Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade - my 70th and taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.
Last century when the daughters were young, the Columbia Mall built a poinsettia tree in the middle of the center fountain area. Sometime in this century a renovation of the Mall eliminated the fountain area by paving it over. The poinsettia tree placement there disappeared for a time until complaints asking for its return.
I don't often shop at the Columbia Mall and especially have avoided it at the holiday shopping times but Friday Dan and I went to see Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers at the AMC theatre there and then had dinner in the food court in the Mall. The shortest walk back to our car to avoid the rain was through the Mall and past the poinsettia tree.
I don't think it looks quite like it used to. It looks too crowded in the space. There was something special about being built in the fountain pool before that set it off nicely. At least its back.
By the way the Mr. Rogers movie is a gem! A must see if you have a chance. Tom Hanks really becomes the character he's playing quite masterfully. The one critical comment I had was there was no mention of Mr. Rogers being an ordained Presbyterian minister and his show was his ministry.
[I'm back from hibernation because I found myself caught up with all the Christmas to do list for now.]
If you haven't taken a look at Pete Buttigieg I suggest you do so. I think he's the best one right now for all of us.
My time as mayor in South Bend is almost over. Earlier this week, I attended my final city council meeting -- and reflected on how far South Bend has come.
When I took office in January 2012, it had been just over 47 years since the last Studebaker rolled off the line in a South Bend factory. It was only one year since we had been named a “dying city” byNewsweekmagazine.
Every administration in the previous fifty years had to undertake heroic work simply to keep the city afloat. The 2010 Census told us our population was in decline, and the blows we had faced as an economy were everywhere in the crumbling, vacant houses dragging down our neighborhoods.
South Bend’s wounded psyche loomed over us in those first months I was mayor. But today, thanks to the resilience of our community, South Bend’s trajectory has been changed beyond recognition. Our population has seen a fragile but steady increase, while our unemployment rate has fallen drastically -- from 11.8 percent to 3.9 percent. City partnerships have brought in over $900 million in private investment, representing over 7,500 jobs.
We are on the cutting edge of urban mobility, and are pioneering systems of lifelong learning. Last year South Bend was named a top Race-Informed City by Governing Magazine thanks to efforts to recognize and remove barriers to inclusive economic development.
The crises we face have been years in the making, and politicians in Washington have seemed more interested in fighting with each other than in actually fighting to make our lives better. Americans are so fed up with the dysfunction and division -- especially from this president -- that many of us have completely given up on the idea that government can do anything for them.
My to do list is incredibly long right now. And unfortunately it's not all to do with preparing to celebrate Christmas beginning with Buffalo daughter and family's arrival on the 22nd. I tell myself it will all get done.
Thanksgiving was a whirlwind: 4 days in Buffalo then 4 days in New Hampshire. We traveled almost an equilateral triangle from home to Buffalo to NH to home.
We enjoyed two turkeys cooked differently.
We saw our granddaughters enjoy their Christmas presents that were too large to share from here: a child sized table and two chairs for Granddaughter #3 in Buffalo and a climbing dome for granddaughters #1 & 2 in New Hampshire
We had lots of laughs.
Now it's time to hibernate and get the list tackled then enjoy the holidays!