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A virtual... 



It is hard to look forward to the holidays knowing we won’t be getting together with family and friends to celebrate. Still, we have much to be thankful for, including having been spared, so far, of catching the coronavirus.

I have to admire the organizations that are keeping their traditions alive ... if virtually. Sunrise Rotary held its annual Fun Run in September with runners registering online. Then there was The Helm Gala with online auctions, and coming up is the annual Hollyfest gala for The Family Center, just to name a couple such virtual events. Everyone is doing their part to maintain some semblance of normalcy.

Businesses are doing their best to stay open and profitable. Throughout the summer, outdoor dining venues sprung up in parking lots. But with cold weather, even those will be shut down.
Or will they? We have a fascinating story in this issue of Pointe Magazine about how Grosse Pointers Dino and Louie Ropotos are installing “igloos” on their spacious deck at WaterMark Bar & Grille. The heated igloos are popular in Boston, Chicago and Europe. Go by and check them out!

Speaking of businesses, be sure to do as much of your holiday shopping locally as possible. I know it is tempting to go to Amazon, but try our many local merchants first. I imagine most take orders online as well if you are cautious to venture out.
These are indeed strange and unfamiliar times. I am buoyed, however, by the fact that we as a nation have been through this before — the Spanish flu of 1918-19. Yes, it was tragic and many people died, like today with COVID-19. And, again like today, Americans were divided over wearing masks. Some municipalities fined those who did not wear masks in public. There was even an Anti-Mask League formed. Fortunately, we don’t have that problem so much here in Grosse Pointe. In most, if not all, places, I see shoppers wearing masks, and that’s a good thing.

Lastly, as always, be sure to patronize our many fine businesses and advertisers without whom this magazine would not be possible. Happy, and safe, holidays!
— John

... holiday season 

Like countless others, I’ve been thinking a lot about community. The ways in which we’ve redefined it over the year, with our drive-by parades, Zoom dinner parties, checking in on our neighbors (from a distance), making posters of hope and hanging them in our windows for passersby to enjoy.

How unlike Marty Peters’ “Odd Wednesday Parties” we share on page 14. Marty’s passion for creating community strikes a nostalgic chord in me, as I hope it will in you. His determination to bring folks from all walks of life together is especially inspiring in the coming season.

This holiday will be vastly different from any before it. Out of care for those in my life who are high risk, I won’t be attending the usual parties. But I will take a page from Marty’s book and commune with others in any manner at my disposal. A favorite of mine? Letter writing. I have my 3-year-old son painting handmade cards that I will use to reach out to the countless people I haven’t seen since March. There’s no better time to resume that oft-forgotten practice than at Christmas.

Someday, we will return to a world of “Odd Wednesday Parties.” For now, I’ve got a pen and a telephone, as well as the freedom to greet neighbors on our daily walks.

Other than our neighborhood, I love to walk at Ford House. It’s an especially perfect place to visit this November with its free educational initiative detailed on page 54. My son and I have already enjoyed the beautiful tote bag filled with coloring pages, crayons, a book of things to identify on the Ford House grounds, a ball and more. The activities are age-appropriate, and I can’t speak highly enough of the 3-year-old kit.

For the first year ever, and because socializing will be limited, I plan to take a Nordic approach to winter. The culture has been getting much attention online with its ethos of enjoying winter, indoors and outdoors, rather than fighting it. “No bad weather, only bad clothing,” I read.

So this holiday season, I am challenging myself to get outside daily and to spend time indoors in quiet comfort, with a crackling fire, too much tea and a stack of letters to send to those I love.
I hope you reach out to loved ones in any way possible this holiday season and stay well! Happy holidays!
— Lauren

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