Wasn't that a nice snowfall last weekend? Someone has said that the sound of snow falling is worth getting up early to hear. When there is no wind and the snow falls softly, the sound is special because there's almost no sound at all. We live in such a noisy world that the sound of silence is very rare.

During the cold weather, we did a lot of chores and tried to eat all the leftovers in the freezer. There is still one container of candy that someone gave us. It's homemade, so one day we'll take time to enjoy it. And there is still a good supply of fruit to eat up. We have made good use of the citrus, hoping to help ward off colds and the flu.

We went to see "Les Miserables," now that it's showing locally. It's Russell’s favorite story.

On Sunday, the 13th, one of my nephews noted on Facebook that he completed the Houston Marathon that day. Mike, who is a banker, lives in Colorado and does some hiking, skiing, and running to keep in shape. Mike was glad he did it, but said he was "really beat." I imagine so. The top 10 finishers were on the Internet, but Mike's name wasn't listed. Mostly foreign runners win these things. Approximately 13,000 runners were in the race. I hope Mike finished in the top 10,000. Just completing a gut-buster like that made me happy for him.

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Living near Central Elementary School, I pass by the school a few times each week. Often on the marquee there is a word that the children are encouraged to adopt as part of their lifestyle. The board list such words as honesty or charity. But my favorite is character. I admire people who have good character; they are very rich.

Someone has listed six traits of good character. Trustworthiness (Don't deceive, cheat or steal. Be reliable — do what you say you will. Stand by your family, friends and country.)

Respect (Follow the golden rule. Be tolerant and accepting of differences. Use good manners, not bad language. Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements.)

Responsibility (Do what you are supposed to do. Persevere: keep on trying. Always do your best. Set a good example for others.)

Fairness (Play by the rules. Don't take advantage of others. Don't blame others carelessly. Treat all people fairly.)

Caring (Be kind. Be compassionate and show you care. Express gratitude. Forgive others. Help people in need.)

Citizenship (Cooperate. Get involved in community affairs. Stay informed; vote. Be a good neighbor. Obey laws and rules. Respect authority. Volunteer.)

Kay HIvely writes a column for the Daily News.