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The days are getting shorter and as of the end of October, we have about 10 and a quarter hours of daylight. At the winter solstice, we only see the sun for about 8 and a half hours! It gets pretty dark around here. And that doesn't figure in that Seattle is the top city in America with the most number of cloudy days—226 to be exact. Read more about Are you feeling foggy?
This month, my honorary aunt, Anita, passed away at age 95. Sadly, she developed Alzheimer’s in her early 90’s, and her last years were spent in assisted living. She was the last of my family and friends who were members of the “greatest” generation. These men and women lived through the Great Depression, World War II, the Holocaust, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. They had cores of steel. My kids and I referred to my mom and her women friends as the “amazing ladies”. And, they were. Anita was the last one standing.
The beginning of October brings fall colors, rain, and student progress reports. How is Joey doing this year? The school year always starts slowly and then speeds up with a bang. It’s a new grade, with new expectations, and new learning. Everything gets a little bit harder than last year. In some grades (3rd, 7th, 9th, and 11th) much harder. Read more about Is it time for a school year reset?
I recently read a very interesting book on trauma, called “Your body keeps the score” by Bessel Van Der Kolk M.D., a well-known psychiatrist. This work describes how traumatic experiences and early life trauma, in particular, are registered in our minds, our brains, and in our bodies. These challenging memories get stored in our guts—our muscles and our viscera. But they become disconnected from the story of what happened.
While it’s several months away from the secular New Year, this time of year marks the Jewish New Year—Rosh Hashanah. During this 10-day cycle, Jews, all over the world, celebrate the New Year, but also prepare for Yom Kippur, the last day of this period, which is a day for atonement. It is said that at the beginning of the New Year, God has already decided each person’s fate for the coming year—who will have good fortune and who will not. But this decree can be changed by three important actions--turning within, prayer, and performing good deeds. Read more about The Jewish New Year
It takes a village to raise a child. But it also takes a village to help an elderly adult flourish during their last chapter of life. In this column, I have written frequently about my friend Tracy’s elderly mother, Dixie. She celebrated her 99th birthday on August 22nd. She died one week later, in her sleep, at the home of her son and daughter-in-law after living with them for almost 8 years. Read more about It takes a village
Recently, while exercising, I watched the lovely movie “Eat, Pray, Love” based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert. When the author is in Rome, her Italian friends chide Americans for their addiction to busyness. One of her friend’s comment— “Italians know how to relish the sweetness of doing nothing”.
Sigh. Summer is winding down in the Northwest. The unmistakable signs are here—brisk mornings, shorter days, and the back to school sales. Kids have been getting bored for a while now—looking forward to new backpacks, new classes, new teachers, and seeing old friends that haven’t been around over the summer. The back to school pace is quickening. Read more about The school year is around the corner