Focus on the river banks in 2020

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“Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry.

“The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks for the river.” — Preface to the first volume of The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.

I’ve long loved this quote and use it for a philosophical template of what I hope to achieve each week in this column ... focus on the people on the banks. There’s no shortage of doom, gloom, contentiousness and negativity to be found without much effort. As we head into a new year and a long winter we’re grateful for the promise of spring, with summer soon to follow. Beyond the weather we can make a difference in our communities by volunteering and contributing and being activists to change.

Do I have opinions on current events, local, regional and national? You bet. Do I need to shout them from the rooftop or in this column? Not at all. Those who know me know those opinions and those who don’t probably could not care less.

An acquaintance recently asked if I was always in a good mood. Simple answer, no. But each day when I wake up I make an effort to embrace the positive and be a blessing in someone’s life, while being grateful for the many blessings in my own.

I continue to be awed by the resilience of the human spirit and the generosity of those among us who have the least. The good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll continue to shine the light on the banks of the community where historians rarely tread.

Wishing you all a new year filled with hope, laughter, gratitude and growth.

• • •

Once again my New Year’s Day tradition of not jumping in a lake will be observed. Cheers to all of you who enjoy a brisk jolt of frigid water to celebrate a new year, though.

• • •

I’m often asked how to have a name appear in Main Street birthdays. What started as an occassional birthday shout-out a couple of decades ago has grown to include nearly two thousand best wishes annually to the newly-arrived, centennarians and everyone of every age in-between.

I’ve collected birthdays through the years that people send to me or tell me about and the sheer volume is sometimes staggering, even with the help of an electronic birthday reminder program and in recent years the addition of Facebook.

Something that wouldn’t occur to readers is that I also routinely look through obituaries to see if someone who’s been included in the Main Street birthdays has passed away. Sometimes a family member will contact me but more often than not, it’s caught in the perusal of the newspaper’s published obituaries. Not a foolproof method as a few times each year I wish a happy birthday to someone who’s no longer living.

If you’d like to add birthdays to this column for 2020, the best way is via email, mainstreet@cdapress.com. Similarly, if you’d like to remove a birthday, same method. Online, add your birthday directly to my calendar reminder at https://birthdayalarm.com/bd4/89b3xmi2/Kerri-Thoreson

• • •

Happy New Year’s Day birthdays to Ron Mills, Theresa Wild, Edie Miller, Ron Jacobson, Billy Newman, Jan Leaf, Kathy Edinger Dingman, Linda Jordan, Kevin Johnson, Steve Schiller, Johanna Johnson, Jessica Hammond, David Attridge, Dianna Owens, Holly Childers, Katrina Boyer, Johanna Johnson, Declan Jones, Cheryl Shepherd, sisters Shaun Willams and Shana Crimp, all celebrating the first Main Street birthdays of 2020.

Tomorrow Bob McIlvenna, Cindy Warren, Nicole Barnes, Jerry Roth and Dion Unruh blow out the candles. On Friday Harvey Dougall, Katie Soy, Jeff Block and Erika Umphenour celebrate. On Saturday Darrell Whitesitt, Debbie Ferguson, Andrew Hansen, Norman Tucker, Bert Storlie and Brandon Sutich blow out their candles. Wish a happy birthday on Sunday to Marty Hayes, Jamie Lynn Morgan, Sherri Patton, Phil Eager, Thad Bolek, Timothy Barrett, Andrew Hansen, Dirk Darrow, Rick Gunther, Shaina Nomee and Debbie Raeon.

On Monday Gary (GA) Allen, Colton Peugh, Bobby Wilhelm, Kris Cederburg, Kim Dennison, Griffin McAndrew, Christina Sedgwick, Will Moore, Robert Green, Dale Kreager, Judi Caceres and Kellie McCracken share a birthday. Katie Marmon, Dale Kreager and Sydne Watson will make a wish on Monday. Jerry Sparling, Donna Trueblood, Sandy Wendell, Fondra McGee, Marc Kroetch and Rebecca Mort add another candle to their cake on Jan. 7.

• • •

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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