Bob was introduced to the drug culture at age 11; the person making that introduction was his father, a hardcore alcoholic and marijuana user. A typical Friday night saw Bob’s rural Montcalm County home filled with his father’s friends — his mother had left years earlier — playing cards, drinking, smoking pot. Many of them would still be there Saturday morning, passed out on the sofa or living room floor. When they came to, Bob says, the party would start again.
Life is a journey bereft of maps, navigated without compass, sextant or global positioning satellites; from cradle to grave there is no sure thing, no guarantee, no promise that — should you do this and this — certain outcomes are your due. We are all motes upon a larger mote, circling a still larger mote as it hurtles through the empty blackness of space; the best we can hope for is to share what love and light we have, while we still have it. Rarely are these rough truths so apparent as at Christmastime, when the disparity between those who have and those who have not is thrown into stark relief.
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen; Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen … but how many times have you actually met a reindeer face to face?
When this city’s new director of public safety, Mark Reiss, came on board this past summer, one of the first things he noticed was the age and condition of the department’s firefighting “turnout gear.”
It may be hard for some to believe, but 26 percent of children living in Montcalm County are “food insecure.” According to Deborah Wagner, who develops grants and special projects for both Montcalm and Ionia counties’ Intermediate School Districts, the problem is widespread and serious.
Members of the Sheridan Village Council dealt with a full agenda at its regular meeting Tuesday evening, but no topic engaged the council more than the things residents are flushing down their toilets. According to Village Superintendent Doug Lane, the thousands of disposable baby wipes being flushed into the village’s sewer system every week is starting to cost the village real money in terms of manpower, clogged pipes and even burned out water pumps.
Cultures from around the world were the main topic of interest at Monday evening’s meeting of the Lakeview Community Schools Board of Education. Board members heard a presentation from Lisa Jensen, regional manager of the CCI Greenheart student exchange program. Several exchange students currently taking part in the program also were on hand to discuss their experiences, so far, in the United States.
This passage, from the book of Luke, explains the Christmas story with a fluidity and beauty that, in more than 2,000 years, has yet to be matched. More than one believer, and some who do not, have dreamed of witnessing the story of Christ’s birth first-hand, as it unfolded in the hills and fields surrounding long-ago Bethlehem.
Thousands of hardy souls braved temperatures in the teens to catch a glimpse of St. Nick in this year’s Hometown Christmas Parade. Fans of Father Christmas began lining the streets along the downtown parade route an hour or more before the event’s 6 p.m. start time.
Last year, 1,264 Montcalm County kids enjoyed a Merry Christmas, thanks to the efforts of Jennifer Bouck and her fellow Toys for Tots volunteers. Bouck, who coordinates the program county-wide, hopes to do at least that well with this year’s effort.