Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let Me Tell You About Teens These Days

We always hear grumbles about "teenagers... or...this generation"… well I’d like to give a big shout out for all the community-oriented good works that kids do, locally and globally.  This Saturday is a full day festival of youth-organized opportunities to celebrate the holiday season by giving to others. Come celebrate the Spirit of Giving by participating in the “Youth for Change: Community Giving Fair”. It is a fun and unique “Alternative Market” that encourages people, young and old to make a difference in their community through donations, wish list gifts and volunteerism.

I went last year. The fair touched my heart, opened my eyes to the problems globally, and gave me ideas for easy ways to give back.. plus I was entertained and fed yummy soup!  What a day- click here for my thoughts after last year’s fair.Youth2 Community Giving Fair 2010

So please support Youth2- Youth Helping Youth by attending this Year’s Community Giving Fair:.

Date: Saturday, November 20th, 2010
Time: 10am-3pm
Place: United Methodist Church- Fellowship Hall
175 Fifth Avenue, Saratoga Springs.
What to expect?
 Many free experiences-listen to live music, view performances of “The Giving Tree”, make “Smart Kits” and “ Good Health Kits” for children in need, play the Community Service Rewards Board Game, draw for the “Quilt of Visions”, pick the pocket of “Pockets”, Roll for Change. Free “Youth2cookies.” Buy delicious Thanksgiving Bake Sale items and enjoy a bowl of “Stone Soup”.
The Women in Business Committee of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County has done it once again-- brought hope, compassion, and comfort to women and children fleeing abuse. On November 9th the committee assembled 167 baskets filled with personal care items to be given to clients at Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services (DVRC). Over the years the group has donated 3,160 baskets to help abuse victims as they become survivors.
They’ve delivered a lot of hope, but their biggest hope is that someday…not tomorrow, but soon… there won’t be a need for more baskets. They’re helping DVRC to work toward this goal by bringing attention to the issue of domestic abuse and letting people know that places like DVRC exist to provide no-cost support.
Click the link to see these amazing women in action.Women in Business Committee distributes Baskets of Hope
At DVRC, we
dream of a tomorrow without relationship violence, and
achieve it by creating opportunities to …
transform lives.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's NOT on the Thanksgiving Menu... drunk driving

I LOVE Thanksgiving.
Not only do I crave an excuse to spend hours in the kitchen, but I love the traditions. My husband and I have already had our annual kvetching about the menu. He’s a traditionalist: turkey, plain mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream and Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce from a can… “What else could you possibly need? “ I’m a vegetarian so the whole turkey thing doesn’t excite me… and if I’m going to spend a day cooking I like to try something different … or as my husband says, “You’re serving company things no one has ever eaten… ever.”  So along with the traditional fare we’ve had chestnut soup served in  mini pumpkins, salmon soufflĂ© in turkey molds, sweet potato biscuits , roasted vegetables (my brother in law quipped that the roasted turnips looked like shrunken heads so whenever anyone ate one the table erupted into  gales of cannibalistic laughter) and  sushi rolls. After 25 years of marriage we’ve worked out our differences about the menu… I just cook EVERYTHING and we have more food than imaginable. But out of respect for holiday traditions I vow to never even consider a tofurkey.

This year will be especially memorable as both sons will be home from college. It’ll be the first time in months we’ve all sat together at a table for a meal. I also know that my youngest just can’t wait to get home-- because as soon as the pie is served he’ll borrow the car keys and head out to spend as much of the holiday weekend as possible with all his friends, whom he hasn’t seen in months.

Did you know Thanksgiving is the #1 holiday for drunk driving? Not New Year's... Thanksgiving! We all know that teen drivers are at higher risk for drunk driving accidents and fatalities, but once the kids have gone off to school parents hesitate to lay down the ‘house rules’  as their teen heads out the door, since at school no one is there to nag them.

So as I hand over the car keys I will, as always, have the ‘no drugs/no drinking’ talk and hug my son and tell him I love him;  he’ll roll his eyes  and I’m sure the first words to his friends will be , “I can't believe my mother…” Hopefully they’ll all laugh and relate similar experiences.
So let’s be thankful we’re all together… and also safe and accident free.

So I'm committed to upholding traditions; I'll greet guests with a sushi roll appetizer (or something equally non-traditional), take the family picture early in the day and fill up the gas tank to make it easier for those home from college to escape, and won't hesitate to 'have the no drugs/no drinking talk' and give a hug.

Happy Thanksgiving!