Category Archives: Personal

Hanging in there…


No falling ~ Climbing

Sometimes it all depends on how you look at it… Is she climbing… is she falling… or, is she merely hanging on?

Did she start at the bottom and pulled herself to where she has almost reached the top?  On the other hand, maybe she was on top, took a chance peering over the side, slipped, and fell?  There are cobwebs on the branches therefore not too many people have passed this way before her.  It also looks as though the scavengers are circling to pick over the pieces if she fails.

I am not sure where I came across this picture, so I can’t give the proper credit. Nevertheless, I’m captivated by the intriguing paradox from the first time I saw it.  

Most times this is how I see my life… not sure if I’m struggling up or down… maybe it’s nothing but a quirk of fate that makes the difference.  However, it points out as we begin this busy season with all the holiday preparations and stress…  no matter which direction we’re headed…

It takes strength to hang in there…

kinda like most things we encounter in life, it all depends on how you look at it! 


Later… Barbara


A Great Place To Live

The GFWC IL Woman's Club decorated the Village Signs on each side of town!

The GFWC IL Woman’s Club decorated the Village Signs on each side of town!

My posts have become few and far between.  I don’t have as much free time to write as I would like, at least nothing worth reading.  I haven’t had much time to fix dinner either, my son can attest to this, some weeks two nights out of seven are becoming the norm.

What have I been doing?  Learning how to be a Village President.  I have a lot to learn.  Some days I feel as though I’m living a Country Western Song… there are ‘dogs’, ‘pickup trucks’,  ‘squabbling  neighbors’, and ‘skunks’, and not dead ones in the middle of the road either. <I’m dating myself>

However, I have also been learning why it is so great to live in a ‘small town’. It’s the people!

For reference sake take a look at the list below… <I’ve probably forgotten some> These groups, churches, and the people who are involved with them, make Cullom the special place it is!

American Legion

American Legion Auxiliary

American Legion Jr. Auxiliary

Charlotte Plan-It’s 4-H Club

Citizens for Cullom

Cullom Beckman Memorial Library

Cullom Co-Ed 4-H Club

Cullom Community Owned Market

Cullom Fire Protection District

Cullom Food Pantry

Cullom HCE Unit

Cullom Senior Citizens Group

Cullom United Methodist Church

GFWC IL Woman’s Club of Cullom

Sons of American Legion

St. John Roman Catholic Church

St. John’s Lutheran Church

Tri-Point Boosters

When I look at this list… I see men and women who honor our veterans and senior citizens, mentor and provide funds for our children.  People who work to nurture our bodies, minds and souls, keep us protected and provide entertainment.  I think this is quite impressive for a town of 600 people!

No, it’s not a ‘perfect’ town… however, it really is a nice place to live.  I’m thankful, and so grateful to be called ‘Mayor’.

Ladies of the Cullom HCE Unit's decorations at the corner of Hack & Oak Street.

Ladies of the Cullom HCE Unit’s decorations at the corner of Hack & Oak Street.

Once again, I’ll recommend the website to learn more about our ‘Small Town’

Later… Barbara

My thoughts before the election…

Standard          In Illinois, Tuesday April 9th is the day that is called the Consolidated Election.  No, there will not be any national candidates to vote for, but every election is important.  This one is no different.  I trust every registered voter will take the opportunity to elect your local governments and school boards.

          I would like to say a few words about being a candidate for Mayor of Cullom.  It was a difficult decision, a responsibility I do not take lightly.  It is not something I thought I would aspire to, the desire I have for tackling this challenge was never a life-long dream.  However, I am willing to try and do my best.  That said…

          First, I would like to make clear I do not have any harsh words to say about our current mayor.  She originally asked me to serve as a Trustee to fill a vacant position on the board.  I find Marge Kross an inspirational role model.  She has done a great job and has served our community well.

          My primary goal is to advance the use of the technology available to engage as many people as I can in community issues.  There are changes I would like to implement to achieve this goal with board approval.

                   Summaries of Agendas and Minutes posted online, and newspapers

                    Dedicated Internet page where questions can be answered publicly

                     Dedicated Email for more private questions and answers

                    Village office hours to change ~ from Saturdays to Wednesday afternoon/evening

                    I will be available most days in my business office 9:00 am – 3:00 pm  or, by appointment

                    Implement a phone alert calling system, used for important announcements or warnings

          As each of us faces difficult times in our personal finances, the Village is no different.  Due to the diligence of the current mayor and trustees, the Village is financially stable.  Taxes have not been raised.  I will, with the help of the trustees do my best to keep Cullom a viable community and work not to increase taxes.

          Water is the highest priority.  In my opinion, one of the foremost responsibilities of the Village Board is to provide clean and safe water.  Again, thanks to the care of previous boards, we are fortunate as a community to have an abundance of some of the best water in the area.  Again, I will not neglect this priority.

          I believe this gives you a preview of some of my positions if I were to be elected Mayor.  I expect these to be some of the most important issues.  If there are any questions you would like me to answer, please do not hesitate to ask.  Most generally, you can find me at my office 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.  I also have a dedicated email address for this purpose:  I will try and answer your concerns in a timely manner.

          I want to encourage everyone to take an interest in our community. I know the job of mayor will not be easy.  I know I have a lot to learn.  I know I will make mistakes.  I respectfully ask for your support and your vote on April 9th.

Later… Barbara

p.s.  In case you heard any rumors like… ‘If elected, I will ban eating ice-cream cones on alternate Sundays when temperatures are below 50 degrees’, or any other such preposterous and ridiculous rumors… They Are False… Ask me first!

Happy Birthday Dad

My Dad and me in 1959

My Dad and me in 1959

Today my Dad, Robert Hahn would have been 76. This photograph was taken in March 1959 at my Grandfather’s farm.  Later that summer he and Mom would start HAHN INDUSTRIES. Knowing the creative thinker he was I have to believe while he was shoveling corn this day he was thinking about what he could do to provide for his young family.

I often have to repeat the story when a customer ask me how the business started; each time I say how proud I am of my parents.  They had four kids by the time they were twenty-one, had one unfortunately die, and started a business, I frankly don’t know how they managed.  As Mom states, “and… we didn’t have disposable diapers.”

They worked and lived the American Dream!

Happy Birthday Dad

Photo taken in front of a picture of the business.  Sometime in the 1980's.  He is holding the first mold he started HAHN INDUSTRIES with, I'm holding the chick.  One of my favorite photographs!

Photo taken in front of a picture of the business in Cullom, IL. He is holding the first mold he bought for HAHN INDUSTRIES, I’m holding the chick. One of my favorite photographs!

Later… Barbara

The Rose

" A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose.  It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses." Oscar Wilde

” A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.” Oscar Wilde

Take a few minutes and listen to this song…

“Love… it is a hunger, and endless aching need…”

Once upon a time, I use to sing.  The Rose was one of my favorites.  If by chance you ever heard me, you did not hear what I was hearing as I sang.  I confess I was no Bette Midler; however, I gave it my all every time, always with the full orchestra accompanying me in my head. 

At the time I absorbed the passion of these lyrics…  

“It’s the heart afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance… its the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance… it’s the one who won’t be taken, who can not seem to give… and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live….”   

Recently, I was in a conversation and asked “what was in my past that might have had an effect on me?  Why do I make some of the decisions I make in my life?”  I replied “I have always thought I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it”.

I now think it was deeper than what I originally believed.  When I heard this song the other day, I remembered singing it and knowing deep inside that life <and love> is about taking a chance… not being afraid… and to give it all I’ve got. 

Really listen to the words of the song… did you hear it?

Life and Love… “it’s not just for the lucky and the strong”

Later… Barbara


Do you need some motivation?


carnegie fatigueWhen I lived in Denver, I had the opportunity to attend a Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations.  I consider it a life changing time in my life.  The course has been altered very little in the past 101 years, it’s a proven winner!

The course is based on the Dale Carnegie book  How to Win Friends and Influence People.  First published in 1936, gazillions of copies have been sold worldwide.  It is a book with simplistic, common sense strategies to deal with complexities of everyday life.  I recommend it to everyone who may be struggling with work, family, daily stress… <you know>… life!  If you are one of these people, I encourage you to get a copy and read it… if you ever have the occasion to attend a Dale Carnegie Course, take it, you will never be the same after.

The first five principles of Carnegie:

Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain

Give honest, sincere appreciation

Arouse in the other person an eager want

Become genuinely interested in other people


Master these five nuggets of wisdom, and most likely you can accomplish anything!

<and feel good while you are doing it>

Carnegie funA Carnegie quote I consider one of the most important.  It’s a good lesson to learn!

Later… Barbara

No Regrets


Regret ~ a noun or a verb
(n) A feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done
(v) Feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity)

death1Do you want to know one way to stop in your tracks and take stock of your life?  Have your younger brother die unexpectedly.  It’s a sure way to make a person stop and think… I’ve entered the generation that will begin to die.  Some mysterious entity starts to pick us off… our families, our friends, one by one.  I have now joined the ‘Questioning My Own Mortality Club’.

I read an account of a man who had a heart attack; he was dead for four and a half minutes before his heart was restarted.  When asked later… since he knew he came so close to dying, did he have any regrets?  He explained he had none.

He had no regrets!  … WOW… can I say that?

Regrets?  Oh, yes!  I have plenty… people I have hurt, people I have let hurt me… places I wanted to go, places I should not have gone… comments made I should have kept to myself, times when I should have spoken up and didn’t… experiences I wished I hadn’t tried, others I wished I had gone for it… I seem to have a never-ending ‘regret’ list…

When asked how he achieved having no regrets, the gentleman simply stated, “start at the end.”  When it’s all over… how do you want to be remembered?  Once you answer that question, you can begin living to fulfill the conclusion you want.

What a wonderful way to look at life… How do you want to be remembered?  What do you want people to say about you at the end of your life?

This time of year, I reflect on the past, and plan for the future.  It’s a good time for me to try and choose my next route… however, now I need to think… not for just this next year, also for the rest of my life.

I intend to pay attention to what is ‘really’ important.  I will try to chart my course and make decisions so I have no regrets.  Life is not going to wait…  although I’m moving forward… any of us can be picked off, at any time.

I want to live with NO regret, a noun and a verb!

Later… Barbara