Sherman County eNews #313

CONTENTS

  1. Notice. Special Meeting, City of Wasco, Dec. 5

  2. Relieving the Stress

  3. Remember Local Needs with Year-end Giving

  4. All County Prayer Meeting, Dec. 5

  5. “Choose Something Like a Star with Cascade Singers, Dec. 8 & 9

  6. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do


1. Notice. Special Meeting, City of Wasco, Dec. 5

Special Meeting-Wasco City Hall-Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 1:00PM.
In accordance with ORS 254.575 (1) & The City of Wasco Charter Chapter VI Section 24, there will be a public meeting to break the tie vote between Erik Glover and William Minter to determine the successful candidate for Wasco City Council Position.


2. Relieving the Stress

We asked you to think about those things that cause you stress and tension during the holiday season. If you did, great! This is the first step in eliminating stress – Defining the Challenge.

If you ask people about their “pet peeves,” waiting in traffic always comes up. Friends will refer to the local freeways as “slow moving parking lots.” So, there you are, stuck in traffic, inching along. Is it a situation that you can control? Probably not. Really, the only thing over which you do have control is how you react to the situation.

So how do you turn this apparent lemon into lemonade? First, it helps to realize that all traffic jams are not caused by stupid drivers. Accidents do happen. After all, we are only human. At any given moment, on any street or highway, there are hundreds of variables to consider. Now, you have the opportunity to fill the time with something productive that makes you feel like you are not “wasting” the time but accomplishing something. (And that would not mean talking on your cell phone or texting!)

Roger Moore, of James Bond fame, said that when stopped at traffic lights, he would suck in his stomach muscles and hold them until the light turned green. Roger may never have had six-pack abs, but he did have good posture. (No self-respecting Bond would slouch.) So, some folks burst into song, relieving the frustration with music. Some folks listen to audio books. Others do simple neck stretching exercises, which benefits the body as well as the mind.

What it comes down to is this: Is the goal to get frustrated and angry, or is the goal to get where you are going, safely, and get on with the business at hand? It comes down to the effective use of your energies. Do you spend them pounding on the steering wheel or yelling out the window? Or do you turn them toward accomplishment?

Once the goal is set, first, you relax and then you unleash that tremendous power within you to get it done. Once again, obstacles become opportunities by simply changing the way you look at them. ~The Pacific Institute


3. Remember Local Needs with Year-end Giving

Christmas.holly1Remember Local Needs for Year-end Giving | tax-deductible non-profit organizations |

  • ABC Huskies Day Care, Sherman County Child Care Foundation, P.O. Box 424, Wasco, OR 97065
  • Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center – Sherman Station Foundation, 36656 Lone Rock Road, Moro, OR 97039
  • Columbia Gorge CASA, P.O. Box 663, Hood River, OR 97031
  • Grass Valley Pavilion Renovation & Rejuvenation Project, City of Grass Valley, P.O. Box 191, Grass Valley, OR 97029
  • HAVEN from Domestic and Sexual Violence, P.O. Box 576, The Dalles, OR 9058
  • Little Wheats Day Care Inc., P.O. Box 71, Moro, OR 97039
  • Maryhill Museum of Art, 35 Maryhill Museum Drive, Goldendale, WA 98620
  • Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Cultural Trust, 775 Summer Street NE, Ste 200, Salem, OR 97301 – a portion of these funds are allocated to Sherman County Cultural Coalition for distribution, & matched to local cultural non-profit gifts provide a tax credit.
  • OSU Extension 4-H Programs, 36656 Lone Rock Road, Moro, OR 97039
  • Sherman County Ambulance, PO Box 139, Moro, OR 97039
  • Sherman County Athletic Foundation, P.O. Box 191, Moro, OR 97039
  • Sherman County Cultural Coalition, P.O. Box 23, Moro, OR 97039
  • Sherman County Education Foundation, P.O. Box 68, Moro, OR 97039
  • Sherman County Fair, P.O. Box 45, Wasco, OR 97065
  • Sherman County Food Bank, P.O. Box 14, Moro, OR 97039
  • Sherman County Historical Society & Museum, P.O. Box 173, Moro, OR 97039 –qualifies for Oregon Cultural Trust Tax Credits
  • Sherman County Junior Hoops, c/o Sherman County Athletic Foundation, P.O. Box 191, Moro, OR 97039
  • Sherman County Lions Club, P.O. Box 27, Wasco, OR 97065
  • Sherman Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, 69512 High School Loop, Moro, OR 97039
  • Sherman County Public/School Library, 69512 High School Loop, Moro, OR 97039
  • Sherman County Scholarship Association, 65912 High School Loop, Moro, Oregon 97039
  • Sherman County Senior & Community Center, P.O. Box 352, Moro, OR  97039
  • Sherman Development League, P.O. Box 11, Moro, OR 97039
  • Sherman County Preschool, 69512 High School Loop, Moro, OR 97039
  • Wasco Cemetery Association, Sun Rise Cemetery, P.O. Box 155, Wasco, OR 97065
  • Wasco RR Depot & History Center, City of Wasco, P.O. Box __, Wasco, OR 97065
  • Wasco School Events Center, City of Wasco, P.O. Box __, Wasco, OR 97065
  • Wasco Salmon/Steelhead Tournament, P.O. Box __, Wasco, OR 97065
  • Your church.

Consider gifts to these organizations to honor someone with a shared interest, to recognize someone’s achievement or success, in memory or remembrance, to express your appreciation, or as the perfect gift for someone who has everything.


4. All County Prayer Meeting, Dec. 5

church.family1The All County Prayer Meeting is Wednesday, December 5 @ the Wasco Methodist Church. Fellowship starts at 6:30 PM, Pray time starts at 7:00 PM and ends at 8:30 PM. Everyone is welcome to come and join the meeting, come and join in when you can get there and stay as long as you can. Thank You, Red Gibbs


5. “Choose Something Like a Star with Cascade Singers, Dec. 8 & 9

music.notes (2)Cascade Singers warmed up for their Dec. 8 and 9 concerts at the Discovery Center last Saturday under the direction of Miles Thoming-Gale.  “Choose Something Like a Star” is the title for the holiday concert.  The line comes from a poem by Robert Frost set to music by Randall Thompson.  It will be featured along with traditional and contemporary Christmas favorites by the choir, ensemble, and children’s choir. Performances take place at Zion Lutheran Church, 10th and Union Streets, The Dalles.  Saturday’s concert begins at 7 p.m. and the Sunday concert starts at 3 p.m.  Admission is by donation at the door.


6. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

bird.owl.limbPumped Storage Projects Selected for Techno-Economic Studies 

What happens to all the leftover campaign cash?

Space Weather

State public records advocate finds a litany of flaws in Oregon’s public records laws

Oregon Teachers Call For Solutions To Disruptive Student Problems

Oregon Announces Final Rules For Equal Pay Law Set To Take Effect January 1

Oregon lawmaker: Cap and trade coming 


 

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Sherman County eNews #312

CONTENTS

  1. Biggs Service District Meeting Dec. 5 Canceled

  2. All County Prayer Meeting, Dec. 5

  3. Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors Approved Meeting Minutes, Aug. 17

  4. Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors Approved Meeting Minutes, Oct. 16

  5. Letter to the Editor: Regarding Two Recent Editorials in eNews

  6. Sherman County Court Notes, Oct. 10

  7. Moments of True Connection


1. Biggs Service District Meeting Dec. 5 Canceled

The Biggs Service District to be held on December 5, 2018 at 8:30am in the Sherman County Courthouse has been canceled due to lack of agenda items.


2. All County Prayer Meeting, Dec. 5

church.family1The All County Prayer Meeting is Wednesday, December 5 @ the Wasco Methodist Church. Fellowship starts at 6:30 PM, Pray time starts at 7:00 PM and ends at 8:30 PM. Everyone is welcome to come and join the meeting, come and join in when you can get there and stay as long as you can. Thank You, Red Gibbs


3. Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors Approved Meeting Minutes, Aug. 17

FRONTIER TELENET BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES

AUGUST 17, 2018

 The regular meeting of the Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors was called to order by Chairman Steve Shaffer at 1:00 P.M.  This meeting held in the Conference Room of the Jeanne E. Burch Building, 401 Fourth Street, Fossil, Oregon.

Directors Present:  Judge Steve Shaffer and Judge N. Lynn Morley

Also Attending:  Steve Wynn and Ryan LeBlanc, Day Wireless, Melanie Sperry, City of Fossil, Carol MacInnes, Mayor, City of Fossil, Lori Anderson, Columbia Basin Electric, Kathryn Greiner, City of Condon, Mac Stinchfield, Times Journal Newspaper, Debbie Starkey, Wheeler County Commissioner, Barbara Jacobi, and  Roberta Vandehey, Wheeler County Residents.   Mike Smith and Rob Myers, Frontier TeleNet Administrative Service Provider. Steve Shaffer declared that a quorum of Board of Directors present.

Minutes:  July 20, 2018 Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors meeting reviewed.  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Steve Shaffer that Board of Directors Minutes of July 20, 2018 be approved as presented.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

Financial:  Financial Statement for July 2018 reviewed.  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Steve Shaffer to approve July Financial Statement as presented.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

IT Report:  Ryan LeBlanc reported that the Kent Elevator was offline.  Day Wireless focus was on solving power problems and new generator installed.  Still working with RTG on conversion in Wheeler County to the new system.  RTG is testing system with their equipment and working in Mitchell area.  There is an October deadline for RTG to complete conversion.  Mike Smith pointed out that Frontier TeleNet is the wholesale “backhaul provider responsible for the network connecting Gilliam Sherman and Wheeler Counties to the internet hub in Portland and will not be giving RTG permission to control the routers and other equipment used for that purpose.  Frontier’s network is designed to enable more than one company to provide Retail Internet Service and cannot allow one company to control the backhaul routers and equipment.

Carol MacInnes, Mayor of Fossil, along with Melanie Sperry, City of Fossil Counselor, expressed strong concern about the poor internet service being provided in Fossil.  She stated that when the City called the provider they told them to go to the school and tell them they were using too much bandwidth.  Mayor MacInnes stated that this is a serious condition for public as well as private consumers of the local internet.  Mike Smith stated that Frontier TeleNet provides the wholesale internet access to local ISP Providers and do not control what is available to the individual customers.  Mike Smith is talking to another ISP about providing service in Fossil.  If this does work out there will be choices for the individual consumers of the internet and these companies will have to improve their service to keep the customers. Carol MacInnes stated that CenturyTel is no longer a choice in Fossil.

Barbara Jacobi of Mitchell asked if Frontier TeleNet provides the equipment as RTG tells them that they need to install equipment.  Mike Smith stated that RTG does not install anything on the Frontier TeleNet tower sites.

Steve Wynn stated that it is easy to recruit an ISP Provider to consider coming to an area but when it comes time to hook up they must make a business case and quite often there are not enough customers to make it profitable, so they do not come.  Steve Shaffer reported that there is the same problem in the Lone Rock area in Gilliam County.

Roberta Vandehey inquired if the fees from another provider would be the same.  Mike Smith stated that they usually are.

Another question asked was would a new ISP Provider supply equipment?  Mike Smith reported that the new ISP would have to provide equipment.

Steve Wynn reported that the equipment for Public Safety and Emergency Services had been upgraded and available.

Business and Marketing Report: Mike Smith reported the following:

Gorge Net/Sherman Fiber:  Currently in the contracting phase.  Each city will pay a portion of the cost as well as Sherman County to bring service to each home in the Sherman County Cities.

Wildfires:  Not one failure during the recent fires and power outage.

Grey Guns:  Fixed a connection problem in Spray area. The problem was the antenna not installed properly by the provider.

Windwave:  Mike Smith and Jeanne Burch met with Windwave at Boardman.  Went over all the billings and able to cut the price.  It was recommended that this needs to be reviewed every two years.

Inland Development Master Service Agreement:  This agreement is being reviewed by legal counsel.

Generator Service:  Quote for Generator Service was received and approved by Mike Smith under his Board Authorization to approve expenses up to $5,000.00.

Erskine Site:  Erskine was protected during the recent fires.  It was noted the site needs to be cleaned.

Sherman RFP.  Legal Counsel has this RFP and is reviewing.

John Day Wireless:  Grant County ESD and Blue Mountain Cable would like more bandwidth.  Need a quote from Day Wireless to upgrade.

Wasco 911:  Wasco County is in discussion with Frontier Regional 911 to take over Wasco County dispatch.

Next Meeting:  There will not be a Frontier TeleNet Meeting in September.  Board will meet again in October in coordination with the Frontier Regional 911 Board Meeting.  Mike will coordinate this meeting and let everyone know the date and time.

Other items:  None

Public Input:

Kathryn Greiner asked about the RFP mentioned in Mike Smith’s report: “Is this from Wasco to Rufus?”  The answer was yes.   Also asked where Frontier TeleNet is on Cottonwood Project.  Mike reported that the $375,000.00 allocated to the project has been partially spent and a better site that has power and an access road nearby is the location of the tower.  Motorola has provided the equipment, which is built, and there is enough money to finish the project.  Still waiting for the NEPA Study to finish.  This tower can also provide cell service.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 2:02 PM. These minutes transcribed by Jeanne E. Burch, Frontier Telenet Administrative Services Provider, from a recording of the meeting provided by Mike Smith.


4. Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors Approved Meeting Minutes, Oct. 16

FRONTIER TELENET BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

OCTOBER 16, 2018 MINUTES 

The regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Frontier TeleNet called to order at 10:02 AM by Chairman Judge Steve Shaffer.  This meeting held in the North Central Education District Conference Room, 135 S. Main Street, Condon, Oregon.

Judge Shaffer asked for introductions as follows:

Directors Present:  Judge Steve Shaffer, Judge Gary Thompson, Judge N. Lynn Morley.

Also Present:  Mike McArthur, Frontier Advocates, Kathryn Greiner, City of Condon, Garret Winter, Day Wireless, Aaron Grant, Day Wireless, Andy Crawford, Motorola, Steve Wynn, Day Wireless, Mike Smith, Rob Myers and Jeanne Burch, Frontier Telenet Administrative Services Providers. Legal Counsel Ruben Cleaveland and Jim Deason present by telephone. Judge Shaffer declared a quorum of the Board of Directors present and opened the meeting at 10:05 AM.

Additions or changes to the agenda:  Gary Thompson asked that an update on Mid-Columbia Economic District (MCED) dark fiber.  Dark Fiber added to the agenda under IT and System Updates.

Minutes:  Steve Shaffer had not been able to review the minutes and requested that they be tabled to the next regular meeting.  There was a consensus of Board of Directors to table minutes until the next regular meeting.

Financials:  Financial Statements for August and September 2018 reviewed.  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Gary Thompson to approve August and September 2018 financial report as presented.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

IT System Updates and Progress Report:  Steve Wynn reported that Ryan LeBlanc is working with RTG on the conversion to system upgrade in Wheeler County. RTG is converting to the Frontier TeleNet Access Points.  High Speed is available and RTG is installing equipment as needed for their customers.  There is a definite improvement and working much better.  There is a meeting scheduled with the Wheeler County Court about internet service in Wheeler County.  Gray Guns internet problems were solved and definitely working better.  Frontier TeleNet is providing this service as there is not an ISP that serves their location.  The fire at Biggs was able to link emergency agencies together and there was no outage during this fire emergency.  Steve Wynn also reported that they are maintaining generators at all sites and working on the design for the next phase of the Wheeler Broadband Project.  Sherman County Courthouse had a router failure but was taken care of immediately.

New fencing has been installed at Airbase and the area cleaned.  Also a cover on the microwave was replaced and it was noted that Community Service Workers helped with the clean up during the summer. This crew did an excellent job at the Erskine site.

It was requested that Day Wireless go to all the Frontier TeleNet Sites and provide an update on conditions for these sites.  Mike Smith reported that Roosevelt Site needs a new roof and a generator.  The cost will be at least $40,000.00 for these projects.  It was suggested that these projects might be eligible for the federal money coming into Sherman County due to the recent fires.  Mike Smith will research this availability.

Steve Shaffer reported there is an important conference coming up in Hood River.  Steve Wynn also reported there would be a Statewide Radio Conference in Salem.  Radios and Updates and the Statewide Radio Project will be topics at conferences.

Wasco Merger:  A discussion was held regarding the proposed merger with Wasco County with Frontier Regional 911 for dispatch service.  These items will be discussed at the Frontier Regional 911 meeting to be held later this day.  There will be a need for hardware installed in Wasco County and updated and the mobile data system shared with Wasco County will need to be turned on.  At present there are four counsels at the 911 Center and currently 14 employees.  Frontier Regional 911 will need to be expanded if Wasco County is added.  Mike Smith stated that if this project goes forward it is critical that extra expenses and equipment be reimbursed by Wasco County.  Steve Wynn was wondering why there had been an inquiry from Wasco County about the Frontier TeleNet sites.  Steve Shaffer reported that Q-Life had shown some interest.  Steve Wynn suggested if there is a project with Wasco County, it is with dark fiber.

Motorola Presentation:  A lengthy slide show was presented by Andy Crawford representing Motorola.  These slides highlighted new equipment and upgrades available from Motorola for the 911 system and the Frontier TeleNet System Update Agreement (SUA) which is due next year

Steve Wynn also reported that the Boardman Police Department is now on the Frontier TeleNet Network.

Business and Marketing:

Mike Smith reported the following:

Sherman County Dark Fiber:  Mike Smith stated that Gorge Net has the RFP.  They are building out fiber in each Sherman County town.  Frontier TeleNet will manage the fiber and send to Pittock Building in Portland.  Sherman County would like Frontier TeleNet to provide the dark fiber at no cost.  Frontier TeleNet would like Sherman County to participate in this cost.

Gary Thompson noted that Sherman County Government has been receiving free internet for the last few years. Steve Shaffer noted that Frontier TeleNet purpose is to provide service to public safety, schools and Governments.  Jim Deason recommended that Legal Counsel, Ruben Cleaveland, review dark fiber agreements currently in effect.  Grass Valley to Moro, Moro to Wasco, Wasco to Rufus.  Ruben Cleaveland agreed and will be reviewing the files.  Gary Thompson asked what the cost per month would be for this dark fiber.  Mike estimated that it would be approximately $2,000.00 per month.  Jim Deason cautioned that before any agreements are signed that Frontier TeleNet costs be determined.

Mike Smith has been working to test solar repeater sites in Wheeler County.  Working with RTG and Gorge Net demonstrating that the Frontier TeleNet system works and updating the city offices in Wheeler County Cities.

Working with cellular service companies in area and three are interested in purchasing service from Frontier TeleNet.

Cottonwood Park Project:  Still working with an archeologist.

Windfarm:  Discussion on providing service.  Will report at the next meeting.

Roosevelt and Biggs:    Mike Smith reported he just received an update from Shawn Payne, Sherman County Emergency Services, and she is working on the generator replacement at Roosevelt.   Blake Lawrence of Windwave is working on the fiber at Biggs.

Zayo:  Jim Deason has been working with Zayo and they are currently issuing a credit to the billings they have been sending to Frontier TeleNet as this service was canceled in February.

E-Rate Funding:  Jim Deason has been working on the E-rate funding.  He feels that all the proper forms and information has been provided for the payment of $236,000.00 that is the current amount due Frontier Telenet for 2017.  Frontier TeleNet has retained Jim Deason and a private company, Inteserra, who specializes in E-rate funding.  Inteserra reports that everything has been done correctly.  A copy of the Interserra report is on file at the Frontier TeleNet Finance Office in Fossil, Oregon.

Other Items:  None

Public Comment:  Kathryn Greiner asked about the RFP from Wasco to Rufus not on the agenda.  Mike Smith replied that he had been working on the E-rate and the Wasco Rufus RFP did not get on this meeting agenda.  Kathryn Greiner also stated that RTG is the only service that reaches South Gilliam County and very important to her home in South Gilliam County.  Important that this be taken into consideration, for the residents in South Gilliam County before making a final decision.

Mike McArthur asked if the RFP with Gorge Net for Sherman County has the pricing to the home mentioned.  Mike Smith replied that this is on their website.

Next Meeting:  This time and place of next meeting were not determined at this time.

Meeting adjourned at 12:20 PM.


5. Letter to the Editor: Regarding Two Recent Editorials in eNews

Two editorials appeared in the recent E-News. One was a repeat from “Mac’s Musings”. Both contain significant flaws, misinformation and false assertions. The author of the new editorial never bothered to attend the publicized public meeting and no minutes are available. No questions were asked of any Frontier TeleNet staff, although they have offered to answer any questions on multiple occasions. It is unknown how the author could come to such hyperbolic and misleading conclusions. We are only left to speculate that it must be rumors and wishful thinking. Far be it for the truth to get in the way of a juicy story.

It has been said that “falsehoods fly and the truth comes limping after”. These “editorials” are perfect examples of that sad reality.

Mike Smith

Moro


6. Sherman County Court Notes, Oct. 10

By Administrative Assistant Kayla von Borstel

ShermanCoLogo*NOTE: This is a very brief outline ONLY of topics considered “public interest”. These are NOT OFFICIAL MINUTES. For official minutes and full details, please see the approved minutes posted on the Sherman County website at www.co.sherman.or.us after the next Court session. Thank you.

The Sherman County Court met in regular session on October 10, 2018, and in conducting the business of the county,

*County Court ended early due to the fire in Biggs which resulted in lack of quorum during the Session. 

  • Motion by Judge Thompson, second by Commissioner Dabulskis, to approve the appointment of Jeanne Kuettel and Mike McArthur from the Non-Office Holding Pool, and Commissioner Dabulskis with Commissioner McCoy as alternate from the Office Holding Pool to the 2018-2019 Board of Property Tax Appeals.
  • Motion by Commissioner Dabulskis, second by Judge Thompson, to approve the County of Sherman Personal Services Contract for Wildlife Predator and Pest Control Services between Sherman County and Bob Thomas of Thomas Wildlife Damage and Pest Control in the amount of $7,416.66 per month to fulfill the duties of a County Trapper starting on October 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2024, with a probationary period ending July 30, 2019.
  • Motion by Commissioner Dabulskis, second by Judge Thompson, to approve committing to being included in the Building Codes Program service area in the event that the City of The Dalles assumes the local building services program from Building Codes Division.
  • Motion by Commissioner Dabulskis, second by Judge Thompson, to approve Oregon Department of Transportation Agreement No. 32211, Amendment Number 1, between the State of Oregon and Sherman County to amend the original agreement by moving funds between projects and removing one vehicle purchase.
  • Motion by Commissioner Dabulskis, second by Judge Thompson, to approve the bid proposal from Bend Commercial Glass in the amount of $7,400.00 to remove and install storefront frame and glass to fix the window leak at the Sherman County Public Library, and to have a local contractor to supervise and observe.
  • Discussion held on the County Tables and Chairs deposit. Wasco School Events Center would like to hold some of the deposit to use for their time and the cost of supplies if the tables and chairs are returned dirty or damaged. Court agreed that that the deposit should remain at $250, and if the tables and chairs are brought back dirty or damaged, the entire $250 will forfeited to the renter. The forfeited moneys will be used to reimburse the WSEC for their time and supplies used, which they will be required to bill the County for. If the table and chairs are returned clean and in good shape, the deposit will be returned in full to the renter.

7. Moments of True Connection

Have you given more thought to those pet peeves that drive you crazy during the holidays? Hopefully, you have created your own interventions to alleviate the stress and tension. In fact, when you have a moment, let’s hear about some of them. We are a community, here at the Winner’s Circle Network, and we like to pass along your good ideas!

One of the biggest anxiety-producing events of any holiday season is Shopping For Gifts. “What am I going get…?” “How am I going find…?” “The store is only open when?!?!” and the ever popular, “What if they already have…?” All of this is in search of the impossible – the “perfect” gift.

We all hear (or say), “I don’t have enough money,” or “There just isn’t enough time,” even with the power of internet ordering, you still get, “It won’t get here in time.” And then there is the ever-popular, “What if…” usually ending in “…it’s not good enough?”

People put tremendous pressure on themselves, agonizing over “the gift list.” Little kids are easy, because a lot of them have their “Dear Santa” letters ready in October. And have you noticed that, by and large, little children don’t agonize over what to give Mom and Dad. They know what they want to give, and as parents, we know that our hearts have melted over the precious hand-print in clay, the glittered candles, the macaroni necklace, or the handmade card that says, “I Love You, Mommy and Daddy.”

Perhaps it is time to remind ourselves of our “littler” selves. Put aside the expectations and the stress, and remember that it is the time devoted, the intentions and the love involved that make any gift truly special. When all is said and done, it won’t be the gift that is remembered. It will be those moments of true connection with loved ones that live in our hearts and minds forever. ~The Pacific Institute