By Ashley Lodato
Gratitude this week comes from Methow At Home (MAH), which just celebrated its one-year anniversary on Dec. 1. “Clearly our valley has embraced this new nonprofit organization whose focus is to assist with basic tasks that enable our aging population to remain living in their own homes as long as possible,” the MAH board tells me. Like it or not, we’re all aging; it’s reassuring to know that an organization like MAH has taken root in the valley.
I so appreciate hearing the Christmas tree stories that some of you have been sharing with me. As many of you know, I have a thing about Christmas tree hunts gone wrong (some might call it a fetish). But with the snow coming late to the valley floor this year, there has rarely been a more blissful early December in which to drive up into the mountains and snag a tree. You hardly have to get out of your vehicle.
All accounts so far point to Norman Rockwell-type Christmas tree hunts of nearly unparalleled ease and ecstasy, but I still remain hopeful that at least a few families will experience the type of outing that the kids will remember long after the tears have dried and the frostbite has healed. This is the stuff upon which lasting memories are made, people.
Now, despite quirks of the universe that seem to conspire to make it so, the holiday season need not be filled entirely with stress, squabbling and trips to the emergency room. If you want to pre-load your goodwill bank account before the true chaos of the holidays sets in, simply take yourself on down to Trail’s End Bookstore and purchase a book for the public elementary school library. The school is refreshing its inventory under the curatorship of retired teacher and certified librarian Cathy Oliver.
One of the shelves in the bookstore is dedicated to requests for the school library; you just select a book and purchase it — the bookstore and the Public School Funding Alliance will make sure it hits the shelves at school. Kids these days face a lot of electronics and other such temptations vying for their attention, but I still have yet to meet a kid for whom a great book is not an irresistible attraction.
My husband and I were discussing who was going to conduct the much-needed cleaning of our grill. We went back and forth in friendly debate, each of us very complimentary of the other’s unique and undeniably remarkable grill-cleaning skills. I decided to Google “cleaning the grill,” in hopes of learning some magical strategy that did not involve anyone actually having to touch the grill, and lo and behold the first website that popped up was called “The Art of Manliness” (manliness, according to the website, is a lost art — gentlemen, take note).
“Game over,” I thought, sure that said hubby would be compelled to defend not only himself, but manliness in general. But no, some people are apparently so secure in their own manliness that even when the grill cleaning gauntlet is thrown down, they feel no obligation to pick it up.