How can we grasp on to that word after life throws us a curve ball? The following is a reprint of my column from July 2018, and I hope these words can speak to those who are affected by the devastating news of Verso's closure.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
How can we grasp on to that word after life throws us a curve ball? The following is a reprint of my column from July 2018, and I hope these words can speak to those who are affected by the devastating news of Verso's closure.
There are so many of us personally affected by this news. Thousands of people and businesses and families will feel the impact - mine included. Life-changing impact.
But, I cling to hope, and I have faith that we will overcome...that we will stand up as neighbors and friends and help one another. I believe that we will find ways to take care of our families, and rise above this loss.
I believe that above all else, we must be faithful to our churches, and congregate together to hear God's word. We need the fellowship, for so many of us will need that strength that comes from numbers - with our neighbors who are struggling and sacrificing. So many of us will be thrown into a tailspin, and we will need each other. And, coming together in God's house and finding hope and inspiration - we all need that.
Words from my column #93 in 2018...

"Better Days Ahead"
This is one of those weeks when I just can't seem to focus on any one thing. These last three weeks my life have been so chaotic, so unexpected, so filled with more life-changing events than I've had in many years.
I've kept my thoughts and most of my feelings hidden deep inside..private...just between God and me. It's been a very difficult three weeks...very. Frankly, I'm not sure how in the world all of this converged at one time. It has been a whirlwind, hurricane, tornado, earthquake all at one time.
So goes life for many of us, right? Things are running smoothly, bills are paid, kids are healthy, pets are happy, vacations are planned...then BAM! Something significant comes your way and turns your life upside down. It can happen to any of us, and when it does, are we ready?
We like to think that we will be ready. We'd like to think that we have enough extra money in the bank to cover those extra expenses that pop up. We like to think that we will be ready for just about anything as long as we can plan ahead.
But, there are just times that we are not ready...times when everything happens at once and we are blindsided...just not ready for the unexpected. Now what?
My life has been so chaotic, and I have not had a minute to myself. No time to cry, no time to scream (oh yes, I have WANTED to!), no time to sit down and get things organized in my mind so that I can focus on where to go from here.
Amidst all of the crazy things going on in my life, I have tried to make some special time with my grandchildren. We have gone bike riding, swimming...we have painted fingernails and we have cleaned house. We've made ice cream sundaes and had some great meals together. We've gone shopping and we've gone on walks with the dog. My granddaughters and I are planning a children's yard sale in the near future, and we hope to sell snow cones on that day as well.
And then, there was my little hospital stay for five days thrown in there HA! But to be honest, I know everyone's life can be as crazy as mine at times. We all have our challenges, our problems, our time constraints...ya know - we all need to be two places at once!!
But man, it's been hard. Hard to smile, hard to laugh, hard to motivate and inspire others when I've been struggling myself...struggling to get my head above water, struggling with too much to do and little time to get it done.
How do I get through each day? Many different ways. I write poetry. I read a daily devotion on Facebook by Donna Leatherman. I send inspirational messages to a variety of friends each day, even if I don't really feel the messages myself. I listen to some of my favorite music - oldies by The Beach Boys, America, The Eagles, Bread, Doobie Brothers and an assortment of 60s/70s tunes. I get up in the morning, and I talk to God. Plain and simple - just me talking, God listening.
I'm trying to downscale my life a little by stepping back from so much volunteer nonprofit work...trying to spend more time doing the things I love to do, and want to do. Then there's that bucket list...I'm working on that as we speak. One day soon, I'm going to pack up the back of my pickup truck with tons of blankets and pillows, my boombox and a little picnic basket - and I'm going stargazing. On my next trip to the beach, there will be a sunrise breakfast. Simple things. Simple things are best. Simple things are best with my favorite people.
Here's to better days ahead, my friends. A little sun, some stars and moonlight, lots of music, good people, good books, flowers, campfires, delicious foods, time with my family, picnics and rest and relaxation - my idea of the simple life.