11/27/2013 3:15:00 PM Harbor Springs...Now and Then
Cynthia Morse Zumbaugh
It's natural at this time of the year to sit back and consider what we are grateful for and most often, those things are not of a material nature. Sometimes it is just too easy to be overwhelmed by the bad things that surround us and we forget about the good. I'm reading a book right now and the mother in the book insists, when talking to her daughter, that for every bad thing she relays about school or her friends, she has to balance it out with something good. Wouldn't it be great if that rule applied to everything in life?
Rather than looking on the bright side, it is far too easy to dwell on what isn't going well. We complain because the news does that, but we do it, too. How many of you can immediately think of a person who always has something bad to relate? Not only are we all exposed to people like that, being around them is detrimental; they suck all the joy out of you. Do any of you remember the television series Night Court and the Wheeler family? They appeared several times, always down on their luck with the most depressing hard luck stories, obviously played as a joke on that show. I have a cousin (doesn't live here and I'm not naming names) who always reminded me of them; even her Christmas letters could send you into a spiral of depression. She never included anything positive. Remember Pollyanna and the Glad Game? I think it would be beneficial for all of us to remember to play that game daily, to find something positive out of every situation.
We all have things in common for which we should be thankful, including living in one of the most beautiful places on earth. We should also be grateful for the quality of the people that we know; I am constantly amazed by the generosity of our neighbors. If a house burns down, if there is an illness, anytime that there is a need, our community steps up without being asked and everyone does what they can. That doesn't happen everywhere and I hope that everyone appreciates what a special bunch of people surrounds us. And although I know that I often grouse about a restrictive government, but the fact remains that we should be grateful that we live in this free country; for all its flaws, in my humble opinion in remains miles ahead of whatever is in second place.
It seems as though every other day we hear about someone with a serious illness and we've all lost people far too soon. I am grateful for my health and I pray that more and more people are able to defeat these diseases and afflictions. I am grateful that I have a job that I enjoy (most of the time, at least) and that I have a roof over my head and more to eat than I actually need. I am thankful for my furry children; they definitely balance out bad days with their goofy antics. Most of all, I am thankful for friends and family who love me and are there for me, especially my very patient husband. The famous Bible verse asks, "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" I'll take that same thought and say that it means nothing to have everything without people you care about and that care about you.
So in between stuffing the turkey, first in preparation and later down your throat, and the football and the pie, take a moment to think of how many things you have for which you are truly thankful. I'm sure the vast number will surprise you; it always does me when I take that step back to consider my blessings.
Saturday, November 30th, is the Christmas Tree Lighting and there will be coat/hat/glove drive going on, sponsored by the Harbor Springs Community Schools. If you have unused items to donate, there are people who could use them.
We have several people who may be frosting their turkeys this year as they celebrate their birthdays on Thursday. Happy Birthday to Cathy Cunningham, Tracie Manville Shawnoskeys, Ken Harris, Dorlene Gray and my nephew, Ron Morse. On Friday, November 29th, Happy Birthday to Don Horn and to Paige Lukasik and on Saturday to my youngest classmate, Kathi McRoberts Santi. Very Happy Birthday wishes on Sunday to Teri Morse, Cathy Girard Zima, Lynn Blanchard, Kathi Brilley and Kim Selewski and on Monday, December 2nd to Angie Williams Cranney and Cathy Koza Moore. We'll end our week by sending birthday greetings on Wednesday, December 4th to Steve Holliday and to Sandy Baker. Happy Birthday to all of these folks and Happy Thanksgiving to all.