The rules of the lake house


Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about house rules at the lake: “Dear Heloise: Three years ago, my husband and I built our retirement home on a beautiful lake, where we hoped to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle. However, our children (we have six between the two of us) and a couple of our friends tend to drop in a lot. So this year I wrote everyone a letter with the lake house rules:

“Hello to All: As much as we love all of you, we need to set down some new house rules for all of you to follow. We ask that you respect these rules and not ask us to make exceptions.

“* Please wait to be invited to our home. DO NOT drop in, even if you happen to be in the neighborhood.

“* Bring your own towels and snacks.

“* Due to my husband’s health, we need to limit our entertaining and baby-sitting to no more than a couple of days.”

— Margaret S., Kenosha, Wis.

Readers, do any of you have similar problems with visitors? — Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: I have no idea where lost socks go, but it seems my husband has several pairs that are missing their mate. This is what I do with those lonely, single socks:

* I keep one in the glove compartment of my car for covering my hand when I’m scraping the windshield in winter, or to pick up something I’d rather not touch with my bare hand.

* They make wonderful dust rags — just slip your hand inside.

* I have one in my laundry room to put loose change in when I check pockets before washing.

* I gave one to my young son to put his small plastic toys inside so they don’t get lost

— A Reader, via email


Dear Heloise: I’ve been a jeweler for nearly 30 years, and I have some advice for young men who are considering surprising their girlfriend with an engagement ring:

* As lovely as it is to surprise a woman with a proposal, it might be better to let her select the ring she’ll wear for the rest of her life.

* If you two are shopping together for rings, give her a price range to select from. Limit yourself to what you can reasonably afford.

* If she would rather have a colored gem than a diamond, let her have what she wants, but stay within your budget.

* Do not bring a third or fourth person along with you. This is a private matter, and you don’t need a third opinion. It doesn’t matter what her mother or best friend thinks about her ring.

* Shop around for a style and price you both can live with after all the excitement dies down.

— Ronald P., Norman, Okla.


Dear Readers:

* The average wedding in America costs between $26,000 and $35,000!

* Almost half of millennials say they will wait to wed until after the age of 30.

* Utah has the youngest brides, with an average age of 23.5 for women and 25.6 for men.

* Washington, D.C., has the oldest brides, with an average age of 29.8 for women and 30.6 for men.

— Heloise

EDITOR’S NOTE: Send your great money-saving or timesaving hint to to Heloise at P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, Fax to 1-210-HELOISE, or email to She can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in her column.