Friday, July 28, 2017
There is something about giving to others that creates a level of happiness within us. In fact, in this week’s “On the spot” question: “What are a few things that make you really happy?” I was not surprised when a few answered with, “When I help others.”
According to Dr. Thomas Plante, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Stanford University, “When [serving others] you have a sense of how much of the world lives (not the Hollywood celebrities and even some of your peers), you have a better perspective on life as well as the hassles and challenges of our lives too. Additionally, you experience more empathy, compassion, and solidarity with others as well.” He also states that serving others creates a resiliency. www.psychologytoday.com
The unfortunate thing about giving your time passionately is that you are also exposed to critics - those who sit on the sidelines pointing out your errors or ways you could be doing it better. I have witnessed this lately, and to be quite frank, I am flabbergasted.
But what moves me the most is that these “givers” feel empathy and compassion to their critic. Not that they don’t experience human emotions and anger in the beginning - but at the end of the day (or perhaps two or three) they reach a level of benevolence that doesn’t hold them back. And they, I assume, go to bed happy.
So, it seems through recent observations of others that what makes you happy also makes you strong. Those who give seem to grow thick skin that can repel some of the hard and dirty boulders thrown their way. I admire that. Kudos to those who serve the greater good; leaving the critics in their dust. If this is you, keep up the good work.
I would like to thank Representative Patrick Corey for supporting LD 1504, An Act to Modernize Rates for Small-scale Distributed Generation, which received enough bipartisan support in the legislature to be veto-proof. In the face of a veto override vote, Central Maine Power is spending a significant quantity of ratepayers’ money in lobbying efforts to try and change legislators’ votes from yes to no.
The scope of this bill is very narrow. The most significant piece of this bill does away with the PUC's [Public Utility Commission] misguided rule that assesses a fee on all energy generated by a solar array; even if that energy is consumed in real time behind the meter. This is akin to super markets charging a fee when you grow your own tomatoes instead of buying them from the store. If this bill does not pass, all ratepayers (solar and non-solar) will collectively pay millions to have CMP install new and invasive metering equipment.
I have worked in the solar industry for over a decade now. The growing industry has allowed for significant job growth in our community. These jobs provide a fair wage, cannot be outsourced, and are reducing the migration of our brightest minds and hard workers away from the state of Maine.
On behalf of everyone in Maine that could be impacted by this vote, I would like to urge Representative Corey to not be led astray by the utility lobbyist and maintain his yes vote on this bill.
Friday, July 21, 2017
I participated in last Saturday’s Mushroom Discovery Walk, hosted by the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust at the Black Brook Preserve. (See article: http://frontpage.thewindhameagle.com/2017/07/mushroom-discovery-walk-confirms.html on the front page.) I learned quite a bit about mushrooms that day and the more I discovered, the more I thought how uncannily similar the life of a fungus emulates the life of a human. The following are a few bits of “mushroom wisdom” I received:
Lesson 1: Diversity is beneficial.
Each mushroom with its different colors, quirky imperfections and purposes contributes to the health of the forest. Much like humans, diversity is the engine that propels the success of the woodland areas.
Despite our own individual quirks and cultural backgrounds, we each offer something that serves the whole. According to Scientific American, online magazine, being with a diverse group of individuals makes us more creative, industrious and diligent and thus contributing to the success of all involved. Even though it’s uncomfortable and challenges us sometimes, diversity is needed in our lives just like that of a mushroom.
Lesson 2: Symbiotic relationships are important.
Lesson one brings us to lesson two: Mushrooms and trees have a special interaction in which they feed one another. They provide the balance needed that can only be achieved by working together and one cannot survive without the other.
Similarly, we are told that if a newborn does not experience human touch, it can die. A 10 year study has suggested that friendships contribute to longevity. Even Chuck in the movie, “Cast Away” needed the volleyball to feel alive. So it seems humans also have a symbiotic relationship, needing each other for survival. This lesson might come in handy when we feel frustrated or angry with friends and loved ones. I’ll try to remember this lesson on certain frustrating days with my husband.
Lesson 3: Even parasites are good.
Symbiotic relationships also include parasites. In mushroom ecology, parasites are a positive contribution because they latch onto a tree that is unhealthy or dying which helps eliminate the tree and prevents the disease from spreading to other trees. I don’t really have much of a comparison on this subject, but the thought crossed my mind that we might judge too harshly those we deem the “dregs” of society. Maybe those we judge have positive contributions we cannot see.
Lesson 4: Is it worth it?
Dear Editor and readers,
I hope you can make it to at least one of our upcoming events: Traditional Arts on the Farm, Saturday, July 22 at Narramissic, and the following Thursday, July 27, A Walk Through Bridgton History at Pondicherry Park and South High Street; this is a program that was rained out last week.
On a sad note, due to the loss of close friend, Holly Ihloff will not be able to offer her program on herbal medicine this Saturday, as advertised. But Margaret Reimer will have a presentation on the Language of Flowers, and there's plenty to do for everyone.
Finally, don't forget Narramissic and the museum are both open! Both have some new and special exhibits, thanks to the loan of some spectacular items from the Julie and Carl Lindberg Collection. Attending is a great way to show off Bridgton to your summer visitors and worth a trip just for yourself!
For more information, please check out our website at www.bridgtonhistory.org
Bridgton Historical Society
Friday, July 14, 2017
I could not wait to see the responses of this week’s On the Spot question, “What is the farthest you’ve traveled from home?” When I read the many responses, I was almost giddy and couldn’t wait to add some of the far off places to my own “bucket list.”
I admit it, I’m one of those gypsy souls who have to see the world and explore places I have never seen before. In fact, I picture myself as George Bailey in the old time Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
When I was 18, I probably even uttered the same words that Bailey announced within the first hour of the film, “I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Coliseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know.”
But if you’ve seen the film, you know poor George Bailey gets stuck at home minding the family business and doesn’t travel very far. Or does he?
For me personally, traveling to new places and foreign lands helps me expand my viewpoints and enlightens me - even changes me a little - for the better. It puts a little bounce in my step when I return to my ordinary life until the travel bug hits me again. But does one necessarily have to travel to distant and far off places to grow and learn?
I have met plenty of individuals who are content to stay close to home and explore what’s beside them. I think it’s possible to have an adventure - to learn, to grow and to expand - in your own backyard and discover things that people often miss. There is magic in the ordinary everyday life, and for those of us who yearn for the next big adventure, it’s possible we forget that the daily journey is where a lot of life happens.
Marcel Proust has been quoted as saying, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
I will always yearn for new landscapes as long as I’m here on this big huge earth. But I am going to do my best to enjoy and notice the run-of-the-mill adventures that, when paying close enough attention, can make a wonderful life.
Editor’s note: For those of you who read the editorial section of The Windham Eagle, you are very aware of the many letters we have received from Fred Collins over the years. We received one to three letters per week that were typed on a typewriter. It is with a heavy heart we announce that this will be the last of Fred Collin’s letters to the editor as he passed away early this week. He was 91 year’s old. (See Michelle Libby’s tribute on page 7.)
The first “letter” written below is the very last note we received. On the top, in his own hand writing, he wrote: “Mrs. Glowczak. This is for you! Fred.”
Springtime came to my house in a pot of tulips, rare outside was cold and snowy. But inside all was fair. Dainty perfumed blossoms each one seemed to say cheer up! For summer’s coming, it’s surely on the way.
Once I saw a little elf dancing in the glade overhead the evening sky, underneath the glade. Cast by ferns with dark green fronds, making cool the glade.
Ladies slippers growing round perfumed all the air, laughingly she caught two up, fitted them with care, then she danced and danced in the evening air.
Chairmen of the sunshine committee
The loyal readers of The Windham Eagle. There are many claims that project how to calm the nerves and physical malformations. Pills and formulas that profess to cure ailments. Some folks go to great lengths and liabilities. My thoughts take a different vent. “Mother Nature” is often overlooked.
Have you ever taken a causal walk beside a running brook, or perhaps a picnic lunch on a high bluff overlooking a body of water, and watch the fluffy clouds drift by. There is something about Mother Nature that calms the restless soul.
It has to come to pass in my reclining years I have found contentment on so many stable elements-green grass, sturdy trees and of the late a pristine garden. What makes this garden remarkable is my youngest daughter has planned the entire display!
It was no easy task! You see, the ground needed a great amount of tilling: setting and planting trees and flowering bushes that needed deep beds to spread their roots. Decorative stone throughout to fame and enchase their looks. Hanging humming bird feeders along with nesting cedar bird houses accompanied with bird baths to quench their thirst!
Already, a pair of spritely dress barn swallows has set up housekeeping just outside my office window. A long view extending north and south, with green grass as green as the grass of Ireland make for a serene picture. The canaries are darting from feeders to baths singing their thankfulness. Mother Nature at its best.
Thank god for folks that care, and pass it on to the fellowman! Fred Collins The American 6/29/17
Are you the candle?
Faithful readers, no matter how much the sun shines on our fair universe, we find a cloud of uncertainty hovering to blot out the light, that the world needs to sustain life. It puts me in mind of a story that tells how light can invigorate a depressed world.
Many years ago, back in bible days, a father of 85 years decided he would retire. He had three sons. He took the boys aside and said that he would give the farm to the one that could fill the barn completely in a certain amount of time.
Rubin, the first son, felt he could do that. So he fathered all the vegetables, but fell short of filling the barn in the allotted time. Caleb, the second son, harvested grain all day but was over taken by darkness before he could fill the barn.
The last son named Timothy, waited till darkness fell. He then took his father and two brothers into the barn. “There he lit a candle” All the darkness in the world cannot hide the light of one candle. Are you the candle?
Citizen, Fred Collins
Rest in peace, Fred.