Stage 2 Time For Pine, Strawberry

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We just returned from a camping trip at Luna Lake near the New Mexico border, to a very hot and muggy, Stage 2, Rim Country.

Of course it’s impossible to know whether we hit Stage 2 because we are getting low on water reserves or because it’s a holiday weekend. Such is life in Pine, Strawberry, and a host of other communities in our area.

We are anxiously awaiting some kind of resolution to our water issues — but it seems to be a never-ending saga.

It’s the 4th of July weekend — a time to reflect on our nation’s birth, its historic Christian roots, and its current course. Once again, organizers are holding “Tea Party Protests” across the nation to encourage folks to seriously contemplate the direction our country is heading.

Some folks are trying to paint this as a political standoff between Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. But the fact is, all of those entities will be represented at the protest. Why? Because many of us believe that our country is on a dangerous, slippery slope of fiscal irresponsibility that could change our identity as a nation forever.

Somewhere in our historic roots, folks begin to believe that money is the answer to every issue, every problem that we face in life. Thus, when we experience trials, we automatically cry out, “More money.”

Our children are failing in school, “More money!” Our unemployment rate is too high, “More money!” Our government is bloated and inefficient, “More money!” Our CEOs, union leaders, professional athletes, college professors, non-profits, etc., all need “more money!” Money, money, money — if we just keep throwing enough money at the problem, maybe that problem will miraculously disappear.

Unfortunately, money is not always the answer.

Sometimes, in fact often, the problem demands something money can’t buy. Self discipline, self denial, and self restraint to name a few. Many folks from all walks of life have wholeheartedly bought in to the deception that they deserve certain entitlements.

Of course, while people are busy seeking self-serving perks, the fact is that someone has to pay. Our country’s politicians are more than happy to serve up entitlements granting instant gratification to their constituency’s all the while ensuring another term in office. And of course while they’re at it, they always serve themselves the biggest slice of the pie.

The Tea Parties aren’t so much a political “us versus them” issue as they are a cry for fiscal responsibility. Debt to me represents slavery. Debt enslaves us to our debtors, and too many folks in our country have sacrificed freedom in order to worship the almighty dollar.

Our government is now leading the way as we indebt ourselves to countries that don’t share the same ideals of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Somewhere along the way we’ve forgotten that with freedom comes responsibility.

So whether or not you participate in the Tea Party, I encourage you to take the time to consider the issues our country is facing. Because united we stand, divided we fall.

Firefighters celebrate 40th

The Pine-Strawberry Firefighters Association and the Strawberry Elites will not be doing the pancake breakfast this 4th of July weekend.

They will, however, be celebrating their 40th year as a fire department in the community on Saturday, July 4th by hosting a huge barbecue with brats, hot dogs, chips, dessert and a beverage all for $5 a plate.

The event takes place at Station 41 in Pine (down Hardscrabble Road) between noon and 4 p.m. This is a great time to come down and meet the local firefighters, see the equipment, learn about ongoing fire prevention programs, and educate yourself about what you can do to help keep our communities safe. There will even be clowns available to help teach the kids fire safety in a fun way they’ll enjoy. Remember, it was in part, the aggressive action taken by our local firefighters that helped keep the Dripping Springs Fire from devastating our community. So if nothing else, let’s come out to say thanks for the great job these guys do. If you have any questions call 476-4272. 

Thanks from Take Pride Project

Take Pride Project members wish to thank the congregation of Community Presbyterian Church in Payson for donating their baby grand piano to the Pine Strawberry School in honor of Louise Anslow.

Louise, who passed away in January, was a former president of Take Pride Project and spearheaded many successful fund-raising events for the group. As you may remember, the folks at Take Pride have been seeking donations to purchase a piano in honor of Louise who loved music and was a strong advocate of music programs for children in our community.

Take Pride Project paid for the transportation of the piano to the school and they also wish to thank Kendall Moving Company for their care in the process.

The folks at Take Pride are having a plaque inscribed with the words, “For the Love of Music, in memory of Louise Anslow.” The group will also have the piano tuned so that it will be ready for the students when they get back to school.

Book sale

The Friends of the Library book sale is taking place in the library’s activity room this weekend. Today the sale ends at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 4, the sale runs from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., and on Sunday, July 5, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Don’t forget that the drawing for the Adirondack chairs and swing takes place at the book sale July 5, so hurry down to the library today and pick up your tickets.

The next summer movie madness at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library occurs on Thursday, July 9 at 12:30 p.m. They will be showing the PG-rated movie “Inkheart.”

Shop Hop coming July 11

The next “2nd Saturday Shop Hop” will take place on Saturday, July 11 in Pine.

Come join the locals in shopping great deals on unique gifts at the many participating shops. Remember it’s always cooler in Pine!

Hope you all have a great 4th with your friends and family!

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