The recent storm knocked out our electricity for a time. I couldn’t believe how black it was as we scurried for flashlights and candles to give us a feeling of security.
My thoughts turned to those who cannot see, and I wonder how they cope with it. I remember my Aunt Helyn who lost her sight to macular degeneration. Maybe it was tougher for her to adjust because she had eyesight before. She had to learn to adjust to the darkness that failed to tell her when it was day or night.
She was independent enough to do things on her own, but confused about what was the appropriate time to do them, thinking it was morning when it was the middle of the afternoon and vise versa. We become creatures of habit concerning when certain things should be done. I sometimes have to think twice to remember what day of the week it is, especially when a holiday has changed the "feeling" of what day it is.
“Tootie," as we often called her, would bathe and dress herself, and continued to do many of the things we take for granted. She never complained, but I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for her as she was the type of person who wanted to help others, instead of having people help her.
My thoughts also turn to Matt Arthur, who has never seen light, and I wonder how he manages like he does. It takes more than determination to do the things he accepts in life. One sees him walking and talking and keeping up with everyday living and events — all in the dark and often times alone. He asks for no sympathy or help. We are often thoughtless and fail to do things that would benefit his life and make things more pleasant for him.
Ross Sletten, from Lerberg’s in Ellendale, while delivering some softner salt for Matt to his basement, inquired where the light switch was so he could see. Ross then realized what he said and felt terrible as Matt has lived in darkness his entire life. Like Sharon Jacobson, always said, “It is funny but not for laughing.”
Maybe now and then we can open our hearts and appreciate Matt and the many things he has accomplished in his lifetime. He has learned to play the guitar and sing songs from memory. He is not able to have the song sheets in front of him like other musical artists. He has to remember all the musical notes and words as he shares his musical talent. And share he does, as many of us were able to enjoy this past Saturday night as he kicked off the summer music program in Ellendale. He also entertains the elderly in care centers and many other places. Can you imagine how many songs, both musical and words, he has stored in his memory songbook?
It also surprises me how he handles the everyday aspects of life: taking showers, getting dressed, making meals, doing dishes, keeping a clean house, buying groceries and then getting them home and put away, the list goes on.
He might like some homemade goodies or conversation and appreciation from his fellow man from time to time.
It is so easy for us sometimes to forget how time passes, and the need to acknowledge the things others have mastered despite the road blocks that may get in the way.
I am proud of my home town, Geneva. If I were to draw a symbol of Geneva it would be the word GENEVA, surrounded by the shape of a heart, because it draws in people from all around it. I thought first of a heart in the center, but Geneva is more than that. It is a part of the territory that surrounds it. It seems to be a hub of caring people who live here and all those who make such an effort to make this such a loving place.
This isn't a one-time effort. Those who care so much seem to be working and thinking every day and more hours than there are in a day.
Next year marks the 10th anniversary of when Matt Felt died following his battle with cancer and the 2017 Geneva Cancer Run will honor him. Just one of the many fundraisers planned to continue the fight against cancer
Thousands of dollars have been given for cancer research, but I am also glad to see some funds are saved to help individuals in need.
There are people who ask, where is Geneva? The town is so small but then again there are people who say, “Oh, I know that town because it has a reputation worth remembering.” People ask to come back to join others at the cemetery on the hill when they die. This town has so much meaning and unconditional acceptance for everyone. It’s like coming home.
There is no better therapy than love and laughter. It has been proven a good belly laugh is better than any medicine and to keep cancer at bay. Enjoy life and remember to take care of YOU! Prevention is the cure we are looking for and how we live does make a difference.
Love your neighbor. Be Kind. Everybody needs a friend and the knowledge that people do care. They just have the handicap of forgetting often times in their busy world and not realizing how sharing a little love can do so much.
Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented that they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us.
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Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, June 2: David Lassahn, Maia Kathleen Peterson, Brent Dobberstein, Angie Goodnature Kath, Taylor Draayer, Sue Jensen Kuckenbecker, Steve Kasper, Cindy Olson, Barry Esplan, Krystle Lonning, Donald Haberman, Ahston Haried, Trent Hanson, Brandon McLaughlin, Tammy & Garth Gonnering, Greg & Nicole Shultz, Eric & Snow Lee, their 8th
• Friday, June 3: Isabella Grace Kohn, her 6th; Devin Matthew Haddy, his 9th; Justin Stieglbauer, David Hall, Troy Vavra, Jason Jenkins, Michael Bartness, Angie Kasper Christenson, George Kasper, Chrisopher Conley, Max Miller, Esther Van Ravenhorst, Misty (Ebnet) & Jeremy Krueger, Eric & Christine Nelson
• Saturday, June 4: Dale Miller, Becky Nordland, Jim Borchert, Judith Severson, Warren Nelson, Jamie & Tina Hagen, Art & Doris DeNeui, Jan & Andrew Bernau, their 9th
• Sunday, June 5: Marcia Vermedahl, Shawn Johnson, Paul Krull, David Reistad, Mike Rossing, Lisa Jensen Nord, Jack Butler, Greg Oswald, Michael Schmidt, Ron & Jolee Johnson, Stacy (Osmundson) & Trevor Titus, Erica (Van Kampen) & Jacob McClaskay, Elzo & Joy Peterson
• Monday, June 6: Steve & Kari Vanden Heuvel, Stacy & Shannon Wobschall, Dean & Roberta Lembke, Hope Kilian, Eric Sorenson, Cheryl Louks, Steve Lonning, Todd Born, Owen James Wheeler, Blake Rolland Baudoin, Isiah DuBois
• Tuesday, June 7: Chris Blouin, Daniel Eliason, Jesse Langlie, Roger Sommers, Faye Thompson, Paul Stollard, Trisha (Gross) Gilbertson, Brandon Gross, Katie & Kevin Knudson, Holly & Jake Dau, Richard & Karen Holmes, Irvin & Joan Diderrich, Jeff & Lynne Draayer, Jim & Joanne Pichner
• Wednesday, June 8th: Deb Wallace, Steve Hagen, Owen Ryan Krueger, Monty Miller, Sandi Meyer, Rodney Wayne, Steve Lembke, Morgan Hutchinson, Michelle & Damon Gowlland
Wishing you quiet moments of beauty on your special day!