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Opinion: Going that extra mile

Life is hectic, and COVID-19 isn’t helping.

Our landlord has decided to sell the McMansion we were renting. We really loved that house, but it’s hard to hold the proposed sale against the landlord. The housing market is super-hot right now, and I’m told it’s a seller’s market. Also, finding a nice rental in Madera is incredibly hard to do. My new landlord got an enormous number of requests to rent the house where we moved. We were blessed that many years ago, we were the landlord’s neighbors in the Dixieland area. I met his mother and others, including Sandy Schelter, when the state wanted to turn the farmland surrounding our neighborhood into a women’s prison.

At that time, the business community was very enthusiastic about the jobs and the revenue the prison would generate for Madera. Our grassroots committee attended public meetings and supervisors’ meeting to have input into where the first prison was built. For awhile, I answered my landline phone, “No Prison for Madera County.” My circle of callers knew what I was doing, so they knew to identify themselves. It did have the intended effect on Supervisor Al Ginsburg when he returned my phone call. Never let an advisory know what your strong holds are.

At the time the first prison was constructed, the state officials said it would be a women’s only facility. Additionally, impact on schools and the number of people who lived in Madera would hardly be impacted. With a men’s prison, they said, the nearby towns get an influx of mothers and their children moving to be near their husband/boyfriend inmate. They said the reverse was unlikely because the men were incarcerated, too, or had moved on with their lives. They put it in terms more politically correct, but that is what they inferred. They thought this would ease the minds of the questioning public who felt they would be negatively impacted.

We were told in the public hearings they would have to change the laws before men could be housed in Madera County. Everybody knows how that one turned out. The State of California makes and changes laws; that’s what they do.

It was during that period the ladies of Dixieland made a real impact. I became acquainted and formed friendships with many lovely people, men and women both. My new landlord’s mother was a part of our group. We are blessed to have that connection when it came to finding a new house.

So, I am in the middle of another move. There are pages and pages of tips and directions on the Internet of how to ease the stress of moving. I will probably employ many of them to cope with the upheaval.

I mentioned the housing market above. On a trip to a doctor’s appointment Wednesday I saw the new construction going in on Avenue 12. It breaks my heart how many acres of good farmland is being subdivided for the building of houses. There will be a whole new community when those houses are sold and occupied. The land will never grow food to feed America again. That makes me sad.

And finally, I want to extend happy birthday greeting to all of our readers born in December. Too often Christmas overshadows the celebration of December birthdays. My dear friend, the late Terry Earls, celebrated her heavenly birthday this week. She was the person who made me aware how ripped-off December borns often feel. We were discussing it at the Elks Lodge over drinks one December evening. We discovered there were several other people in the lounge who shared December birthdays. They all felt their birthdays were less important than other people because of it.

I guess the message here is to actively make the December borns in your life feel that they are special. Don’t ask a child to pick a present to open out from under the tree. This makes them feel less than special on the most important day of their year.

A child’s birthday is an important day. Go the extra mile, in spite of how busy the Christmas season usually is.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a blessed weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.


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