Looking for your incredible moment…

December 9, 2013

From the blog Jack’s Winning Words comes this quote –  “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”  (Carl Sagan).  Jack went on to talk about all of the incredible things that are happening or about to happen, such as commercial spaceflight, robotic surgery, and Amazon using robo-helicopters to deliver packages.

As I thought about it, I thought what about modifying the saying a little to read, “Somewhere, rainbowsomething incredible is waiting to happen for you.” If you go through life hoping for and expecting the best to happen, eventually they will. If you believe in people, in their basic honesty and integrity; you will not be disappointed most of the time. If you imagine and visualize the best outcome for whatever you are doing, it is surprising how many times you can make that come true. And, if you strive to find the silver lining in dark situations or the rainbow at the end of one of life’s storms, it is always there, waiting for you to find it.

 I keep a little compilation of quotes handy, in case I need inspiration for a blog post. A group of them are quotes by Robert Brault, a famous writer on optimism. One of my favorites is this one-

grim reaperOptimist: someone who notices a tall hooded figure with a scythe trailing him and thinks, “Boy, I’m sure glad I’m not a stalk of wheat.”

So, don’t be a stalk of wheat today. Be someone who takes every opportunity to find that incredible something somewhere that is waiting to happen in your life. You could just wait to stumble into it or you can look at everything in your life as possibly being that incredible moment and approach it with anticipation and enthusiasm.

One of the side benefits of being in that mood and mode is that it is contagious and those around you will see it and catch it and everyone will be a bit happier and better off because of your attitude. Maybe that is he incredible thing that you are going to do today. 

Now THAT was a gala!

December 8, 2013

I attended my first Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce Holiday Gala last night and it was a huge success. It is so nice to go to an event where everyone dresses nicely in fine gowns for the ladies and suits or tuxes for the gentlemen. We have become such an informal society that my wife and I have often been the only ones at a party at someone’s house who are not wearing jeans. We have nothing against jeans, but when someone goes to the trouble of entertaining in their home, it just seems that the attendees could show them the respect of dressing up a little (at least beyond jeans). A gala like last night’s is a welcome return to a more dressy occasion.

The Chamber Gala was held at 59 West and this was our first time in their banquet facility – very impressed with it. The room was decorated nicely and there were servers wandering around with goodies to eat, as well as a table full of hors d’oeuvres. The coconut shrimp and chick were delicious. The live band added a nice touch.

Two groups were doing fund raising at the event – the Huron Valley Council for the Arts (HVCA) and the Carl’s Family YMCA. The HVCA sold tickets for what was characterized as a “Chinese auction” in which tickets are placed in a bag and one will be drawn from each bag next week at the HVCA Winter Pops concert. The YMCA had a silent auction set up on tables at one end of the room, with lots of interesting things to bid upon. Unfortunately my bids did not hold up.

The main event of the gala was the presentation of the awards to the people chosen for various honors from the Chamber for 2013. I was fortunate enough o be chosen the 2014 Ambassador of the Year. I belong to a group of about 24 Chamber members who are called Ambassadors. We go to all of the events that the Chamber runs – Coffee Club meetings, ribbon cutting ceremonies, Off-the-clock evening events and the rest of the big events like the Easter Egg Hunt, the Milford Memories Summer Festival and the Crazy Putt-Putt event at the end of summer.   Our role as Ambassadors is part host and part matchmaker.  We serve as greeters for other Chamber members as they arrive and to try to make sure that no one goes un-introduced to the group, especially if they are a new member. I go to as many events as I can as an Ambassador.

The other awards were for the Chamber Volunteer of the Year, won by Gordon Muir, who runs the annual Chamber Golf Outing and volunteers for many other events; the Milford Memories Volunteer of the Year – this year shared by Todd Hibberd and Dave Janette (the Beer Tent guys) , the Business of the Year, which 2 Moms & a Mop, Owned and run by Kim Galbraith, and the Citizen of the Year, won by Dale Feigley, long time Milford resident and community activist who serves as President of the Milford DDA and on many boards and volunteer committees in both Milford and Highland Townships.

A central theme that resonated through the acceptance speeches given by the award recipients was what a great community the Milford area is to live in and what a great job the Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce is doing, especially the local Chamber staff. There are no other Chambers in this area that are more active and as well supported in the community than the Huron Valley Chamber. I’m proud to be qa member and proud to be able to represent it as a Chamber Ambassador.  I’m looking forward to a year full of events and opportunities to serve in 2014.

Be great today and be happy about it…

December 7, 2013

“Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.” – George Bernard Shaw

I thought of this saying by Shaw after making yesterday’s post about Nelson Mandela and his life of making a difference in the lives of others.  As I wrote yesterday, many of the ways that we can all make a difference in the lives of others are very small and may seem inconsequential at the time; many are things that must be done.

I disagree with part of Shaw’s second sentence. I believe that one can find happiness is doing what must be done, even if what must be done is mundane or distasteful work. The best examples of finding greatness in doing what must be done are probably the countless family caregivers who toil away, many times in thankless environments, taking care of people who can no longer care for themselves. In most cases the patients are relatives and loved ones who may even be incapable of recognizing the effort involved and saying thanks. In some cases the people being cared for may even be hostile or nasty towards their caregivers. That can make what must be done even harder.

One must try very hard sometimes to find the happiness that come out having done a thankless job well. I guess we call that self-satisfaction. I have not been put in the position of being a caregiver very often and certainly not for extended periods of time. On those occasions, when the job was done for the day or week or whatever, I have found it to be a very warm and pleasant feeling of accomplishment that is very different from that of having finished a task or project at work.

I am reminded as I write this of the life of a very famous caregiver to the poor of India – Mother Teresa, the Catholic Nun who founded a religious order in India to help the poor. Who can ever forget thet frail looking little woman (now well on her way to Sainthood) who happily toiled away everyday of her adult life doing what must be done for the poor in her care. That was greatness.

He made a difference and you can too…

December 6, 2013

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” ― Nelson Mandela

That saying by Nelson Mandela epitomizes how he lived his life and the legacy of his struggles for freedom and democracy in South Africa that he leaves behind will forever be a testimony to the differences he made in the lives of others. I have been fortunate enough to have lived during the time of at least three great civl rights leaders  who made significant differences in the lives of their people – Mahatma Gandi, Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

Most of us will never be involved in such public and important efforts or movements and certainly not in  starring roles; however, every one of us will many opportunities, perhaps each day, to make a difference in someone’s life. Think of all the little things that you do or could do to help others. Things as small as holding a door open or dropping a dollar into the red kettle outside a store make a difference. Sharing a kind word with someone or reaching out to someone who is ill or depressed or just lonely, makes a difference.

There are so many opportunities all around us to do things that make a difference in our communities – food banks and food delivery services for the needy or shut-in that need volunteers, pet rescue services, counseling services and fostering or mentoring services for children, the list goes on and on. Mandela had another saying that was featured in this morning’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog –

“We must realize that the time is always ripe to do the right.”  (Nelson Mandela)

The fact is that the only thing holding you back from making a difference in lots of people’s lives is you. If you want to make a difference get up and get out and do it. Nelson Mandela made a difference in the lives of others and you can, too.

Christmas Open House at the Museum

December 2, 2013

museumOn Dec 8, the Milford Historical Society will be hosting a  Christmas Open House from 12 noon until  4 PM at the Milford Historical Museum 124 E. Commerce St. Visitors will see the Museum decorated for the holidays,  listen to Victorian Christmas carols and Victorian Story-telling, and taste Victorian treats. Shop various crafted items and museum gifts for the holidays! Experience Christmas the way it used to be way back when.

The perfect Christmas gift for any resident of Milford is a copy of the book “Ten Minutes Ahead of the Rest of the World”, the history of Milford from its founding through the turn of the century. If you’ve ever wondered about life in the pioneer days or the mid-century 1800’s, when Milford was just getting started, this is a great read. It also has the histories of most of the historic homes in the Village – who built it and when and who was the first owner. The book has great pictures of homes and life in Milford during the 1800’s, as well as the great stories. Read about the great bank failure in Milford and who absconded with the money. Read about the first settlers in Milford and where they came from. It’s a must have book, if you live in Milford.

Tours of the Museum will be conducted by costumed docents  and the museum’s living areas will be decorated in the style of the periods that they depict. The museum’s second floor features a living room, dining room kitchen and bedroom all furnished as they might have been back in the 1800’s, along with displays of the toys of that era and lots of photos of Milford in the 1800s.

In addition to the sights to see, there will be old time caroling and treats to taste from the Victorian era (all freshly made of course).  A cookbook that contains the recipes for many of the treats and more will also be on sale. There are picture books, T-shirts and other items for sale in the Museum store.

So, come share a bit of Milford’s history, be entertained and have a snack while you shop or take the tour of the upper floor.  If you’ve never been to the Museum, this is a perfect opportunity. Admission is free, although we do request that you make a donation to the Museum, if you are able.