Grant County Community Corner

My nephew is a little myna bird.  He is almost two-years-old and will repeat anything you say.  And anything you do.  His sister is five and he mimics everything she does on a 60 second delay.   When she wants to hear the “Change” song, they stand on either side of me and chant, “Change Change Change,” until I pull up the YouTube video.  She wants it.  He wants it.  When she decides it’s time to have a nap with her blankie, he has to crawl up on “PapPap’s” lap and have a nap too.  He’s not tired.  But she does it.  He does it.  When she talks to everyone in the house about the “Family Room,” he tells everyone about the “Family Room”.  Over and over.  She says it.  He says it.  His little eyes are always watching.  His little ears are always listening.  But he’s not just watching her.  He’s watching everyone.  He’s been to church a few times in his short life, and he’s apparently observed what’s done there.  When Dad and I were at the church on a Friday practicing a song, my nephew was there with us.  At one point, he went to the altar, kneeled down,...

It’s one of those oddly incredible, unexpected occurrences that you can’t predict or would ever imagine.  The kind of thing that I’m sure has happened before, and is guaranteed to happen again.  Probably not to me, though.  Or to my friend.  Or to my brother.  We certainly didn’t see it coming, and when it was over, we were all a little in shock.  Later that evening, at dinner, my brother proposed that we all just take another minute and remember what happened there in the driveway before we left. Of course, I’m talking about that awkward moment when…you’re sitting in the parked car in the driveway, and when the door opens a sparrow flies in and tries frantically to get out through the front windshield while you scream at it pointlessly because your door is locked and your brother is laughing himself sick in the backseat.  Yeah.  That happened.  Frantically I grabbed for the door handle, and once I was finally able to get the passenger door open, I jumped out and the sparrow followed after me. Flying off, never to be seen again.  But never to be forgotten. They say life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,...

Here's how a 2013 Community Foundation scholarship recipient is making a difference in Grant County: [caption id="attachment_913" align="alignleft" width="100"] Clifton Davis, 2013 Marguerite E. Ellis Endowed Scholarship recipient[/caption] In the past year, since receiving the 2013 Marguerite E. Ellis Endowed Scholarship from the Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana, I have been able to positively impact musicians in the Ball State University community as an informal mentor.   I think of an undergraduate freshman who I noticed was overcome one afternoon in January.  Through conversation, I discovered that passing her sight-singing class felt insurmountable.  Her financial resources would not allow her to pay for extra help.  Through research, I was able to connect her with two different tutors paid through BSU initiatives.  I remember a college senior last fall who needed practical guidance in her new paid musical job. Through a series of conversations that balanced hands-on strategies with a willingness to walk with this senior through the pain of adjusting to a new situation, we overcame the initial bumpiness of this position.  She now regularly checks in with me with positive updates about how she makes a difference through work.  She is sad that upon graduation she will leave behind this post. As a...

Okay, is anyone else so ready for spring they could almost burst?  I am!  When I was watching the weather the other day, the meteorologist said that “meteorological spring” starts March 1st.  Why do they say things like that?  Any seasoned Hoosier knows that March can be as snowy as February.  I remember the worst snow storm of 2002 fell over Spring Break my senior year of high school.  And yet, as the sunlight streams through the windows just a tiny bit earlier day by day, and the snow and ice begins to melt ever so slightly (except on my front walkway), and cabin fever makes everyone want to be outdoors even if just for a few minutes, we all begin to hope.  I think that’s why we’ve been inviting people to stop by our office more lately.  Oh sure, you can interact with the Foundation in a variety of ways right from the comfort of your own home.  Phone, Facebook, Twitter, the website, a couple of blogs, and of course the eNews.  You can even make a donation to any of our 300+ funds by visiting our Donor Marketplace.  But we love it when Fabulous Foundation Followers stop by and...

Recently I've made friends with a person who is rather new to Grant County.  She and her husband were IWU students who became a part of our church and have decided to settle here.  I couldn't be more pleased.  What a high compliment to my home-sweet-home, and all Grant County natives.  This is a great place to live!  But, I explained to her that if she was planning to stay in the area, she needed to familiarize herself with two incidents that she would certainly hear discussed, debated, and referenced by the natives around her.  All Grant County-ites know what I’m talking about:  The Palm Sunday Tornadoes and The Blizzard of ’78. Now, I understand that a majority of you need no further explanation, but give me leave to explain to the Fabulous Foundation Followers who don’t live in Grant County.  The Palm Sunday tornadoes were the worst Indiana has ever seen.  If you ask anyone around here who was alive in 1965 where they were on Palm Sunday, everyone can tell you.  Exactly.  Even my mom, who was only a baby then, knows precisely where she was because the story has been told again and again.  And though we’re not exactly...

My father owns two houses.  But I’m sure he feels like he owns four.  At least, that’s how many he’s really responsible for.  There’s his own house, where he and Mom live, where we grew up, and where we gather most often.  There’s the house next door that he bought and is currently renting to my youngest brother.  There’s my oldest brother’s house that he is often called down to to help with some project or repair.  And now, there’s my house.  My own little money-pit, 100 years young and full of its own little quirks and…let’s call it, charm. So, Dad’s best option for having any free evening in the foreseeable future is to teach this girly-girl how to do a few things for herself.  The other day, I got a lesson on how to use a power drill.  If you’ve never used one, I highly recommend it.  My favorite part about the power drill:  the power part.  Because all of the sudden, the impossible becomes possible.  Need to hang some blinds?  Power drill.  Cabinets need handles?  Power drill.  Putting together furniture?  Power drill.  As long as I’ve got the right bit and the battery doesn’t die, I’ve got the...

I just bought a house.  My plan was to move in the first weekend in December. I’m not in it yet. The transition from renter to homeowner has been an eye-opening one.  So far I’ve had a gas leak and had to have the Vectren man come out and take care of it.  (BTW, he was super-fantastic and made sure everything was completely safe before he left!)  I’ve had little visitors (mice) that had to be evicted.  Old flooring was torn up, new flooring was laid down.  The walls and ceilings have been painted, and everything has been cleaned and cleaned and cleaned.  Though I’ve worked until my back, arms, and head ached, there’s a decided satisfaction in making my house my home. Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, “Home is the nicest word there is.”  I’ve found that to be true.  Through the storm last week, a few of my loved ones were out and about in the worst of it. I knew they were capable drivers, experienced in the snow, with good sense in their heads.  But just the same, I was a lot easier when I knew they were finally home.  Home means safety.  Home means peaceful.  Home is where your...

I keep getting the following message in my email inbox: Please reduce your mailbox size. Delete any items you don't need from your mailbox and empty your Deleted Items folder. I get it, my inbox is not a filing cabinet and I should just start sorting and deleting stuff.  But I, my friends, am an email hoarder and the thought of deleting any of my precious emails makes me as nervous as the homeowners on Clean House when Niecy Nash knocks on the door.   The fact is, having those emails has saved me on more than one occasion.  What did that person ask?  What time was that event?  Did I send that document?  It’s all in the email.  And when you've worked in an office for over three years, that inbox is a treasure trove, a time capsule off all that’s been accomplished on the job. Such as, the Give Me Five celebrations we’ve held to announce our grant winners, the thank you cards that were sent out to donors who started scholarship funds, the new website, the interns, Apple Week, all the new funds, all the students that received scholarships, Youth Grants, new quarterly reports, and of course every Dilbert Scott Adams...

My little brother walked into my parents’ house the other day and upon seeing a dish full of Reese cups sitting unguarded on the dining room table, he snatched up a giant handful.  As he did so, he made the comment, “If you didn’t want me to take this many, you wouldn’t have put them out there.”  It is for this very reason, I grew up in a house without a candy dish. Now, Dawn made some beautiful points in her blog about hospitality and growing up in a house where there was always a candy dish, a way to welcome everyone into her home.  It’s a lovely idea.  But in my experience- completely unrealistic.  Community candy dishes were a strange and confusing concept for me growing up.  And I would imagine it was for anyone who had more than two siblings.  If there was candy in the house, it belonged to the person who could get to it the fastest.  You were only entitled to the Halloween candy in your bucket and the Christmas candy in your stocking, and only then if you could hide it well enough.  Sugar in any form triggered a survival instinct that could incite riots...

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  That’s right- Scholarship Season! We just launched our new scholarship software on December 1st, and we’ve already had over 100 applicants log in and start the application process. Last week I had two high school seniors visit my office to walk through the application process.  They were a little intimidated at the thought of applying, but after a 10 minute tutorial, they felt reassured and empowered.   “That’s easier than I thought it would be,” one relieved student told me.  And though students will need to be prepared to write two 300 word essays, provide a high school or college transcript, and have some basic income information on hand, the process is very straightforward.  If you can start a Facebook page, you can start a scholarship application. During scholarship season, I’ll be visiting several local high schools to show students the application process and answer any questions.  I’m kinda like Santa Claus, spreading cheer wherever I go.  Only instead of presents, I’ll be bringing information- information that could be worth up to $10,000 for college-bound Grant County students.  And instead of stopping when Christmas is over, I’ll be making rounds until March 10th, 2014, the...