Grant County Community Corner

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.”  -George MacDonald Last weekend, the fam and I made a trip to Ohio for my cousin’s graduation open house.  It’s neither a small trip nor a short trip, I observed, as we loaded cousins and brothers and friends into two vehicles, filled up on gas and essential travel snacks, and started South on I69 around 9 o’clock Saturday morning.  Four hours one way, a three hour visit, and four hours back home.  Crazy’s not something we pride ourselves in, but every now and then, we just can’t contain it.  Wanderlust, youth, a sense of adventure, or maybe just a misconception of how uncomfortable an eight hour drive is, will find us making the trip about every other year.  Often on long trips, I ride in the car with my younger brothers and we occupy our time with Gaither Vocal Band tryouts, each of us choosing our part for those GVB classics we’ve sung since infancy, and giving passing cars something to point and laugh at as my brother conducts the rise and fall of the music in the passenger’s seat.  But this time, I was driving the lead car, Mom was...

I love this little flyer because I want it to be just that easy.  Wouldn’t it be great if you were walking by this sign, feeling a little disheartened, so you took “hope,” and carried it with you all day?  Or your family member was sick, so you grabbed “healing” and brought it home to them.  What if you were proactive enough to choose “understanding” after that frustrating encounter with a friend?  Or you knew you had a presentation at work and needed a little “courage” on your way.  I think we can all appreciate the sentiment here.  Who doesn’t need some “love,” “peace,” and “passion” on their journey?  I think if I had to choose, I would pick “strength” for today and maybe “hope” for tomorrow.  I want it to be just that easy.  But maybe it’s not as hard as I think. The other day, Jennifer Lane-Riefler, Executive Director of Cancer Services of Grant County, stopped by our office.  She began telling us the story of her 1000+ mile bike ride she had just finished to raise awareness for Cancer Services.  She shared with us the recent diagnosis of a very close friend, and how she...

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”  -Anne Frank As we all sat around the dining room table, minus only my oldest brother’s family, my dad informed us that he had two topics we needed to discuss.  First, this matter of Little Miss Fire Cracker, crowned every 4th of July in Gas City.  My mother declared that she’s already retired a champion, as she entered my baby brother 15 years ago and won, and entered my oldest niece six years ago and won.  (Please don’t think my family is a feature story for Toddlers and Tiaras, it’s just a local pageant that no one puts in fake teeth for, I promise.)  But along came Emerson October, with her naturally curly hair and bubbling personality.  She loves to sing and dance and most of all, be the center of attention.  Some of it comes from her parents; some of it comes from her “Joy Gene” (Williams Syndrome).  Dad thinks she’s a shoo-in to win.  This hurled us into a long, drawn-out discussion that moved rapidly from one topic to another, rarely resting long enough to draw any conclusion on any one matter, and finally ending with the whole...

If you’ve been reading our newsletter for more than a year, you might remember that I used to write a column on personal finance.  Being the Dave Ramsey-ite that I am, I tried to apply the principles of the “Total Money Makeover” and “Financial Peace University” to my little bit of musings and insights in the Foundation eNewsletter.  And mostly, I used myself as the prime bad example.  I spoke very often on “what NOT to do” because I was keenly aware of what didn’t work.  I even wrote one article titled “Learning it the Hard Way,” about how I had to learn from my mistakes.  And today, I toyed with the idea of labeling this particular article, “Learning it the Hard Way…Again.”No, I’m not talking about finances this time.  Though I’m sure I could.  Allow me to interject an anecdote from my college days:  In my second year of college, I was a student at Ball State University.  I was studying Creative Writing (even though a professor had cautioned all of us to hastily change our majors if we ever wanted to get a job.  Ouch.), and I, thrill-seeker that I am, had put off writing an important paper...

Source “There are big days and there are small days – which will it be?” –War HorseI watched War Horse this weekend and cried through the whole thing.  In fact, I put myself through it twice, and twice I cried over certain heart-wrenching scenes.  Though I don’t know anyone personally who fought in WWI, I keenly felt the plight of each soldier on that battle field. Also this weekend, I continued reading the great Tolstoy classic, Anna Karenina.  I felt tense and even ill at the moral failing of the main character.  I felt the flush of humiliation when Levin was refused by Kitty.  I sympathized with the wife of Stepan Arkadyevitch as she faced a hopeless situation.  In the comfort of my little apartment, in my cozy chair, I found myself in late 19thcentury Russia, moving among its aristocracy. Even at church, as my pastor taught us about the “Rich Young Ruler,” I put myself in his shoes and attempted to travel his journey.   And as I bid bon voyage to a dear friend who is soon to be traveling abroad, I thumbed through her photo albums and was curious about each picture, about each story that could be told. I love...

I love to run.  I know it’s kind of an odd thing to “love” but I’ve found that it’s something I truly enjoy.  I love putting in my ear buds and listening to the same familiar songs every time.  I love the time I get to think about things that matter, things that don’t matter, things that could matter, and things that are none of my business.  I love the feel of the pavement under my feet, putting three, five, or even eight miles under my trusty old shoes and adding up my weekly total.  I even love the overall soreness that comes from working hard.   Sore legs, sore feet, sore toes.  It reassures me that I’ve pushed myself to the limit, forced myself out of my comfort zone, expanded my preconceived limitations.  Last year I trained during the winter for the Indy Mini, a 13.1 mile mini-marathon around Indianapolis.  I’m not sure how many miles I ran total from January through April, but I learned something crucial in those training months- your body will do whatever your mind tells it to do.  That sounds over-simplified, but in my case, being healthy and without injury, conquering the “can’t” in my...

"’Everything will be alright" is not the same as "everything will stay the same.’" –Seth Godin Isn’t it funny how we sometimes confuse those two ideas?  As a child, I can recall a handful of instances when “everything will be alright” meant that my whole world was about to change.  When my dad left his job, everything was alright.  When we moved out of our old neighborhood and left behind all of our friends, everything was alright.  When my grandmother passed away after a rather sudden illness, everything was eventually alright, but nothing was ever the same.  Even as an adult, when my precious niece was diagnosed with Williams syndrome, in a way, everything was alright, but we all knew that everything would not stay the same. But not every instance of change is a negative one.  When I decided to go to college in a different state where I knew no one- different, but awesome.  When my best friend and I decided to be roommates, our friendship changed- for the better.  When I accepted my job here at the Community Foundation, that was a major life-change for me, a wonderful life-change. And then there are changes both major and minor, that will...