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I'm the Local Gal in Richmond, Indiana, exploring my hometown and heart. I write about all thing local, sometimes global. It's a small world after all.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Loving the Rose City: A year in Richmond, Indiana 2013

If 2013 had a theme it would be learning to grow optimism, even in rocky soil. We needn't be insouciant about the future, but we cannot cave to despair. Our community is not blithe. We are all aware of the challenges we face in Richmond. We can plan for the future, no matter how uncertain, and invest in what is best for this city. Events unfolded infusing the downtown with hope. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are building up our local economy, our real estate. Historic preservationists are fighting to save our unique architectural assets. Friends and neighbors have rallied in times of crisis in ways that are great and small. Sometimes, it's as simple as eating a donut and saying a prayer. Sometimes it's relaying a message for someone searching for family on-line. Sometimes it's just being in the right place at a bad time and lending a hand. Richmond is good at that.

If I learned anything in a year of being the Local-Lady, I learned this:

Cultivate your own garden. Explore your backyard. Appreciate what is close. Love your hometown. Fight the worst faults. Champion its best features. Don't ignore either. Safeguard the future. Remember the past, but look forward. Don't hesitate to serve where and when you can. Pick up litter, even if it's not yours. Look out for your neighbors. Don't look at development in terms of "sides". Cheer on progress whether it comes to the North or South, East or West. Attend public meetings or at least, watch on-line. They might just discuss that pothole that rankles you, and you'll smile when they name the date it will be filled in (this really happened).Vote. Support the doers. Encourage the thinkers. Say thank you. Shop Local. If you must, be cautious, but remain friendly.

You can't save it all, and sometimes you have to let go, but there's almost always something to salvage, even if it's only a lesson to carry with you in the future.

Avoid Adapting Other People's Negative Views
Local Lady Snapshot: Richmond's Rose Garden

by Sharon Dolin

after Epictetus

"To gaze upon the fatal
without commiserating gloom:
what every friend should be--
not one who rends her coat of doom
nor one who lets her ankle rankle
nor her dogged love to the hounds.

Be the cat in catastrophe
who survives eight more dives.
Though in the clutch of damage
a dame must age,
in the crazy-quilt of guilt
it was never your fault.

In the company of morose
always pull out the rose."

From Poets.

So many people shared expressions of bitterness & disappointment in our community in the past. We dwelt there. Naysayers still do, and sometimes they have a point to make so we shouldn't even try to shush them completely. Committees met to ask, "How can we foster community attachment?" I believe it was already there. We just need to express it, and this past year and in the future, we are and we will. Why else would we still be here?

What people are saying about Richmond, Indiana:

Local Lady Snapshot: Madonna of the Trail

"People from Richmond are tough and resilient like the Madonna Of The Trail. It's no mistake that she is here. People from the Midwest are the toughest people you will ever meet. They always have a story to tell and will lend you the shirt off their back. Richmond people rock." 
Sean Butler

"When there is a family in need I have never seen a more giving community than Richmond. We moved here from South Florida almost 5 years ago and have never been happier."

Shelli Erwin

May 2014 bring new roots and further growth.

<3 the Local Gal

A Local-Lady in Review:

Speaking to Strangers
Sunflowers and Moths
Landscape and Thoughts
Roots and New Growth

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