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Wow, that's a tough one, since I'm the younger sister by five years. Probably not a distinct event, but rather there was this vibrant kid that lived in the same house with me that was always off playing with the boys next door; yet who always had time to pick a fight with me while getting our Mom to believe that I started it.


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When they brought her home from the hospital – she had bright red hair and I called her "Red." My mother told me never to call her that, and I have been calling her "Red" ever since.
Design by Sawyer Pennington


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When I got the "Breaking News" email from The New York Times about the divorce, I was shocked as I never thought about the Gates being a couple that would have marital troubles (I'm sure Black's rolling her eyes). But then I realized that no one really knows what goes on in anyone else's marriage, not even the marriages of high-profile people. In fact, they might be better positioned – and motivated – to control what others see. Not that I blame them, as it's no one else's business. Of course, as a "mere mortal" I also couldn't help but think about all that money, and can only imagine how complicated and potentially challenging it's going to be to reach a divorce settlement. But I'll also say that whether you have billions or you have very little, divorce is never easy. So although it's hard to relate to billionaires, I'm sure it's a very emotional and trying time for them. And their kids.



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From what I have read about them as a couple over the years and watching how they run one of the world's greatest fortunes and philanthropies, coupled with the Axios announcement of their breakup (which contained an assortment of great links), I bet they have already worked out much, if not all, of the divorce settlement, including who will get the $43 million California house they bought last April. But, I am also confident there will be countless lifestyle articles about relationships that will analyze the divorce, and other articles that will examine the impact, if any, it will have on the Gates Foundation. Bottom line: they have been an amazing couple, and I expect we will continue to see great things come from them … just now as individuals.
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Design by Sawyer Pennington


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Several years ago, before COVID-19, I added a telemedicine option to my medical insurance. (I'll admit reviewing health insurance options and benefits is tedious but necessary.) My reasoning? As a mom, I often know what the "common" ailments are, like the flu or pink eye, but need a prescription. Telemedicine visits are not only less expensive than office visits, but eliminates the travel time and sitting in a waiting room full of sick people. And although I haven't had to use it, once the pandemic hit, I was glad I had it available. And when I was renewing my insurance, decided I wanted to continue to have access to it. I even added the option to my iPad, which was really easy, even though I'm not exactly a technical person.


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The concept of telemedicine goes as far back as 1879 when it was speculated that the then-new telephone could reduce unnecessary visits to doctors' offices. So, I have been following (and fascinated by) how telemedicine has become much more widely used since the pandemic. It is more convenient and efficient, but I can understand having reservations about using it as a substitute for in-person care. Obviously, it is a function of the specific situation, so you might want to start by calling your healthcare provider, explain the situation, and ask if they think a telemedicine visit is appropriate. And who knows, there may come a day when "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is referring to Apple products.
Design by Sawyer Pennington


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I know. I feel the same way. But then I realize that every day offers an opportunity to do something for someone that brings a smile or appreciation. For example, I live in a very diverse community, yet I know that there's been an increase in hate crimes and general "nastiness" directed toward Asians. So, I make a conscious effort to say hello and/or smile in acknowledgment, whether in the grocery store or if I'm out for a walk or a bike ride. It's such a small thing and honestly, I'm not sure who feels better, the recipient or me.


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I am a huge fan of the Encore organization, which focuses on bridging the generation divides. Recently, I received one of their email blasts that has stuck with me (not only in terms of my memory, but because I saved the email) that called for all of us to "use our outside voice". It is worth reading, as the author addressed it to all of his white friends and stated, "I need you, in a very public way, to tell your family, friends and colleagues the things you say to me in private about racial injustice in America." It is a very simple, although sometimes uncomfortable, way to start making change … one-by-one.