"The Thumb Is Looking Good"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, January 16, 2015

Things are really looking up. You may hear that statement frequently. I know because I, for one, make it a lot.

You may say, “Not for me” but I suggest you keep looking. You should be able to recognize how things are looking better just by driving through Bad Axe. I visit there a couple times a week and really noticed changes. Many homes have had facelifts and remodeling. During the summer months, flowers were evident in most yards or in potted planters on porches. Yards had fancy fences, bird baths or other ceramic figurines displayed.

Check it out, homes that had been unattended, with paint peeling, broken windows and roof shingles blowing around the yard, began to change. Grass was cut regularly, wooden fences that had not been stained for so long they were black, were cleaned and painted. Vehicles that had been parked alongside the homes were now clean and many even waxed.

It appears to me as I look around the city, many folks are displaying pride in their properties — even the dog houses are looking good.

Bad Axe is just one Thumb community that has shown pride in its appearance recently. Most of the towns I pass through have also begun to clean up their older properties. The Thumb is not the only place showing improvement. I drove to Bay City along M-25 and was amazed at what I saw along the route.

It used to be a dreary ride, with many old homes and beat-up farm buildings, all with yards full of junk. Wow, what a nice surprise. There are fancy paint jobs on the houses, colorful shutters on windows and fences all nicely painted or new. Outbuildings are sporting new roofs; some even have brightly colored steel roofs. Many homes and buildings are aluminum or vinyl-sided in bright colors. All the improvements must be adding to the property values.

Landscaping is evident everywhere: bushes, trees and flowers. Fences with gates are outlining many properties in areas where they were never seen before.

Not every place along the route displays changes, but those that still need work stand out now, begging for attention. As neighbors removed the junk cars, old appliances and other trash from their yards. they were setting an example that could be followed.

No, cleaning up and improving your property may not represent an increase in income but it sure displays an attitude of pride in what you own and live within. It’s a catching attitude for sure, once one or two places are spruced up, more are sure to follow.

Winter is not the time to begin the tasks of fixing up but it’s a great time to set a plan. If you need ideas, just take a ride and really look at what others have done and picture them on your house. As winter holds you back, with the holidays over, you can visit Home Depot, Lowes or Menards and check out what’s available. There are displays with examples to show you how to and probably great bargains during the off-season.

Although the local supplier in your area is limited for space to display large items, once you determine the materials you need, be sure to check their prices. You may be surprised, I sure was when I found a product that cost $70 for a five gallon pail in the big stores but I was able to buy for $65 locally. Always shop local if you can, business owners appreciate it.

If you have a place to store materials, why not save a few dollars and be ready to go when the weather breaks? (Caution: do not buy and store paint because if there is a problem with it, you may not be able to return it.)

Do you respond to my suggestions by saying, “My income has not improved, so how can I do anything?” I say, keep working hard and a raise may come. If not, and you’re good at what you do, ask for it.

As I see it, improvements raise the value of your home and property and display pride of ownership, which will definitely make you feel better.




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