Like the weather, the past couple of weeks have been a time of contrasts, like a pendulum swinging between bad news and good, which, fortunately, means that much of the time it is at neither extreme.
Just as we were becoming accustomed to thermal underwear and gloves, weather forecasters began talking about highs near 70.
Unfortunately, the sagging economy is not rebounding with similar alacrity.
Dawson County is feeling the recession in a number of ways. Perhaps the most obvious is that sales tax money (particularly from the Premium Outlet Mall) is greatly reduced: SPLOST projects are not receiving expected revenue.
State appropriations are cut: we may lose school nurses. Non-profit organizations, such as United Way and Red Cross, needed now more than ever, find it difficult to reach their goals.
But we try to rise to the occasion. Members of churches are volunteering to bag food for distribution through RIC-Rack. Dr. Mark Weaver is working to set up a free (limited) clinic at Grace Presbyterian. Many of us are tightening our own belts a notch so that we can help those in real need.
On the “good” side of the news: the SPLOST money is already in hand for a new fire station on Ga. 53 near 400; those of us who live in that area are grateful to learn that it will also include a Sheriff’s Precinct, tax office, recycling station, and hopefully, eventually, a library branch.
For about a week, I spent some time every day at Bearden’s Funeral Home.
Although they were times of loss and grief, there was also celebration for the lives of those we came to mourn. And all those families were surrounded with expressions of love and comfort.
All that time with friends at the funeral home did eliminate my exercising, or at least gave me an excuse for the week. So my muscles are stiffer and now I am focusing on getting back in my simple exercise groove. I also decided to stay in a simple groove with my bridge game; after enjoying one class of duplicate instruction and practice (currently in session on Mondays at the Senior Center), I concluded that I would just spend the rest of my bridge-playing time stumbling along as a non-expert.
For some of the same reasons (age and lack of agility and ambition), I’m not kicking up my heels at the “Rock and Roll” and “Denim and Diamonds” festivities. They will be fun events, and some years back I would have been in the midst of them. But it is not my cup of tea now — I’ll just sip on hot green tea or cappuccino.
Also in the good news column, my congratulations to Charles Findley, whose school history is most interesting reading, even for one who was not here then.
Also, gratitude goes to Christ Fellowship Church and to Sunnyside music group for a delightful Senior Breakfast every second Thursday (at Family Fun Center). If you’re past the half-century mark and if you enjoy country music, do go and have fun.
You may realize that I am not commenting on the Motorsports Park or the stimulus package — not even with a 20-foot pen.
Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.