The Girl Scouts in Carrs Grocery had me on the word “Samoas.” I have no proof of this, but I think these Caramel deLites with coconut are almost everyone’s favorite among nine cookie types offered.
I bought two boxes and consumed more than I care to mention with a thermos of coffee on a trip to Eklutna Lake.
My mood improved dramatically that day and on into the next. It got me to thinking: Sometimes when grim national and world news is weighing us down, there is a sure fire way to unburden ourselves. The answer can be found in our community’s people.
The cookies were delicious, but it wasn’t those chewy Samoas that had made my day.
It was Girl Scouts themselves–their bright smiles, cheery attitudes and positive energy. An adult woman with them, presumably one of the girl’s mothers, also wore a big smile.
For me, such attitudes make the disturbing TV news fade away. I find it tremendously uplifting to be near those with a positive view—people who are taking actions to improve their lives and the lives of others.
There are several people in the community who routinely lift my spirits: The baristas at our coffee shops; the greeters at our grocery stores, checkout clerks and those who work in the pharmacies; the clerks at the Post Office and banks; the counter folks at the auto repair shop; small shop owners who know you by name; the employees at the local fitness center; and back when we had our Beagle dog “Parker,” the great folks at one of the veterinary clinics.
There are others, but those are the ones with whom I have frequent contact.
In brief exchanges with these members of our community I try to inject a bit of levity—something to lighten the mood. But almost always, I feel as if I’m taking away more than I give. I doubt they know how each of them buoys my spirits and “makes my day.”
I think former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil’s famous quote: “All politics is local” could be applied in a broader context: “Life is local.”
That certainly doesn’t mean we should ignore the outside world. I believe it’s our duty to stay abreast of state, national and world news and contribute when and where we can, which includes voting. But locally, here in our community, is where we find our strength–our inner strength–and sustain it. Right here, where we live, is where we can have an impact and make a real difference.
There are so many people and organizations in Eagle River who continually work to make this community better: Members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Food Bank, Hope Community Resources, our churches, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, community councils, our schools, Salvation Army, Chugiak Senior Citizens Center, Eagle River Nature Center, and the list goes on.