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Living in the family museum

In Health, Opinion, psychology, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on February 7, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOAlthough there is a lot of talk about millennials returning home to live with parents, the majority of Americans still move away from their family home. As a teenager, most people long for independence to explore different worlds, expand careers and so on while at the same time freeing themselves from the obligations and responsibility associated with living close to parents and immediate family.

But that wasn’t me. Yes, I had the same desire to see and experience the world, but I seemed to need a grounding to make it work properly for me. I did move away from my hometown for brief periods during college, a few years for work and the like. But for the majority of my life, I’ve remained within just a few miles of my family farm, where my father still lives.

12674271_10153643748619342_101686889_nFor the last two decades, my family music group has called our family farm “home” and that’s where we practice and produce our shows. But it wasn’t until I began helping to care for my mother in 2009 that I ended up having to spend far more time in the home where I grew up than one might think is usual – or psychologically healthy.

My mother passed in 2011 but, a few years later, I had to repeat that effort as my dad’s health made it necessary for us to assist him as well. Fortunately, not to the degree Mom needed help, but once again the situation required me to be at his house several days each week.

My family home is pretty much as it always was with minor changes here and there. But to me it seems simultaneously totally familiar and completely foreign. My job makes it easy for me to work remotely, but there’s a constantly present, underlying distraction.

I’m not entirely sure it’s psychologically healthy to be in this situation sometimes. I’m surrounded by the past every day, as if my dad’s home is a museum with dusty, disorganized exhibits displayed out of context and unvisited.

Growing up, our family home was always a bit of a sanctuary for me, a place the difficulties of the world didn’t penetrate. Today, it can sometimes seem more like a workplace. There’s something disquieting occasionally about walking the halls in what used to be a nurturing home but that now serves another purpose.

Of my siblings and me I am the only one to have grown up in the house. Still, it can still feel very strange to be there now. Today, Dad occupies only certain rooms, but once upon a time the whole house rang with laughter and music, as the smell of homemade food wafted throughout. Now I walk through the dark, silence wondering where the years went.

Maybe it’s having come so close to losing my brother to a serious illness last summer that has triggered some of these deeply buried thoughts. But, whatever the reason, they’ve come blasting to the surface like a volcanic eruption.

Mostly I’m troubled by the fact that my father is so very alone in the world now, having outlived everyone close to him save his children. Within just a few years of each other he lost the aunt who raised him, his brother-in-law who was like a little brother to him, and, most tragically, my mother.

There’s no one left of his generation except a sister, who lives a few hours away, a half-brother whom he doesn’t know very well, and a couple of school friends he speaks to on the phone. These are problems he has that I can’t fix.

Someday, because of my birth position in the family, I’ll likely be the only one left of my mother, father and siblings. I can’t replace what Dad’s lost, so I spend my time with him trying to give him a good quality of life in the present. But there are days when we both sit melancholy and remember the past in the quiet emptiness and solitude of our family home.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at gerydeer.com

Updated: Local Crime Watch Alert: Two men, dark van casing properties

In Crime, Local News, Uncategorized on February 3, 2016 at 11:14 pm

Feb. 1 2016 – Greene Co Ohio : LOCAL CRIME WATCH ALERT – Residents of southern Silvercreek Twp, New Jasper Twp. and northwestern Jefferson Twp in Greene County – The Jamestown Comet.com has received citizen reports of a brown full-size passenger van, older in model, with two men inside, apparently “casing” area homes in the rural community around Jasper, Hite, Waynesville-Jamestown roads.

One resident reported that one man got out of the van and was searching through a barn/garage writing down the contents on a note pad. When approached, he quickly got back in the van and sped off with no communication.

Several other residents have reported spotting the van as well in the areas of Cottonville Road. However, specific vehicle model and exact color are unclear.

The sheriff’s office has been notified but please stay on the lookout for this vehicle and call the Greene County Sheriff’s office if you see any suspicious activity.

Update: Feb. 3- The Greene County Sheriff’s office has checked out the van in the photo circulating on social media and discovered it belongs to a newspaper carrier. However, there is no information as to whether this was the same vehicle people saw in the initial report. Residents are advised to remain on the lookout for any suspicious activity and report it to authorities. 

http://www.jamestowncomet.com

Game Plan for Super Bowl 50: Are You Drinking or Are You Driving?

In Education, Health, Sports News, Uncategorized on February 1, 2016 at 9:45 am

This is NOT the Time for an Option Play

XENIA, OH – The Super Bowl is America’s most watched national sporting event. On Super Bowl 50 Sunday, February 7, there will be lots of game day socializing that may include drinking. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Greene County Safe Communities Coalition and Greene County’s highway safety and law enforcement officials are urging football fans to call the play now: drinking or driving.

safe communities logoIf you plan on drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, designate a sober driver to get you home safely. NHTSA’s Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking.

Driving impaired could result in injury or death for you or others on the road. According to data from NHTSA, in 2013 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the United States—31 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the nation. The numbers go even higher on weekends. (There were 5,637 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, making up 41 percent of all fatalities that occurred during weekends.)

A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, the set limit in all states. This February 7, don’t become a tragic Super Bowl stat.

“Drunk driving is completely preventable,” said Ashley Steveley, Greene County Safe Communities Coordinator. “All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it’s a choice. Drink or drive—but never do both.” For those who plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it’s a friend, relative, taxi, ride share or public transportation. Use NHTSA’s new SaferRide mobile app.

The app helps people who have been drinking get a safe ride home; it helps users call a taxi or a friend and identifies their location so they can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store. For those who plan to drive, refrain from any alcohol.

Instead, enjoy the game with food and nonalcoholic drinks. Being a sober, designated driver is a key role on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life. Press Release Page 2 of 2 If you’re hosting a Super Bowl 50 party, designate a responsible driver before the game begins. One way to thank your designated driver is by tweeting us their name during Super Bowl 50, which will appear on NHTSA’s Wall of Fame.

If you’re the designated driver, be sure to tweet us your name during Super Bowl 50, and make NHTSA’s Wall of Fame! For more Super Bowl weekend safety information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/SuperBowl For more information on the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, please contact Ms. Steveley at 937- 374-5624 or email her at asteveley@gcph.info.

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