Saturday, September 19, 2020

Be kind, unwind and extend grace

| July 29, 2020 1:00 AM

It’s been four months since the March 25 stay-at-home order sent everyone into a tailspin. Late winter turned to spring which has turned to summer and we’re still navigating life during a pandemic.

What I know for sure is everyone, and I mean everyone, is exhausted by the negativity and divisiveness of the collective dialogue. Normally good and kind people are engaging in name calling and shaming that if it were taking place in the school yard we’d all condemn as bullying.

Please don’t contribute to the mean-spirited tenor of the times.

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Last week my husband and I found the perfect antidote for the stress we’re all feeling. We spent a weekday floating the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. It’s absolutely impossible to be in a bad mood on that beautiful river traveling at the leisurely speed of 1 mph on an inflatable raft under blue skies.

In the relentless overload of information regarding all things pandemic, one aspect that’s been woefully overlooked is the toll it’s taking on everyone’s mental and emotional health. My very smart friend Pam Houser shared her recommendation that people be encouraged to make and take time for little stay-cations, one or two days where you find that place that brings you peace and joy and the opportunity to tune out the noise of the day and be grateful. Much like our floating on the river day, it’s important that we give as much attention to our overall mental health as we’re spending focused on our physical health and safety.

Life is hard and heavy right now and unfortunately there’s no end in sight. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. As another smart friend reminded me a few months ago, we’re not actually in this together. We’re being tossed about by the same storm but we’re all in different boats.

When 2020 ends this is still our home, these are still our neighbors and we’ll be remembered by how we behaved during the worst of times. Grace … extend some to others.

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A fun diversion to all of the drama and uncertainty are the annual lazy days of summer celebrity sightings in our little corner of the world. Justin Bieber and his wife, Haley Baldwin, were seen in person and on his social media enjoying downtown Coeur d’Alene and Gozzer Ranch. If you’re thinking, Justin who? The 26-year-old singer/songwriter has sold over 150 million records.

And Kenna Scott’s handsome beau turned more than a few heads as she showed him the sights around her town. If you’re thinking he looked a lot like actor Lorenzo Lamas you’d be right since it was Lorenzo Lamas. Kenna tells me he absolutely loved his first visit to Coeur d’Alene. Then again, what’s not to love?

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July 24 was a red-letter day when I hugged our youngest daughter for the first time since Jan. 3. We had a weekend reconnecting in-person and even getting gussied up and enjoying dinner at Beverly’s. I think the hardest part of the past four months has been having family far away. For 48 hours to have one of our three daughters under the same roof was beyond joyful.

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Happy birthday today to Tanya Peugh, Mark Anthony and Alisa Loftin-Ward. Putting on their party hats tomorrow are Sharmon Schmitt, Nicole Coquette, Terra Karl, Dianne Ansbaugh, Kalie Bell, Brenna Meehan and Peggy Coleman. On the last day of July Patricia Richardson, Bill Hamilton, Adam Durflinger and Tab Bray blow out their candles.

On the first day of August Tatiana Harrison, Bev Moss, David Noordam, Duane Oliver, Patricia Kaufman, Dennis Harlan and Dodge Gonzales will be celebrating. On Sunday Austin Viles, Mandy Averill and Matt Odd are marking their birthdates. Wish Ronda Smithson, Jessica Hendricks and Steve Cox a happy birthday on Monday.

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, Amy Evans, Vic Eachon (the pickle man), Jennifer Custer, Ben Fairfield, Jack Glinski, Ruthie Johnson, Sara McDrummand, Toni Caywood, Joel Bertsch, Michele Wood, Erin Delaney, Austin Viles and Amy Ford will have their cake and eat it, too.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.