[Note: This is a longer version than what appeared in print, the print version truncated for space.]

A short column this week, a long newspaper. Lots to report upon.

It’s that time of year. We, me, you, all those other people, have broken out of the winter thing. We’re in that glorious time in the Ozark foothills between winter and summer when one is inspired to get out and about.

Which is to say we got a lot going on. And more coming, graduation is not too far off, end-of-semester events going on here and there. Heck (and to be honest) so much going on that some of the less-timely stuff is being held for next week.

And, again, with all this going on, less room on 2A for Kienlen’s column.

The animal shelter: It’s heartening to see people stepping up in these times to help out where it matters. And it’s not “Oh look at the doggies and the kitties,” (which are, granted and for the record, cute) but the fact that a responsible community working to attract business doesn’t have formerly-domestic animals running wild.

Take one step to the side here and you have the library, same deal (books, however, are not cute, per se). This is a responsible community, the sort of community which has a library. We want you, whoever you are, to locate your business here, your family here. We want you to enjoy a certain quality of life.

“See? We have a library. We have an animal shelter.”

The same library where, the weekend after the Quorum Court was unable to vote in favor of lawn mowing, found its lawn mowed by some mysterious volunteer(s). The same animal shelter where they come in once and awhile and find supplies dropped off by the door.

Quality of life.

(Quick aside here: Faced with that they were faced with, of course the court voted “No” on the lawn thing. A shame but, don’t kid yourself, money’s tight.)

See, it’s a quality of life, the things, sure, fer’ sure, that’s easy. But it’s a quality of life of giving of oneself, like people donating to shelters and libraries. And sure, that’s easy enough to picture as well. But, and here’s the thing: It’s the quality of life which comes from what you feel after you give of yourself to something worthwhile.

It’s the quality of your life – you - that way you feel about yourself after giving.

So whaddaya’ say? Got a lot going on, get out there and be a part of it, make the scene, look around, give of yourself. Participate. Enjoy the quality of life and enjoy the quality of your life.

After all there’s a lot going on.