Excuse me, are you listening? TNCP Enters Its 21st Year

Rina Risper

President & Publisher, Rina Risper, is taking the pandemic in stride with a new photo.

Dear Readers,

Happy New Year and blessings upon you, your family, and anyone else that you love. I do not know about you but 2021 was interesting. There was an extreme and dramatic change in our socio-economic, physical, spiritual, and mental structure due to COVID-19. I am very surprised that the virus is still impacting our lives but very happy that the severity is diminishing and fewer people are dying. I feel as though we have been trapped in a bubble and I am waiting for it to pop. I told myself that I was not going to write about the pandemic but what else is there to write about?

One of the things that I find curiously interesting is now you can actually wear a mask and gloves in the bank. Who would have ever thought that would ever happen and no one walks you right back out the door or calls the police on you?

I will continue to wear my mask, apply sanitizer and dare anyone to say anything to me about it. On the other hand, it is not my responsibility to ride someone who is not wearing a mask. Even if I have a little cough, I am quick to let people know that I am wearing a mask to protect them not myself. People have become very defensive on both sides.

This virus is very strange though because you can have symptoms or be asymptomatic. The word “asymptomatic” should go on the list of banned words after the pandemic is over. I am tired of hearing about it. And I am also afraid to get COVID-19.

We are also learning a lot about death and grief because of both crime, illness, and COVID-19 combined. I am finding that there are plenty of people who had the virus months ago that are still dealing with the symptoms for a long time. My heart goes out to those still dealing with the symptoms of fatigue and depression.

Another thing that I am finding interesting is the rise in employees standing up for their rights to have well-paying jobs, better treatment, and basic health care. I am surprised that once doctors and nurses were superheroes and now they are attacked.

I have always been proud of educators. It has been a tough time for all during the pandemic. I cannot even imagine the amount of stress that I would be subjected to while working and homeschooling. It was hard enough for me to deal with school-aged children while they were at home during the summer. I looked forward to them getting off the school bus and telling me about their day as they dragged book-bags and coats inside. I am happy they are grown now.

Someone asked me what I missed the most out on this year. My response was people watching. I loved sitting in a restaurant and watching people come in and out. The lovers, the long-time relationships, the girls night, and the parents all gave me an opportunity to research body language. Parents are so proud of their babies. Parents who are proud of their toddlers speak loudly and say things like, “You are so good for eating your carrots! Would you help me read the menu?” They have the “they have been reading since they were six months old” look on their faces and I know they would tell me that the child’s APGAR score was a 5. I mean the APGAR score is given one minute after birth and five minutes. New parents don’t really have much to brag about or compare yet so they must go way back.

Wait until they are teens, you will be sitting at a table by yourself while your child and their friends carry on about the latest details in their lives. They no longer need you like they once did. You will just smile and hope that you did a good enough job to carry them through all of the ups and downs of life.

Courtesy photos
Kenneth Hall reading The New Citizens Press on a bench on Capitol Avenue in front of the The Michigan State Capitol building.
Courtesy photos


Last year when I renewed my license I also made sure that I had the heart on it for the Gift of Life. I really need your help with this survey. I am curious about what the people I impact know about the Gift of Life. Please log on to bit.ly/3tkvB4H it will take less than three minutes.

I also rewrote my will in a very detailed manner. It was so difficult to get a notary in the midst of the pandemic. However, everything was taken care of and now I feel like an adult. If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be that you will never stop learning and one day you are going to be the old one.

We missed out on a lot of things this year but I had the distinct pleasure of meeting my two brothers. We have the same father but different mothers. It has been an eye-opening experience for sure. I will say that you have to take people in the space that they are in and not create one that has never existed. Love is grand but integrity is grandeur. Even honesty comes with a bit of confusion. My mother was the best that I could ever have and she gave me more than I will ever be able to thank her for. Thank goodness for her having common sense and fortitude.

Speaking of fortitude, it is my word for 2022. I decided that there will be no more resolutions to slowly dissolve but words to live by. Fortitude means courage in pain or adversity. I am sure that most of us do not think of ourselves as strong but we are. We go through a lot and are still resilient. What is your word of the year? I am keeping it simple and I hope you are too.

Love people,

Rina Risper



Rina Risper (stay healthy)