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CHOOSE YOUR RUT - March 9, 2006

I heard of a traveler in Canada who turned off on a single-lane dirt road where the uneven surface promised a bumpy ride. There was a handwritten sign on a fence post that said, “Choose your rut with care, you will be in it for the next thirty miles.”

All of us have had the experience of being in a rut. How we get there isn’t clear. Many times we just fall into it and think it is easier to keep going than to turn around. What if we want to turn around? It takes energy, planning and cooperation. Optimism also plays a part. I like the definition of optimism: “To look on the more favorable side of conditions, the belief that good will eventually overcome the bad.”

You might think of Calhoun County as being in a rut, but just think of all the positive actions happening around the county. I see signs of optimism.

Last weekend, there was a benefit affair held for Mike Sims of the Big Springs area. The place was packed, at times it was “Standing Room Only.” I observed people from all areas of the county, old and young, men and women. Everyone was having a good time, but the compassion for a young man in the midst of a crisis was overwhelming.

Mike’s quiet, cheerful manner gave us the feeling of optimism.

A young school teacher helped organize a program to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Calhoun County. Some of us who helped with the 100th anniversary were thinking, “It needs to be done, but it takes so much time and energy. I hope someone else takes it on.” Casey Harris did just that. She gives us the optimism of seeing the young generation carry on the dreams of Calhoun’s first settlers.

Grantsville residents passed a levy to provide money for repair of streets and sidewalks and cost of insurance. The mayor and town council are energetic and cooperative. When faced with personnel problems, they do not quit. They are planning a Beautiful Blooms campaign to add beauty to the town with donated bulbs and seeds. They are showing optimism that our town can become a better and safer place to live.

Calhoun Historical Society will open its Historic Village in May, determined to carry out the plans made many years ago for a place where our forefathers will be remembered for their way of life, determination, and optimism.

Aging With Grace, an assisted living facility, will open in the fall. This will allow elder citizens a place to live in their home county, without the worries of home maintenance. It will also let them be near their own churches, medical care and a thriving Senior Citizens Center. Reservations are being accepted. This shows optimism on the part of the owners, Rick and Arleen Sampson.

Over five years of work, determination and optimism have paid off for the people in the Southern end of our county. A grant was recently awarded for their water system.

Another example of optimism is being planned by friends of Katherine and Coleman Burrows, Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center, and the Cancer association in the county. $100,000.00 has been set as a goal to establish a mammography unit. This has not been available here for several years. Women must travel to one of the larger centers for this service. The committee is optimistic that this goal will be met.

I just received a call from Loyd Wright, member of the Class of ’55. This group has a phone and email chain that extends across the United States. Even though they do not live here, they are actively involved in what is happening in Calhoun County. Remember the Wayne Underwood museum? The optimism of our graduates developed this project and will make sure it is completed.

The Wood Festival Committee is planning to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Calhoun County during their festivities. This small group works hard to provide a better festival each year. Many tasks need to be completed before June 1, 2, and 3. This festival is for all of the county. They are optimistic that volunteers will join them to have the satisfaction of planning “the best Wood Festival ever!”

We are overwhelmed with the “Encounter Calhoun” project to be unveiled next week by the Calhoun Chronicle. Project manager Lisa Minney was optimistic that it would be a success because all areas of the county were represented. All ages were represented. Everyone worked to present the very positive side of Calhoun County. We are also optimistic that Calhouners, near and far, will use this to spread the news that Calhoun is still on the map and doing our part to raise our image, in our own eyes and in the eyes of the public.

Keep our sight on the wonders to come! Be optimistic! Have faith in what we can do for ourselves.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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