As our area grows, the wide, open fields and shady woods that covered the counties and even some parts of the city in long-time residents' memories are becoming a thing of the past. Bulldozers replace tractors as common sights along the road. It's the pavement, buildings, and the inevitable traffic that comes along with both that guarantees a rise in air pollution. The future looks hazy from here—as well as hot and humid.
Cooking, cleaning, party-going, party-giving, visiting relatives, relatives visiting—welcome to the holidays! If you are the one who's mostly in charge of making the holidays bright, odds are for you may need a little pick-me-up yourself.
Refresh and Relax
Long to-do list? Make sure to put yourself on it. Budget 15 minutes every few hours for a bit of relaxation. The Herbal Home Spa and these other books can help de-stress the holidays:
By Nick Nelson, CRRL Intern
History scholars and genealogists can find much grist for their research mills with the HeritageQuest database. The full text of scholarly articles, state and military records, lengthy family reference books and more can be searched and saved for later contemplation.
It's time to stand in line and complain about the high cost of school supplies. Parents groan, whip out their pieces of plastic, gnash their teeth, and pay up. It's what we do every year. Even after checking for the best sales and rebates, the total is still hard to take. But this is what we have to do. And yet, have you ever considered that you are lucky to be able to do it at all?
Got kids? Wonderful little angels, aren't they, except when they're not! Whether it's a trip to the grocery store or a special night out, there's no occasion when a bit of childish stubbornness or an outright tantrum fest can't take the shine off of any golden parenting moment.
Once upon a time, families might take an entire month or more to go on low-key vacations to the countryside or the beach. The idea of spending a long while way from the hot stagnation of a city's summer heat in the mountains and woods had a lot of appeal to those who could afford it. Another choice might have been sending the kids off to Grandma and Grandpa's farm. Today, with our modern, air-conditioned homes and the grandparents likely still working or possibly retired to a Florida condo, kids who are inexperienced in the sweet art of enjoying themselves in the outdoors sometimes need a special place where they can go and have fun in a low-tech, high-energy way. We call this carefully crafted extracurricular activity summer camp.
The man in this photo might need a caregiver's help, or he could be the primary caregiver for a family member. Thousands of families open their homes to chronically ill and simply lonely family members. It's a gesture of love and commitment, but care giving can bring emotional hardships as well as rewards. Even the most loving relatives can feel burned out after months or years of providing care in their homes.