In all my years of trying to become a more giving, more forgiving and more “just living” person, I have found one thing to be true. You cannot be unhappy if you are grateful.
There are so many things to be grateful for just because we live in the United States. We have the opportunity to live, pray and choose a lifestyle or start a business, anywhere we want. We have access to electricity and drinking water at the flip of a switch. We can vote, have as many children as we want or don’t want and even if we are considered “not wealthy” we would still be able to somehow afford a smart phone and Internet service.
While it happens to be our health and wellness edition this month, I also happen to be particularly grateful for my health this month, especially my eyes. In 1985 I had a detached retina in my left eye and after these many years, I can still see pretty darn well.
As a Central Michigan University student studying for exams, I looked up from a book to see nothing but black space. My retina had detached. I was able to see when I looked down, but when looking up, I only saw darkness.
I realized I should stop reading and get an appointment with an eye doctor. As luck would have it, I was seen right away by a Mount Pleasant doctor and was told I needed to be to surgery by 9 a.m. the next day in Detroit to save my eye.
It also happened to be a rather tepid and blizzardy night as I asked my roommate Stephanie to drive me home and again I was grateful for her and for the surrounding angels who got us safely home during the whiteout and black-ice slicked roads.
I am most grateful to Dr. Patrick Murphy who re-attached my retina at Beaumont Hospital in Southfield. And years later, I met another retina specialist who was also grateful to Dr. Murphy, who happened to be her teacher in the ophthalmology field.
I am so grateful for the ability to be able to sit down with a good book, though on occasion I now have to adjust my reading glasses or may have to close one eye to do so.
I am writing this and I wonder if I could ever accomplish what I do daily without my vision. But then I am sure I would be just as grateful for the ability to touch and smell and hear if I could no longer rely on my eyes.
Hope to “see” you around town soon!
Festival reviewing its mission
The Trenton Summer Festival was originally created as an event to help downtown Trenton businesses by promoting sidewalk sales during a July weekend. Through the years, it has expanded into much more than that, including art and crafters, entertainment along with family and children’s activities.
But through the years West Jefferson has changed, with the loss of many boutique and other retail stores. Now, rather than having sales during the festival, many of the office-type businesses on West Jefferson opted to close up for the weekend — rather than participating in the festivities and potential opportunities with the huge crowds.
Since 1975, the Festival has had fantastic years and totally disastrous years, which, in most cases, were due to the weather. The volunteer festival committee led by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has, over the years, paid for all of the festival expenses such as security, lighting, sound etc., with the proceeds collected from vendors.
Some years, the group could bank some savings, other years they have tapped the savings to recover from storm damage losses, and other years the city has used the savings to purchase items like a Zamboni for the Kennedy Recreation Center and, more recently, Christmas decorations for downtown.
This year the committee was asked for support of the Trenton fireworks for July 4. The committee voted to approve $10,000 from their savings of approximately $120,000 to again support the city and the downtown area. The money will be reimbursed if the fireworks campaign is unsuccessful in raising enough funds to pay for the event.
While the Christmas lighting and the fireworks seems more in keeping with the Festival’s original mission to create events and opportunities that help support local businesses, that mission is being re-evaluated this year in hopes of redefining the purpose of the festival. A master plan is in the works to earmark a specific purpose for funding uses that bring potential business to Trenton.
That evaluation also is expected to outline what items should be purchased to sustain the festival going forward, such as electrical infrastructure and establishing a rainy-day fund amount that would cover losses if the festival was a complete washout due to weather or some other incident. Stay tuned …
Kathy Kane is business manager and co-publisher of the Trenton Trib. Contact her at email@example.com or (734) 676-0850. Comments and story ideas also can be emailed to the Trib at firstname.lastname@example.org