Well, Happy New Year to all of Portage! I really can’t believe how fast this past year has gone by!

Have you ever thought and taken stock of what has happened in one year’s time? Some events are heart-wrenchingly sad, or excruciatingly painful. Maybe there have been surgeries, and those can be both painful and also a relief to have over. We could go on and on. I guess the lesson we learn as we go through life is to grow with what we go through, learn from mistakes or the good things that happen, and to enjoy life and be as happy as possible. Be kind, respectful, considerate, humble, and I could go on and on.

One of the things I have learned as I have grown older is to be aware of people and circumstances around you. People need each other. What we give comes back 10 times!

I see a lot of this here in Portage. People taking care of others. Of course we could all do better and I guess that could be one of the goals for the coming year.

One thing I was not aware of until this last week was that we had four gnomes going around town for the holiday season. This is different than the Elf on a Shelf. The four gnomes measured about 20 inches tall and 10 inches around, and were given out with red notes with gnomes printed on them. The gnomes were put on steps, porches etc. with instructions to make cookies or some treat and have the gnome deliver it to someplace else or another person. The red note then was put in the window of the house that had received it so there wouldn’t be duplicates. The four gnomes were given out in different parts of town so that more people would be surprised. Evidently it went over soooo well, and people were touched even more with the Christmas spirit. I hope this is done every year to bring more of this to Portage.

There are really so many things that we can do and share to bring us closer as a community, even if it is not Christmastime.

Cindy Gevas was telling me that their house is getting a little more crowded every day. Mike and Alisha and family have moved into their basement because of their house selling. Grandma Pauling (Mike’s mother) has moved in also. This shows me what a real close family they are. We may all have to do this one way or another someday. It sounds like Mike and Alisha will be in their own home by spring.

The Christmas program at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints was so special the Sunday before Christmas! The Primary children sang “If I Had Been in Bethlehem,” Brooklyn John played a piano solo “Jeanette Isabella,” Rebecca Beus played for the children and also a beautiful Christmas solo, “O Holy Night.” Grant Smith, Phillip Moses, Denton John, Duane Runyan and Mike Compton sang “Such a Small King” accompanied by Rebecca. Robert and Leslie Gibbs were narrators. It really was a beautiful program and brought the Christmas spirit.

Sickness has been everywhere in town. It has been touching the older people and also younger. With the cold weather and kids going to school, it seems like almost every household has coughs, runny noses and sniffles of many kinds. I heard of some cases of pneumonia, too. Good thing that most of the grandmas and grandpas have flu shots. Stay warm and cuddled up, you Portagites!

Joan and Ron Startin had a great Christmas. They were chauffeured up to Kimberly, Idaho to be with kids, grandkids and great grandkids. They really had a wonderful time.


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