Newberry Habitat takes the weekend off

Newberry Habitat takes the weekend off for Labor Day: Returns 9/11 with last push to finish both new homes this fall! Volunteer to bring it home!

 

By T. Myers

Driving by the latest Newberry Habitat neighborhood, you will see the changes on the latest two homes. Siding is up on both, the yards are cleared of piles of lumber ends and one of them is already painted and trimmed getting ready for the final push to the finish!

It could not be more exciting for the new families who have qualified to buy their new Habitat homes. These families will be packing their household goods and preparing to move within a few months. In the meantime, as these dreams begin to take final shape, colors are being chosen, flooring is ordered, electric and plumbing is being finished and the interiors are getting their last touches before completion.

Speaking with one of the new homeowners about raised bed gardens and landscaping and you get the idea that these homes will be just as wonderful in the new yards as the houses are beautiful in their new settings. The cul-de-sac that is filled with active families who are ready to live in a family friendly neighborhood is just one of the Newberry neighborhoods!

The mission of Habitat International is to provide safe and affordable housing for qualified families and during the next few years, they are poised to make some other Homeowners realize their dream of home ownership! The Newberry Habitat affiliate is planning some changes to how they build their next projects. As the details become real plans, we will share them with you here. Until then, if you want to qualify to be a homeowner, stop by the La Pine ReStore to pick up the initial application.

Have a helping hand you can spare? Newberry Habitat needs volunteers to help finish the homes for this building cycle and prepare to build homes next year. Call Dan Varcoe at 541-771-9177.

No time to volunteer? How about a cash donation or a donation of gently used items that can be sold at the Restore to raise money through sales for future projects? You can stop at the La Pine ReStore to donate during business hours Monday through Saturday from 9:30-5 PM. Talk to the Manager, Roland Alonzo, about donating large items to arrange for help bringing them into the store. They are happy to take all building materials, paints and chemicals used in building, they have a drop site for Paint cans and now they also take E-WASTE. All proceeds from the ReStore go towards building homes in the Homeowner program.

Help Newberry Habitat build La Pine one home at a time! Volunteer today!


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More New Home Owner Opportunities at Habitat for Humanity in Sunriver/La Pine

Newberry Habitat is working to create more opportunities for Home Owners

By T. Myers

As one season of building passes its halfway mark, it is already planning time for the next year’s home builds. The local Newberry Habitat for Humanity affiliate is moving through the qualifying part of the applicants who applied for consideration for the Homeowner Program. While the actual people who are in the process of qualifying are busy with documentation, classes that will help them prepare for homeownership and financial management of their homes, and looking to realize their dream of owning their own home, the folks at “Admin Central” (the main office) have to do just as much work to find properties that are suitable for Habitat neighborhoods, go through a set of processes themselves to permit and develop property and then raise the funds that will let them proceed with the plans they make. All funds must be secured prior to each build so that the materials and guidance meet the volunteers in the middle when it is time to go to work!

During the off season after the home dedications at the end of fall, there is also extensive planning about how to find and organize volunteers who are skilled and ready for another home build. There is planning to set up skill building classes that teach newbies and do it yourselfers how to do projects and the classes cover everything from basic plumbing, sheet rocking and framing a house from the foundation up!

The La Pine ReStore works throughout the year- with no breaks, taking donations for resale at the local La Pine ReStore. They organize the sale of these items and the proceeds are used for the support of the builds. For two years, the store has helped build two houses each year.

That is two new families investing in our community and adding to the economy of the community for years to come.

Habitat for Humanity has a mission to provide safe and affordable homes for qualified people. It is a hand up, not a hand out and the folks who qualify are also responsible for working along with the volunteers and contractors, and then they make their house payments like everyone else over the mortgage period. That is correct. Habitat does not give these homes away and the people who qualify actually pay for the houses they earn the right to buy!

Applications for homeownership start with a short, two page qualifier that is relatively simple to fill out. The applications are available at the main office or at the La Pine ReStore on HWY 97.

Once a person qualifies for a home, the entire homeowner program goes into effect with help and guidance coming from the family committee, the selection committee, the board of directors, the volunteers and construction crews and General Contractor. No one builds alone and no one gets into a house without needed help to learn what it will take to be a responsible homeowner.

If you would like to build La Pine one home at a time, call to donate cash, used items for resale or hours of your time to make a difference and be part of a great team. Call Dan Varcoe 541-771-9177 for info. Check out our websites: www.newberryhabitat.org or www.lapinerestore.org.


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I Speak La Pine Boiler Sheet

La Pine. Small Town Bright Future!

Looking at the sign at Triangle Park a visitor might be aware that the new little city must have a lumber history and that they believe they are ready to illuminate anyone who comes near about their growing opportunities to grow up with La Pine! A saw blade featuring Newberry Crater in front of a blue sky- all embedded in the natural stone from the surrounding area makes it clear you are in monument country, in forest lands, under big skies and that La Pine wants… well, more!

Oregon’s newest city, La Pine, has been here for over 100 years, becoming an official Post Office in September of 1910, when Rosland (now in north La Pine) gave up their mail delivery and the mail service was transferred to the little community two miles south.

La Pine was centered in an area full of timber, but it was also an established vacation spot for people from the valley who wanted to escape the rain in order to get in on the 320 days of sunshine instead. If you did not cut trees for a living, or were an official tourist, chances are, you tried to settle on a piece of land, that with extraordinarily hard work, would yield up a modest garden, support a few beef cows and some chickens for eggs and the eventual stew pot.

The two season town was famous for warm summer days, cold nights and harsh- what the weather savvy Lapinites call- extreme winter weather! When you made your decision to move to La Pine you took on the weather as a condition of living here. The other conditions were much less challenging! Abundant water was available. There were plenty of trees for building cabins and the few folks who settled here first, cut through the trees and made roads that were used to convey property owners to and from town.

The usual small town amenities were established with a general store, bank, hotels, livery stables, blacksmith and other service businesses. La Pine boasted a pretty good doctor who drove an automobile around the back country and eventually there was a newspaper called the La Pine Intermountain that covered everything between Eugene and Bend.

During the years when the railroad men were fighting to see who could establish rail service, La Pine was poised to have rail passenger service to the town, but, that ended up in Bend instead. Before that, anyone who lived out in the desert would come through La Pine on their way to Shaniko to pick up monthly supplies. The trips from Christmas Valley and Fort Rock were a week long and La Pine was a halfway stopover for many travelers who were coming and going.

Tourism was always big for La Pine. It was a destination for hunters and fishermen. It was not long until the Paulina Peaks resorts were destinations for visitors, too. East Lake is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Paulina Lodge is ninety. (Established in the 1920s) When the Crane Prairie, Wickiup Dam and other lake projects were started in the 30s, the people came to work, returned to visit and then moved to La Pine to build in the woods.

La Pine still boasts a reputation for being outdoor centered. It is home to one of Oregon’s national monuments: the Newberry Crater. It has easy access to all of the lakes and rivers of the area and two miles south, La Pine opens up on the high desert areas to the south and east. More than that, it offers plenty of space for residents who want to get away from close urban areas and spread their wings! The results? The sixteen hundred residents who live inside the City limits are joined by another twenty thousand who live in the trees and foothills that surround our town. No one who comes to La Pine goes away without feeling like they have made new friends. We have a motto here:

Come here to play, then move here to stay,

because when you talk to the folks who are your friends and neighbors about how they got here they will quickly tell you that they came to camp or hunt or fish and loved it so much, that they came again and soon they decided that they liked the small town feel and the family friendly atmosphere in the middle of everything they love about the outdoors. After that it was them trying to figure out how fast they could move here.

La Pine still has affordable land for residential and industrial use and when it comes to business, HWY 97 runs through the town giving perspective businesses a way to bring materials in and send products out to customers. We do have a rail line through La Pine and industrial spurs are an approved part of the industrial applications to start up business in La Pine.

La Pine is ready to brand itself and while they look for the image they want to live with in the forever of their future, the volunteers and leaders of the community are working hard to start and finish smaller projects one at a time to move La Pine into the process of becoming the City they want the world to remember!

La Pine is changing. Not too much or too fast, but they understand that change is inevitable and they want to direct it and shape it into what they want for their community. As long as the people do not lose the core values they believe in about family and small town feel, neighbors helping each other while they give each other space, maintaining affordability, and keeping a slower pace, you are invited to explore the opportunities waiting for you in La Pine.

We are a small town with a bright future- and it is beginning to show!


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The Back to School Foodie for Sept 1

The Foodie Column for Sept 1

By T. Myers

Back to school time! Can we believe that summer is over for our little ones and that they are already heading back to school? Before we start with foodie ideas, let me remind you that children today are not taught much about safety when walking on or near roads that carry traffic and as drivers, we need to be vigilant about young students crossing streets- when they feel they want to cross and not at the corners. Since we have few painted crosswalks, some of them can be very confused about what is a safe way to cross the streets, so help them get adjusted to the new rhythm of school days as we move into the school season! Be ready to take extra time to help them.

It is time to take a few minutes to plan for back to school lunches. There is nothing worse for a child to suffer through the unplanned and embarrassing lunch bag full of the usual Pb&j, a cookie and drink of some kind when it is just as easy to dazzle your little ones with an assortment of specially packed goodies to make a young tummy say A-h-h-h!

Don’t kid yourself- even if you do not have children to send lunches with, there are lunches for any person who goes to work and this will work for big and little people!

I go to the dollar stores and purchase a few of the plastic container packs that they sell for cheap and then I go shopping for the bags of goodies from Costco, Walmart or other big box store.

On Sunday afternoon I set up a week’s worth of containers for crispy snacks, dessert snacks, veggies, fruits, crackers, cheese, sandwich items and drink boxes. When I open the bags, I put them into the containers and seal the bags for next week. With veggies, I clean them and slices of apples etc., and dip the apples or other fruit pieces in lemon water and set the prepared items on the shelf in the fridge. I do the same for cheese (don’t overlook cottage cheese and canned fruit options) and meat pieces, pickles, olives and other go to nibbles.

By the end of an hour or so, I have amassed a collection of containers I can choose from every week day without getting completely bored.

Packing a ¼ sandwich works- take two they’re small! Cupcakes and 2 inch cookies fit well in a small container.

Small stone fruits and grape tomatoes, carrot sticks and humuus is always good.

Have fun helping your students and big people who need good lunches be amused and delighted with their lunch time surprises. Bon Appetit starts with surprise lunches from your kitchen to their lunch table!

 


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2nd Annual Gun and Rec Show Due for September 12-13

La Pine Chamber Hosts Second Annual Gun and Recreation Show and first ATV Poker Run!

 

You are invited to attend the La Pine Chamber Gun and Recreation Show, held at the Frontier Heritage Park, Saturday and Sunday- September 12 and 13th. 10-6 Pm daily. The show features family friendly vendors, a Kiddies’ Fish Pond stocked by Oregon Fish and Wildlife trout, Indoor and outdoor displays of recreation equipment, food booths and much more. There will be music and other entertainment through the event. There will also be the 2nd annual High Desert Pig Squeal BBQ Pork contest on Sunday at 11:00. The salsa (eating type) contest will also be held on Sunday AT 1 pm. Last year’s winners are back for a second chance at winning both contests and have thrown down the gauntlet with time to enter your team for this year.

The Event features: Blue Dog RV, Moto Fantasy with their motorcycle s that they rent for trips, Ponderosa Mountain Men with several hands on black powder demos and tomahawk throwing, the La Pine RC Flyers Model Airplane club, local food vendors, beverage booths, Sporting goods and camping equipment, gun traders, Military supplies, Purple Pterodactyl survivalist gear, Clem’s Outdoor Cooking Seasonings. Starks leather goods, Coin dealers and more!!

This year, after trying to work out the agency details for an ATV Poker Run through the forest that surrounds La Pine, the Chamber is hosting its very first ATV run. On September 12, 9 AM participants will start in North La Pine, go east of HWY 97 through Newberry Country on a mapped route (maps available with purchase of Poker Hand) ending up back at the starting point.

Taking on the roads through national forest, provides participants with a scenic route that will challenge their driving skills and allow them to take a look at what La Pine has to offer! The route takes folks on a trip to complete their poker hands during the fun of driving their favorite ATVs. The entry fee of $10.00 per hand will pay off in the end, too! The “Highest Hand” gets $100.00 to be awarded on stage in the La Pine Community Center of the event grounds at 3 PM. While there, families can visit many displays at the second annual two day Gun and Recreation Show in Frontier Heritage Park.

Come join in the fun. You can still register for a vendor spot, be part of the ATV Event and families are welcome!

 


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Bike Friendly means Big Business!

The Chamber Connection: Bike Friendly means more than you know! It means Business! Big Business!

By T. Myers

During the past two years, Travel Oregon and Bicycle lovers across the state have been working together to develop a program that can be used anywhere a bike can travel to let the public and cyclists know that people who ride bikes are welcome! At first it seemed to be a resurgence of grassroots support for the two wheeled conveyances- one that fits the lower carbon footprint of energy conscious Americans and it also served as a statement against higher gas prices. Both arguments for the good of the people!

In La Pine we installed a workable bike lane that far surpasses those in the urban settings. (I have yet to see a second bike making its way through the bike lane of La Pine, but none the less, it is here). The bike lane was also designed to impede speeding traffic and slow it down as it moved south on HWY 97. Two purposes-crossing at the former widening of the roadway to reduce its use once again, removing turn lanes and the ability to pass a vehicle in the outside lane that is no longer. H-m-m-m!

So, Oregon has taken on the idea of creating bike tours on the ground in different parts of the state. Towns and villages that are located on these routes are reaping the benefits of having a bike friendly attitude and offering amenities to bicycling visitors that are in the form of information booths, bike racks for parking, hotels with bike access in closed garages to prevent theft of precious bikes. (Prevention of bike theft is crucial-Like my daughter who rode her bike to Bi Mart last week on Monday the 10th and locked it in front of the pharmacy to go inside for a few minutes. When she returned, her bike lock was cut and her very expensive bike was long gone!) So these hoteliers offer storage solutions for guests. Some even extend free bikes to visitors with maps of the area so they can go and explore on two wheels instead of four and if they drove a car to the accommodations, they now have a place where they can get exercise and enjoy a slower look at the town they are visiting!

In these bike friendly towns they are setting up repair stations and someone in town is available with parts if needed. We could do it in our local auto shops or tire centers.

Seem like a lot? Just wait! Cyclists spend an average of 20% more at the places they stay and restaurants where they eat a meal and enjoy the hospitality of the area. They get hungry and thirsty and tired when they ride bikes all day long and when they check in, a friendly welcome goes a long way in setting up the spending that will follow. The next time they return? Guess what? They bring friends!

As a City, we can get signage (Travel Oregon has signs for a song that are uniform and attractive) that says we are bike friendly to put on our local businesses. We can arrange to put up accessible and safe bike racks for very little money at all of the places that visitors like to stop. We can learn how to ‘talk bike’ to our visitors and if we do those few small things and perhaps set up a nice bike tour of the local area and hand the visitors a nice little map to get started, we can score big with potential visitors who want an active hands-on way to recreate and vacation!

Can La Pine fit the bill for being bike friendly? If Bikes mean Business they way Oregon has determined, La Pine is poised to reap the rewards of Oregon’s Bike related Travel Industry. It contributes $400 million annually to Oregon’s economy. Bikers also spend $175 million for accommodations and food service, $54 million on groceries, $72 million for motor fuel, $32 million for event fees, $28 million on bike repairs, clothing and gear. Serious bike travelers are part of the reason that there are 4600 bike related jobs in Oregon, an average of $18 million in room related taxes into the state coffers and let me remind you that each and every biker who is on a trip spends 20% more than the car traveler when they come to your area.

Talk to the Chamber about being bike friendly. Call 541-536-9771 to support the idea of being Bike Friendly La Pine!


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Newberry Event 3rd time’s the charm!

Third Time “was Charmed” at Newberry Event

By T. Myers

The three day music festival to fight against MS made its third time as an annual event at the DiamondStone guest lodge site over the weekend of the 24-26th of July. Artists from all over the country made appearances on one of the two stages and the people who bought their wristbanded tickets were thrilled to have an opportunity to see such high quality talent, memorable sets and stunning visions of the environment blending with the music to create a one of a kind venue for Central Oregon.

“It is growing each time we schedule the event,” Sean Jackson, promoter, explained to a group of folks at the bar. That sentiment was echoed throughout the three days when host and co-owner of DiamondStone, Doug Watt, introduced the main stage acts as they appeared. Barring the generator problems and the long set ups between acts, it still produced a feeling of unity around the idea of fundraising.

Doug Watt also hosts the acts to hotel accommodations at the lodges and the bed and breakfast is in full swing, too, because the performers always want to return again next time for more in terms of donating their items. Voodoo Highway lead singer came out with a new band the broken down guitars for the festival. Inn a Vision and the Steppas gave rousing renditions of real reggae for an afternoon filled with a smokey haze and cold July winds that chilled to the bone! The Steppas, from Hawaii, had a difficult time keeping their hands warm, but the music was hot hot hot!

Surprise of the weekend was longtime LA Band, Fishbone! No one was ready for what usually appears only in huge stadiums and auditoriums in concert to thousands. The show was huge! These gentlemen gave a theatrical, bigger than life performance with lots of color, quips and a variety of musical sounds from all genres. The crowd was ready for anything and they got it all!

Jelly Bread was a delightful band and the lead singer, the level of energy and the song list made everyone very happy. The Pink Floyd Tribute Band featured every sound and nuance of the originals and close your eyes and listen and you were there twenty years ago- or more- with the real guys. Pigs on the Wing has been at the event for two years and they are great. Craig Chaquico wowed us with his guitar riffs and songs from the Jefferson Starship era. His new lady singer was no Grace Slick, but passable with her lighter vocals on the old standards.

There is not enough to say about the way Doug and Gloria Watt (who delivered a well-done and touching message on Sunday afternoon before the closing acts) are able to put these groups together into one venue.

Adding the infamous and favorite group, the Terry Robb Trio to end the event was a coup and he did not disappoint with his vocals or guitar!

All of this being said, I am still wondering why- even though it continues to grow, that there are not more Lapinites or Bendites to attend this event. It is right in our back yard and literally a beautiful spot for an event. Add the music, vendors and food providers and this little gem is something no one should miss out on. Hoping for Number 4, T. Myers, signing out!

 


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We Gave a Party and NO One Came

The Chamber Connection: We gave the community a free party and nobody came!

By T. Myers

The weather outside was delightful and the spirit in the air was full of expectations about how we enjoy our outdoors and about the fact that we would be there to share. Vendors came from far and near, fish were stocked in the big fish pond, RVs set up house for the weekend, gun and sports vendors were ready to share wares and the food vendors lined up to sell a variety of everything from ELK to tacos to funnel cakes to snacks and beverages.

On Saturday morning the feeling of excitement filled the park and we opened the doors to the public. In North La Pine a group of ATV enthusiasts did a poker run out east of town.

Back at the Park, we waited for folks to come and visit the event.

And we waited.

And we waited even more.

The day got hotter and still people did not come out to enjoy a free festival or fish at the kiddie pond or go through the vendor booths.

The food vendors had some business. We have to eat!

The info booths gave out info. The sign folks inside did a land mine operation selling lots of their handmade and original metal signs. The Costco booth had a chance to share all of the services that they have for customers- including online orders and deliveries and a large selection of camping gear and they even featured a new gun safe.

The Band of Brothers, Clem Strechlin, the Spice Guy, Ponderosa Mountain Men, Radio Fliers, Personal Product vendors and others spent a quiet weekend anticipating business that did not come.

Those folks who did stop by stayed to visit and it turned out to be a great weekend to catch up with other La Pine supporters while new visitors walked through the exhibits with ease of a sparse crowd. When it is not real busy, you get a chance to catch up on the folks you work with on a day to day basis and really have time to listen.

The hardest part of living with this kind of reaction to a plan and the hard work it takes to make it happen, is that you are left feeling like it was a mistake.

La Pine has a history of mid-September events of this kind.

The traditional fall fests of years past always occurred in the middle of September. It was a way to get families to the park to enjoy being together, outside, and the fact that it was a friendly cost free event that always made it better for the participants.

Is this idea now past history? We have had community picnics, Gospel fests, fall business displays and many more events under the guise of filling up a family friendly fall. Do we call it good and move on, or do we decide to continue if there is better support? Please contact us at the Chamber and give us feedback. 541-536-9771 or stop by the corner of Huntington RD and HWY 97 at the office.


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Should Nonprofits work together as one to further helping La Pine?

The Chamber Connection: Collaboration Among Organizations will help us all!

By T. Myers

At a recent summit between organizations in Central Oregon, The Volunteer Connect people hosted the commissioner on volunteerism, Kathleen Joy at the Environmental Center (Betsey Warriner from Volunteer Connect is housed there, too on Kansas St.). Joy was in town to discuss how we can maximize volunteerism by presenting a discussion of what elements of volunteerism and engagement are working well in Central Oregon communities and it was followed up by a second part of the equation to determine which issues are plaguing the success of various projects in the region.

From this first two-point discussion it was revealed that the organizations across the region are facing the same issues: motivation of volunteers, training and retention, getting younger people to volunteer and raising the self-esteem in communities that will help motivate wanting to volunteer. Transportation to and from a volunteer activity was especially important, child care and personal invitations to be a part of something was a crucial component for successful capacity building. There was a note about the fact that working parents with children in school is now the biggest source of volunteer hours.

There was a second point discussed. The question ‘what if someone dropped 150-200 volunteers into your community to help you’ what would you be able to do? What are the two to three issues that would benefit most from a service infusion of that magnitude? Strangely enough, it stopped the conversation. Mostly because the group did not know what to do with an actual influx all at once.

It led to silence with the actual point being with so many people needing so much- some of it crossing over between organizations, and further, without clear purpose, defined boundaries, an exact goal for getting things done and knowing what needs to be done across the board in each community, everything stopped when an offer like that came to the table!

How do we move ahead? Only when we can get out of the tunnel vision we get for our own organizational needs in our specific organization and focus on what everyone in the community (among our community partners) needs to accomplish, will we be able to come to terms with building volunteer capacity and achieving goals for the entire community.

Do we continue our individual work before coming to a consensus of where we are all heading? Do we meet and decide how to arrange the goals and dreams of each organization collectively- across the board? Do we decide what the community priorities are in advance as a group of organizations and work together to achieve the goals?

In a community the size of La Pine, we have many local organizations and charity concerns. If you count the churches, civic organizations, charitable organizations and governmental agencies, we are close to fifty that are working in the community to provide for residents, members and visitors to the area. People like the La Pine Park and Rec, the La Pine Rural Fire District, the City of La Pine, the Community Health Center and others serve thousands of residents in the bigger area of South County. The Social Services at St. Vincent de Paul and the Community Kitchen serve close to 1000 persons each month at their locations. Fraternal organizations like the American legion and the La Pine Moose or the La Pine Lions are directly involved with community giving in a variety of ways. Churches regularly work to help their congregations and the Latter Days Saints holds the great Giveaway for the community one time each year where the entire community benefits from their outreach. Since all of the entities have individual goals and needs they want to fulfill, how do we convince all of the different agencies to work as one community entity that schedules fundraisers using a calendar that all of the organizations consider to avoid cross over dates, recruiting volunteers for the different projects that need doing and setting goals so that the community as a whole is well covered?

We talk about the beautification of La Pine and the economic development of La Pine, but do we know how much our nonprofits give to the community in terms of the gross economic product of the city? It is huge. Maybe now is the time to consider how we work together as nonprofits, too. Think about it.

 


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New Senior July 15

The New Senior for July 15th

By Teri Myers

We made it through the 4th of July and the hot temperatures and now we are settling into summer.

Just as I do in winter, I take a little time to consider life as I am experiencing it. For those of you who know me, I have shared how life changes when you add a little baby to your life. Grandma is not a title I have ever thought about very seriously, but, now, with a seven month old crawling through my life, it has taken on a new meaning.

It is like when you have your own children and hold them in your arms and dream about their future, for a time, after they grow up, you forget about these things that are important to a little child because you are so far removed from things like dirty diapers and covering the plugins for safety and as you see what is developing into a person right in front of you, it gives you pause. There are so many things that are crucially important to helping an infant and with those things comes the delight of watching a little guy learn to clap hands, or babble out a phrase that is perfectly intelligible to him, but completely out of the realm of human understanding to the rest of us.

I sat with my little grandson for a little time last evening to quiet him and put him to sleep for his mom.

Between the two of us, there is an opera of sorts that happens when I am with him. I sing to him quietly if it is sleepy-time. Everything I say- especially when he is really active and cranky- becomes the song and it settles him somehow. I watch him as he listens to the words I sing and sometimes he just sits on my lap or if I am singing a quick verse, he bobs his head in time. I never remember the lyrics from the time before, so he is always hearing new words and phrases and like every little child he is soaking in all that is new on a daily basis. It is a wonder.

After a few minutes of time, even when he is wound up, he nestles close and I see him start to blink long blinks until he falls asleep. I sing until he is asleep.

Last night, he was pretty upset and it took a couple of minutes to get going. I felt him start to melt into me and we looked at each other a couple of times and he was out like a light!

Now, when he is awake and this week since he figured out how to move through the room by the beginning of his crawling phase, it is all about scooping him up and away from the No Nos of his new active life and putting him into a safer interactive place.

My arms are getting stronger and I am wearing out by the end of my day from work and the time I get to spend with our little miracle!

I speak occasionally about our responsibility as seniors to reach out to the younger generations to teach what we know and share what is important (You know, the things you don’t find on an IPhone or android?). Is there any more important time in a child’s life than infancy to teach about trust than now? All kids learn that they can trust the parent figures if they feel taken care of. If not, we begin to lose them between the cracks.

So, Grandma and Grandpa, Great Aunt or Uncle: take on the idea of teaching one thing to a child this month. Sign up to greet kids coming back to school. Help a child by reading him a book or helping with a chore or a tool. One thing! What you will discover is a miracle of your own and a new friend who likes people of all ages- something we seniors often forget to remember! It takes all of us!


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