Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How do You Set Boundaries During the Holidays?


In the December issue of Northern Connection magazine, I shared the fact that
my husband and I do something very unconventional every Christmas. Except for when we were first married, we have never spent Christmas together. Our anniversary is on December 21st so we celebrate Christmas by going completely off-grid on that day, not even television, have fondue, exchange gifts and just be happy. Then, for Christmas, we each go home, which in turn makes our mothers happy.
I mentioned that it would be different if we had children. In that case, it would be important to us to have a Christmas morning and seeing what the big red elf had left and if he enjoyed the cookies we left for him.
But since it’s just us – we have “our day” and then do the family thing apart. Lots of people think we are crazy but lots of other people also have nontraditional traditions.
But as always, what do you think? Do you have and advice on setting boundaries or nontraditional traditions that you would like to share? Leave comments below or email me at NorthCon@consolidated.net or send me a “Letter to the Editor” at P.O Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722 attn: Marianne Reid Anderson.




Thursday, November 10, 2016

Should Retail Stores Be Open for Thanksgiving?


In this month’s issue of Northern Connection magazine, I started the conversation regarding the Thanksgiving controversy of retail stores being open on this family-oriented holiday.

I know we all count on emergency personnel working the holiday for the occasional mishap and oven fire. And who hasn’t counted on a last-minute run to the grocery store for a forgotten ingredient?

Shopping this weekend is critical for the economy. But by the same token is it really necessary?

Some people say yes – I know of one mom who send the dad and kids to the movies so she has the house to herself to get everything done without interruption and they love it because they come home to a feast.

But for those of us who miss our loved ones because they are called into work a Thanksgiving sale, it just seems cruel.

But as always, what do you think? Leave comments below or, email me at NorthCon@consolidated.net or send me a “Letter to the Editor” at P.O Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722 attn: Marianne Reid Anderson.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Is the National Anthem Controversy a Conspiracy?





So is it me, or, as I mentioned in my column, Starting the Conversation for Northern Connection magazine, at the first incident does Kaepernick look like he’s just not paying attention and no one on the sidelines is paying attention to him – not staff, not security, not the other players. You would think that if he was protesting something, someone besides the press, would have been aware.

But either way, does he not realize that he is one of the most privileged in America? He has one of the most coveted and well-paying jobs, he has a college education, both birth mother and adopted parents are among the most non-racial citizens this country has to offer. Who, when, where was he oppressed in any way? Or was he simply embarrassed that he forgot to stand and only then did he come up with a reason?

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below, email me at NorthCon@consolidated.net or send me a “Letter to the Editor” at P.O Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722 attn: Marianne Reid Anderson.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Would Changes to the School Year Help Parents?



In the September issue of Northern Connection magazine, I started the conversation by looking at the up-coming school year. Several parents I know wish that the school year would go all year. They argue that historically, students had summers off because they needed to help with the family farm. But now, the U.S. keeps falling behind the other countries that do go to school all year long.

Of course, as a student I loved my summer vacations and as I got older, I really enjoyed working to earn my own pocket money. I also think if I didn't get a break, I would have burned-out from studying somewhere along the way.

Plus, nowadays there are so many great summer programs and extracurricular opportunities for students during the summer that truly enhance not only their education, but each of them as an individual. Providing opportunities to mature, learn about the world outside of their day-to-day school life.

But as always, what do you think? Please leave comments below, email me at NorthCon@consolidated.net or send me a “Letter to the Editor” at P.O Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722 attn: Marianne Reid Anderson.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Do We Appreciate What We Have?



 
In the August issue of Northern Connection magazine, I started the conversation about some of the things we as Americans can take for granted such as fully stocked shelves in grocery stores. I told the story of some refugees from Bosnia that were completely amazed at our supermarkets. How much we have – and how much we waste.

Whenever I turn on the TV anymore (which is starting to be very rare) I am hit with so much violence and hatred. I distinctly remember in elementary school, the teachers having us sing over and over again “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” What happened to that dream? Where did it go?

I do know that violence begets violence and so I worry and dread - where is all this violence going to end? Other countries envy how good we have it and how much we have. It is why they hate us and why terrorists attack us. Isn’t this enough of a problem? Whenever we as Americans attack each other, it delights our enemies. We are playing right into their hands. Christ, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, all said peaceful protest is the way to change. How many times do we need to be told this?

But as always, what do you think? Please leave comments below, email me at NorthCon@consolidated.net or send me a “Letter to the Editor” at P.O Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722 attn: Marianne Reid Anderson.





Friday, July 1, 2016

Where Does the Buck Stop?


In this month's issue of Northern Connection magazine, I shared an unpleasant conversation I experienced. Fundamentally, a professional interaction had become very unprofessional when a certain person refused to take responsibility. I wanted to fix the situation. She wanted to play the blame-game. SO it got me wondering, where does the buck stop?

The phrase the "The Buck Stops Here" became popular when Harry S. Truman had the sign placed on his desk in the oval office. Of course the back of the sign read, "I'm from Missouri" aka the "Show Me" state or "prove it," - which is one of my favorite sentiments.

Of course, mistakes do happen and I believe how we handle recovery from those mistakes it what separates us. For example, on the extremely rare occasion when I miss a fact-check, the magazine issues a "correction" in the next issue. Not exactly a happy circumstance but at least between the convention in the industry and the power of social media, I can disseminate the correct information very quickly. The NY Times has an entire page of their website devoted to corrections. They apparently realize the importance of owning-up to one's mistakes and not try to cover it up or blame others.

In the movie Apollo 13, about the difficulties surrounding that particular space launch. When the first disaster strikes, two of the astronauts start arguing on who was to blame and the commander Jim Lovell, played by Tom Hanks, yells at them and  says, "All right, we're not doing this, gentlemen. We are *not* going to do this. We're not going to go bouncing off the walls for ten minutes, 'cause we're just going to end up back here with the same problems! Try to figure out how to stay alive!"

I absolutely love that scene. Of course, my experience was nothing so life or death by any means but it really shows the importance of staying grounded and giving up the hope of a better past.

As good friend of mine always says about difficulties, "It is what it is, let's move on."

But what do you think? You can enter your comments below or feel free to email me at NorthCon@consolidated.net or send me a “Letter to the Editor” at P.O Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722 attn: Marianne Reid Anderson.






Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Restroom Privacy Controversy


In this month’s issue of Northern Connection magazine, Starting the Conversation, I wondered how much privacy is needed in a public restroom, and I proposed the solution that what is actually needed are more family restrooms.
In addition to my anecdotal evidence that supports the family restroom (and diaper changing stations in men’s rooms) as far as parents are concerned, I have also noted over the years how fed-up women are with restrooms that are too small with lines that are too long.
One reason for this phenomenon is that architecture is a male dominated field and therefore the two restrooms are the same size even though women need larger restrooms for the demand. I know many women who are so fed-up with this situation that they either refuse to wait or biologically can’t wait and so at sporting events, concerts, theaters where the women’s line is so long, they just give up waiting and use the men’s room.
I also wonder, when is it safe to use a public restroom alone? Is it ever? For anyone?
But what do you think? You can enter your comments below or feel free to email me at NorthCon@consolidated.net or send me a “Letter to the Editor” at P.O Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722 attn: Marianne Reid Anderson.