I step out on my deck each night, and my heart always leaps with amazement at how wondrous the sky is. The sky is filled with bright stars in a blanket of blackness (usually). With no lights around, the impact is even more dramatic. I am thankful that I live where I can witness these marvels of nature. When I lived in the city, it was hard to see even a peak of the sky, and the stars were faded under the city lights.

I give thanks every day for my family, the people who grace my life and all the lessons learned along the way. I can even be thankful for the battles fought because they are a part of who I am today. Every day we have a choice to start the day with a genuine smile or a grumpy frown. It is your first attitude adjustment. Look at the gifts of family, friends and opportunities and find a positive string to hold onto.

"Hope is eternal" is an expression of a positive attitude toward life. I know it is difficult to smile when we are burdened with worries about enough food, paying electric bills, a first pregnancy, needing help with housing, job seeking, etc. But there are resources out there for you. You are not the first or the only one in your situation, and the Pine River-Backus Family Center is here to help navigate your connections to these resources. If we cannot help you, we can direct you to where help is available. People do care and understand. That alone should make us smile.

The coffee pot is always on, so drop by 245 Barclay Ave. Questions? Call 218-587-4292. Donations to support our programming can be sent to PO Box 1/PR 56474. Many thanks to all who have given.