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Initially, by watching my youngest daughter, although 18, acting like a little kid again. She couldn't wait to go out in the snow (although I told her it was more like icy sleet with an inch or two of dusty snow on top) and take photos (for social media, of course). And build what I think was the world's smallest (and cutest) snowman. Her pure joy and excitement made me realize how important it is to see the best in any given situation. (At that point, we still had power although it was heartbreaking to see how many people were already without power, and I knew we might be next.)

The next day, in the middle of the night, we joined the growing number of people (millions!) without power. And although we had done our best to prepare for this possibility, it's still a shock, especially when temperatures are well below freezing. But the funny thing is when I now look back, I don't remember the difficult parts. I remember sitting around a table, dressed as if we were Bernie Sanders at the inauguration, initially playing Trouble and then what became a game of Monopoly that lasted days. (I didn't mention it to Black, figuring I'd get a business analysis of board games.)

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I live in a Houston high-rise that whenever the wind blows, we seem to lose power. So, I was not surprised to find we had lost power at 2 a.m. Monday morning, but I was shocked to see all the snow. And, although I briefly enjoyed the beauty and peacefulness of the blanket of white, knew the fact my condo has huge windows (and no window coverings) meant the temperature would start dropping very quickly. There is a hotel down the street and I was able to get a room, so I counted my blessings. Not because I was able to get a room (by lunchtime, there were none left), but because I had the luxury of being able to escape to a hotel when I knew most people were not as fortunate and had limited, if any, other options.
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In a word, yes, but we know I can't stop at just one word (that reminds me of the old-time Lays Potato Chip ad). Given what has been going on in Washington, it feels like even politicians within a party are polarized. I've been following what's been happening with Representative Cheney, and regardless of whether you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent, it's hard to believe they're turning on their own. Everyone seems so focused on what they don't agree on vs. trying to find common ground on which to build. And the media only seems to fuel the fire. What's really sad is I can remember when political parties were about policy, not personalities, and I'm concerned we'll never get back to those "good old days".


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I agree it "seems" like we have become very polarized, but without boring you with links to statistics and polls, I will just venture a guess. If we all were asked to describe our views on key issues, there would be people who are extremely conservative and others who are extremely liberal, but that it would look like a bell curve with the mid-point being where most people fell. The key is learning how to have civil conversations and seeking out common ground – whether you are a politician or just someone talking with family and friends. I appreciate that Red feels those days may be long gone, but only if we allow them to become memories – versus priorities.
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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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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.