Dear Smiley: My daughter Melanie lives in Springdale, Arkansas, and they had very cold weather this past weekend.

The heater in her house quit working, and naturally the heating company couldn't get the part they needed until Tuesday.

She and my grandson, Marvin, managed with the gas fireplace and extra clothing.

I told her I could never have made it; I'm too cold-natured. She agreed, and said if I had been there I would have turned into a "Momsicle."

ALGIE PETRERE

Baton Rouge

Cold old days

Dear Smiley: Just thinking about the cold weather when we were kids — getting covered with two or three quilts at night and waking up in the same position in the morning; scurrying out of bed with floors that had ice on them near the cracks, then getting near the fireplace and warming one side of the body at a time!

Good old days?

TONY FALTERMAN

Napoleonville

Smoke break

Dear Smiley: The recent snowfall brought back some great memories of my time in the Air Force in Japan.

I learned to ski, and became a friend of a Japanese student from Waseda University in Tokyo. On spring break he invited me to accompany him and his friends on a seven-day trek through the Japanese Alps.

We put seal skins on the bottom of our skis and trekked upward for the first six days, then removed the seal skins and skied back down to our starting point on the seventh day.

On the second day we were trekking across a broad flat snowfield traversed with crevasses issuing clouds of yellowish smoke. I was concerned it might be poisonous sulphur dioxide  when the guide turned to me and casually said, "Many people die here!"

I probably set a world record for breath-holding after that.

JOE FAIRCHILD

Thibodaux

New year's wish

Dear Smiley: Happy New Year! May you always have "love to share, cash to spare, and friends who care."

MARVIN BORGMEYER

Baton Rouge

It's not the suit!

Dear Smiley: The stories of following the wrong people and vehicles to events reminds me of the time I did the eulogy at my aunt's funeral.

After the funeral I decided to stop by my house to change clothes and take off my suit before attending the reception.

As I pulled into my driveway, there was a car behind me with two good-looking ladies following me.

I thought I must have looked good in my suit!

When I approached the vehicle to speak to the ladies, they informed me that they were following me because they did not know where the reception was, and I must have been going there because I had done the eulogy.

CHUCK FALCON

Donaldsonville

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Dear Smiley: My wife and I just returned from a restaurant meal, where we again noticed seating habits of two adults sitting at a table or booth for four persons.

All other things being equal, what makes some people sit side-by-side and some across from each other while they dine?

I am sure in your vast experience with carbon-based bipeds you have faced this question before. Thanks.

McCHORD CARRICO

Covington

Dear McChord: In our case, Mrs. Anders and I sit facing each other rather than side-by-side because she is right-handed and I'm left-handed, and across from each other is easier than figuring out where we have to sit to keep from bumping arms and elbows as we dine. Hope that helps…

Weighty topic

Dear Smiley: In the late 1990s the wife and I would care for Olivia, a beautiful little 4-year-old girl, and keep her at our home while her single mom worked.

One weekend we took her to Mass at St. John of the Cross. There were two celebrants: a priest of average stature and Deacon Joe, who was somewhat overweight.

When the priest began his homily, Deacon Joe went to sit on the other side of the altar.

Soon Olivia began fidgeting and standing tall to look around in front of us. I asked if anything was wrong.

Her response was, "I'm looking for the fat Jesus."

FERD GUTTIERREZ

Lacombe

Louisiana Haiku

Gumbo weather here

Chicken, sausage smells fill house

All head to kitchen  

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.