Count blessings, not problems

It’s hard to put our finger on it, but this year has been a little different in and around Hancock County. Whatever the reason, we all seem a little out of sorts.
For one, our seasons are off. Did we really have a spring? And is it really time already for Ohio State/Michigan?
This may not be climate change, but something is up with our nation’s weather. All the hurricanes, wildfires, and, yes, other places flood, too.
In this area, we got virtually no snow last winter, had a mild summer, flooded again in July, and had another close call last weekend.
Have we gotten so used to being flooded that it doesn’t seem that big of a deal?
And, what are the leaves still doing on the trees?
It’s been a trying year, an emotional one for too many. All the mass murders haunt us. (By the way, are those “boots” installed yet on our classroom doors?)
And if you live anywhere in Ohio, including Hancock and surrounding counties, chances are you’ve lost a family member or a friend to a drug overdose. If not, you just don’t know many people. Why is it that Ohioans are so prone to addiction?
Our politics seem out of sync, too. Our divisions are deeper, our conversations sharper.
Love him or hate him, we’re discussing politics and Trump too much on Facebook. Some are offended our president tweets. Some don’t think it even matters what he tweets.
Has it been a year already?
Closer to home, the divide seems wider between city and county than between Democrats and Republicans. Are there really that many differences between parties anyway, anymore? Little seems to be getting done.
No one seems to trust any level of government — or the media. Can we at least agree there’s a problem when one’s only source of news is social media, CNN or Fox?
We also learned we’re not immune to certain problems that occur in other places. We, too, had our own high-profile cases of sexual misconduct, which makes one wonder: Who’s next?
It’s anyone’s guess if 2017 will end up an anomaly, or become the new norm. But one thing is clear even in an uneven year. Perhaps more than ever, there’s much to be thankful for. Without a doubt, we’re blessed.
It’s safe to say that we’re all grateful Findlay’s downtown construction is about to be behind us, even if we do still have two more years, at least, of the same along Interstate 75.
Who would have thought so many people would even care about Main Street until it became nearly impassable? Findlayites do care, apparently, when it takes them 15 minutes to go four blocks.
But what’s really wrong with slowing down a bit? Or taking a road less traveled? Locals can find their way around town.
And never mind that it’s taken 10 years since our second-worst flood in history to give water somewhere else to go. Let’s focus on next year, when we will accomplish something that no other Hancock County residents have ever done: We will complete a flood-control project.
Yes. We will. And when it’s done, no one can say we gave up like they did in the ’60s and ’80s.
Of course, there’s much more to be thankful for.
We live in an area where churches of various denominations will unite to serve thousands of meals to “strangers” tomorrow in Findlay, Carey, Ottawa and Fostoria; in a place where many companies routinely invest in their communities year-round; and where the United Way and Community Foundation support our biggest and most challenging needs, like homelessness, hunger and poverty.
And what about residents’ willingness to step up and volunteer for anything that needs to be done. Remember Backyard Mission? Days of Caring? Habitat for Humanity? Komen?
You name a cause, people here will support it.
Yes, it has been a different sort of year, but there is much to be thankful for and to look forward to. Take time to look around and celebrate each other and all the good that is present throughout our communities. Happy Thanksgiving.



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