12/31 M-I Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

The beautiful Christmas carols and other seasonal tunes have taken flight from the airwaves. It's somewhat bittersweet to say goodbye to music that helped transform the dark and snowy days in this wintry season.

One moment, we're sharing good times and making happy memories -- and it seems like in the blink of an eye, we're back to our usual routines like work and other responsibilities. Let's hope the true meaning of the Christmas season lingers in our hearts throughout the next several weeks and we can look back and remember those special times.


With the new year beginning Thursday, it's time to think about making resolutions -- something most of us do as a matter of habit -- or having thoughts about making positive changes in ourselves and our lives.

It seems like we all plan to lose 20 pounds, love our enemies, and be one with nature and the world -- at least for a couple of days or so. Then reality rushes in and most of the unrealistic expectations disappear as quickly as they arrived. Wouldn't it be great if we could make some positive resolutions everyone can all live with -- and enjoy -- in the coming year?

How about bundling up in warm clothes on these cold mornings and take a walk around the neighborhood? It's a great way to beat the winter doldrums and do something good for yourself. Better yet, talk a friend into walking with you and celebrate the day with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate at one of MI Town's restaurants.

If you aren't physically able to get out and about, take the time to write a letter to a friend or family member that you haven't heard from in a long time. A handwritten letter brings a personal and special gift to a friend or family member and can be taken out to be read again and again.

Take the time to clean out the closets and drawers filled with all the things you don't wear and haven't used in a while. There are many organizations that provide families and individuals with much-needed clothing and household items, and they are a phone call or a quick stop away. While you're at it, look through the cans of food in your pantry and see what you can take to the Ella Curran Food Bank to share with others.

Last week's Itemizer-Observer published a list of organizations that are looking for volunteers in MI Town and other nearby communities. Whatever your education or skill level, there are many groups and organizations that would definitely welcome your participation and as much of your time as you could give.

Volunteer at your neighborhood school, check with the senior center, or meet with the veterans every Thursday afternoon at the Independence Elks. There's something fun and interesting for everyone -- and it will make those dark and stormy winter days disappear even faster.

Have a safe, happy and wonderful New Year.


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