Saturday, October 30, 2021

Trees, Flags, and Better Days by Liz Flaherty

I'm writing this early (very unusual--I'm more likely to be writing the column before dawn on Saturday morning), so if it seems "out of time," it probably is. 

What do you do when you write a column that tries very hard to focus on the positive, but your neighbor two miles away is flying a Nazi flag on his property and you've heard the news that someone--presumably the state of Indiana--plans on removing the trees that line State Road 16 along its path through Denver? 

These are not--for me--positive things. Not that the neighbor doesn't have the right to fly that flag if he likes; it's part of the First Amendment, which is one of my favorites, and indicative of his values--something we are all entitled to express. 

Removing trees is a hard one for me, because I'm too old to see replacement trees grown up, and if the ones there now are removed, I'll never again appreciate the string of silver maples that shelter the front porches that line Denver's main drag. However. There's always a however, isn't there?


Sara Musselman

Yeah, it's a hard one.

But look what showed up on Facebook this morning. My friend Mary Snow shared it, and I was so glad to see it again. It's just the best idea, and I'm going to start my Advent collection on November 1 instead of December 1, so that it can go to the food pantry in time for the holidays. 

Last week, I read aloud at an Open Mic at Gallery 15, performing among singers and a "chalk talk" presentation by Sarah Luginbill. It was such a fun evening. I'm always amazed at people who say "there's nothing to do," but they never show up when things are going on. 

Trunk or Treats are everywhere--have you noticed? I was going to put a list here, but it got too long. Visit the Facebook page Positive Future of Peru, Indiana and find them. I love Trunk or Treats, don't you? They are gifts from those who care, and we can't have too many of them. 

Maconaquah's marching band brought home the prize from the ISSMA Scholastic state finals. We saw part of their performance--the First Place was definitely deserved. 

Borrowed from the Kokomo Tribune

We had a book-signing recently. I got to sit at a table with Debby Myers and Joe DeRozier and drink Aroma's delicious coffee and  City Wineworks' delicious white and have a DeRozier's donut while listening to Denny and Duane play. We got to talk to people. I bought cards from Sarah and talked to representatives of Anita's and Boho-Chic. We laughed a lot. 

It was, all in all, a good week. I'm sorry about the neighbor and his flag. I feel less safe in my community now and I no longer want to walk the stretch of the Nickel Plate Trail close to where he lives. I assume this is the reaction he was looking for, so, okay, he gets it from me. 

I'll miss the trees in Denver. I still miss the ones that were cut down on 1500 North when I was a kid. I never noticed if the road was actually widened, but I sure do still notice that big empty space. 

There were sad hours this week. Times I sat and stared into space and had to dig deep for happy. I was mad a few times. Hurt. Frustrated.

And it was still a good week. I hope you had one, too. Be blessed in the one coming up. And be nice to somebody. 


  1. Really good and thoughtful article... it's hard to find the positive when the world feels so negative. I love the advent calendar. I'll get my box started, too. Diapers and feminine hygiene products are things our food pantry is always in need of. And remember can openers or cans with pop top, margarine, milk, and other perishables. Thanks for the sunshine among the shadows, Liz

    1. Thanks, Nan. Positivity was definitely tricky this week!

  2. Such a good post, Liz. We all have to dig down for happy--and this week has been one of those! In fact, the month has been. Better times they are a comin', though. Thanks for inspiring us!

    1. It's one of the gifts of aging, though, isn't it? The knowing that if we dig deep enough, it's there.

  3. I know I try very hard to find the positive in each and every day. Some days I'm successful and others not so much. As always, thanks for the thought provoking article. I look forward to reading them every Saturday. Love ya Liz!

  4. Great post Liz. Yes there are times we have to dig a little deeper for the happy. I had to do that after the postal worker walked across my brand new concrete driveway. But, though I have a permanent reminder of his poor judgment I have found my happy again. The sun has risen again as well. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sometimes it takes some time to see the sun again, doesn't it? I'm sorry about the footsteps on your driveway. Did you report the incident?