To the Editor,
The recent tornado brought destruction that overwhelmed people in its path. All three of my children’s homes on Pier St. were in the tornado’s path. We walked around their homes, unbelieving, trying to remember what and where everything belonged and where to start the clean up. Ever more overwhelming than the tornado were the people who came to help, to console, listen to the stories, clean debris, and even feed us. In the middle of a disaster, we realized we were blessed. Thank you all for your prayers, your labors, and your emotional support.
God Bless You,
Gary A. Sholund
We want to express our heartfelt thanks to all of you who came to our aid after the disastrous tornado came through. We thank our friends who helped keep our basement from totally flooding, St. John Church for bringing us food, the Pine River Fire Dept. for clearing our road, law enforcement for keeping order, the Wisconsin Public Service who did a terrific job restoring power to our neighborhood, the DNR and the many volunteers who came to clean up the ness. We will surely miss all of our trees, but our hearts go out to our many neighbors who lost their homes and possessions. We can only imagine what you are going through. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and we hope that you will find some joy and excitement in the rebuilding and replanting endeavors that are ahead of you.
We are at the beginning of another tourist season in the north. Merrill is a HUGE part of that tourist business, The busiest part of our town on any given weekend is the Walmart/McDonald’s entrance area. Have you driven through this area recently? It is filled with MASSIVE potholes! I felt like I almost lost the front axle of the family car the last time I drove past McDonald’s to get to Walmart. Drew’s Piggly Wiggly repaved their portion of the lot a couple of years ago – thank you. Now it is time for the area between Walmart and McDonald’s to be done, including the entrance to McDonald’s in Merrill. It’s time the busiest section of Merrill gets these much-needed improvements.
Thank You Merrill,
A very grateful thank you to the neighbors and friends who found me after the devastating tornado demolished my home.
Thanks to the paramedics and Flight for Life team for their quick response.
The ICU doctors and nurses were incredible and made my stay at St. Joseph’s in Marshfield comfortable.
Thanks to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Ed & Sharon’s, St. John and Crystal Finishing for continuously supplying food, water, gloves, trash bags and anything we needed.
A special thank you goes out to ALL the volunteers who helped clean up the property including: Brandon Woller, Dakota Patten, Barry Burrows, Paul Milleson, Jody Chapman, Paul Meyer, Derek, Mary, Brook & Dylan Harder, Brenda Flagge & Travis, Tony Jofahl, Tim & Maureen Singleton, Betty Smith and Britney & McKayla Gable (sorry if I forgot anyone).
A very special thanks to Chad Scmidt and Paul Buck for their tireless efforts along with Baumgart’s for their never ending dumpsters. We appreciate the many hours spent clearing and cleaning the property. It was a team effort and everyone pulled together during this tragic time and got things done.
Most of all I thank God for my family (Jackie, Tom and Stacy) who took charge and made things happen so quickly.
I appreciate all of their hard work and extra time spent at the house site. They put their own lives on hold and unselfishly got me back on my feet.
This year Earth Day fell on Good Friday, a fact that could make for a good sermon.
But why do we even have a day set aside as Earth Day when it is clear to all of us that every day we are totally dependent on Creation for our every need? We just don’t think much about it, and we take it for granted.
As precious earthly resources dwindle and human population increases, it has become obvious that our relationship to our Earth and to all of Creation has to change drastically. We have to become more mindful in our living.
Can science and technology be helpful in solving the Earth’s environmental problems? Only if we use them with wisdom, a wisdom gained from a new spiritual understanding that Creation is a living being, a gift, and is sacred.
Especially for us Americans, perhaps for the first time in history, we are forced to seriously contemplate that progress – having more, a higher standard of living, an ever-growing economy, etc. – is not what we should strive for but rather learn voluntarily to live more simply and mindfully, in harmony with Creation, and leave an Earth ot our children that is not broken and will continue to be life-giving.
Consider that the U.S. population, just 5% of the world’s population, uses at least 25% of the world’s resources. Is this part of the reason why we use over half of our federal budget on the military and military-related expenses – to “protect” American interests? Consider also that militaries in general are some of the worst polluters of the enviromnent. Pope Benedict said “The preservation of Creation – that is the natural environment that is a gift from God – has now become essential for the pacific coexistence of mankind.”
Overconsumption, depletion of natural resources, and degradation of the Earth do not make for peace.
I ponder what it means to truly live “Pro-Life,” well beyond protecting the unborn or, as is often said, “protecting Life from womb to tomb.” To live what makes for Life impacts all our decisions, big and small: what I eat and wear, what kind of house I build, how I travel, what I buy and use, what I throw in the trash, what I support and give my money to, even how I will be buried. I have to choose in favor of Life, of Creation.
To be “Pro-Life” then means to live simply, so other creatures may simply live, and so our big gorgeous selflessly giving Mama Earth can heal and give Life abundantly. Ultimately this is not a selfless act but a matter of survival promising a healthy future for generations to come: children, animals, fish, birds, insects and bugs, plants in all shapes and forms.