Grateful to be part of something big: life

Life, life forms and lifeguards are on our mind this week. Several stories have reminded us that we're all part of something bigger than ourselves, but each of us is still an important part.

Lifeguard honored

Lifeguards are trained to perform CPR, but when you get down to the basics of the lifeguard's job, most of their time is spent sitting in the sun, telling kids to walk instead of run and making sure no one takes cuts in line for the slide.

So the day Christian Tenney was called on to put his CPR "textbook" knowledge to use, was probably a big deal for both him and the 3-year-old girl he was resuscitating.

No matter how many times you take the CPR class and no matter how many times you practice on the dummy, it's not the same as working on a real person.

True, he was just doing his job. But thanks, Christian, for being prepared to do the hard part of that job.

Christian, we're glad you were paying attention in CPR class.

Baby Patrick

We're also happy to see that Baby Patrick has received his brain surgery. We wish him a speedy recovery.

The past year has no doubt been emotionally, physically and financially draining on his family.

We would have liked for his parents to be able to take him to the surgeon of their choice, but the insurance company got to make that call, not the editorial board.

Still, we're encouraged by the generosity of the people in the Mid-Columbia who have donated time and money to help this family.

We are constantly touched by the kindness of people in this community.

Arm wrestling princess

Pretty much all of your acquaintances have a secret. These "secrets" are not necessarily sordid, but usually there's an unseen side to everyone.

For example, Benton Fair and Rodeo Princess Kristyn Long has been busy all year performing the duties that come with that title, but one of her alter egos is champion arm wrestler.

It's fun to see people enjoying a variety of pursuits. And it's universally true that the more we get to know each other, the more empathy and understanding we have for each other.

Taking the time to see beyond the obvious in each other, it is a very worthwhile activity.

You can see Kristyn in action at the fair or you can watch her online at www.youtube.com, where she accepts the challenge to arm wrestle with our own "Big Dog" Andy Perdue. Search for Kristyn Long.

(By the way, bad move, Andy. Dude, what were you thinking?)

New library

Readers can rejoice in the west end of Pasco. We are ready to see another library, especially one that is situated near this area of rapid population growth.

And pulling from our memory banks, we're grateful the city and the library district were able to negotiate a contract that, we hope, is beneficial to both.

For a while, it didn't look like the relationship was going to continue.

We wonder a little why a drive-up window would be a high priority for patrons, but perhaps it will save people with mobility issues from having to get out of their cars.

It's true that you can order your materials online and then just pick them up at the library, but it's also true that some of the great finds of a library come from running across one book when looking for another one or just meandering among the shelves until something strikes your fancy.

Long live serendipity.

We're also glad that people are still reading and that we enjoy a vibrant library system that's keeping up with information transfer, whether it is through books or newer digital formats.

Unseen species

If you can get away from the lights of the city, the night sky is amazing. One feels minuscule in a never-ending universe.

Now scientists are telling us that even on planet Earth, we're traveling with fellow riders we have no idea are here.

The collective "we" have categorized nearly 2 million species of life on Earth. Estimates are that's only 25 percent of what's here.

Take a minute and put that in perspective.

All we can say is "Wow!"