Rural Missouri - December 2012 - (Page 5)

Hart to Heart Closing out an eventful year ard to believe we are closing out another year with the December Rural Missouri. As I look back on 2012, it’s certainly been an eventful year for Missouri’s electric cooperatives. This year began with the celebration of the International Year of the Cooperative. This recognition put the cooperatives of the world in the spotlight. I’ve always considered myself a cooperative man, but I learned there are many more cooperatives than I thought. I was proud to help members of the Missouri National Guard establish cooperatives in Afghanistan. This year also marked the 75th anniversary of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, an organization I’ve held near and dear to my heart since I first walked through the door of the headquarters in 1977. The manager then was Frank Stork, who gets much of the credit for bringing Missouri’s electric co-ops together as one big family. Those who worked for electric co-ops while Frank was manager soon learned we are more effective servants of our members when we work together. And that is the way cooperatives help their members, by bringing them together for a common good. I was reminded of this cooperative ideal as I H by Barry Hart watched the election returns Nov. 6. The campaign for president that began with so much bitterness and harsh words many months ago ended with both President Barack Obama and his challenger, Mitt Romney, calling for an end to partisan division. It will not be an easy task bringing the nation together, but many Americans are hopeful our leaders will finally work together. If those who won on election day can achieve that goal, it will result in a breath of fresh air in the nation and confidence our economy will improve. While not all of the candidates I voted for came out winners, I was pleased to see Missouri’s congressional delegation re-elected. Often, there are issues affecting electric cooperatives nationwide that are taken up in Washing- ton, D.C. When I’m asked to call on Missouri’s delegation on your behalf, I know I can count on 100-percent support from U.S. Reps. Jo Ann Emerson, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer and Billy Long, who represent large chunks of rural Missouri. Even more important, both William Lacy Clay Jr. from St. Louis and Emanuel Cleaver in Kansas City — who picked up some co-op members after redistricting — have emerged as major supporters of the electric co-ops and our goal to keep electricity affordable and reliable. In addition, I got to meet and learn more about Missouri’s newest member of Congress, Ann Wagner, a member of Cuivre River Electric. I am excited about her election to represent suburban St. Louis and members of Cuivre Riv- “I’ve always considered myself a cooperative man, but I learned there are many more cooperatives than I thought.” Barry Hart er. Rural people are far outnumbered by their city cousins in the U.S. Congress, so the support of these three is much appreciated and vital to the success of those served by the electric cooperatives. U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill also won re-election. Many times, Claire has been an advocate for the Rural Utilities Service loan program. She has supported our efforts to keep electricity affordable and to develop renewable and nuclear energy in Missouri. Sen. Roy Blunt wasn’t on the ballot, but his support also has been unwavering. He carried the budget allocation for RUS and Rural Development funding in the Senate and has supported our efforts to develop nuclear energy and protect our low cost and reliable electric power. Sen. Blunt is emerging as a leader on cybersecurity and is working with us as we tighten up security on the power grid without over regulation. I plan to spend the final weeks of the year focusing on the message of peace that Christmas brings to us. Here’s hoping the new year brings you and your family health and happiness. Let’s all hope our nation’s problems will be addressed soon and our economy rebounds in 2013. Hart is the executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Guest Column Hope and health F by Gloria Miller eeling depressed? You are not alone and there is hope! Depression is one of the most common and highly treatable illnesses that can affect anyone. It is a medical disorder — just like diabetes and high blood pressure are medical disorders — that affects thoughts, feelings, physical health and behavior. Approximately 1 in every 20 Americans get depressed every year. It’s not a character flaw, nor is it a sign of personal weakness. It is a treatable medical illness and most people with depression can begin to feel better in a few weeks when they are adequately treated. Depression isn’t just feeling “down in the dumps” and it is not a natural part of aging. It is more than feeling sad following a loss or hard times. Depression can be triggered by life events such as losing a job, death of a loved one, divorce or even something like the severe drought experienced in Missouri this summer. But it can also happen in the midst of everyday life. Oftentimes people don’t even real- ize they’ve become depressed until friends or family intervene. One woman from Camden County told me, “I didn’t even know how low I was until I got treatment and I started feeling much better.” Some things you can do to help yourself include eating a balanced diet, spending time with family and friends, setting and achieving small reasonable goals and staying active even when you really don’t feel like it. After getting treatment, another person from Cedar County said, “I’m feeling much better now. When you do more, you feel better.” If you experience these depressive symptoms all day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, please seek professional help: • Feeling sad, blue or down in the dumps • Loss of interest in things you usually enjoy • Feeling slowed down or restless • Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much • Loss of energy or feeling tired all the time • Having problems concentrating, think- “Depression isn’t just feeling ‘down in the dumps’ and it is not a natural part of aging.” Gloria Miller ing, remembering or making decisions • Having an increase or decrease in appetite or weight • Feeling worthless or guilty • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide Remember, depression is treatable. Effective treatment for depression can include supportive counseling and/ or medications. Talk to your doctor or contact your local mental health provider to begin on a path to recovery. One source of help is Pathways Community Health. Pathways provides mental health and addiction recovery services through offices located across the state of Missouri. For more information, visit www. or call 888-4031071. Information about community mental health services in Missouri can be found at or by calling 1-800-364-9687. Internet searches also can be a great resource for services in your area. Miller is chief clinical officer for Compass Health, the parent company of Pathways Community Health and Royal Oaks Hospital and Family Counseling Center. DECEMBER 2012 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2012

Rural Missouri - December 2012
Table of Contents
Faith in fruitcakes
Best of rural Missouri
Pursuing dreams
Out of the Way Eats
Beauty from math and metal
Spreading the Masonic message
Hearth and Home
Rooted in Missouri
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - December 2012