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Reader's DigestReader's Digest

Reader's Digest

July/August 2019

In this era of information overload, Reader’s Digest offers something unique: the very best advice, information and inspiration from multiple sources, condensed into an easy-to-read digest. In each issue you’ll get trusted, time-saving insights about Health, Personal Finance, Work, Family, and National issues, PLUS exclusive book excerpts, news-making interviews, and humor.

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10 Issues


access_time1 min.
pickled pink

IN SECOND grade, my son, Neil, had to bring a food to class that represented his “cultural heritage.” As a mutt with forgotten Anglo roots, I had nothing to put forward. But Susan sure did. She brought her hard-boiled eggs pickled in beets. No, Susan wasn’t raised in a Rust Belt bar—or Moe’s Tavern from The Simpsons, where a jar of pickled eggs behind the bar is a recurring source of comic relief. Instead, she inherited the snack from her sweet, determined mother, Ruth, who’d been raised Pennsylvania Dutch near the Gettysburg battlefields. There, beet-pickled eggs were a part of her family’s prerefrigeration existence, as they had been for Hessian soldiers centuries before. Dropping Grandma’s ancient snack food into 21st-century suburban California, however, caused Neil’s snarky eight-year-old classmates to react unkindly. “I was confused…

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How to Survive Anything After reading about how to survive a bad haircut, I was reminded of a quip my father used to say: What’s the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut? Two weeks. —FRED E. BAUER Loveland, Ohio Mister Manners suggests that the proper response after passing gas is “Pardon me.” But a study from the University of Exeter found that being exposed to the gas released in flatulence may help stave off heart attacks, strokes, and dementia. Perhaps the correct response should be “You’re welcome.” —RICH KILIAN Garrettsville, Ohio My Coma Miracle I am very curious to learn what happened to the truck driver who caused this accident. The story says a man stopped the fleeing truck after it ran over the woman on the bike. Please tell me he was…

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his crosses to bear

TWENTY YEARS AGO, 15 wooden crosses appeared on a hill overlooking Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colorado. It was April 28, 1999, eight days after a pair of students had shot and killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher before killing themselves. At first, the crosses seemed to be part miracle, part mystery. Before long, their creator stepped forward: Greg Zanis, a carpenter from Sugar Grove, Illinois, who had driven them nearly 1,000 miles to Colorado. Since Columbine, Zanis has built and delivered more than 26,000 crosses—Stars of David and crescent moons, too—to communities across America grieving in the wake of violence, natural disasters, and other catastrophes. He brought them to Paradise, California, after wildfires wiped out most of the town; Pittsburgh, where 11 worshippers were killed in a synagogue;…

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they saved his life—and his lawn

ON A STEAMY July day in Bayonet Point, Florida, Gene Work and his brother-in-law, Mark Rouco, were resodding Gene’s yard. It had grown brown and patchy in the heat, and the homeowners’ association had threatened to impose a hefty fine if the situation wasn’t remedied. The new sod was sitting in the driveway on four pallets, but the job was slow-going. Gene, then 40, wasn’t feeling right. He went inside to take a break and collapsed on the couch, clutching his chest. His wife, Melissa Work, called 911 quickly. Even though he was staring down death, Gene had one thing on his mind: that lawn. If the sod wasn’t put down that day, it would die. “While he was having his heart attack, literally in and out of consciousness, he kept…

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help your pet live longer

HUCK IS A lucky dog—and an old one. Most Labrador retrievers make it to around age 12, but at 15, Huck has lived 25 percent longer than that. If he were the average American (with a life expectancy of 78.6 years), he would be 98. What’s his secret? “It’s a combination of things, including nutritious food with vitamins and oils, a lot of love and attention, and exercise,” says Huck’s owner, Henry Uman. He’s also never left alone but is always with at least one of his three dog siblings or a member of his human family. In 2016, nearly 57 percent of American households owned a pet, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, but it’s safe to say that 100 percent of them wish their dog or cat had Huck’s…

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the north carolina state fair watermelon weigh-off

CHRIS KENT, age 56, Sevierville, Tennessee Your 327.5-pound watermelon broke the fair’s record last year. How did you even get it to the fair in one piece? I used four guys and a tarp made with special handles. We rolled the watermelon onto one side, put the tarp underneath it, and rolled it back onto the other side. Then everybody grabbed a corner, and we slid it into the back of my hatchback car. You must be quite the sight on the road. We’ll be driving on the interstate and people will pull up right beside us—it’s borderline dangerous. My wife takes a piece of paper and writes down the weight because people always mouth “How much?” and you just hold up the paper to tell them. Do you use some kind of magic seeds? We…