank out of the same dipper. Ugh! But we were not sick – very seldom did we have colds. Now everyone has their own water bottle and hand sanitizer and we have a lot of sniffles and flu. But thank goodness for Kleenex – those handkerchiefs got awfully “yucky”. But one of the greatest paper products they made later took the place of the Sears Roebuck Catalog. If you lived that long ago – you will know about that. We have so many throw away products now that we should not be exposed to many germs. But every time I take hold of a door handle in a public building I think about what is lurking there that I can’t see. I suppose we are in closer contact with many more people than we used to be is why we have to be so cautious about germs. So try to stay well in the New Year and I wish for all the readers a “Happy New Year”.