Those who learn from adversity will be stronger because of it

Published 9:07 am Saturday, October 10, 2009

It seems like just yesterday we were preparing for the Fourth of July and now it will soon be Halloween. Winding down after our annual “Autumn in the Village” and preparing to close the historical village was on my mind on that last day of September, 11 days ago, but that mothers’ intuition said something is just not right.

Later that morning I received a call from my son Jeramy. As soon as I heard his voice I knew something was seriously wrong. Our grandson Dylan had been in an accident and had a fractured skull and they didn’t know much yet. I felt so helpless being so far away, but reassured him that Dylan was young and strong and that he would be fine. He said that they were doing a CAT scan and he would keep me posted. I systematically began to take care of as many things on my schedule as I could, in case I needed to make a trip to Rapid City and while I waited on the next call from Jeramy. Dylan was in ICU for several days, but is home now recovering.

One of my favorite sayings is by an unknown author and goes like this: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift; that’s why we call it the present.” We never know what tomorrow is going to have in store for us, nor do we know when there will be no more tomorrows.

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We are living in very troubled times, but haven’t others before us also gone through rough times? Certainly they have and those who learn from those rough times come out stronger because of them. That’s what my mother always told me, along with God will never put more on you than you can bear and have faith, and make the best of every situation. And of course, the most important thing to my mother was her family, immediate and extended family. She could always be counted on when needed. We as parents need to remember it is up to us to instill that sense of family on to our children and grandchildren. It is up to us to be good neighbors and friends; it is up to each of us to do our best to make our world a safe and happy place for future generations. We need to set the example for generations in the future to follow.

You may ask, “What does this have to do with history?” Think about it. Haven’t there been wars before? Was there not a Great Depression? Have we not had many natural disasters such as floods and tornadoes, and medical epidemics that have taken the lives of many? Certainly we have and history does repeat itself! What we need to ask ourselves is: What have we learned from the past? How can we prepare for the future and how can we preserve information about what has occurred for future generations to learn from? History never ends and hopefully there are enough individuals among us with a desire to preserve and protect the archives that will tell the story that we are living today.

The Freeborn County Historical Society is now accepting memberships for 2010. If you are not currently a member and purchase a membership now, it is good for the rest of 2009 plus all of 2010. If you are currently a member, it will save staff time, paper and postage if you send or drop off your renewal now. A household membership starts at $25 and any amount over that is a tax deduction. We are a 501 (c) (3) and would be happy to provide you with a receipt for any donation above the $25 membership fee.

Any donation of $100 or more will give you a name plate on our membership board.

The Freeborn County Genealogical Society will be having a Swiss steak fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the American Legion in Albert Lea. Please support their efforts as they work to help preserve family history within our community.

The museum will be hosting a four-hour AARP defensive driving class on Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The cost is $19 per person and you must pre-register to attend the class.

We would also like to announce “An Evening Tribute to John Denver,” a fundraiser to be held on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center featuring David G. Courey with special guest vocalist Beth Crosby. We would like to thank Farmers State Bank of Hartland for being a sponsor for this event. Tickets are $12.50 and are available at the Freeborn County Historical Museum, the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce, the CVB office at Northbridge Mall and Farmers State Bank in Albert Lea. Seats are limited, so buy your tickets now!

The Freeborn County Historical Society and the Freeborn County Genealogical Society will be hosting a Library Lock-In on Friday, Oct. 30, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. The cost is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. This is a perfect opportunity for those who have thought about doing family research, but just don’t know quite where to begin. Receive individual help with your research. Call the museum for details at 373-8003. You must pre-register for this class.

Remember, what happens today is history tomorrow!

Pat Mulso is the executive director of the Freeborn County Historical Museum in Albert Lea.