As the saying goes "Necessity is the Mother of Invention." The ability of people to problem-solve during tough times is something that's always impressed me. And lately, what I've been seeing in these tough times has been nothing short of exceptional.

Yes, one could look around right now and recognize nothing but negativity. There's certainly no shortage of stories about just how horrible life is right now.  It's easy to see that stuff. But, if you take a moment to look a little closer, what you will likely see is the little patches of good.

Locally, I see it all the time. Quietly, folks who want no recognition, are doing their best to be good neighbors, while trying to make ends meet themselves. I've mentioned before that I belong to a number of neighborhood watch groups online. In the past, these groups have been a great way for folks who live nearby to each other to report things packages being stolen and cars being rifled through. And while that's still something that can happen on those pages, what I have seen more than anything in the last few months have been folks offering their talents to help others in need.

A few weeks ago, a gentleman who has a talent for carpentry offered his services at a discounted price to neighbors who were looking to shore up their homes for the winter. Another family mentioned that they have two high-school sons who wanted to help senior citizens with their lawns by raking leaves. And another local woman, with a talent and love of cooking, offered to make meals for busy families a few times a week. For a small fee, busy moms and dads can pick up a home-cooked meal, and she can do something she loves, help pay some bills, and help her community, all at once.

Socially distant yard sales became a big thing this summer and fall, as folks who were cleaning up their houses because they've been spending more time at home, wanted to clear out their excess. Those excesses became ways for other folks who were looking for certain items to add to their own homes. And so on, and so forth.

In fact, people are getting rid of so much, local donation centers like Goodwill have had to limit or just plain stop collecting on some days because the rate of donation is so high.

A quick surf around on Facebook Marketplace and you'll see what I mean. People are selling things at deep discounts. Or just plain giving it away.

There are people in need. And there are people trying to step up and meet those needs. It's a pretty amazing thing.

As we head into the season of Thanksgiving, I am grateful to live in a community of such generous and innovative people. We're making the best of a bad situation. We're making it work, by working together.

Hopefully it is this that people will remember when they look back at these times; the good that made the bad tolerable; the light that shone through the darkness. Creativity and compassion, when joined together, can be such a beautiful thing.

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