November seems to be the official month for online posts about gratitude, undoubtedly because of Thanksgiving. Some folks do a daily gratitude post, tagging others to join in. I have a friend who is posting simple pleasures for which she is grateful. (I’ve always wondered why no one posts their daily, “ I am sorry for” confessions during Lent.)
While I’m not the sort to do the daily Facebook posts, I certainly do have things to be grateful for. Local things. Community things. Neighborhood things.
Recently I noticed some surprising activity at the Oakland Mills Village Center. There was a man up on a ladder painting some of the white wood trim that adorns the brick buildings. There he was, as plain as day, performing what real estate shows call “deferred maintenance.” I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that happening at our village center. I also spied a sign for a new restaurant opening soon: El Gran Sabor, Salvadoran and Mexican Food.
The Village Center has a new owner: Klein Enterprises of Pikesville. (Cedar Properties made the decision to sell off all of its commercial real estate.) While I don’t know what the future will bring, the sight of someone up on a ladder performing deferred maintenance makes me hopeful. And grateful.
Over at the East Columbia Branch of the Howard County Library, the new 50+ Center is going up. It’s fun to watch the progress when I drop by to pick up the next batch of mystery novels the library staff have gotten ready for me. Tuesday when I stopped in I felt myself noticing so many ways the library is involved in engaging with the community.
I saw a home daycare group getting organized by their caregiver to head out after a library visit. A box was in the lobby to collect feminine hygiene products. A display educating patrons about the Brave Voices, Brave Choices initiative is right across from the checkout desk. Outside Girl Scouts were packing up after a shift of cookie selling.
As I left, a car from NeighborRide pulled up to the front entrance with an elderly passenger. Maybe she was headed to the current 50+ Center, or maybe she was an avid reader looking for more books. At the curb was a white truck bearing the Howard County logo. The gentleman behind the wheel looked out and said,
“It looks like snow, doesn’t it?”
I smiled, nodding.
“I know! It really looks like a snow sky.”
EMILY: "Does anyone ever realize life while they live it...every, every minute?" Thornton Wilder,
Something to think about, and to be thankful for: in the recent brouhaha about the CA Board, much has been made about the number and variety of people coming out to register support for CA President Lakey Boyd. I don’t know her “in real life” but I imagine she is truly grateful for that. During a difficult time such reassuring voices mean a lot.
As for myself, I am grateful for the brave folks who have stepped up to support President and CEO of the Inner Arbor Trust Nina Basu after the disappointingly slanted Fishbowl piece and the associated unfounded rumor-mongering. It’s easy to write public letters of support when you know all the right people are doing it. It is much, much harder to speak out when you know you are pushing back against very powerful forces.
I’m grateful for progress at my village center and the many gifts my local library shares with our community. I’m very grateful for people who aren’t afraid to speak out against character assassination.
If you have any HoCoLocal people, things, or experiences on your gratitude list, feel free to share.