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Letter: Creating a community of friends

Responding to Nancy Chaplinski's letter on June 1.

My family moved many times with time in place as little as six months, as many as eight years, until we retired back to this area.

We lived here twice before jobs required we move. Why did we come back? After intentionally comparing this area to the other 13 places we've lived, the lakes area came up short only on two priorities — no bear hunting and no trout fishing.

The positive priorities list extended longer: serious church, volunteer conscientious community, environmentally beautiful, good health care, reasonable shopping and good education opportunities.

I wonder if Ms. Chaplinski belongs to a church, values volunteer opportunities, takes advantage of one of the many free classes offered at library or community center?

Does she insist on taking charge? Did she leave friends behind when moving here 12 years ago?

Has she considered spending time with a dog at the Humane Society? Hospice training prepares marvelously for end-of-life compassion. Does she insist that her old communities' way of doing things was best?

Unfortunately, my family has just experienced how many friends we have. After a horrible accident two grandchildren were admitted to HCMC intensive care. "Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12) we have been prayed over, cared for, and had needs met we didn't know we needed (like toilet paper!).

I wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, but it has been amazing to know how much this community cares.

I'm sorry someone lives here not knowing a friend is waiting. Look for someone who looks lonely and suggest going out for coffee. Volunteer. Join a support group. Bring cookies to a lonely neighbor. Be a friend.

Our decision 27 years ago to move here was great. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to our family during this awful time, friends and friends we have yet to meet. This community is a blessing! We love you all.

Becky West

New London

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