“Joyful living” – two simple words that sum up this month’s theme of the magazine just in time for Mother’s Day. It should be easy enough to achieve. After all, we live in one of the most beautiful parts of Westchester County. But honestly, I’ve been having a hard time lately embracing “joyful living” with this never ending winter. I’ve tried to trick myself by thinking that spring is on the horizon. I’ve painted my toes a lovely shade of pastel pink. I’ve done a thorough spring cleaning in my house but still Mother Nature refuses to cooperate.
Nevertheless, I wanted to highlight six facts I learned while putting together this issue that made me smile and appreciate this great community that we call home.
1.The dedicated group of 30 parent volunteers that make up the Chappaqua School Foundation (CSF) have raised more than $3.8 million since they were founded in 1993. These funds get earmarked for projects that are beyond the scope of the school budget. And while I attended the cover shoot for this month’s magazine at the iLab located at Horace Greeley High School, I got to see firsthand how generous donations coupled with a “can do attitude” make dreams turn into reality. The iLab was created through a grant from CSF six years ago that has left a lasting impression on the district. The iLab has been so successful at Greeley that CSF has partnered with the district to create innovative learning spaces and classrooms in all six schools.
2. Most weekends during the spring I can be spotted on a soccer field. With three kids that play town soccer, there’s a pretty good chance that you will find me or my youngest child learning the basics such as dribbling or my oldest now playing left-mid on his travel team. I knew that there was a devoted group of parent volunteers that make these programs happen as my husband used to coach AYSO soccer. But I had no idea how extensive the group of volunteers is. There are more than 100 volunteers in our town that make games and practices happen every weekend. There’s even a VIP team to serve kids with special needs so that everyone gets a chance to kick the black and white ball around.
3. I love planting my window boxes each spring. After a major house renovation this winter plus the harsh weather, I also am in need of various shrubs, plants and trees for my property. When Mother’s Day rolls around, I begin my weekly pilgrimage to my favorite nursery. I want only the freshest flowers, the lushest bushes and if necessary I will wait for them to arrive. But this year, I’ll be sure to ask my trusted advisor at the nursery, if they are recommending native plants after reading Missy Fabel’s terrific article on the benefits of native plants.
4. Don’t miss Eric Doppelt’s poignant tribute to his Aunt Jane who passed away from pancreatic cancer. The little vignettes that he shares about his aunt paint a picture of his loving relationship with her. From great sadness, he was galvanized to action and has raised more than $150K for pancreatic cancer research.
5. Last summer a friend took me kayaking on Candlewood Lake. Having grown up in the city, I had never been kayaking before and I loved everything about it. The tranquility of being on the water, the rhythmic strokes needed to propel the kayak forward. It was one of those rare afternoons when I felt truly present and appreciative of the beautiful scenery. Luckily there are many options for kayakers of all levels right here in Westchester. Read our round-up of local spots and take to the waters!
6. Speaking of water, I am counting the days until my beloved local pool club opens on Memorial Day. The second I park my car there, I know that the kids will have fun jumping in the water with their buddies and I’ll get to catch up with a friend or two. So dive in to Amy Kelley’s story to pick a pool club that’s just right for you.