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Son-in-law’s abusive father makes family gathering painful

Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, “Tom.” He’s a wonderful husband to our daughter. He’s always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them, but can’t stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their children the way they treat him — especially the father. Tom is practically begging for his approval and attention on a daily basis.

Nothing New — Man ground to death under picnic train in 1914

The first picnickers appeared on the streets of Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Cosmopolis shortly after seven, an odd sight on a Thursday morning in 1914. Clutching picnic baskets, groups headed toward the railroad station in anticipation of the second annual Merchant’s Picnic at Moclips. It was to be a day filled with sports and games, clam digging and dancing, and a free barbecue with the attendees requested only to bring knife, fork, spoon and cup with them.

Dear Abby — Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation

D ear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what’s going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I’ll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to go, I’m worried that I won’t know what to do or how to do it when I graduate. I have talked to counselors and my dad, but they all say the same thing. Do you have any advice?

Tyke becomes a terror when mom takes back her cellphone

Dear Abby: When my friend “Fran” and I get together with our kids, they often play games on her cellphone until the battery dies. If she tries to take the phone from her 6-year-old to make a call or recharge the phone, he starts yelling at her, pushes her, pulls her skirt and hits her. Her reaction is to hug him and start praying for the devil to get out of his body in Jesus’ name as he continues to hit her. While I respect Fran’s religion, I’m appalled at his violent behavior, concerned that he will grow up thinking it’s OK to hit people, and I think this should be handled differently. What do you think? Should I say something? And if so, what can I say so as not to hurt her feelings?

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Girl and cousin both need counseling after assault

Dear Abby: My granddaughter “Cindy,” age 2, was being watched by her mommy’s ex-sister-in-law and her sons. Cindy went to her mommy and said, “Bubby hurt me.” Bubby is what she calls her 10-year-old cousin. Her mother called the police. A policeman spoke to her and said there wasn’t enough evidence. Now my granddaughter is scared of men.

Gene Woodwick — Find a shady bank and get fishing

Maybe old beachers should stay out of the sun; it addles their brains. Thankfully, a reader corrected a reference in a previous column that referred to foxglove as digitalis. That’s what comes of correcting a long sentence to clarify it and really messing up the correct information.

Grilling flank steak

Recent guests at an online chat for The Washington Post included cookbook author and food blogger Cathy Barrow and writer and caterer Vered Guttman. Here are edited excerpts from that chat.