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About MFN
MFN STEERING COMMITTEE

John V. Finnegan, Chairman

Philip J. Judd, Vice Chairman/Project Director

Roger Pomerleau, Treasurer

Lisa Miller, Secretary/Clerk

Committee Members:

Dean LaChance

Edward Miller

Kay Rand

Mitchell Ross, MD

Message from MFN
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Message from MFN

This is an archive of some past thoughts from the site.

Happy New Year!

January 2021- we have made it through 2020, and it was difficult for us all.  It was watching parts of our world disappearing, closing or changing.

We have survived. It is still strange but we are adapting and hopeful that “normal” will arrive back. We are earning our “stripes”. We have come to value much we had taken for granted: family, friends and neighbors. We are realizing we don't have to rush. We can take time to be kind, and care for others. It is like going back “to the future”.

I recall that wonderful song from Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein, “When You Walk through a Storm”. The song is so relevant to these times. Please check it out.   Maine Families Network keeps rowing downstream. We have switched creative directors; best wishes and thanks Chris and welcome aboard Brian. Our web page started as a dream, but now see how it sparkles.  We keep rowing with purpose and hope. I see big changes ahead. What a trip!

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Tis the season..not quite like last Christmas season. Two Christmas classics come to mind-Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” and the movie with Jimmy Stewart “It's a Wonderful Life”. In each, the themes and values expressed-generosity, joy, kindness, redemption-just to name a few- ring strong and stronger during these times. I believe that like Scrooge we are becoming awake to family, neighbors and friends. Yeah!

There is another miracle-gratitude and thankfulness for family, friends and community. What a gift to receive for going thru these Covid times!

We at Maine Families Network feel the same gratitude for Chris Cart of Hallowell who created and steered the journey of this web page- ( www.mainefamiliesnetwork.com ) for our first eleven years. It is an uplifting site seen by many. Thank you Chris, you made a difference.

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Looking back at the November 2019 message-the reality of today was definitely not expected. Now those days past are wonderous memories…. Our November 2020 world is the “world of covid-19”….masks, schools close and maybe open again on a limited basis. Our lives are being reworked day by day. We have signs every were telling what we need to to..follow the arrows. Etc.

Families and communities are struggling to find the “new normal.” But we have the grace of finding ourselves spending more time with our children and with friends. We have rediscovered what really matters-our children, our family,our friends and our community. We have been given the chance to reclaim life the way it was designed to be and was for many years, a family in community with other families. So join your fellow travelers in peace and gratitude. Be patient and kind to each other. There is the other side to this time. So in the meantime live life joyfully. The “new normal” will arrive and we all will the better for it.

“Happiness is not a goal but a way of being ; kindness is natural not an exception.”

Fil, the friendly dragon
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I just re-read the October 2019 message. It was so different then! No virus, masks, closed schools, social distancing, etc. Life was “business as usual.”

Not anymore. We've have had to make major changes is our daily routine; but we got much back. For many, family life became front and center. We had to slow our life’s down. Many have re-discovered the importance of family, friends and neighbors. They found the joy of receiving and sending cards and notes with a kind and simple message of “thinking of you” and the kindness of a wave or a friendly greeting from a voice of friend or stranger.

These are miracles available every day! Although we may not have the usual gatherings at 4th of July, birthdays, Thanksgiving, and major religious holidays, technology is being used to have “virtual” gatherings The same is true in the educational sector.

So creativity is live and well, “virtual” gatherings or classrooms are not a substitute for the real thing but certainly is helpful! Maybe all of this will part of the “new normal”! Fil, the friendly Dragon visit and like us on Face Book

“The gifts available to us all in these times-patience, peace, kindness”

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A new monthly message sometimes calls for reading message of the same month from the previous year. What a shock it was to read the first paragraph of The September 2019 message! - It read:

“It is now September, following a family friendly warm summer. The signs-back to school shopping, last minute vacation, maybe a family Labor Day gathering…..a new year of friends, yet unknown, new ideas and experiences, holding fast to family ties and memories……We are thankful for these times and memories that shape(our children) into who they are becoming.”

Wow! Coronavirus has had a big impact and changed family life. Many changes are beneficial-families spending more time together, a lot of home learning, appreciation of the neighborhood you live in and getting to know your neighbors. Calling friends and family just to say hello and “ how they are you doing”.

There are stressful moments--wearing masks, will there be school, controlled access to re-opened businesses which must operate in ways that conform to rules in place. Yet you can witness acts of kindness and humor. I have received, given and observed acts of respect, generosity, and helpfulness in my travels around my home town.

Today, I went to a local store. I have been to their old location and at this new one. I got a new cellphone and needed to transfer data from my old phone. In the past, the store wasn't a friendly place. I was in for a wonderful surprise. They now had a hostess! It was a delight. She and the staff were welcoming and kind.. She managed the traffic- sometimes taking what was needed to pay a bill and the customer never entered the store. Incredible customer service and an understanding of the person she were interacting with. I was there for a long time and enjoyed watching the customer miracles.

We are all tired and want to go back to “normal”. Yes to no masks! But I do not want to lose the blessings we each have received. So I will call it the “new normal”. Think well on the gifts you have received. Hold fast to the good things you have experienced during these difficult times. It makes a difference for us all.

Fil, the friendly dragon visit and like us on face book

“The bad news is time flies, the good news is you're the pilot!”

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It's a day like many days..difficult to know which day. It is like yesterday, but different, maybe like tomorrow. We have learned certain things, small and large, that are important. Things we took for granted, but not anymore..our family, our friends and neighbors and strangers!

I was in the Augusta Walmart and kindness was everywhere. I was checking the boxy fans, was happily helped by a store manager to find 3 fans and put them in my cart. Walked slowly to the check out. One of the boxes fell out, and this young father helped put it back on the carriage. His young son asked him why he did that and he replied because it was a kind thing to do and kindness is very important. The mom echoed that sentiment. The cashier was kind as well and I left with more the the needed fans Now the outside horns were honking, the world awaits me in the parking lot.

“The greatest effects we have on this world are those we can not see.”

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It seems that July is a continuation of June, dealing each day with daily life in the world of the coronavirus. There is one important difference, we have another month of experience behind us. We are becoming more skilled to cope effectively.

These are “tired” times but we see and hear about hopeful signs. I personally have experienced acts of kindness that I might have overlooked in the past. I have said “thank you” a lot more then pre-virus. Yes, some times are difficult and I yearn for what it was before the “virus came to town.” However, I am grateful for the blessings of kindness, that I witness everyday and I love to acknowledge it and say thank you!

Families can transform their neighborhoods by creating visual expressions of kindness-a little flower garden, a handmade sign. When outside, wave and greet those walking by. Have fun and make this a family project, It will bring joy and make a difference in your family's day.

The greatest effects we have in this world are those we can't see.”

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In June 2019, I said somethings never change..wrong!!. We are in the biggestchange that I have seen in my lifetime. It started in late February, this year andthere is no end in sight. Schools are closed and graduations have to be donedifferently. I watched my......

It's about time, May 2020. The last month of Spring! I'm getting anxious to sit outside and enjoy warm sun. We also, unfortunately, are in our 2nd month of the covid-19 experience in Maine. I guess this is the new normal. I am finding the businesses that are open doing a wonderful job handling the social distance piece with both professionalism and good cheer. I thank them for that! I appreciate the importance of family, friends, neighbors and community to my daily sanity. They are the foundation that allows me to walk each day with steadfastness, hope and a little humor. So it is my wish that we honor these treasures going forward. We need them now more then ever as we move in the world of the unknown.

Ah, there is a silver lining.

I remember hearing about the May Day pole and I believe a “May Day basket?” It seemed like a great idea to bring in the end of Spring and planting of gardens. We have Cinco DE Mayo which celebrates Mexican Culture, National teachers Day, Bike Week, Nurse's week . Two important days are Memorial Day and Mother's Day. So we have plenty of fun and important celebrations in May. They will create family bonding memories in this time of isolation, build lasting memories for children, that will make a difference.

“The fears children carry during times like this are lessened thru truthful and kind conversations with their parents.”

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It's April, springtime. Then Covid-19 arrived, the elephant in the living room. Heard chatter, but it was “from away” and now it is upon us and has changed everything. What was assumed by many, does not exist, at least for now.-working, eating out, appointments, meetings all cancelled or postponed. Most of us have not experienced this. It seems surreal. It will pass, but when. There are no guarantees.

Like my living brother and sisters, we are seniors and self isolated. Reflections on family and community can not be taken for granted, like everything they are at risk,

Here is the good news piece-Maine Families Network is more relevant than ever before-Family(core parents and children and community build society, this is our vision and mission. So I shall hold fast each and every day.

Here are some celebrations in April..Check it out on google, there are many! April Fools Day, Love our children day, Sourdough bread day,Walking out outside day, Reconciliation day, Carrot day, Dandelion day, Read a road map day, Fresh tomato and sweet potato day, Fun day, Handmade day, Farm animal day, Safety pin day and Pet day. There are many celebrations, pick a few for you and your family-memories and joy during these hard times.

“ We walk a kind journey, there will be potholes in the path, avoid them do not stumple in them!”

“Every day may not be good, but, there will be good in everyday”

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Parents help build productive lives for their children.