The small hours of the morning are a good time to reflect on how lucky we are to have arrived here in this community. I am on the computer as usual while Gretchen and assorted cats sleep soundly.
We are experiencing a torrential downpour here in the mountains and power has been flickering on and off for the past few hours. The weather map seems to say that we will have more of the same with a snow storm coming by late tomorrow.
The rain has washed away the last of the ice that has covered our yard and we'll have time to replenish the supply of firewood on the porch before the next snow storm.
Weeks of temperatures in the teens has given the wood stove an insatiable appetite. We are pleased that our supply of firewood has held out this long. We have good neighbors who helped us when I was not in shape to cut and stack wood for the stove.
Gretchen and I have been fortunate in many ways. Our involvement with art and artists gives us opportunities for continued personal and professional expansion even though we are decades beyond our corporate careers.. We continue to support grassroots efforts at sustainable economic development and see that as a long term vital activity.
My custom framing business continues to attract appreciative customers and that is a wonderful thing indeed. I am finding opportunities to donate framing and photographic services to local organizations and am still helping others with web pages.
Gretchen continues to paint in pastels and mixed media and she is holding small classes on pet portraits for other artists. She is displaying her art in more venues every month thanks to her involvement with a network of local artists who share ideas and resources..
We support local merchants and buy from local sources unless the products are only available elsewhere. We are practicing economies in all areas and find that our quality of life has not suffered because of this.
I feel that businesses in this area of the country has always been struggling to survive and that this struggle will continue for the foreseeable future. On the positive side, there are those who still have money to invest and their continuing investments in this county make a huge difference in our ability to continue and attract tourists and new settlers.
Some have their attention stuck on the fact that businesses are closing, but I see that as a normal part of winnowing out enterprises that have failed to meet the needs of the local community. The positive signs are the continuing appearance of new businesses and home-based enterprises which bring money into the county from outside.
We have a high percentage of very creative people in this county but they are like seeds from which an attractive community will emerge. It takes innovative business people with investment money and resources to enable our creative potential to flourish and pay dividends. Fortunately we are blessed with creative and business people who work together in many ways.
People with small businesses are attracted to communities with great creative potential. A community cannot survive by standing still. They either grow because they are interesting places to live and work or go into decline because they have no future to offer their children.
We are struggling to make ends meet like the rest of the world, but we feel there is promise for a better life and it stems from the creativity that is encouraged here.