Future looking grim for county’s coal-fired power plants Lady Hounds grab win number two, downing Augusta 51-35 Greyhounds down North Adams in SHAC action, 61-50 PHS inducts pair of girls’ squads into Athletic Hall of Fame Michael G Rogers Local business donates shotguns to WUPD Senior Profile: Shannon Runyan Reds employees recognize Dr. King’s ‘Spirit of Service’ Saving Adams County’s power plants North Adams High School announces annual Science Fair Winners Board of Developmentally Disabled holds Jan. 11 swearing-in ceremony Peebles Elementary honors December Students of the Month Adams County villages receive Bike Racks and Fix-it Stations College Credit Plus Program available to high school students Wenstrup selected as Chairman of Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health 2017 Manchester Homecoming is ‘Super’ Lions put damper on Manchester Homecoming West Union athletes honored by OSSCA Senior Profile: Story Kremin Bickett, Runyan lead Lady Dragons to victory in Manchester Indians improve to 8-3 with Saturday night rout of Portsmouth West Farm Bureau scholarships available to HS seniors Wilbur named to the Wilmington College Dean’s List Opal Van Hoose Ruby Yazell Chris Volk North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong

You need to finish what you start

Norma was 76 years old when admitted to hospice. She was born and raised in Wheelersburg, Ohio, but worked for 25 years in Cleveland, and a few years in Marion, before returning full-circle to her daughter Essie’s home in Wheelersburg. Norma is forward and feisty. She loves her Coke and ice cream and is adamant about keeping her toe nails and finger nails painted. She shared, “I love being around people. I love to travel, just me and my little dog.”

About four months after Norma’s enrollment in hospice her condition declined and she was admitted to our hospice center. Garnet, her nurse, reported, “Her oxygen levels are down and her chest is tight,” and Norma was experiencing some confusion.

On the fourth day of her hospice center stay Norma reported, “I’m feeling a lot better. They thought that I had a heart attack but I didn’t. I hope I get to go home today.” I asked if she still hoped to spend a week with her daughter in Marion and she replied, “I’m not giving up. I’m not quitting. I never was a quitter. I’ve always finished what I started. I tried to pound that into my daughter’s head too. I like to work puzzles and Essie did too. I bought her big-piece puzzles when she was only two or three. I bought her things that would stimulate her brain, that she would have to work on and figure out.”

“She’d get frustrated sometimes and wanted me to work the puzzle for her, but I wouldn’t. I told her, ‘No, you have to finish it. You need to finish what you start.’ And she’s still like that today. She’ll say in the evening, ‘I’m not going to start because I don’t have time to finish it.’ If she starts something she finishes it. I’ve seen a lot of pole barns in the country that are unfinished. You can tell they’ve been there a long time by the way the rain has washed over them; and I think, what a waste.

I knew that Norma was “finished” with our conversation when she turned up the volume of her soap opera and turned her attention towards the television. One thing I’ve learned in hospice is, “You never interfere with a woman’s soap opera.”

Norma’s dismay over all those unfinished pole barns reminds me of a parable told by Jesus. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?”(Luke 14:28-35). or in Norma’s words, “What a waste!”

I believe we’re genetically and divinely engineered for accomplishment, for completion. Debby, our hospice educator, is my “go to person” when I want to better understand a clinical issue or physiological process. So I asked Debby to help me understand how our bodies respond when we complete a task.

She explained, “The pituitary gland produces endorphins. They’re like a narcotic, a natural form of morphine. When we complete a task the endorphins are released into the opioid receptors of the dorsal horns of the vertebrae, the spinal cord, and we experience a rush, a natural high. It’s like the runner’s high. When the rush plateaus we experience an aftermath of a sense of well being, of freedom, a physical and mental release, a letting go.”

Debby continued and explained that the intensity of the reward seems to correspond with the difficulty of the task and with how well we finish. When we finish well, when we know we’ve left it all on the court, we experience what could be called, in Chef Emeril’s words, the “Bam” effect.

Debby concluded, “When you finish something it’s like when you wrap a present. You tie the ribbon around it and put the bow on top, and then and you have something to present, a gift. Until you finish something you don’t have anything of value to offer to others. That’s what Jesus did for us on the cross when He said, It is finished.”

You see, we are divinely scripted for accomplishment. So, I ask you, is there something that you know you need to finish? Then what are you waiting for?

“Let your endurance be a finished product, so that you may be finished and complete.” (James 1:4; Moffatt translation)

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached by email at hardinl@somc.org or by phone at 740-356-2525.

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Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

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