Lima Bean wondered why she was getting a bath on Tuesday evening but figured it out on Wednesday when Carol Rankin and I left for the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church which was held in Peoria from Wednesday through Saturday of this week. The conference brought together both pastors and lay members from each church in the conference which includes Living Faith United Methodist Church. All types of business are discussed at the conference including finance, ordination of new pastors, a service for those who have passed to the next chapter of their lives, missions of the church, our building of and financial support for schools in Africa and so much more. It is a time to hear inspirational messages, enjoy great music, see old friends and past pastors. The pastor who married Ben and I was there as was Pastor Larry Moreau who was a great friend of Ben’s. It was also nice to see Pastor Bruce Weiman who was pastor at Living Faith for several years. It was good to be with friends and have some peaceful time even though we were very busy.
I have always kept this column very positive. I have written about the good things going on in the area. I have written about events happening in all the small towns in our area because there are few writing about local happenings these days.
The title of the sermon at church today was “Enough is Enough”. That may be all I remember about the sermon but surely “enough is enough” has come to my feelings about Plymouth.
I had not even gotten home when I started getting phone calls about hateful posts which were being put on face book about me and my flowers at the store. I did not see any of the posts because I am not “friends” with the people who wrote these hateful posts. I do know that it was suggested in a post that my holly hocks be cut down at night and that all my holly hocks were cut down during the night on Friday night. I know that the 4 milk week plants which I had nurtured for the monarch butterflies were also cut down and the white clover which I carefully weeded for the bees has been sprayed. I love flowers, butterflies, bees, pets and most people. I have worked very hard to keep the weeds pulled in front of my store- there were complaints when I pulled the weeds too. Several years ago another person dug up all the holly hocks at the store. I have no idea why flowers which most people enjoy, flowers which produce seed which I share with others and get many compliments on bring out such hatred from a few people who live in Plymouth. Holly hocks are flowers, they are not weeds. Though there were several growing in cracks in the side walk, they were in no way blocking the side walk. The walking traffic in front of my store is not so great that the flowers caused any problems for pedestrians. The vandals who saw fit to cut my flowers may also come and clean up the mess which they left. Do not complain to the Village Board about the mess in front of my store-you made it, you clean it up. I will be filling out a complaint form and reviewing surveillance tapes.
Second- aren’t you glad I got started! The gentlemen who drink coffee at the Community Center have NEVER been asked to leave. There has been a lot of construction this year and I am sure it has not been pleasant for them and for this we are sorry but they have not been asked to leave. It is a community center and as such the members of the community are urged to use it. If someone tries to tell you otherwise, they are not telling you the truth. The gentlemen have been asked not to smoke in the building as it is not legal. There have also been problems with the heat being turned up to extremes and the water being left on.
All the reserves from the Plymouth Business Association have been used up and the building must support its self or someone else has to pay the bills. The building needs about 40,000 dollars to replace the windows, put on a new roof and repair the north east corner of the building. A few people are working very hard on Plymouth Pride’s Second Saturday breakfasts to raise the money for the needed repairs. If anyone has any better ideas on how to raise the funds, please let me know.
One of the very positive things that has happened in Plymouth is that we have a new business-Brick Wall Pizza. It is open Friday and Saturday nights from 4-10 pm. They just passed their health inspection with flying colors. As this business is located in the Community Center, people are now coming into the building and hopefully will learn more about it.
We have several businesses in town. Plymouth Rock Antiques has been here for 34 years, yet those people who complain about my flowers have never come in to support the store or even see what I have. Ralph’s has been there far longer. We have a tavern which provides a place for people to meet and relax. We have a post office and a bank. We have a mini mart which serves many of the needs of our community. Plymouth has all the necessities to make it a very nice place to live and raise a family. The streets are safe. Children can play in the park with out problems and many people here care for and look out for their neighbors.
Unfortunately we also have some people who are not good neighbors. The Village Board is working very hard to get unsafe properties torn down, to get properties with brush and weeds cleaned up, to provide police protection for the village, to provide safe water at an affordable price and so much more. Support them.
Charles Wesley said, “do good, do no harm, stay in love with God”. There is a difference between doing good and doing no harm. If you are one of those few people in Plymouth who are doing or trying to do harm to your neighbors or their property, take a good look at yourself and ask yourself why you need to hurt others. Why has the bicycle rack which the Board provided for the park been broken. Why can’t we work together and support each other. We could have a community where no one needed to worry about their safety and where we could enjoy evenings on our front porches talking with each other. When hateful comments are made, stop them. When suggestions are made to go cut someone’s flowers at night, stop them. When someone harasses their neighbor, stop them. When someone tries to “stir up trouble” ask them for facts instead of believing half truths and hateful comments.
Plymouth is the size of town where a few positive people can make a great deal of change for good. It is also the size of town where a few “bad” people can make a great deal of heartache for others. Get involved-choose the positive course of action.