A Doug's Life: Time to Get Involved

I blame all this on my daughter, Megan.

First, she took two of my grandchildren away from me by moving from our home in the San Gabriel Valley to a remote outpost called Menifee. Seems husband Jeff got a job servicing airplanes on March Air Reserve Base. So what? Is that a reason for me to drive over an hour to see the little weasels?

Then, after convincing me that Menifee isn't such a bad place after all, she found us the home we now live in out here. We weren't having too much luck on our own, but she goes online and finds us the perfect place in five minutes. Go figure.

And finally, just as I was deciding Menifee would be a nice, quiet place to sit back and relax between teaching college courses, she sends me a link to this article saying a website called Menifee 24/7 is looking for freelance writers.

Thanks, Megan. Now I've got my hand in everything, from the Chamber of Commerce to the Rotary Club to the Menifee Valley Historical Association and every club in between. I spend my "free" time stomping across local farms, speaking to community groups and riding in hot air balloons.

But you know what? It sure beats the life of a couch potato. Semi-retirement can wait. There will be plenty of time later to enjoy the desert sunrise.

I urge you to join me and get involved, if you aren't already.

You don't have to write for the local news blog to make connections around town. And you don't have to jump from one activity to the next. Pick one community organization or local cause and be a volunteer. This isn't just farmland anymore, you know. There is much to do in many areas, and more folks are needed to do it.

As I've stated before, this community is an interesting mix of residents, including:

-- Old-timers from the pioneer farm days.

-- Retirees living in the Sun City "core" of the community.

-- Commuters who are here just long enough to catch 40 winks each night.

-- Soccer moms.

Each group is fairly well represented around town, but often only in their comfort zone. The pioneer families run the historical association. The Sun City senior citizens support their community center activities enthusiastically. The soccer moms chat via community Facebook groups and cart their kids around to sports events, dance class and play dates. (Sorry, Megan. No disrespect intended).

There's nothing wrong with that, but I would suggest more of a blending of cultures to really increase community interaction in Menifee. Hey, if I can sit through a city council meeting one day and attend a Menifee Arts Council fund-raiser the next, anyone can do it. Remember, I was a sports writer, which means I have limited social skills.

The way I see it, community service organizations and other local groups would benefit from a wider talent pool. At the same time, the members would benefit from expanding their horizons. Meanwhile, the whole community might just draw a little bit closer together.

So think about it, will you? You have so many options. Besides the ones previously mentioned, there's the Friends of the Sun City Library; the Community Cupboard charity; Sun City K9 Adoptions; and more youth sports programs than you can count.

You don't have to be like Linda Denver, whom I believe has shown up at every Menifee community gathering I have ever attended, but I bet you can do more than you are now. Like the community service ads say, "Make a Difference." Chances are, you will have more fun than you ever dreamed.

If not, you can always help me chase Megan's kids around the block. Somebody has to do it.


Post a Comment