Sunday, January 29, 2017

Ripple Effect #2

"The Ripples Effect" column 
Whatever you call it... act of kindness... a day brightener or finding “flecks of gold” sparkling in our lives.   Share the good things you notice.   

Lights in the night...
On a cold dark winter’s night...  on a lonely country road... it’s so heartwarming to see the multi colored lights sparkling brightly after you come off the “stupid” (my thoughts!) roundabouts on Highway 52 and cruise about a half mile down the pitch black roadway of County 24 Blvd and reach the corner of Willow Trail.  Thanks so much!
“Chain of Kindness!”
Teacher Barb Templin recalled that in the past her class in Cannon Falls had been reading the story,  A Christmas Carol.  As part of their study the students made a “Chain of Kindness”.   Each one would write a kind thing they had done on a strip of paper which would be added to the chain links and these would be hanging around the room.  (This could be fun to do in other situations all year long!

         Good neighbors...
Marv and Lois Nelson caught me at the Grow Cannon Falls meeting and enthusiastically talked about their neighbors.  One had taken care of his wife who had Alzheimers and he also picked up the mail for another elderly neighbor and when he delivers it he checks up on her being safe.  

Then there’s another neighbor who had knee surgery and now is “a fanatic about walking” to stay in shape.  As he goes about his exercise routine he picks up any debris he finds along the way... and cleans up the city parking lot too!  

Leave your phone number at the Beacon 263-3991 or email your suggestions to Rosie or drop them off at the Beacon front desk. Enjoy! :)  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Small towns impact new president...

 Small towns impact 
new president...

I didn’t join a “March”...  
(Some of my friends did.)
I didn’t trash cars or windows.
(My friends didn’t either.)
So what did I do?
I emailed the president.

Why do that?

You see, I had read on the internet that part of the Trump campaign strategy was to focus on small towns in America.  
Saleno Zito wrote in the New York Post this week that the Trump campaign went through town after town.  He saw them “worn down by neglect”.  Main Street shopping districts were half boarded up... etc.
So I wrote the president to encourage him to keep up his contact with small towns.  There are smart folks living out in the back roads or off the highways (and silly roundabouts) and our nation can’t afford to overlook this bank of talent.


I remember years ago after moving from a big city to rural Cannon Falls that one retired professor of journalism took to reading all the rural newspapers in Minnesota.
Then he would write a review and include some of the best articles he had found.
(Yes, I was pretty pleased to have him include some of mine.)
So I suggested to the new president that they have someone compile the information and ideas expressed in weekly newspapers all over the nation.
These insights might just be some of the most practical and wise pieces of advice he can get!  

But also

And I also suggested the president share his plans with these small newspapers too... but to keep his writing to “twitter-sized” columns.  
  But... I didn’t invite him to visit Cannon Falls.
We had another president do that a few years ago.
A nice enough fellow.
But it was exhausting for those in charge to make sure he was safe.

Previous suggestions

Now, do you think the president will take to heart my suggestions?  
I remember many years ago when I complained to Governor Harold LeVander about his budget.
Soon afterwards I got a large package in the mail.  It was his budget!
In other words, he was telling me to show him where to cut it!
I realized his point.
I’m still smiling.  
So if the president agrees to getting information from rural America... do I have any volunteers to help me read a zillion weekly newspapers?



Sunday, January 22, 2017

The “Ripple Effect”...
     Whatever you call it... act of kindness... a day brightener...
finding “flecks of gold” sparkling in our lives as Jessi Woken suggested... or it just feels good!
     And it gives us an idea of something to do! 
    Share the good things you notice.   
Like these:
     Great kid! 
The car parked on County 24 Blvd seemed to be in a strange place. Then I noticed a guy walking in the ditch... picking up papers. Then I saw the neighbor’s mailbox was missing!
By the time I drove up to the young fellow he was at the neighbor’s front door.
 But no one was home. 
So he explained to me what had happened... he had clipped the mailbox with his car and would bring a new mailbox. 
Of course I got his name and even took a picture with my phone! 
What a great kid to be so responsible and caring! 
And I told him that we probably all have done something like this!

     She knows but isn’t telling! 
Lil Pagel tells how pleased she has been to find fresh squash secretly left on her doorstep. But, she smiled, “I know who it is!” (I don’t think she’s sharing this information!) 

An Irish Blessing... 
Pat LeVesque’s women’s clothing store was nearing closing time when three gals came in. They had just finished practicing singing with a group. They are happy gals and all had just been to Ireland so they decided to sing an Irish Blessing on the owner of the store.
Then they noticed that one clerk was missing... working in another room... and so they all went there and sang it for her too!
And we can enjoy the thoughts it expresses too

May the road rise up to meet you. 
May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields

and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The choices we make...

  It's your choice!
         You made a choice.
         Now you're thinking you'd like to change it.
         But you can't.
         You're in a plane that is taxiing onto the runway getting ready to take about 100 other people to their destination.
         But you're afraid of flying.

         You could name whatever situation you might be in after you made your decision!
         So I told myself:  You might as well make the choice to like it.
         In other words, you made a choice and it's an appropriate one... so stop melo-dramatizing it and decide to dwell on the good things it can bring.
         I don't always take my advice.  But after I considered the option of focusing on what I might feel when crashing... I settled back in my seat and closed my eyes to relax.

It was a dark and quiet night

         It was a night flight and in the dark it was easy to relax... for awhile.
         About two rows ahead of me was a young couple with two small children, a boy about 4 and a girl about 2 or younger.   Neither child was enthused about staying in a seat or being held.
         After the flight attendant kindly talked to the boy he settled in his seat.  But the baby girl screamed and fussed and might have had an ear infection or something that led to a period of quiet desperation by her parents.
         They traded turns holding her... feeding her... talking to her... standing in the aisle bouncing her...
         You parents know the routine.
         They were successful for short times.
         Other times the rest of the passengers quietly kept their thoughts to themselves.

At the end of the flight

         I was relieved to get off the plane but I thought I'd like to share “a thought from a grandma” with the young couple.
         Since we just happened to be walking off the plane together I commented as I was passing them: "Just remember: You will survive!"
         They understood the meaning of my comment and immediately shared their frustrations with me.  As we walked to the waiting area, the young wife said: I love them so much and I had thought I wanted another child - but not after this!
         I smiled understandingly and the husband spontaneously agreed that two were enough!
         As we walked to the entrance of the terminal they talked enthusiastically about their plans for the future, a new job... moving to another state, etc.
         Then I saw my daughter waiting to pick me up and we separated.

A smile...

         But I still smile as I hope that although I couldn't help with the problem of their crying child... I could help with their frustration.

        And I wouldn’t be surprised to find out someday that they reconsidered and  added another child to their family!