November is an odd month. Not quite winter, not quite autumn, it starts with elections and ends with a holiday based on gratitude and the celebration of a healthy harvest. Well, theoretically, at least. Often, it seems that the Thanksgiving holiday (AKA “Turkey Day” AKA “the lull before Christmas”) can just as easily descend into overindulgence and family strife, or cause massive amounts of stress on panicked hosts trying not to dry out the top-heavy fowl taking pride of place on an overloaded feast table.

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Do you miss summer? If so, my sympathies, because despite the occasional splashes of sun, it’s clear from the quickly descending twilights and the brisk temperatures that the season is long gone. On the bright side, however, if you don’t like autumn (sacrilege!), rest assured that it won’t last very long, either. After all, we already had snow on Schweitzer, so we’re actually closer to winter now than any other season! But I digress.

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Many of us work indoors, we often exercise at home or in a gym, we eat and sleep indoors, and we frequently spend time with our loved ones unexposed to the outside elements. We spend much of our lives within the confines of man-made structures instead of exploring what the natural world has to offer. As we enter the colder months, this becomes especially true, though more as a result of necessity than preference.

RyanJW

“Outlook, Saskatchewan after visiting this part of the prairies on an autumn morning after the harvest. An old abandoned railway track with beautiful symmetry, no longer in use but with stories to tell as long as the seemingly endless journey into the distance.” -Ryan Woytowich, Photographer, on what inspired him to take the photo.

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We live in an extraordinary place. People are drawn here for the natural beauty, friendly locals, and quality of life. From the top of Schweitzer Mountain to the middle of Lake Pend Oreille, we have a breath-taking 360 degree view.

Because I have lived here since childhood, I often ask newcomers and visitors what drew them to Sandpoint. Almost invariably, the answer is that they can experience all four seasons here. Recreational opportunities abound in this natural diversity, putting everyone on an equal playing field regardless of material means.

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A couple of months ago, we were talking road trips and the beginning of summer. This morning there was a bit of a chill in the air, which to me felt amazing, and to those summer obsessives out there, probably triggered a mild depression, but it reminded me that summer is drawing to a close (even though temps are still hitting the 90s). So maybe, just maybe, you are done with the main part of your seasonal gallivanting and are ready to hang out at home and CHILL THE MOST. If so, get ready to enjoy it to the max, because the Library is here for you.

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With the summer solstice fast approaching, there are two big things on many of our minds; graduation, and getting the heck out of town! I could wax poetic about how a graduation is both the end and the beginning of a journey, and therefore graduation is just another form of travel, and all that jazz. Instead, I’ll keep it in the realm of the practical and highlight some awesome Library resources to support recent grads, their families, and those of us lucky (or unlucky?) enough to be cruising the country sometime in the near future. Just kidding! Here’s a haiku:

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In honor of Money Smart Week, I thought it would be appropriate to write a brief post on everyone’s favorite topic - money! Of course by “favorite,” I also mean “most avoided,” since many people rate thinking and talking about money on the same level as undergoing a root canal or colonoscopy --- necessary, unpleasant, and likely to be delayed as long as possible.

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“Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it.” - Agent Dana Scully of X-Files

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I know everyone thinks library employees sit around reading all the amazing books we have access to all day long. How I wish that were true! When we’re not reading those books, we sometimes go to library conferences. I know what you’re thinking. How dull. A bunch of stuffy old librarians sitting around talking about….well, what?

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I’ve never been a fan of daylight savings, or as I like to call it, daylight *slavings* (har, har). Mostly, I’ve just never seen the point of it, thinking it belonged to war-era attempts at conserving electricity and/or getting more work out of people. However, in the interest of fairness and my ongoing attempts to challenge my own beliefs, I decided to delve into a couple of Library databases to discover the true origins of this bi-annual event.

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“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.” - Mary Wollstonecraft, writer.

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Were you looking forward to Groundhog Day? I never take it too seriously, because no matter what the groundhog sees on February 2nd, winter in North Idaho will last as long as it pleases, usually between six and nine months. Kidding! Kind of. I might not be 100% in the #neversummer camp, but I do like my winters, and the snowier the better (otherwise, what’s the point?). Recently, though, I’ve become intrigued by the origins of Groundhog Day, when I realized it coincided with the pagan holiday Imbolc / Imbolg, or Brigid’s Day. It’s also known as Candlemas or the Festival of Lights. No matter what we call it, it is the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, and was historically considered a powerful time of renewal and potential.

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