It felt like I suddenly drove straight into a Dr. Seuss book yesterday while traveling through Powell Butte. The junipers were all frosted from the fog to the point that they looked like fake stage props. This fairytale land is the place we all get to call home. The soft green grass of yesterday has now turned into a smooth, slick hardscape that can be both beautiful and dangerous. This is a great time of year to not be in a hurry. Driving 10+ mph under the speed limit when the roads are sketchy is something that contributes to “peace and goodwill toward men”. There are two sides of safety to consider when driving. The first and most obvious one: you need to do all you can to be safe yourself. Secondly, and the one that is often not thought about (especially by young drivers) is this: you need to communicate through your actions that you are keeping others safe. Choose to give people some respect by giving them some space. Speeding by the pedestrians while they are crossing the road is bad idea, even if you know you are not going to hit them. Tailgating the extra slow vehicle to try and get them to speed up is rude and places undue stress on both drivers. The tailgater is mad, the slow granny is feeling pushed, and the end result is never good. Redmond is exactly 18 miles from Prineville. Even if you drove 45 mph the entire way from here to Redmond, as opposed to 55 mph, that adds a whopping 4 minutes to your drive time. Time is precious; we all have only so many hours in a day. But slowing down the pace of life just a little in our go-go world is something we could all afford to do.
Christmas is a time that we all associate with giving. To give a gift to someone is an extremely healthy thing to do. I’m afraid that all of us have a little “green grinch” inside that would love for the world to revolve around #1. One observation I have made over the years is that generous people are happy people. The monetary value of the gift does not seem to matter nearly as much as the time and thought spent on it. I have young kids and they love to give gifts. They don’t have very much money in their back pockets, but they have time and access to paper, markers and glue. You should have seen the birthday cards I received this year from them. The love and kindness that was put into those cards was something money can’t buy. So this Christmas season, think about giving the gift of your time. This can actually be quite fun if you put some effort and thought into it. What you may find is that you can give so much more than you ever thought possible. One rule though: you can’t expect anything in return. If you do, that’s not a gift; it’s a trade. You can start by giving granny some space between your bumper and hers. You can take a break from work and call that person you’ve been meaning to talk to since July. You can meet up for coffee with that person you would like to get know, but haven’t made time for. You can write a thank-you note to that someone who was kind enough to give you a gift! I’m going to let you in on a little secret about what your kids or grandkids want or perhaps need for Christmas. They want and need YOU. They want you to help them with their homework, read to them, talk to them about life. They want to know why you think they are special and hear your affirming words. They want you to share your hobbies with them. They want to be with you, experiencing the things that you enjoy and learning the things you know. What do all of these things have in common? TIME. The checkbook balance does not dictate the value of your gifts; your time does.
At CCPRD we work hard to orchestrate activities that promote happy, healthy hearts. Our Winter / Spring guide just came out and it is full of great opportunities for you to take advantage of. If the kids need something to get the wiggles out over Christmas break, check out the sports day camp, or the Disney’s Moana day camp, both taking place the 18th-20th. Another great way for Dad or Grandpa to spend time with that young princess in your life is to get signed up early for the Daddy Daughter Dance “A Night in Paris”. This event always sells out, so don’t wait till the last minute to sign up. Are you interested in learning how to use that nice camera you bought or your smart phone to shoot some great pics? Brent Bunch can show you how. And don’t let finances get in the way of signing yourself or the kiddos up for activities this season. Happy Healthy Hearts is a sponsorship program funded by the Crook County Parks and Recreation Foundation, and they are willing to help cover the cost of the programs for those who need it. If you are in a position financially to help keep this program funded, please consider making a donation. The money available is all donated by generous folks in the community.
We have many fun options in our new rec guide for you to check out, but don’t just fill your life with busyness. Make sure that you are doing the important things first. Give the gift of yourself this Christmas.
Merry Christmas from Crook County Parks and Recreation District.