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Encourage employees of shuttered Rainbow

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I’ve lived in Cottage Grove for the good part of almost 14 years and recently wrote a viewpoint (“Cottage Grove bike park is a field of dreams,” May 14 Bulletin) about the small-town atmosphere of Oakdale, St. Paul Park, Cottage Grove and the surrounding cities in Washington County.

To be greeted cheerfully by service people in the various eating establishments, shops, libraries, the post offices and even by police officers who are always willing to go the extra mile with courtesy and kindness, is so different than the ‘hood in Minneapolis where I grew up. About a month ago, the Bulletin had an article about the possible closure of Rainbow Foods in Cottage Grove and various possibilities of other grocers taking over that business. We felt this would occur much later.

Today I was shocked to walk into the store that is half empty of stock with many empty cases and shelves. Employee after employee I spoke to said they had just heard last Tuesday that the store will be closing next week, and only one man had a possibility of a job as a truck driver lined up so far. The deli lady asked, “Is there anything else I can get for you?” after she’d admitted to me she did not have new employment yet. And, with tears in my eyes, I said, “A hug!” She came out from behind the counter and gave me a big one, as I promised her and the other people I will be praying for them.

The family idea permeates this community because when the BMX bike park was being put together by those hundreds of volunteers, my grandson (a BMX biker) and his biker friends from Park High School all talked about being part of a family. How awesome to have young people feel that they belong to a family of people in a community that cares. We have to recall that God allows challenges in our lives to give us the opportunity to trust in Him, and show His love to one another. What an opportunity to encourage these people to believe God has somewhere over the rainbow for them all to fly, at a time that could be discouraging.

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