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- Send questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@ creators.com

I am so impressed with the level of understand­ing and empathy you have toward the phase that your children are at in their lives.

We reside only six miles from one of our children and 25 miles from the other. If we don’t go to their house to help with something, we hardly see them. They have fulltime jobs, which require a lot of overtime, and they volunteer, run kids all over for sporting events and do their best to keep up with daily life requiremen­ts. Yes, I’d love for them to visit, but in reality, they are running on fumes.

So we do our best to help them out by driving kids to practices, tossing a load of dishes in the dishwasher, walking the dog, sitting on the mower with the tunes on and cutting the lawn, weed whacking, bringing trash cans up, or just being there for them if they need it. — Understand­ing Grandparen­ts

I am so impressed with the level of understand­ing and empathy you have toward the phase that your children are at in their lives. You sound like wonderful grandparen­ts who are very understand­ing, and I very much appreciate your telling your story. Hopefully, it will inspire other grandparen­ts.

Dear Understand­ing:

Dear Annie: This letter is regarding the concerned brother whose sister in her 80s still cared for horses and livestock, which she did without her hearing aid or cellphone.

I’m in my 70s and do the exact same thing. My hearing aids irritate me, so I don’t use them at home, and I don’t carry a cellphone when caring for the animals because I’m afraid it will fall out of my pocket and fall in water or mud or get stepped on.

May I suggest he look at a med alert system? They usually have a device you wear on a chain around the neck, and if you get in trouble, you just press a button. It is non-intrusive and will get help on a timely basis if an emergency occurs. — Love My Animals

Dear Love My Animals: A med alert system is a great idea. Thank you for writing in.

Dear Annie: I just read the letter about cleaning an air-conditioni­ng unit.

It made me think of advice a pediatrici­an gave me almost 40 years ago when I had two toddlers. She said that in the fall, when you turn the heat on for the first time, open a few windows and then leave the house for a few hours. This lets the dust settle and helps prevent allergic reactions, which compromise children’s immune systems and cause them to pick up every germ circulatin­g throughout the fall and winter.

This really works and it was me, the mom, who always got the upper respirator­y stuff within days of turning the heat on. I went as far as completely dusting the house before following her advice when I turned the heat on for the first time every fall. I still do it for myself! Here’s to a healthier winter. — Healthier Winters

Dear Healthier Winters: Thank you for these great tips.

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