Photo courtesy of Kim Bondi
The Methow Valley U11 team took second place at the Omak Open soccer tournament. The U7 and U13 teams also finished second.

By Sarah Schrock

It started the week of school open house, Oct. 9, or at least that’s when I got wind of it. Almost immediately, Facebook posts with green, vomiting emoticons started popping up as parents lamented online about late-night vigils comforting their kids. The upshot: playdates canceled, dance and music lessons missed, circus class canceled, and soccer rosters low.

The phones at the school offices starting ringing off the hook calling in absences, and last week must have been the peak of the outbreak with over 16 substitute teachers called in to fill spots for teachers and staff out with the bug or home taking care of sick kids.

Is it a norovirus, rotovirus? I haven’t gotten confirmation, but virtually no family has been spared from this stomach scourge. Whatever the underlying virus is, it’s super-contagious, and non-discriminating, hitting all ages, boys and girls, and maybe even dogs. That’s right, there are at least two dogs I know who have had similar symptoms lately. And for some unfortunate families, it has made more than one round, hitting the same kids again!

This stomach bug is a good reminder to people to get their annual flu shots and avoid getting hit by an even more menacing illness. Even though the flu shot doesn’t protect you against this stomach crud, the annual flu has just begun to make its rounds and thankfully numbers are low across the nation. On Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Confluence Health Methow Valley Clinic in Winthrop there will be a flu clinic from 9–11 a.m. Appointments for flu shots are also available at Family Health Centers in Twisp.

On a lighter and more-festive note, there’s nothing better than a Methow potluck, where the food is wholesome, homemade, and always unique. On Saturday (Nov.) 4 there will be a community harvest potluck at the Twisp Valley Grange.  Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and mouths can open at 6 p.m.

This is the first open grange potluck for a while, and a great opportunity to see neighbors and friends to share in the last of the season’s bounty.

There are still a few spots left in a new and exciting class called “Ecology of the Methow.” The educational program begins Monday (Nov. 6) at TwispWorks Education Station. The eight-part class will be taught by Methow naturalist Dana Visali. If you are interested in registering, contact Dana at 997-9011 or

Finally, dozens of soccer kids participated in the Omak Open Tournament last weekend and all three Methow teams, U7, U11 and U13, finished in second place. Great coaching from all the volunteer parents, and special thanks to Mark Crum, who stepped in at the ninth hour for Adam Kaufman, who had to call in sick with the stomach bug!


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