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Ok, January enthusiasts, you are one week in to 2018. Whaddya got to show for it?

How goes the war with your waistline? Have you shed twenty yet? Been to the gym? Even thought about going? Once?

Has it been “just too cold” to walk outside? But didn’t the kids get you that warm, fluffy sweatshirt for Christmas? Oh, can’t seem to locate your gloves.

How about sweets? Store shelves of Christmas confections reinvented themselves as Valentines Day chocolates seemingly overnight. Keep your eyes straight ahead. Walk on by. Where’s the organic section?

Did you know this year marks the 100 year celebration for Cherry Mash, made by the Chase Candy Company of St. Joseph, Missouri? A great American candy bar. A personal favorite. I am sad to admit to a candy war within my extended family. Some confused mistakenly favor “Twin Bing”—a knock-off if there ever was one. Those poor misguided need to wait until 1923 for that 100 year celebration.

To appropriately celebrate this All-American sugary staple, I resolve to eat a Cherry Mash a day during 2018.

You have your resolutions; I have mine.

On a more serious note—and while continuing to acknowledge that Asharp chocolate (CMash) tastes better than one that Bflat(TBing)—this November, we need to mark the 100 year conclusion to the Great War. Millions died due to starvation, mega-bombs and the trenches; millions more succumbed to the Spanish Flu epidemic which followed. Our John C. Fremont Days Board is contemplating an exhibit to recognize the “war to end all wars” during this year’s festival.

How about the war with your memories? You know, the ones we all go to when life smells with the scent of skunks. Gonna keep that aroma around in 2018, to provide a grain of self-pity whenever needed? Forget about it. Don’t let those recollections continue to stink up your life.

And as war continues to daily pop-up on our screens, should we not step toward removing the scars that Korea, Vietnam and the Mideast have inflicted upon our people? After hostilities cease, wars have always continued. Often, the days back home have been days at war, too. The anguished face of a recent student of mine bothers me. He was a sniper in Afghanistan. Home now, and in school—the hunting and awareness of being hunted—was clearly written within his facial expressions. Complicated or nuisance, whatever flavor of battle it is that infects your life, why not plan to leave 2018 with less “war” baggage?

Don Cunningham of Fremont is a freelance columnist.


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