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Bloom Feeling blue? Shake the seasonâ€™s sadness
Off the clock Leave stress at the office
Kathleen Mania-Casey serves up simple comfort food Winter 2014
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Dr. Hall, Dr. Dean and their Hygiene Team... Carissa, Pam, and Jan
Make it a lasting transformation Christina Kunkle shares her approach to making changes into habits.
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Kathleen Mania-Casey traces her journey to the Valley. your HEALTH
your TABLE p. 5
your BEAUTY Gray with grace.
your MONEY Maximize your refund.
Welcome back, ladies! Another season, another issue — take a moment, relax and see what the Winter 2014 issue has to offer. With the season’s short days, it seems as though time is moving more rapidly and, given the limited sunshine, it’s easy to get caught in winter’s doldrums (“Feeling SAD?” page 5). Add the stresses of inclement weather and work to the mix and the pressure’s on. Whether it’s a pot of soup bubbling on the stove to help thaw the kids after a day frolicking in the snow (“All in the pot,” page 22) or taking the time to decompress before you walk in the door (“Off the clock,” page 27), the Bloom staff has your household’s happiness at heart. Or, take the time afforded by snow and ice to add some pizzazz to your wardrobe. Local seamstresses recommend doing-it-yourself when it comes to creating the perfect ensemble (“Crafting your clothes,” page 14). Area certified financial planners share tips about tax refunds (page 10) — but be careful, the checks Uncle Sams cuts aren’t to be confused with tax returns (the forms due April 15).
Warm inside and out!
Key to success: reading!
Crafting craze Designing your own clothes can ease stress on the wallet, open doors.
your RELATIONSHIPS p. 10
Leave work at work.
Local stylists weigh in on the great gray debate (page 9) and one reporter learns the importance of introducing children to books as early as possible (page 24), as she prepares to welcome a little one of her own. This season’s cover girl, Kathleen Mania-Casey, may be a Jersey girl at heart, but she’s certainly adapting to life in the Valley. She’s brought the flavors of her family in the form of simple comfort foods offered at Grilled Cheese Mania, her food truck housed on South High Street. Through hardship and triumph, Kathleen’s brought a little chaos and a lot of love to Harrisonburg. She shares her journey to the Friendly City on page 16. In this season of new beginnings and (sometimes abandoned) resolutions, know that the staff of Bloom appreciates each reader and hopes that shows through in this issue! Thank you for reading and, if you can stay warm enough, keep blooming! Kate Kersey Editor
Bloom Staff Kate Kersey, editor Candace Sipos, staff writer Katie King, staff writer Matt Gonzales, staff writer Sarah Stacy, staff writer Therran M. Dennis, staff writer Kim Potter & Sara Schu, account executives
Alice Bridges & Penny Anderson, composing Bloom is a publication of Rockingham Publishing Co., Inc. Copyright © 2012 Rockingham Publishing Co., Inc. 231 S. Liberty St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801 For advertising information, contact Kim Potter at 574-6224 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sara Schu at 574-6227 or email@example.com.
B eating tthe he b lu e s Beating blues
inter isn’t always the easiest season to embrace. With its overcast skies, frigid temperatures and sporadic snowfalls, it’s tempting to hunker down at home and count down the days to spring. While feeling a little glum during the coldest, darkest months is normal, the less-than-cheery weather may lead some to develop Seasonal Affective Disorder or winter depression. According to Licensed Professional Counselor Andrea Bieber, who works at the Family Life Resource Center in Harrisonburg, symptoms of SAD include increased irritability, fatigue, sadness, loss of interest
ARTICLE BY KATIE KING ILLUSTRATION BY MICHAEL REILLY
in activities and an increased craving for carbohydrates. SAD symptoms are similar to those of depression, but tend to be more mild, and manifest only during the winter months. Bieber says the majority of patients are women, and individuals ages 15-55. Before diagnosing a patient with SAD, Bieber says health care professionals inquire as to whether the individual has been depressed during the same season for “at least two years in a row” and if she has felt a »See SAD, Page 6
People [with SAD] ... want to stay home and sleep, but that only reinforces the disorder and makes it worse.
mood improvement when the season changed. For those with more mild cases, Bieber says there are a few strategies people can try at home to boost their mood. First and foremost, she stresses the importance of spending time outdoors, even if it sounds unappealing. “People are put off by the fact that it’s dark or cold outside, so it’s counter to anything that their mind or body wants to do,” she acknowledges. “They want to stay home and sleep, but that only reinforces the disorder
and makes it worse.” According to Bieber, exposure to natural sunlight helps one’s body maintain a proper amount of serotonin — a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of well-being. “Appropriate levels of serotonin lead to mood stability,” she explains. Bieber says blood samples taken from those struggling with SAD frequently show a decreased level of serotonin, which she believes may account for a depressed emotional state. In addition to spending time outdoors, she also advises maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, in order to fight fatigue. “[SAD patients need] a regular night sleep time and a regular wake-up time,” Bieber said, adding that all elec-
tronics should be turned off at least 30 minutes prior to bed, as the light screens emit can “disturb sleep patterns.” Dr. Nancy Taylor, a chiropractor and certified nutritionist in Bridgewater, says that the fatigue SAD patients experience may also be due to a vitamin deficiency. Pointing out vitamin D is predominantly absorbed through sunlight, and that a deficiently leads to “muscle weakness,” Taylor says a lack of the vitamin could explain why those with SAD frequently feel tired. If patients are unable to spend more time outdoors, she recommends increasing one’s daily dose by eating eggs, fish and fortified dairy products, or to consider taking a supplement. While these lifestyle adjustments may help individuals experiencing mild SAD symptoms, Bieber advises anyone with severe symptoms to immediately seek assistance from a health care »See SAD, Page 8
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professional. She says severe symptoms of SAD can interfere with one’s ability to care for others, maintain relationships and function well at work or school. Sandra Weaver, a licensed clinical nurse specialist at the Rockingham Medical Center for Behavioral Health, says a mixture of therapies is generally used to help those with more serious cases. “The treatment is usually a combination of light box therapy, psychotherapy and possibly a medication, which would be an anti-depressant,” she explains. In her experience working with SAD patients, Weaver says the treatments have generally been proven effective, particularly the light box therapy. “[Patients who used light boxes] had more energy, they felt like engaging in social situations more and they found it was easier to be around other people,” she recalled. According to Weaver, the light
boxes — which emit Light boxes, which can be what she calls “full spectrum lighting” — closely found online, are used as part of mimic the sun’s natural light therapy, which scientists rays. have found alleviates symptoms of Weaver adds that sunlight helps “regulate bioSeasonal Af fective Disorder. chemical changes,” which can become unbalanced in darker months. she says the boxes can cause “eye strain, “Some people might say ‘Oh well I’ll tension or headaches.” go to a tanning bed.’ That’s not the “A lot of people will just go out and same thing,” she adds. “[The boxes buy it … but it should be used with caugive off] more of a natural light.” tion and some supervision,” she says. Weaver says patients are generally On the bright side, those dealing instructed to sit within two feet of the with SAD in the Shenandoah Valley box for about 30 minutes daily. can remind themselves that the “You want to use [the light box] warmer months aren’t far off. While primarily in the daytime,” she innorthern states, such as Alaska, expestructs, adding that use during the rience long, harsh winters, in southern morning hours is ideal. states including Virginia, spring is just Though light boxes are sold by variaround the corner. ous retailers, Weaver discourages anyone from using one without first consulting Katie loves winter, but even she has to a doctor. Though side effects are rare, admit the polar vortex was overkill.
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Local stylists share tips on
ARTICLE BY THERRAN M. DENNIS
n May 2013, the Huffington Post published an article, “How Much Are Women Really Spending On Their Hair,” by recurring contributor Ada Polla, co-creator of the Swiss-inspired, U.S.-based skin care line Alchimie Forever. The article profiled a group of six women nationwide — all of whom were professionals appearing to be in their mid20s and 30s — and focused on each woman’s annual investment in maintaining her hair. The article showed these women spent, on average, at least $3,700 a piece, for a total of a more than $22,400 combined. One of these women, an entrepreneur from San Francisco, said that of the $2,529 she spent in 2013, nearly $1,600 of it went to coloring her hair in six-week intervals. “If that’s what that woman wants to do, that’s her prerogative,” said 57-year-old Lois Rhodes, in response to such a hair budget. “It would be hard for me to spend that much money on coloring my hair,” she continued. Rhodes, a stay-at-home mother and grandmother residing in Harrisonburg, proudly wears her gray locks tied behind her head, leaving about an inch-thick streak of white to fall just over her
G raying ggracefully racefully Graying right temple. Rhodes says she first noticed gray gracing her tresses while in her mid-40s. “A lot of traumatic things happened to me [at that time],” she explains. “And all of a sudden, I looked in the mirror [and] said, ‘Oh, I don’t look the same.’ I was very surprised.” Years removed from her days as a brunette, Rhodes claims she has never considered dyeing her hair. Her gray hair, she says, is something she has always embraced. “I’m just like, ‘This is who I am,’ ” she says. “It’s never been important to me to look different than what I do.”
With years of experience under her belt, Johns has seen and heard it all, especially when it comes to clients wanting to dye their gray hair. This she discourages. “I talk my gray-haired clients out of color,” says Johns. “As colorists, we don’t color everyone’s hair. It’s [a] very easy [way] to make money, but we don’t want to make money like that. We want to make it work for the person. “To us, especially to me, it’s about making that client
According to experts
Khanda Johns, a Level 4A master stylist and designer at The Studio Hair Salon and Day Spa in Harrisonburg, has been cutting, curling and coloring at the once-downtown salon for the past six years. Along with her fellow stylists, Johns’ work has been showcased in salons throughout Virginia and Maryland, in demonstrations in New York City and at expos in Las Vegas.
»See BEAUTY, Page 11
Get more green
And stay out of the red
lthough many individuals look forward to using a sizable tax refund for big purchases, according to local experts, it may be more beneficial to not receive a check, at all. “I’ve heard people say, ‘When our refund comes, that’s when we’re going to buy that refrigerator,’ or ‘That’s how we’re going to pay off our Christmas spending,’ ” says Linda S. Hoover, certified financial planner and financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. in Harrisonburg. While using a tax refund to repay debts or make upgrades to the house isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Hoover says that the best-case scenario is breaking even — meaning individuals don’t receive a refund and don’t end up owing anything to Uncle Sam. “From a financial planning perspective, what we would advise people is that they’re better off, financially, being in a break-even situation,” Hoover says. “They shouldn’t be getting a huge tax refund every year.” Receiving a sizeable refund each year — more than a few hundred dollars after filing a tax return — means too much pay is being withheld. “Those that over pay or have additional funds withheld throughout the year normally see the most in form of a tax refund,” explained Jacqueline Painter, branch manager for Everence Federal Credit Union in Harrisonburg, via email. By having too much withheld, employees essentially give the government a year-long, interest-free loan, says Hoover. Individuals who receive a large refund each year should consider speaking with their human resources department about readjusting the amount currently withheld from their paycheck.
ARTICLE BY SARAH STACY ILLUSTRATION BY NIKKI FOX
By readjusting Form W-4 to have less withheld, the money that would otherwise come in the form of a tax refund will instead be available in each paycheck. That additional income could earn interest elsewhere, such as a savings or investment account. “It is best to hone in on your income and withholdings to make sure you’re not paying additional,” Painter suggests. “After all, what is the benefit of allowing the government to borrow your money at a zero-percent interest rate? You would be better off holding those funds in an investment account where you could earn a return.”
All in the follow through
However, Hoover reminds those considering readjusting that it’s only beneficial if the additional income is saved or invested. Tax refunds essentially act as a forced savings plan, Hoover explained, so those who readjust must plan and stick to their own budget to see the benefit, something that everyone desiring financial success should do, Hoover said. “If you really want to be financially successful, you need to learn to have the discipline to save the money yourself,” Hoover explains. “Take those extra dollars you’re getting in each paycheck, and do something with them.” Hoover suggests first paying off debt, then investing in a savings account in order to establish an emergency fund. Once those financial necessities are taken care of, David Larson, certified financial planner at Bluestone Financial Solutions LLC in Harrisonburg and a registered representative with, and whose securities are offered through, LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC, suggests individuals consider planning for retirement. “Once you have an emergency fund established, you should consider investing it back into your retirement accounts,” Larson explained via email. “Roth IRAs, while not offering tax benefits now, can »See MONEY, Page 23
Beauty from page 9
[feel] comfortable in [her] own skin, in [her] own hair.” Brandon Wells, a Paul Mitchell stylist at Spa 122 and Salon in New Market, says, for him, coloring hair is an “every day thing,” adding that about half his clients dye their hair back to its natural color. However, Wells, too, insists he encourages his clients to keep their gray. “I have nothing against somebody just wanting to let it all show; I don’t think there’s any shame in it at all,” he says. “We’ve grown up in a place where it seems almost taboo.” For Johns, gray hair symbolizes maturity and beauty. “Grayness isn’t age[-related]; it’s loss of pigmentation in hair follicles,” she explains. “You can be 20 years old and have [a] complete head of gray. Or, you can be born with a spot of gray hair on your head. “I have a client who’s had a circle, literally, a dime-size of a circle, of gray since he was born. There are females who come in with just the front streak of their hair just gray, at the age of 20.” Many of Johns’ female clients express concern regarding graying because they feel they’re “getting old” and, subsequently, become nostal-
gic for a younger look. “To them, it’s not pretty; it’s not what they used to look like,” explains Johns, “especially the ones who are in their 50s and 60s. They’re like, ‘Well, I hate the gray. I don’t want it.’ ”
they don’t have to be afraid of going gray,” said Wells. “You should be able to feel comfortable with your own hair the way it is. If you don’t want to change that, you don’t need to change that.”
Wells says many of his female clients tell him they don’t embrace their gray because “their husbands don’t think they look sexy.” However, Mim Yoder, a nurse at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, disagrees with this notion. “There’s been a shift; our society is [making] it easy to gray naturally,” says the whitehaired, 58-year-old Harrisonburg resident. “My husband loves my hair; I have a son-in-law who says to my daughter, ‘Are you going to gray like your mom does? I love her hair.’ ” Both Yoder and Wells agree women should never feel obligated to dye their hair, regardless of their age. “Women need to learn that
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Johns suggests women refer to a stylist whenever they’re ready to sport gray locks. For her female clients, Johns says she helps the process by “tweaking” their gray, either by adding high- or lowlights, depending on the client’s natural hair color. “I recommend tossing color in their hair to camouflage their gray,” she starts. “And, as it grows out, you can minimize your [coloring] by cutting off the hair [from] the bottom. “If someone with dark hair, like me, had some gray and
wanted to go [completely] gray,” she continues, “I would do lowlights to break that in.” Johns says it can take anywhere from six months to three years for the gray to fully reveal itself. However, she warns the process can become expensive. But keep in mind money can’t buy everything. “Your happiness is not dependent on your looks,” said 63-year-old Elva Rhodes, part-time assistant manager at Ten Thousand Villages in Harrisonburg. Elva, also of Harrisonburg, flaunts a curly shoulder-length mane of salt and pepper. “Hair color, makeup or dress doesn’t change your happiness inside,” she continued. “Enjoy who you are; that’s way more important.” Gray hair, green hair, Therran thinks it’s the hat that matters.
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Seven principles for
f you’re a go-getter, you’ve likely set goals to be healthier, happier or stronger this year. Perhaps you’re off to a promising start, but studies show that 90 percent of us will fail in our New Year’s resolutions, most within the first 30 days. So, I designed these Seven Success Principles to help defy those odds. Instead of facing failed expectations, you’ll soar to sustained change. Ironically, the ability to fly past fleeting progress starts by getting grounded.
Take ownership of your life and full responsibility for your well-being. Do a quick self-check to make sure the changes are authentic; if they’re influenced by what others think you should do, it will be more difficult to stay committed. Don’t sit on the sidelines watching things happen, begin thinking and acting as your own CEO. Close your eyes and create a vision of the change you desire, and how you want to feel when you reach that goal. Bring in all your senses. What do you hear? Who do you see around you? By establishing clear intentions, giving them attention and consistently taking action, over time, this goal will become reality.
Step into self-leadership
First, take a step back to move forward. Now is the time for honest reflection about what tripped you up in the past. Did you start out too fast and burn out before reaching the goal? Did you forget to schedule time to rest and refuel? Did you try to do it alone? Perhaps once your willpower was gone, old habits crept in and sabotaged your efforts. Admit what hasn’t served you, forgive yourself for dropping the ball and move on. Prepare yourself for the challenges you may face. Set a 10-minute timer, make a list of past obstacles you’ve encountered. How can you do things dif-
Learn your triggers
ARTICLE BY CHRISTINA KUNKLE ILLUSTRATION BY PHOTOS.COM
ferently, what actions are you willing to take? List them and, most importantly, be prepared to follow through. If you question whether you can reach your goal, or believe you have to be perfect in trying, chances are you will sabotage your own success. Write down your doubts. When the self-critical chatter of your inner mean girl starts up, take a deep breath and flip the negative thought into a positive statement that feeds faith, starves fear and boosts self-esteem. Practice flipping when negativity creeps in: Turn “I’ll never be able to do it,” into “With persistence, I will succeed,” and “I have to do it perfectly or not at all,” into “My best is always good enough.”
Flip it good
People think big: goals, achievements, money, weight loss, efforts and rewards. Never underestimate the power of small, continuous actions to create a personal revolution. Yes, we need long-term vision, but without breaking big goals into smaller chunks, we can get overwhelmed. Write your goal on a blank piece of paper. List the small steps needed to get there. Take out your calendar and schedule short blocks of time to accomplish these steps. Feel can-do enthusiasm build as you see a workable plan form.
Narrow your focus
At first, tracking progress may seem like a burden, but — no matter what change you’re trying to make — having some type of self-monitoring method helps you pinpoint where you are in your quest. Find something to use: a small pad of paper, a mobile app, a spreadsheet. It doesn’t need to be fancy; it just needs to
Give yourself credit
keep you engaged, aware and focused. Decide what you’ll use and commit by adding a starting date. Who do you need to be to reach your dream? This question is a powerful reminder that what you’re doing is only half of the equation. The other half, the most essential part for success, is who you’re being. It means the energy you bring into the space around you has an effect on whether you stay on the path to change or detour. It also requires you to be clear about your intentions. When you think of people living a dream such as yours, what are their qualities and strengths? How do they differ from who you are? If your goal is to transition into a new career, what kind of person does that job? Work on strengthening these qualities. Make decisions and be that person.
Catch the spirit
Tell a friend or family member the plan. Align with those who can celebrate milestones with you, as well as offer support. Each decision will take you closer to or further away from the support and encouragement you deserve. What’s one small step you can take today? Whether it’s letting go of what others think, the fear of failure, comparing yourself to others, staying busy being busy, obligations and supposed tos, the need for control or anxiety as a lifestyle, it’s time to unload whatever is holding you back. You were born to do great things. Find your wings and soar!
Christina Kunkle, is founder of Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching, LLC, creator of the “Synergy Success Circle” and “SOAR,” a heart-centered leadership development program. To learn more, visit synergylifeandwellnesscoaching.com or call (540) 746-5206.
ARTICLE BY KATIE KING PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON LENHART
DIY: Craft your clothes
nited Bamboo, Anthropologie, J.Crew — as a teenager, Dayton local Erica Allman lusted after high-end brands. Unfortunately, the young fashionista ran into a common wardrobe challenge: price tags. “My parents didn’t have a lot of money when I was in high school,” she explained. “There was no way my mom could get me that kind of stuff.” Allman, now 23, realized entering the world of fashion was as simple as picking up a needle and thread. Though she’d never created clothing, Allman was no stranger to sewing, as her mother taught her to hand embroider at age 5. “I loved it,” she recalls. “It was ... something I could do that was creative.” After taking a course at Ragtime Fabrics in Harrisonburg, Allman began sewing her own garments. Her first finished project — a leather bag — was a hit with her classmates. In addition to being more economical, Allman discovered other benefits to designing her own clothes. Standing just 5’1”, the petite seamstress says finding a pair of jeans was always “a big frustration,” as the fashion industry tends to cater to those with taller, modelesque frames. Now that she makes her own
Erica Allman, a professional seamstress, makes custom drapery from her Dayton home.
outfits, everything fits to a T. “You get to highlight everything you like about yourself,” she points out. Her high school hobby has since grown into a full-time career. Two years ago, while working as an event coordinator, Allman started selling her creations online. Allman’s products were immediately popular on the Internet, and she quickly began to turn a profit. Last January, she left her position at the Blue Ridge Event Center to pursue a full-time sewing career.
Despite initial concerns, Allman says business is booming, especially after she received a nod of approval from Maxim magazine’s annual holiday gift guide. “It’s been really crazy [recently], trying to keep up with all the orders,” she said, grinning. Thinking back on the past year, Allman says she feels “lucky,” and adds that she hopes to open her own store this summer. While she understands not everyone shares her passion for making clothes, she encourages individuals to learn the basics of sewing. “Even if you aren’t ever going to make something from scratch, everybody should at least know how to sew a button back on a shirt. … Certain things are just good to know as life skills,” she says. Staunton seamstress Linda Pancake agrees. The retired teacher says she’s “amazed” by the calls she receives regarding simple tasks, such as fixing a ripped seam or hemming a pair of pants. “I think [sewing] is a lost art,” she remarks. “Today’s lifestyle is so busy; people don’t have time.” Pancake, who learned to sew from her mother, acknowledges that sewing requires dedication, but says it’s worth the effort.
Erica Allman, who began sewing when she was five, realized the range of opportunities afforded by making her own clothes. Now, Erica, a professional seamstress sells her handmade products on Etsy.
“I’m very passionate about my sewing. For me, it’s relaxing,” she says. “It’s my time to be alone, to think, to pray.” According to Pancake, the sewing community is quick to embrace newcomers, and she encourages anyone interested in learning to seek a mentor. “Go to a higher-end fabric shop and talk to the people there,” she advises. “They’re always anxious to share their knowledge.” Donna Holden, class coordinator at
Ragtime Fabrics, says every staff member has her own “expertise or specialties” and agrees that employees are always willing to lend a hand. However, for those looking for intensive guidance, Holden suggests taking the store’s beginner-level class. “[The class is] for somebody who’s never sat down at a sewing machine before,” she explained. “You’re going to learn about the machine, you’re going to learn how to sew and you’ll have a little take-home project.”
If an individual is on the fence about whether to take up sewing, Holden recommends visiting the shop. “This store is packed with all kind of fun things,” she says, adding that Ragtime offers a wide selection of fabrics, trims, laces, buttons and fleece. “It’s fun to see how creative people can get. There are lots of things to play with!” After receiving a “C” on a home economics project, Katie’s satisfied shopping.
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chaos A lot of l o v e
A little ARTICLE BY C ANDACE SIPOS PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLLY MARCUS
Kathleen Mania-Casey brings it all to the table
As all Grilled Cheese Mania offerings are named for family, the sandwich that has pesto, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and hot sauce is called the “Mama Mania,” in honor of Kathleen’s mother.
n true Italian fashion, Kathleen Mania-Casey relies on her hands to tell a story; often, they’re flailing, but this particular morning, from a twochair window table at the Mr. J’s closest to her Harrisonburg home, the Valley transplant reins them in close to her chest. “Through this whole thing,” she says, perpetually in the middle of a sentence, habitually mid-thought, “something was very, very clear to me. I felt like I was in the palm of His hands.” With her left hand cupped, the sister hand finds its home cradled in that makeshift container. “I felt like this was God and I was right there, like He had me,” Kathleen continues. “Everything was going to be alright. ... ‘I trust you,’ that’s what I would say. ‘I don’t see it; I don’t get it. ... I’m hurting. I’m losing everything that I love, but I trust you.’ ” She pauses, but at her rapid-fire pace, it’s barely noticeable. “Now, I feel like I’m coming alive again.”
Grilled Cheese Mania
Positioned behind the two-pane window
of the bright red food truck she opened a year ago Oct. 15, Kathleen looks like a picture. Frequently sporting a warm yellow shirt with “ARE YOU A MANIAC?” emblazoned in block letters across her chest, Kathleen talks to customers as if she already knows them, as if she genuinely cares about them beyond the few dollars they’re dropping off at her business — because she whole-heartedly does. Though her time in the food industry spans decades, from working in her dad’s IGA supermarkets to operating the deli she and her husband owned — Casey’s Corner Deli in Saddle Brook, N.J. — for 13 years, Kathleen has a new outlook on most everything, including business. “I just feel like God’s hands are all over this,” she says refering to the food truck that serves seven hot, cheesy sandwiches, as well as other comfort foods. “It helps me to appreciate it all. Years ago, in Casey’s Corner Deli, it was about the money.” Now, that’s just not the point, she says. Rather, she sees it this way: “Yes, my mother taught me to cook, and my father owned his own business and that’s
… in my genes, but I wouldn’t have that if God didn’t give that to me.” However she views it, there’s no mistaking the fact that Grilled Cheese Mania has been a quick success. “The first week [after opening,] we were really, really busy,” said Emily Marsh, a 24-year-old Harrisonburg resident who has worked for Kathleen since a week before the food truck opened. “From right off the bat, I realized that, ‘OK, this is going to be successful.’ ” While on a rare break from duties at the truck, Kathleen sits outside the mobile rectangle at one of the picnic tables she purchased for the budding food court the truck calls home. She explains how she was able to draw customers from day one. “I really created a buzz for Grilled Cheese Mania before we were open that I wasn’t consciously doing,” she said. On a whim, Kathleen brought sandwich samples to Larkin Arts while handing them out to other downtown businesses. Shortly thereafter, she had her first gig for the art store’s grand opening, during which the food she donated simul-
taneously supported both her budding business and the event. “I had no idea what I was doing,” Kathleen admits, in her typical full-disclosure style. “I stood behind that table by myself all day. I was just cutting the sandwiches into little pieces. That day, I was like, ‘Wow, they really love our food!’ From that, so many people knew about us.” Since then, Grilled Cheese Mania has catered events — booking up every weekend last fall — and purchased a second red truck. The newbie replaced the original truck, which traveled to various sites for a few months, before that become too chaotic. Now, Kathleen’s hoping to settle it in a second permanent location. As with everything else, however, she’s not too stressed about it; she’s just waiting for the pieces to fall into place. “I truly believe that that second truck hasn’t opened up yet because I’m not ready for it, as much as I think I am,” she admits.
But Grilled Cheese Mania’s birth story starts much earlier than Oct. 15, 2012. Christmas Eve marked the four-year anniversary of Kathleen’s husband’s funeral; named Gerard Casey, he went by his last name. With the pain of a 33-year marriage ending too soon, she was distraught. Their only child, now 28-year-old Emily Casey, asked her mom to join her in Harrisonburg. Kathleen reluctantly obliged in May 2011, changing her name from Kathy Casey to her current moniker to signify a fresh start, but that first move out of northern New Jersey wasn’t easy. “When I got married, I was 21, and I moved six blocks away from my mother,” she said. “My husband moved two blocks from his mother. And our deli was right in town, like a mile away. The church we went to was across the street from the deli; it was
Kathleen shares a meal with a friend in her Harrisonburg kitchen, which showcases cabinets salvaged from a fire that ravaged the home she and her late husband had built in New Jersey.
all right there. For me to pick up and come down here, man, it took everything I had.” She found a job in dining services at a local university, but didn’t feel fulfilled. She quit in May 2012 and, from then until October, fixed up the home she bought with Emily while floating the idea of opening a deli in her new city. “I thought about it, and I prayed about it, and it just didn’t feel right,” she said. “So, I packed it up and I put it away.” Later, as Kathleen casually talked about her idea with a friend, Ben Hughes, co-owner of MODdisplays based in downtown Harrisonburg, he introduced the concept of a food truck. “We decided that night to be partners,” Kathleen said. Her daughter joined in on the deal, making the trio responsible for what eventually became Grilled Cheese Mania. For months, Kathleen holed up in her kitchen, creating concoctions using her culinary repertoire, which is heavily influenced by her mom. Cindy Mania’s cheese grater now sits on the dresser in Kathleen’s lilac bedroom,
When I moved here, I never hesitated one day; I never said, ‘I shouldn’t have come here.’ I just love it here, and I know this is where I’m supposed to be.
re-purposed as a jewelry holder. “I can still picture my mother’s fingers shredding cheese on it,” she says the same way she relives all memories, with astonishingly sharp detail, giving the listener the impression that, in her head, Kathleen’s actually in that moment. At first, Kathleen had 30 or 40 sandwiches in her mind’s eye for the food truck that was then yet to be named. “I mean my mind was like racing crazy, you know?” she recalls. Ben suggested Kathleen keep it simple, and she’s now grateful for the advice. She named each menu item after a member of her extended family, and she’s now prone to explaining those loved ones through the lens of the sandwich or chili or tea that bears the person’s name. Ask her about her siblings, and you might come away knowing that the bestselling sandwich that sold more than 5,000 times during the food truck’s initial year, the Triple Lindy, is named after her sister, Linda; the Classic Johnny is named after her brother, a level-headed, business-minded guy; she says it took awhile to hone the Cindy’s Sweet Tea named for her other sister, because southerners like their tea “crazy” sweet. And the Mikey’s Mac & Cheese? That’s
dedicated to her brother, Michael. Though the journey to the realization of the vibrant, oldie’s-blasting food truck that now sits on the side of South High Street wasn’t necessarily linear, Kathleen often emphasizes one main point: “From day one, when I decided to do this, I never thought for a second I shouldn’t be doing it, like the deli idea,” she said, comparing that feeling to the one she’s had since transplanting to Harrisonburg. “When I moved here, I never hesitated one day; I never said, ‘I shouldn’t have come here.’ I just love it here, and I just know this is where I’m supposed to be.”
‘Genuine, across the board’
Emily Casey attributes GCM’s quick success to Kathleen’s innate cooking abilities and her love of people. She was the kind of mom who could throw together a mouth-watering dinner with odds-andends in the pantry, Emily explained. “Never followed a recipe, never made the same thing twice,” she said, adding that her mom “has no trouble fitting in anywhere. She makes a place for herself, and people flock to her.” Like everyone who knows Kathleen seems to do, Emily touched on the steadfastness of her mom’s personality. “She’s just genuine, across the board,” she said. Ben raves about Kathleen as both a business partner and a friend, adding that she’s the same person in both roles. In terms of business, Ben says, “I think that she brings something to the table you can’t buy.” He identifies that something as a positive passion for her product, an earnest desire to learn and a willingness to go above and beyond. Linda Avato, Kathleen’s friend from Saddle Brook whom she’s known for decades, summed it up this way: “She finds good in everybody. She’s constantly telling me about people she meets and how wonderful they are. When you have a person like that, they’re going to be successful and they’re going to be happy, because they’re looking for the good.” Marsh calls Kathleen one of the hardest workers she’s ever known, a woman who won’t hesitate to get on her hands and knees and scrub the floor, if it needs to be done. “She really puts her heart and soul into what she does,” she said.
Escaping the fire
Kathleen was prepared for the poten-
tial pitfalls of opening a small business, both because of her prior experience and the struggles she has faced. Not only did her husband’s untimely death lead to her move to Virginia, but the Jersey girl lost her dad right after wrapping up seventh grade, and her mom — with whom she was very close — died two years ago. Roughly five years ago Oct. 8, her wedding anniversary, a fire nearly claimed the home she and her husband had built in Saddle Brook. When it comes to the hardships Kathleen’s faced, it’s a non-exhaustive list. The refurbished white cabinets found in her Harrisonburg kitchen were salvaged after the fire. “I can’t tell you how much I loved my home,” she said from a seat near those very cabinets, as she waited for a pot of soup for a friend to cook. She admits to still having a hard time discussing the event, and it’s not any easier for her to talk about her mom’s death. Cindy Mania died Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2012. Kathleen recalls the memory as if it just happened; that unique skill of hers seems to be both a blessing and a curse. It’s how she remembers the way her husband painstakingly refurbished the wooden rocking-chair that was in her daughter’s childhood bedroom and now sits in her own, the layout of her parents’ home and the nine stairs leading to the second floor, the yellow, flowered halter dress she wore to the wedding where she met Casey and the white leather seats of his car. But it’s also how she remembers the microwave melting into the stove of her New Jersey kitchen, and the way her mom looked at her before the last time she closed her eyes. Though less recent, she can also recall vividly her dad’s funeral. “I remember being at the cemetery and it raining and just thinking … the whole world was crying,” she said.
Having lost both her husband and mother in the span of five years, Kathleen leans heavily on the Lord for strength.
Hear Kathleen talk about her childhood, and there’s a noticeable change in tone. With loving, more-than-happily married parents and a house full of siblings, she describes that time in her life as if it were a fairy tale. Her two sisters and two brothers – Kathleen is smack in the middle, age-wise – would look out their kitchen window while their mom cooked real Italian dinners, trying to guess how many cars would make their way down the street before their dad’s would pull into the driveway. “I would say five, you would say two and somebody else would say 16,” she said looking out her kitchen window, likely visualizing the street of her childhood. “If all those cars passed, we would start all over. … I did that same thing with my daughter. You build that anticipation of this great guy, your father, coming home.” Her parents just didn’t fight with each other, Kathleen says. “They were soul mates,” she’ll point out, as certain about that as she is about her birthday; “June 1, 1956, makes me 29,” rolls off her tongue with a chuckle.
Every night after dinner, either the Mania boys or girls would clear the table while the others cleaned the floor. The next night, the roles reversed. “My dad, he wanted to sit in the living room and have coffee with his wife,” Kathleen explained. “He wanted to sit with her, and he wanted her to rest. He used to have sleepovers with us, and we would get our blankets out and put them in the living room. … As I got older, I realized that my dad was giving [my mom] a break, and then we’d probably all fall asleep and he would go upstairs. He was giving her a break so she’d have some time to herself. How respectful is that?” In October 1977, when Kathleen was 21, she married Casey, a witty, loving, jean jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding man three years her senior. “I was so crazy in love … with this man,” she said. “I just thought he was it.” The rest is history.
Christ, shining through
Weaving through the crowds at Harrisonburg’s Covenant Presbyterian Church with Kathleen in an earnest attempt to find a seat before the 11:15 a.m.
service starts, it’s hard to believe that she normally attends the earlier service. “A lot of my friends come to the first service, so I’m left alone,” she teases. Given her routinely cheery demeanor, it’s hard to imagine it’s days before the anniversary of her husband’s death and weeks before that of her mom. On the way in, she greets several people with some variation of, “Good morning; Merry Christmas!” After having attended Covenant for about two years, she hardly seems alone. She points out her doctor sitting in the first row, and one of the pastors whose daughter and nephew have both worked for her. After the service, she’ll meet a new family — a middle-aged couple and their son — and explain the story that led to her move to Harrisonburg, the story she’s told a thousand times. “I want Christ to shine through in my pain,” she says about an hour later, from that Mr. J’s, before she cradles one hand in her palm. “Being a Christian isn’t easy. It’s not like, oh you believe in Christ and all your pain is going to go away and you’re going to have a great life. No, it’s life — it’s real, it’s pain, it’s suffering.”
October will mark the two-year anniversary of Grilled Cheese Mania’s first food truck, which opened on South High Street in Harrisonburg.
She lowers her voice to a whisper. “But then there’s that joy and that peace that comes with it, to know that He loves me. He knows me and He loves me, and you can’t take that lightly.”
Getting rid of winter’s chill is
All in the pot
h, what to do when waves of winter weather will their way to the doorstep, driving families inside before the chill finally give way to spring’s warmth? Start a hearty, warming soup! Tassie Pippert, a culinary arts instructor in James Madison University’s School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management, offers the following advice. “A soup fills us, both emotionally and physically, in the winter because there’s no life outside,” she says. Pippert says winter presents the opportunity to a) purge the pantry and b) to experiment with new ideas. “I look at winter as a time to clear out my freezer, getting ready for fresh life [to] come in spring,” she explains. “So, I may have a little bit of crab that I’ve frozen, that I didn’t use for crab cakes. I might have a little frozen corn. I might have a little smoked pork that I’ve frozen and make a crab, corn and smoked pork chowder.” (See recipe.) The most sought-after winter soups — the big four, as Pippert calls them — are tomato, vegetable, potato and chicken. Anything chicken-based is good, insists Pippert, because while it’s not too thick, chicken is very hearty. Chicken noodle, a popular variation, is a go-to for people looking to soothe themselves. “And, with vegetable soup, it’s a great way to use leftovers in your fridge [or] in your freezer,” explains Pippert. “Potato soup is just super hearty, and it’s one of those soups that, ‘Sticks to your ribs.’ “Tomato is one of those classic soups; I’ve seen far more people just do it out of a can.” Pippert says her favorite winter soup is Tom Yam, a Taiwanese recipe that she makes year-round, which is a fusion of lemongrass, hot pepper, mushrooms, kaffir lime leaves, gingerroot and chicken. “If I feel a cold coming, I make [it] because it’s just comforting,” says Pippert. “And if you pour it over rice, it’s filling.”
ARTICLE BY THERRAN DENNIS PHOTOGRAPHY BY NIKKI FOX
Tassie Pippert, culinary arts professor at James Madison University, recommends soup as a means of combating winter’s chilly bite.
For those who choose to brave the elements, Earth and Tea Café in downtown Harrisonburg offers hearty selections. Julia Kovalenko has been serving soup at Earth and Tea every day for three years. She says the eatery offers a variety of soup options, especially during winter. According to Kovalenko, a native of Ukraine, people frequent the cafe for its Brazilian Chicken and Coconut Soup. “We have it everyday in the restaurant; it’s everybody’s favorite,” she said. Kovalenko says that it’s a “very unusual combination.” However, for those whose preferences lie on the conventional side, Earth and Tea also offers another soup. “We have cream of sweet potato
with chicken,” said Kovalenko. “It’s created with potato, corn, chicken, cilantro and red pepper.”
Jonathan Overby, assistant innkeeper at Stonewall Jackson Inn, added that the kitchen at the Harrisonburg bed and breakfast also serves up seasonal soups. “The combination of zesty and sweet flavors is just perfect,” he explained. Overby says he recommends this stew because of its “pick-me-up flavor.” “[It] gets you going, keeps you warm, [and it’s] easy to make,” he said. “The ingredients have a lot of holistic properties to them. They make you feel good and it’s just so darn tasty!” Therran beefs up his favorite winter soup with chunks of ham and bits of bacon.
Tassie’s Roasted Corn And Smoked Pork Chowder 2 tablespoons butter Extra-virgin olive oil 1 onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only ¼ cup all-purpose flour 6 cups vegetable stock 2 cups heavy cream 2 red potatoes diced 6 ears corn, roasted 1 cup shredded smoked pork Salt and freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup
pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are good and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Dust the vegetables with flour and stir to coat well. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add cream and potatoes, bring to a hard boil for about 7 minutes, or until the potatoes break down. Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper; simmer 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the shredded pork, parsley and add more olive oil, if desired. Season with additional salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Money from page 10
help you down the road and can be withdrawn free of federal income taxes at retirement.”
While April sparks a major focus on finances, Larson reminds everyone that it’s not just during the spring months that individuals should think about taxes — or refunds. “Tax planning is a year-round process, rather than just something you think about every April 15,” he says. “Be proactive and talk with profes-
sionals who can help you plan.” Hoover suggests speaking with a tax advisor to plan ways to save in the next year, and for those who want to get their finances in order, consider visiting a financial planner. “Many financial advisors will offer an initial consultation at no or low cost,” Hoover says, adding that choosing a financial planner is about finding someone you can trust. Finances are not Sarah’s forte. She may take Linda’s advice, and find a financial planner.
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The gift keeps giving:
ake a moment and reflect on everything read throughout the day: a street sign, a recipe, a child’s permission slip from school, this sentence. “If you were to track daily the number of times you read [anything], you may be surprised at the quantity and variety of materials people will typically tackle in the course of only one day.” says Dr. Marianne Baker, associate professor and Reading Education coordinator in the College of Education at James Madison University. Reading is a skill that is necessary for survival, and being an avid reader helps individuals flourish in a variety of fields, from developing a more extensive vocabulary and a more inventive imagination, to being able to follow directions or pass a test in school. “Reading is the foundation of all learning,” Baker explained, which makes it important that a love of reading be established and nurtured early in a child’s life. “Children who read earlier tend to be more successful than their peers in reading over time, [and] they usually maintain that advantage all through their years in school,” she said. “Sadly, the opposite is also true, the kids who start out behind remain behind.”
ARTICLE BY SARAH STACY PHOTOGRAPHY BY NIKKI FOX
Shenandoah County Library Volunteer Elizabeth Schwartz reads to two curious kids, Henry George (left), 2, and Kaycee Hernandez, 1, during a program designed to introduce children to books as early as possible.
Importance of books To instill that love of reading at an early age, one key factor is access. “Having books in the home has actually been shown to improve a child’s educational level,” explains Claire Covington, youth services coordinator at Massanutten Regional Library. Although a home library may be costly, the local public library is a free option. “The library gives access to books, computers and resources that a lot of individuals can’t have in the home, and we’re seeing more and more people who are coming to use those resources,” Covington says of the number of patrons who use the public library in downtown Harrisonburg.
Jean Cash, professor of English emerita at JMU, explained her experience finding value in the public library as a child, via email. “As a young person growing up in a home with only a limited library, I hungered for books and got a card in the public library as soon as I realized that it existed and I could get to it,” she recalled. Reading early In addition to offering materials, public libraries also host reading programs for children, many of which begin working with babies before they’re able to read. Books and Babies, a program held at the Edinburg branch of the Shenandoah County Library, fosters the reading process in infants
from birth to 24 months and focuses on developing early literacy skills, beginning with showing the youngest participants how to hold a book and flip the pages. Reading becomes a tactile experience, one that develops gross and fine motor skills, while also serving as an interactive activity that pulls children into a story, explains Diane Cary, children’s librarian at the Edinburg branch of the Shenandoah County Library and facilitator of Books and Babies. Rhyming and rhythmic songs are used along with books to aid in the development of language and literacy. In addition to educational benefits, these programs also strive to make reading an enjoyable activity, one
that facilitates a bond between caregiver and child. Books and Babies models how parents can incorporate books into activities at home and create a reading time that fosters learning while strengthening bonding, explains Cary. “We’re doing anything that we can to help them develop a love of learning,” Cary said. “We want children to grow up to be lifelong learners; that’s the goal.”
Later in life
While an early introduction to reading can foster a strong bond and set children on the path to success, a lack of literary opportunities can prove crippling. Skyline Literacy, a Harrisonburg-based nonprofit, works with adults who have
limited literacy skills, either one-on-one or in groups, to develop reading, writing and English-language skills. Elizabeth Girvan, executive director of Skyline Literacy, has witnessed the daily struggles of individuals with limited literacy skills and says that many of those who participate in the organization’s services are parents who see how their inability to read negatively affects their children. “There is quite a link between literacy skills of parents and the children’s success in life to go on and be ready for school and academically succeed,” Girvan explains. Girvan says that often the need to survive is the impetus for people seeking help from the organization, driven by a desire to become
more self-sufficient, and take care of themselves and their families. Those individuals come with a goal, whether it be to follow a recipe on their own or to read a book to their child at night. “It’s all about goals and empowering people to be more independent,” she said. Girvan admits people who start reading at an
older age face challenges, but she says it’s possible. “Reading is not only going to help you survive, it helps people access resources and opens up other opportunities as well,” she says. Sarah fondly remembers participating in storytime at her hometown library as a child.
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Spend quality time
Off the clock
ith the economy still recovering and stress at work looming, for many, life on the clock can be a hard row to hoe. Employees may be spread between various projects and looming deadlines, have a tough time getting along with coworkers or simply be slipping in production. Or, workers may face a fast-paced, intense atmosphere, bearing the brunt of customers’ frustrations and anger while obliged to remain calm and professional. These daily stressors may add pressure that can be both physically and mentally taxing. And you know what they say about the cycle of yelling. A job can weigh you down in many ways, and stresses likely linger long after
the closing bell. Many individuals have a tough time figuring out how to leave work-related stress at the door, and not let it affect interactions off the clock. “The issue of bringing the stress of work home is one that naturally arises,” says Joann H. Henderson, a licensed professional counselor in Harrisonburg. “We become so preoccupied with our thoughts of what went down at work, including our relationships with our coworkers, that we lose touch with whom and what’s before us.” Often, those before us are the ones with whom we interact most closely and should have the strongest relationships. Allowing work stress to impact the home environment can result a the downward spiral of various relation-
ARTICLE BY MATT GONZALES
ships, which if not recognized, can cause irreparable damage.
After dealing with a difficult day at work, the most relaxing thing may seem like sitting down for a stress-free evening. However, moments such as these are few and far between. More frequently, when you walk through the door, work continues. Cooking dinner. Doing the dishes after. Getting the kids ready for bed. Balancing the books. Even when completing these chores, work-related anxiety can continue to plague the evening. “Many of us face even more responsibilities throughout the night, such as »See RELATIONSHIPS, Page 29
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Relationships from page 27
school performances, meetings, social engagements,” says Henderson, a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and Eastern Mennonite University. “We are overloaded and don’t seem to know when to stop. “Our eyes are on our phones scanning one more email, one more Facebook message, one more voicemail that came through. We have a hard time saying ‘Enough is enough.’ ” According to the American Psychological Association, job stress frequently causes burnout, which is defined by emotional exhaustion and negative or cynical attitudes toward others, and even yourself. Burnout can cause irrational moods, which can lead to more argumentative relationships with loved ones, and even depression. Going home to a frustrating environment after a rough day can intensify those feelings. David J. Rissmeyer, licensed clinical social worker at the Center for Marriage and Family Counseling in Harrisonburg, says that this “stress cycle” can be detrimental to a number of personal relationships. “It can be seen as a vicious cycle,” he says. “You’re still emotionally affected by what had happened at [work], so it affects your behavior to a point where you begin to consistently isolate yourself. “Furthermore, if you’re in a bad mood from being at work, you’re not going to be in a fresh state of mind for reading your children or seeing how their day went.” Both Rissmeyer and Henderson mention the importance of harnessing this stress and not letting it pollute the home, above all. Though stress at work may be overwhelming, it is irresponsible to also make a child a victim of that situation, the counselors agree. “It’s good for children to know that [adults] struggle too, but it’s not good for them to carry that load,” explains Henderson. “If anything, it might be a good opportunity for the parents to set a good example of ‘being here now.’ … Let them know it was a rough day but I’m here with you now.”
Take time to decompress
Communication can be an elusive element for families in
these situations. A distressed individual may prefer to have some time away from the family — creating a barrier of sorts — in order to decompress after a difficult day at work. A parent may want seek solace in a part of the home that is separated from the rest of the family in order to wipe clean the slate that is her demeanor. Listening to music, watching television or even taking a walk may also serve as an outlet. Henderson points out that it is not uncommon for a partner to have “chill time” and “time to do what [they] want” after a long day’s work. While stealing moments for herself may seem brash to the other partner, Mom’s actions may actually benefit the relationship, as a whole.
Others prefer to open the lines of communication, talking with their respective spouse about a difficult day and venting about certain situations the moment they walk through the door. Some may even seek input as to how to handle a situation. While it may seem constructive to offer an ear for this daily debriefing, it can also be tough to maintain composure. As the partner is not directly involved in the situation, he may show signs of inattention, further frustrating the spouse. “That’s doesn’t mean I don’t love or care for you,” says Henderson, explaining the partner’s seemingly blasé attitude. “It just means I can’t be present any longer to listen.” One option may be to table the conversation until the following day, after the animated party has time to cool off. Yet communication remains paramount. Dr. Kristy Koser, certified emotionally focused couples therapist with Aporia Counseling and Psychotherapy in Harrisonburg, posits that a genuine conversation between spouses can aid in easing the tension. “I think for couples to have a really honest conversation on what they need in those moments would be helpful,” she says, adding that the person who is home first likely also had a challenging day. “Sometimes, for the person who has been at home, it may be good to stand there and just say, ‘Hug me. I need to know that you’ve missed me.’ ”
Finding time to unwind
Equally important to both individuals and families is building in time to unwind, local experts recommend. Consider using the drive home to decompress by moving past the stoplights and traffic spots. »See RELATIONSHIPS, Page 30
ing time to appreciate the mountain views offered by the drive. “Pulling aside at a park, taking in views of something relaxing, such as nature, can be helpful, as well,” Kujawa adds. Dr. Holly Robedeau, a clinical psychologist in Harrisonburg, suggests that taking in the environment is a common way to destress, adding that coming home a bit later than normal may be beneficial, if communicated to the partner in advance. “[One partner is late] because they want to come home in a pleasant way,”
Relationships from page 29
As Koser points out, a longer commute can be a blessing in disguise as it allows individuals to settle their nerves and regain their calm. “If you have a long commute, be intentional about that commute,” she says. “Use it to your advantage.” Eric Kujawa, behavior support specialist program coordinator with Crossroads Counseling Center in Harrisonburg, uses his peak-filled commute to unwind by tak-
she maintains, adding that, while solidarity is imperative, some individuals go to the gym for a given amount of time, then their partner meets them later in the evening. “But, it is important to have a certain amount of time to yourself. “The idea is to let go of the stress at the door.” Matt unwinds with a cold one and some TV after a long day at the paper.
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1685 Garbers Church Rd; Harrisonburg (Off Rt. 42); South of Garbers Crossing
C a r i n g F o r Yo u r P e t ’ s H e a l t h F o r O v e r 3 5 Ye a r s
Contact Us: (540) 433-9174 w w w. a s h b y a n i m a l c l i n i c . c o m
Gloria Wright NMLS #315067
370 Neff Ave., Suite H Harrisonburg, Va. 22801 540-564-0202
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