06-04-2020 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal


When worlds collide Life in a protected environment is so much easier. My apartment is serviced and people around the clock to see if I need anything. I am served a good meal (almost always). If I ever need anything, a girl is just a call button away. At this point in my life what’s to complain about. But the whole world is not that way! So easy for me to forget that most people in this life are still struggling. Many go to bed at night hungry. In so many places people dread a knock on the door, afraid it might be the police. Well, I guess some places in this country that description might apply… sometimes. But generally we have it pretty good in the USA. Must be, because people are still trying to get in! And that brings me to my topic for today, Dear Readers. Our worlds are colliding! There is a downside to this. And we see that downside sometimes under certain circumstances. An American writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, said, “In the deep dark night of the soul, it’s always 3 a.m. in the morning.” What did he mean by that? Ah, ha… you are beginning to see… sometimes we have a time when we awaken in the middle of the night and think dark thoughts. I suspect that most people do, but some won’t admit it. Some can’t talk about it. Occasionally I feel that way… and today I’m going to try to cast off my inhibitions a little. The other night I awakened… yes, it was about 3 a.m. And I was thinking dark thoughts. Is there any meaning to all this? Is there any meaning to anything? What is going to happen to all of us? Why are we here? I was like standing at the edge of a yawning abyss, looking into darkness! It was a horrible feeling! And I immediately started trying to cast it out. Took some work too! I tried to concentrate on the positive things in our life here. Back to the words I started this story with… I’m not starving! Some people in this world go to bed hungry every night. By all standards we have it pretty good! This morning I ate fruit, pancakes, bacon, and washed it all down with coffee, orange juice, and prune juice. I have great family, friends, and health workers. Around my neck I have a pendant. All I have to do is press that, and someone will come to see what I need. Some of the girls here have become friends. A few even come to me for advice. I guess they figure I couldn’t have reached this age without learning something. Hah! Never in the world did I think I would become a ‘life coach’ for young ladies. Although, I’ll admit, I have quite a few years of trying to steer kids into positive choices and thought-provoking ideas. I have a young teacher whom I have been mentoring. She soaks up ideas like a sponge. The other day I laughingly suggested that I am becoming her life coach. She admitted it! And I’m thinking… if so, I came in through the back door. It’s nice to have someone ask you for advice. Another gratifying aspect to life is that I just rounded out almost three-quarters of a century with the best woman in the world. When we met, we were both raw and unrefined. I can’t take credit for the great person she became, but I am most pleased to think that over that time we grew together and formed a family. Not perfect, but magnificent and most meaningful to me now. No doubt in my mind that now she is in the arms of God! The same goes with our oldest daughter. We were delighted to have her for seventy-one years. And she was truly a child of the universe. Computers held no mystery for her! I could call her on the phone and she could cast the evil demons out of my laptop by telling me what to do. She had reared her own family most successfully along with her husband, Gary. I’m sure he is every bit as bereft as I am at the loss of his life’s companion. I hope he is as sure that she is in the arms of God as I am! I find it most gratifying that I can have an honest ‘give and take’ session with our children. They have all lived long enough to form their own philosophies. So I find talking with them productive and interesting. They have made me feel in so many ways that all the years we nurtured them are now paying off, and they are helping me. Do you see what I’m trying to do here? It’s how I tried to combat the bad influence caused by being awake in the middle of the night and staring into a black hole of despair. When we lived in Ann Arbor we had a neighbor who was always living in the past. One day she complained to Marion about how ten years ago life was so much better. Marion said, “Millie, ten years from now you’ll be saying the same thing about now. Why don’t you get dressed, put on your makeup and start living!” Another lady I know listened to her daughter complain, “I just broke up with my boyfriend, this morning I had a fender bender and got a ticket, school isn’t going well. What am I ever going to do?” The lady said, “Go soak in the shower, put Visine in your eyes, put on your big girl panties and get out and kick ***!” Good advice for anybody who wants to weave more golden threads into this Great Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River!

Watervliet Riding Academy… Camp Watervliet for Girls… Watervliet Family Dude Ranch… did you ever take lessons or trail ride at the Watervliet Riding Academy? Do you ride today? English or Western, which is your favorite? If you would like to share a horse riding experience or recognize any of the persons in this photo, please contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330, info@northberrienhistory.org or facebook.com/NorthBerrienHistory/. The museum is closed until further notice. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma


Watervliet District Library News

The Summer Reading Program, “Imagine Your Story”, will begin June 15 and continue through the month of July. Book give-aways, STEAM & craft packet take-home projects and weekly prize drawings will be offered. Activities to interest every age and reading sta