Just about every community in the state of Oregon is hunkering down for snow, snow and even more snow. Levels range from 1 to 3 inches along the south coast to 7 to 10 inches in areas east of the Cascade Range. The National Weather Service says the cold weather will last through the weekend and transition to milder and wetter conditions (a.k.a. rain) by the middle of next week. With that in mind, the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments-RARE AmeriCorps participants took a moment to share photos of their community’s first winter wonderland conditions before the rain washes it all away.
The mission of the RARE Program is to increase the capacity of rural communities to improve their economic, social, and environmental conditions, through the assistance of trained graduate-level participants, from across the US. These RARE AmeriCorps participants live in and serve 25 rural Oregon communities assisting in the development and implementation of projects for achieving a sustainable natural resource base and improving rural economic conditions. The markers on the map represents the 25 RARE placements throughout Oregon for 2013-14.
Special thank you to Andrew Barbier, Aubrey Erwin, Jeremy Goldsmith, Laura Goodrich, Maggie Hanna, Julie Havens, Katherine Hayes, Blake Helm, Gabby Pauling, Maddie Phillips, Rebecca and Jason Sergeant, Saira Siddiqui, and Titus Tomlinson for sharing their photos with us.
On November 1, the countdown of ‘what I am thankful for this year’ began with a few of my Facebook friends and family. These thankful heartwarming posts to Facebook are filled with love, humor, and some wonderful stories. I have truly enjoyed reading these each day. They have served as a reminder of what I have to be thankful for. So before everyone’s week gets crazy with holiday traveling, plans, cooking, and family, I just wanted to take a moment to share a few things I thankful for with hopes you will do the same and add to the list. Ready?
I am thankful for being rich where it matters – family, love, and life.
I am thankful for my family. I have a beautiful, healthy children and grandchildren who are the lights of my life. I have a great partner who is an incredible father, help mate, and co-conspirator in living life. I have a mother, father, and a sister whom I adore and are also so very important to me and my life.
I am thankful for the many amazing friends and acquaintances in my life especially the friends that love and support me no matter my good days, bad days, goofy days, or boneheaded days.
I am thankful I am employed. Not only do I have the ability to pay my bills and take care of my family, I get to work in a supportive environment where I am growing and learning each day.
I am thankful for my comfortable home. I don’t have everything but I have enough and I have what is important.
And the list could go on. . .
Thinking these through has helped put my priorities back into perspective, which is a good thing before Black Friday! I hope each of you have a wonderful thanksgiving holiday and have the opportunity to take inventory of your many blessings. May we all find peace, love, and thankfulness not just during this time of celebration but always.
About the Author: Julie Havens is the office coordinator at University of Oregon’s Community Service Center, where she supports its four fabulous programs: Community Planning Workshop (CPW), Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE), Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience (OPDR), and Economic Development Administration University Center (EDAUC). Stop by Hendricks 111 to say hi if you get a chance!
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