By Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
What a year it has been … from the craziness of the government shutdown to the immense tragedies of Typhoon Haiyan in the Phillipines, devastating tornadoes in Illinois, massive fires out west that resulted in loss of lives and homes and dreams. There was destructive flooding in Colorado (near where I grew up) and we here in WNC got to see that this area really is a temperate rain forest. And it goes on, all over the world.
Not enough room to get into the discussion here about whether and how much Climate Change is human-caused, but those who doubt may want to read more and re-think their opinion … or maybe this was just a particularly bad year, weather-wise …
But this constant upheaval causes me to think deeply about my life and the many, many blessings I receive every day; even those that I can’t yet recognize as blessings since they feel like only loss. Give it time and love.
So, this issue focuses on Giving From the Heart. What a Blessing it is to have the opportunity to give something special to friends and family. Yet we often do get caught up, this time of year especially, in sudden guilt or fear that we haven’t gotten just the right gift for a loved one … and maybe we rush out at the last minute to remedy that!
And, what about all those businesses who gear up every year for customers, hoping the season will put them “in the black.” I was in retail for years and totally understand that; so if you have the money to spend on gifts, I hope you will spend those dollars locally! It matters.
Speaking of shopping: check out our beautiful Weaverville ad page. Lots of great choices there for gifts and enjoying a meal or a longer stay! And there are several new and old advertisers throughout the magazine that offer special gifts and bargains, so check them out.
Also, check out the profile by Ines Clark about the evolution of her dream fulfilled with The Salt Spa on Hendersonville Rd.
As always, I think we have a wonderfully rich variety of articles and columns for you (and I know you may put part of the magazine aside this month to savor in January when things calm down a bit!)
Elisha Lee tells us about a Dance Troupe that not only entertains but stresses the importance of each woman honoring her own body, just as it is … and their holiday show will help benefit Homeward Bound.
Sonia Brooks gives from her heart to create joy for children through music that she brings into local schools.
Janis Gingermountain offers her thoughts on learning to bless and be blessed especially in and by nature.
Roberta Binder takes us through her steps in honoring the many traditions of the season that bring her into the New Year.
There are several articles focused on various writers’ experiences in changing family patterns around ways of gifting… with humor and creativity for sure!
Kate O’Connor writes about the poignant, beautiful experience of helping her beloved mother transition through what she terms “A Good Death.”
Carolyn Wallace and Lavinia Plonka both reminisce about myriad gifts received over the years; beautiful stories and ideas that you might use.
Several interesting interviews and profiles: The exquisite spiritual journey of Sister Mary Margaret Camalo; the dynamic activism of Charla Schlueter; the writing process of author Mindi Meltz.
And please don’t miss the recipes: Really Healthy cookies from Maureen McDonnell and two unusual recipes from Sandy McCall (one a veggie main dish with beets and sweet potatoes, the other a delicious chocolate cake using beets and quinoa… ) and it tastes great in addition to being healthy; I tried it this week, yum!
See you again in the New Year!
CORRECTION: Last month, due to my extreme busyness, I didn’t replace Lorre Diamond’s original profile article (by Sherri McLendon) about her project, Footnotes, with a newer, corrected one. You can read the correct article online, along with her contact info: 828-290-5715 and her website: footnotesisdance.com.