After getting pink-slipped from his cement-plant job a week before Christmas, Nick Maloney indulged in some moping. For a week or two, the 27-year-old from Fairborn, Ohio, watched TV, played video games and slept until noon.
There's a yellow sticky note on my husband's well-worn recliner in our living room. And one on the framed picture from my son's second birthday party. And there's one stuck on the extra dresser in our bedroom that's taking up too much space near the doorway.
When your home lines a golf course, this is the time of hibernation. Snow flocks the greens, as unwelcome to die-hard golfers as premature gray hair. Golf carts sit idle. The clubhouse sign says "closed." And yet, there is still life in the area's golf-course communities – even in the cold months of winter.
Christy Kerrick-Malen remembers what her mother went through some 20 years ago to get rid of her varicose veins. "It was awful," Kerrick-Malen said. "I think she had over 60 incisions. She had to stay in the hospital. And her recovery at home was miserable."
Around the Inland Northwest on Thursday, politicians, professors and those with ties to Pakistan expressed shock over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and concern about how her death will affect the Middle East as well as the United States. "It's a sad day for Pakistan," said S.M. Ghazanfar, a Pakistan native and professor emeritus of economics at the University of Idaho. "Whatever has happened certainly is not very good for us here in this country. … This does not help the cause of getting along. It makes more of a bipolar world."
Mamdouh El-Aarag faces a challenge this time of year as his young children are surrounded by visions of Santa Claus and Christmas trees and mountains of gifts. "Not everybody celebrates it," said El-Aarag, an environmental engineer in Spokane, who is Muslim. Still, his 5-year-old son "expects Santa to come," he said.