All Grown Up?
Graduating Class of 2013...5 years later
By Alicia Jaimes
As we pulled into the parking lot, I was filled with uncertainty.
This past month was my very first high school reunion and because of this, I wasn't sure how it was gonna go. Would everyone show up and it be like old times? Would no one show up to relive their heydays? Which one was I hoping for?
I've been digesting that evening since June 9.
As my date and I walked to our table, familiar faces looked back at me. We sat down, ordered some food and drinks, and began to awkwardly stare at one another.
“So...how’ve you been?” was pretty much the icebreaker of the evening.
After a few drinks, everyone became chatty and curious. It was then that I learned of the marriages, children and divorces that my peers have encountered. Naturally, this begged the question if I were engaged yet.
“No, no. We’re still in school,” we'd answer.
Aside from love lives was talk of college, careers, inevitable debt and even gossip of those who didn't attend. The evening was short and to the point.
Looking around the tables, memories flooded my eyes. The kid who I used to go over to play on the trampoline with is now an adult working and building a life for himself. The girls who I used to tell everything to in grade school now live all over and in the past five years, I had no idea how any of them were doing. It was weird to feel like friends and strangers at the same time.
All in all, twelve people showed up--two of them old friends of mine. Others either protested or couldn't care less about the reunion. After weeks thinking it over, I get their decision. Who needs to catch up with friends when social media has kept everyone up to date on each other? Who needs to catch up when nearly everyone still keeps in touch? Nearly everyone.
At first, I thought the reunion was a bust. My current friends didn't show up, and really, neither did hardly anyone else. This was nothing like I imagined and yet I'm glad I went. Sure, in ways high school never truly leaves us, but I'm thankful to say that some of it does. It was fun catching up with people I never talked to in school and it was nice to know that the high school status quo fades with age.
I can only hope that the desire to skip out on high school reunions will fade with age as well.
Readers Write: NewaygoCo50 Vote!
August 7 are the Primary Elections. Newaygo County is famous for a low voter turnout in the primaries - barely over a quarter of our registered voters take part. Very sad!
August 7 is our first opportunity to have a voice in who we want to represent us in the general elections in November. We shouldn’t whine on November 8 if we didn’t do our part on August 7. You do not have to be a registered the any political party to vote on August 7.
Newaygo County neighbors! Let’s vote 50! Let’s come out of the woods and crawl out of our nooks and crannies to get at least half of us, 50%, to vote on August 7! Between now and July 9let’s ask all of our friends, neighbors and coworkers if they are registered to vote (the deadline to register in order to vote in August). And let’s get a promise from all our friends, neighbors and coworkers to vote on August 7. Let’s get at least 50% of our registered voters out on August 7!
If you need to register to vote in the primaries, you must do that by July 9. The Newaygo County Democratic Party has Voter Registration Applications and will help everyone from ANY or NO party affiliation to register. Stop by 26 W. Main St, Fremont, or Call 231.709.9007.
Registered and Active Voter
Social Media Metamorphosis
By Ken DeLaat
Ed. note: This is a slightly revised version of a column posted two years ago when we were in the midst of another election. As we enter another election season with folks fanning the flames of social media we felt it was an appropriate resurrection.
I just gotta say, that’s something I never thought of before.
Never looked at it from that angle but the way you put it into words (or, more likely whoever’s post that is you’re sharing, I mean) has absolutely altered my whole way of thinking.
Before reading this I was content just to sit here on social media and hold onto my own opinions, the ones I have formed over the years through personal experience and personal preferences when it comes to anything political, but this post…. this post.... holy mackerel, it is so eloquent and spot on that my entire outlook on this has changed and I see I was merely deluded before.
Your articulation of this issue (or more likely that of the creator of the post, but hey it was you that found it and reposted, right?) along with the many likes and comments not only solidified the change in my convictions but also I would bet adequately silenced those people who were in disagreement.
I mean, hey, even if it did take some childish yet fiendishly clever name calling and, well, maybe a more vicious verbal exchange or two, but that shut-the-front-door stuff played out so beautifully from your side and dwarfed any rebuttal from my old side that I gotta tell you it nearly brought tears to my eyes it was so masterful.
I cannot thank you enough. Had I not stumbled onto this particular posting I may have never seen the light. It has truly turned my thinking around and I am not only indebted to you, but applaud you for having the good sense to be on the proper side of things.
I only hope I can undo any damage I might have done when my beliefs were different and I posted things that most likely convinced many of those on your side (our side now) to defect. I’m sure this will be attainable with the help of you and your like-minded group to guide me.
Again, my deepest appreciation as well as my acknowledgement that while I have spent all these years stumbling along with my own beliefs, you and those who think like you have had the good wisdom to know the truth all along..........
SAID NO ONE.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it.”-Eric Qualman
A Dominican Week With A Purpose
By Ross Nelson D.D.S
Ed. note: A while back we made a call to Dr. Ross Nelson on a non dental related matter. After a short exchange he explained he was in the Dominican Republic and we assumed (of course) that he was basking by the pool at an all inclusive resort in Punta Cana or Puerto Plata.
We were wrong and when we discovered why he was there and what he was doing we asked if he might share the story with us.
And he said yes
When I began telling friends I was going to the Dominican Republic to do dentistry work, often the response was “Oh that’s so nice of you!” or something to that effect.
In truth, this was a learning trip. I did not volunteer for a mission trip and, in fact, paid good money to go to the D.R. and remove wisdom teeth with oral surgeons watching over my shoulder. In short, an intensive surgical training aimed at enhancing and expanding our patient services.
Of course , there is a philanthropic nature to the organization I went with; the tuition paid by U.S. doctors supports a very westernized facility with air conditioning, modern equipment and imaging technology and in return the organization offers all treatment to Dominicans for free.
We spent three days working from 7 AM to sometimes 2 in the morning removing all manner of twisted, impacted, wrapped wisdom teeth. The experience was quite surreal.
We would arrive early, spend a few minutes in lecture or reviewing cases and learning from each other.
Then the flood gates would open.
The patients would enter and sit in fold up chairs in the same room the surgeries were taking place, watching as we treated patient after patient, just waiting for their turn. It would sometimes be 7 to 8 hours before they received treatment, but no one complained or gave up or even looked at their watches. Once in the treatment chair they would simply open their mouths as we began and hold perfectly still. I don’t know if these patients were screened previously for behavior and anxiety or not, but it was impressive.
Through the local anesthesia and the procedure they sat without moving and would simply point to an area if they were having discomfort.
I don’t think I could ever be as complacent as they were.
At the end they would simply mutter “Gracias” or the occasional “Thank you” if they had a little English education. The chair would be cleaned and re-prepared in moments and the next patient seated.
I often have patients come in who are in pain from the their wisdom teeth and constantly must tell them,“You will need to see an oral surgeon in Grand Rapids…..oh and they may be booked out for weeks.”
I cringe every time I have to turn a patient away because of my inexperience. Doing so also means I might be obliged to provide pain relief through medication in the form of Ibuprofen and Norco. With the current state of Opioid abuse, this only adds to what has become a country-wide problem.
The intensive week-long training in the Dominican has given me the experience and confidence to help my patients in a timely fashion and a familiar setting and without the hassle of Grand Rapids traffic.
Plus, it was a trip I will definitely never forget.
Free Public Screening of “1491” Docu-drama
The Native Circle of Newaygo County will host a free screening of the docu-drama “1491: The Untold Story of the Americas” on Thursday, June 28, at 7pm. The event will be held at Loomis Lodge, 198 Croton Drive, Newaygo. It is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
“1491” is an eight part mini-series that focuses on what the continents that are now called the Americas were actually like before colonization. It provides a glimpse into the robust, complex and interconnected lives of the hundreds of Indigenous tribes and the land upon which they lived from the perspective of First Nations Indigenous people. It also enlightens and corrects history books by showing that Indigenous people on this continent made great advancements in agriculture, astronomy, architecture, environment, governance, medicine, technology, science, trade and art over the last 20,000 years.
“We will be showing two of the six episodes of 1491, and we are eager to share it with our local communities - everyone is welcome!”, states Mary Anne Bolthouse, a member of the Native Circle of Newaygo County who has been working with the filmmakers to bring part of this series to our area.
“We would love to have families with young adults come join us to see this important work about our Ancestors,” explained Larry Gouine, Native Circle Ogema (Chairperson). “We want to share our hidden history with our neighbors and let people know that ‘we are still here’.”
The series was written by Barbara Hager (Cree/Métis) and Marie Clements (Métis) of Canada, and is based on the book “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus” by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, 2005).
The Native Circle of Newaygo County is a coalition of Native American Indigenous people and supporters whose mission is “....dedicated to preserving our various First Nations cultures and traditions through education and learning from Indigenous people’s histories, experiences and perspectives.”
For information, email “NativeCircle4@gmail.com”, and visit the Facebook page “Native Circle of Newaygo County.”
Stop Doing This Please!
With rising costs we need to recycle better
As part of our ongoing lessons on what NOT to recycle here is a prime example of folks either being misguided about recycling or just in need of disposing junk without regard to rules (hence the proliferation of unwanted television sets in our national forest).
Drain Commissioner and Chair of the Board of Public Works Dale Twing spoke to the issue of improper use of the recycling sites.
“With recycling cost costs going up at an alarming rate cleaning up after people who misuse the system continues to put the program in jeopardy. We need everyone who supports and believes in recycling to be part of the solution in every way possible.
“This means helping to educate others about the proper use of our sites and hopefully supporting our efforts through contributions. We are setting up a fund through the Fremont Area Foundation. This will allow supporters of recycling to contribute toward our efforts to provide recycling sites to the community.”
Oh and this next shot is from the Brooks Township site.
Neat and tidy with no cardboard confusion.
Nice going people, keep it up
In 23 years...
By Alicia Jaimes
Friday, June 16, 1995
I've been told I was a quiet baby with big, dark brown eyes who spent the majority of infancy quietly looking around, trying to take in this big world. Life was so simple yet so complicated.
We were the big dogs in a small school. It was 4th grade and I was well on my way to becoming the next famous singer-songwriter. I had life all figured out and the best of friends by my side.
June 15, 2008
My first heartbreak.
I remember listening to “I don't wanna be in love” by Good Charlotte, curled up in a ball trying not to cry as my best friends told me happy birthday at midnight. Young minds amaze me. Curious and courageous and desperate to know love. I was fearless. That night I learned that's not always a good thing.
Freshman year. Fresh start. I lost friends as they found themselves and discovered new ones who I’ll never forget. Life was good.
My fearless heart found and lost love once more. Grasping for the past while being pushed towards the future. I found myself fighting at home and crying at school and vowing to never search for love again.
And when I wasn't looking... I found him.
I became a bulldog for life and decided writing is my life.
June 16, 2018
Sifting through the memories, I struggle to remember the tiny details that used to consume my world.
In a way, I miss it, and in a way, I don't.
Today, as a 23 year old soon-to-be college graduate, my relationship with my family has grown and evolved past the adolescent bickering, and my personal life has taken a turn for the better.
I remembered how nervous I was when change would come along. “Things will never be the same,” I'd think. Little did I know that as the world around me changed, I would soon follow, and everything would be okay.
For once in my life, change isn't the enemy, but a friend who sometimes knows you better than you know yourself. They affect you, make you happy, sad, frustrated, but they always know what's best.
Now I know what has happened until now was for the best, and I'm sure I'll say that again 20 years from now.
Until then, I plan to welcome change with open arms and see what happens. It's a terribly exciting feeling, but I am 23 and if life has taught me anything so far, it is that I am fearless.
July 9 Deadline to Vote on August 7
Just over 25% NC voters cast ballots during last primary
Primary Elections in Newaygo County and across the state are on August 7. Voters must be registered by July 9 to be able to vote in the August 7 Primary Election, according toMichigan.gov/elections.
Primary Elections are the first important step a citizen can take to vote for a candidate they feel will best represent them. It will determine which candidates from the each party will run off against each other in November. Democrat, Republican and Libertarian candidates will be chosen for Governor, Federal and State Senators and Congressional Representatives, County Commissioners and Delegates. The winners will then face off with each other in November.
There will also be millage propositions for County Veteran’s Services and County Public Safety. Your local township may have a millage proposition for special needs as well.
Newaygo County citizens have a poor track record of voting in the primaries. Of the 35,000 plus Newaygo County registered voters in 2016, only 9800 voted in the primary. That’s just a little over a quarter of the voters.
Michigan uses an open primary system This means registered voters do not have to be members of a political party to vote in that party's primary. A sample ballot is posted online so voters can be familiar with who will be on the ballot. This can be viewed at www. webapps.sos.state.mi.us/MVIC.
Here are some ways you can register to vote:
Information about absentee voting, to check if you are already registered or to know where your polling place is located, go to www.mi.gov/vote. Or you can call the County Clerk at 231.689.7235.
If you have recently moved to a new city or township, you will need to update your registration in order to vote on August 7.
Remember: July 9 is the deadline to register to vote in the August 7 Michigan Primary Elections. Newaygo County citizens are encouraged to vote and break the poor primary voting record of the past.
Serving It Up In Newaygo County
How did you get started as a server?
What draws you to this line of work?
How does Newaygo County do with tipping?
What advice would you give customers?
Tough work, serving.
My admiration for those who do it well knows no bounds. Possessing a thought pattern that leans toward being somewhat organizationally challenged and watching a corps of servers get slammed only to escalate an already demanding pace to handle the onslaught is considerably impressive. All this while likely doing battle with an overworked kitchen crew and juggling a minimum of one table of THOSE kind of customers and trying to get drinks from a bartender who on her own is holding off the crowd of antsy folks waiting for their tables.
During a get together of N3 contributors we discussed serving in general as folks were sharing some restaurant work experiences and the dialogue moved to what the work might be like in our area?
Are we generally pleasant to wait on? Do we tip well? Is harassment a problem? Is the tip system fair?
N3 has posed a series of questions like the ones in our opening to servers both past and present who have walked the boards in our area. We will be sharing their responses as well perhaps other feedback from our readers who have ‘served’. Our hope to shine a light on what it might be like to be the non customer in this ritualistic exchange of service for compensation.
N3 welcomes any servers past or present who might be interested in sharing an anecdote or two about their experiences in the field or possibly be willing to participate in our survey.
All responses would be anonymous unless otherwise requested and we reserve the right to edit any material submitted.
Subject: Serving It Up
“I have been a waitress, and I was a damn fine waitress too, let me tell you.”-Jessica Lange, two- time Academy Award winning actress
“We are called to be Jesus-with-skin-on”… “always remember WHO you are and WHOSE you are”… “we agree to disagree and are united to serve…” Perhaps more than any other, those three very familiar and very motivating phrases have spearheaded and shaped the ministry that the Reverend Barbara A. Boss has provided as the founding pastor of Family of God Community Church.
On Sunday, June 24, 2018, from noon-2:00, the friends and community who have been touched by Pastor Barb’s ministry are invited to an open house at the Family of God Community Church at 90 Quarterline, Newaygo, MI, to celebrate her official retirement from her formal ministry role as the lead pastor of Family of God.
During the past 10 years under Pastor Barb’s leadership, she and Family of God Community Church have made a dynamic and wide-ranging impact in the life of people in the community of Newaygo. These outreach ministries have included: the Wonderful Wacky Wednesday Program (a children’s afterschool program); weekly community dinners; the Hope 101 Transitional Housing Program (two remodeled homes that serve homeless families); concerts-in-the-park and summer worship-in-the-park; an annual mission team to serve in Matamoros, Mexico (to build homes for the poorest-of-the-poor); children’s activities at the Downtown Christmas Walk; and the annual Trunk or Treat night at Halloween.
Under Pastor Barb’s tenure, the church also serves as the host and/or collaborator for programs that include: Bible Release Time (for 70 elementary children); Women in the Word (a community-wide Bible study); an addictions/recovery group that meets in the church; participation in Kids Hope at the park; and past community education events during 30 Days of Peace. In conjunction with the Newaygo Ministerial Association, Pastor Barb also organizes and directs the annual Community Christmas Concert Choir and the Community Children’s Choir.
Pastor Barb graduated from Hope College with a BA in elementary education. She earned her Masters in Religious Education in 1992 and her Master of Divinity in 2005 both from Western Theological Seminary. She was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church of America in 2005. Dating back to 1992, Barb has served in ministry roles at the Church of the Living Christ in Fremont and the Newaygo Congregational United Church of Christ. In the summer of 2008, she was invited by a fledgling group of believers in Newaygo to lead them in worship activities, which soon resulted in the legal formation of the church in 2009 and the acquisition of the former First Baptist Church building in downtown Newaygo in 2010.
Most recently, Pastor Barb assisted the church with continuity and succession planning to identify and select her replacement at Family of God. She has now successfully transferred her ministerial duties over to the Reverend Chelsea Reynhout thus freeing herself to now join her husband, Dr. Rick Boss, as together they plan and explore what their shared ministry will look like in “retirement.”
Please join us in thanking Pastor Barb for helping us understand what it means to be, in her words: “Jesus-with-skin-on!”
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