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Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Dear Abby

Aries (March 21-April 19): Com­pas­sion is not just a word you read in books about popes, saints and the Dali Lama. Com­pas­sion is an au­to­matic re­sponse to your daily life. It’s who you are. Tau­rus (April 20-May 20): While there are de­tailed rea­sons why things must go as they do, in the broader sense, the cir­cu­lar na­ture of your busi­ness will bring with it a wal­lop of irony. “Crops are sold for money spent on food.” — Her­a­cli­tus Gem­ini (May 21-June 21): Grat­i­tude will help keep you cen­tered and focused on cre­at­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence you want for your­self and your loved ones. Your re­sources are abun­dant, and what­ever you don’t have will be yours for the ask­ing. Can­cer (June 22-July 22): It’s heaven to be around peo­ple who get you, no ex­pla­na­tion nec­es­sary. For these con­nec­tions, in­ti­mate com­mu­ni­ca­tion is sub­tle com­mu­ni­ca­tion. You’ll go right to the heart of the mat­ter. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Find­ing a groove re­quires a bit of pa­tience to­day, so don’t ex­pect things to work im­me­di­ately. Peo­ple need to get warmed up first, and that in­cludes you. Breathe, smile, and get grounded. By noon all will sync up. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Don’t let details bog you down, and avoid try­ing to pre­pare for ev­ery pos­si­ble sce­nario. Most things will go right. Later, there will be more im­por­tant things to tend to than the ones you were tempted to ob­sess over. Li­bra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23): Team spirit is not the job of one team mem­ber; rather, it’s a man­ner in which func­tions of the game are ex­er­cised. Your es­prit de corps will be con­ta­gious. En­cour­age them to orig­i­nate such a feel­ing, too, so it’s not all on you. Scor­pio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21): Stay out of the minu­tiae. Jump up to that perch that will give you the big pic­ture view. This is the way to bring/have/make the most fun pos­si­ble out of to­day’s sce­nario. Sagit­tar­ius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You’re cu­ri­ous about peo­ple. Some­times that cu­rios­ity kicks in years later, when it’s too late to know. You’re still won­der­ing how cer­tain things came to be. Now is your chance to ask and avoid fu­ture re­gret. Capri­corn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): There are many de­lights in your arse­nal of so­cial graces. Su­perb man­ners, ex­em­plary hu­mor, ex­cep­tional warmth — that’s just the be­gin­ning. Wait till they taste your pie! Aquar­ius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You and a loved one will un­der­stand one an­other per­fectly as long as you’re mak­ing the ef­fort to com­mu­ni­cate out loud. Be­cause there’s so much else go­ing on to­day, your usual short­hand or telepa­thy with this per­son won’t work. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): You’re al­ready the com­plete pack­age. You’re whole. You’re per­fectly you, just the way you are. Make this your mantra through the day. Sure, ev­ery­one can im­prove, but it’s a choice, not a ne­ces­sity. You’re al­ready wor­thy.

To write to Hol­i­day Mathis, visit www.cre­ators.com/au­thor/ hol­i­day-mathis and click “Con­tact.” DEAR ABBY >> With the hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son al­ready here, may I sug­gest an­other way to look at gift giv­ing? We all want to give the per­fect gift to fam­ily mem­bers. Some gifts can cost a lot of money and some not. I would like peo­ple to take a step back and con­sider who they are buy­ing for.

I stopped buy­ing gifts for my par­ents and sis­ter 10 years ago. Be­cause their money is tight, I have been stock­ing their pantries with food and sta­ples. I am well off enough fi­nan­cially that I have been able to fill their freez­ers with enough meat to last three months or more.

At Thanks­giv­ing, my hus­band and I load up our car and bring the meat with us. Then my mom, sis­ter, grandma and I go to the gro­cery store and buy sta­ples for the pantry and what we need to make freezer meals. Abby, this takes so much pres­sure off them.

Food is ex­pen­sive. So in­stead of buy­ing Dad that new TV or sound sys­tem, or your sis­ter that de­signer hand­bag, pause and take a hard look at their sit­u­a­tion. Some­times the need for ba­sics out­weighs the de­sire for the lat­est and great­est gad­gets. Even pay­ing a bill or two can help. Or gift cards for gro­ceries.

I never ex­pect presents from my fam­ily; all I want is for them to have some free­dom in their lives from the daily wor­ries. — New way of gift­ing

DEAR NEW WAY >> I’m pleased to share your let­ter with read­ers who may be won­der­ing what to give their rel­a­tives at Christ­mas. And I’m sure that your gen­eros­ity is deeply ap­pre­ci­ated by your fam­ily. Thank you for writ­ing.

DEAR ABBY >> My hus­band and I have been din­ing out with an­other cou­ple about twice a month. We have not been able to en­ter­tain them at our home be­cause it is not eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble and the man is in a wheel­chair. Over the past sev­eral months his health has de­clined. His mind is sharp, but his body is weak­en­ing.

The last time we met them for din­ner, we couldn’t un­der­stand what he was say­ing, so his wife “in­ter­preted.” Also, when he tries to eat, the food falls out of his mouth onto a bib and from there to the floor.

Abby, we just don’t know what to do. We re­ally like this cou­ple, but it is nau­se­at­ing to watch him eat with food fall­ing out of his mouth. Plus, the other pa­trons at the restau­rants are start­ing to stare. We look for­ward to your ad­vice.

— Peo­ple are start­ing to stare

DEAR PEO­PLE >> If this cou­ple ever needed un­der­stand­ing friends, it’s now. Be­cause you are em­bar­rassed to be seen with them in a restau­rant, con­sider bring­ing a take-out meal to their home. Granted, watch­ing your friend strug­gle is painful. But if he’s go­ing down­hill as rapidly as you say, he needs your sup­port more than ever, and so does his wife. And when he’s gone, you’ll know you did the right thing.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and get­ting along with peers and par­ents is in “What Ev­ery Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

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