Crafty friends look for opportunities to share their gifts

Sharon Colby, 72, is fire commissioner for Spokane County Fire District 3. She’s always been a go-getter, and any time on her hands she uses those hands to sew and crochet.

Colby creates tiny blankets and baby hats for preemies at Deaconess Hospital, for instance. She has crafty friends, too. One makes birdhouses. Another knits socks and has crocheted more than 700 blankets for the Wishing Star Foundation.

Colby is curious if there is a clearinghouse that matches up people who create things with organizations that could use those items.

“A lot of us have this desire to give,” she said.

Colby receives newsletters from nonprofits that include “wish lists” – things needed by the people the agencies help. Diapers, clothes and furniture, for instance.

She wonders if there’s anywhere online where she could find wish lists from all those agencies, as well as other community needs that can be filled by people hoping to give of their time and talent.

I told her I doubted it. But it’s a wonderful idea.

Colby’s vision is a clearinghouse website that matches people’s desires to give with the needs out there in the Inland Northwest. She’s willing to help make it happen, but she can’t do it alone. If you wish to help, email me at rebeccan@spokesman.com and we’ll see where it goes.

BYE-BYE BODIES: “Changes in the Body with Aging” – an article generated from the Merck Manual Home Edition – showed up in my email last week.

It lists all the ways our body ages – cells, organs, bones, joints, skin, brain. Not light or happy reading, but it was well-written and made aging sound almost poetic. A few sample phrases:

• With aging, the nose tends to lengthen and thin, and the tip tends to droop.

• Changes in the vertebrae at the top of the spine cause the head to tip forward, compressing the throat. As a result, swallowing is more difficult, and choking is more likely.

• Earwax accumulates.

• Taste decreases, making food less appetizing. Smell decreases, making food less appetizing. The mouth is dry, leading to a loss of taste.

• Why live? (Just kidding about that one being in the report.)

SWEATY MEMORIES: With the weather warming up, the time has come to bore younger people with stories about our childhoods without ubiquitous air-conditioning.

Tell them about car trips across the Palouse in August when hot air blasted into the car from every open widow, along with exhaust fumes, and how we counted cars pulled to the side of the road due to overheated radiators.

Or tell the stories of sleeping outside in July in the backyard because the inside was a furnace. Throw out this statistic from the U.S. Census Bureau: In 2011, 88 percent of newly built homes had air-conditioning. In 1974, just 48 percent did.

FACEBOOK NOSTALGIA: A black-and-white photo, showing the speakers you hung on your windows at drive-in movies, is being shared by boomers who remember drive-in movies. I remember better the cardboard-textured pizza sold at drive-ins and how good it tasted.

THIS WEEK, A SAMPLING: Novel Destinations: Galapagos Islands, presented by Tom and Sue Thilo, Wednesday, 7 p.m., Coeur d’Alene Public Library, Coeur d’Alene, (208) 769-2380.

Avoiding Scams, presented by Spokane Better Business Bureau, Thursday, 2 p.m. at Rockwood Lane Retirement Community, 221 E. Rockwood Blvd., Spokane, (509) 838-3200.

Facial Muscle Toning to improve swallowing, chewing and for headache relief. An ACT 2 Program beginning Friday and meeting weekly through June 21, 8:20 a.m., 1104 W. Heroy Ave., Spokane, (509) 279-6027.


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