Viewpoint Deb Hadachek
At first, it was a little dismal compiling the annual year-end review for 2017. On the surface, it appears a lot of negatives happened in 2017. The final demolition of the Republic Hotel block and WPA bathhouse at the park. The abrupt end of the Belleville Midget Nationals and the Travel Information Center. The need to close Long-Term Care at Republic County Hospital.
The process of grieving is not limited to physical death. The stages of saying goodbye to anyone and anything that is important to us is the same for many life experiences: anger, blame, denial, bargaining, and finally, acceptance and the decision to move forward in a different way.
Past experience tells us sometimes we need to let go of the old to make room for the new. Reinke Manufacturing and Lambert Vet Supply and the Buffalo Apartments, to name a few, provide exciting new opportunities in spaces that once sat vacant.
A few weeks ago at the Destination Shopping workshop presented at the Blair, I saw local businesses begin to see themselves for the one-of-akind, brave and imaginative entrepreneurs with something to offer the larger world that they are. A few weeks later I sat in on the informational program about the chicken processing industry. I am less a skeptic today about that possibility than I was a month ago. The need to add value to our ag products–and produce valuable fertilizer that we currently import–has merit. Our ag industry is not about what is happening in North Central Kansas in any given season, but what is happening nationwide and worldwide.
We’ve heard little about the NextEra wind energy project this year, or the Butamax development at the Nesika ethanol plant at Scandia, but I believe national companies don’t invest those kinds of dollars in our county without a belief they are good projects that can make money.
A nearly 100-year-old friend who had to move from her apartment to a nursing home in 2017 shared a thought on Facebook (yes, she is techno-savvy) that resounded in areas my life in 2017 as well: It’s been a really tough year, but I’ve learned a lot.
May we take the lessons of both our accomplishments and our difficulties, both individually and as communities, into the next 12 months, and proceed on with courage, optimism, hope and good humor.