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Mark's Meanderings. by Mark Stoller

Community: see a need ó fill it

Mark Stoller moved to Falcon in 2007.†He and his wife, Andra, both U.S. Air Force veterans, enjoy life with their daughters, extended family and adopted rescue dogs in Latigo. Mark savors the privilege of his wife and daughters being his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investigate.

†I hope this holiday season finds you well, full of gratitude from Thanksgiving, and cheerful as Christmas and the new year approach.Listening to Bing Crosby sing Christmas songs is one of my favorites. The old crooner never tires on my ears and my daughters have found an affinity for him too.Bing sings the song ìChristmas Is A-Coming,î with lyrics that always catch me. ìÖNow I don’t take time to worry and don’t take time to fret; And the more you give at Christmastime the more you get; God bless you, gentlemen, God bless youÖ If you haven’t got a thing for me, may God bless you.îBlack Friday deals, relentless email advertising and social media sites hound us for all the things we need to buy ourselves at some great price. Do we really ó need ó to buy more stuff for ourselves?The title of my column comes from the Netflix movie, ìOperation Christmas Drop.î Itís a romantic comedy based on the actual mission, flown for the last 70 years, from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. American, Australian, South Korean and Japanese C-130 cargo aircraft deliver by parachute pallets of food, medicine, supplies and clothing to 56 remote islands in the Pacific Ocean. Itís great low-level flight training missions for the crews and an opportunity for humanitarian relief to the islands that might see a supply ship only once a year.As the two main characters talk about Christmas giving, one states that her mother told her, ìÖthe noblest thing to do is find a need and fill it. Find a hurt and heal it.îI absolutely love watching this movie (over and over as Andra will tell you). The operation to supply the islands and positively affect the lives of many others is so much bigger than all of us.Now, we donít have C-130s to drop supplies in distant places, and economically, this has been a tough year with the impact of inflation on family income.That said, Websters dictionary defines community as a unified body of individuals Ö with common interests living in a particular area.We, collectively, are the members of the Falcon-Peyton-Black Forest community. What can we do for each other?In 1963, Andy Williams debuted the Christmas song, ìItís the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.î However, Christmas can be a dark time on varying levels for some folks.How well do you know your neighbors ó the people who live to the right/left/front/back of you? If you havenít already, get to know them through simple acts of kindness -ñ bring over a plate of cookies, invite them for coffee or stand at the fence and engage in a brief conversation. (I think the wreath shaped Kringle danish from Trader Joeís is a real gastronomic life changer worth sharing). Find out who is hurting this time of year and provide some light and cheer to their day.Bad Ass Coffee has a Toys for Tots collection box if you want to make sure a child gets a toy for Christmas.For my familyís effort to support our community, we will go to a neighborhood focused restaurant, Nanaís Kitchen, and purchase gift cards to leave there for whoever may need help or to cover their meal completely. We will also put together a number of 1-gallon Ziplock bags with a hat, snacks and water to keep in our cars for the people who stand along the road asking for handouts.Itís not much, but itís from the heart.From our home to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas, joy of the season and best wishes for the new year!

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