Let it Snow!

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As far as I can see, our world is draped in white. Everything looks so fresh and clean.  The trees, bushes, and homes along our street look beautiful in their new bleached attire. I’ve enjoyed the sun and not needing a coat outside, but It seems very strange for January. The anticipation of this cold outburst made me appreciate it all the more! I was a little sad when the snowplow made its way down our street this morning. The covered streets looked peaceful, void of cars, and I imagined the quiet morning the storm provided each family by the appearance of being snowed in.

The last few snowflakes dropping calmly from the sky were not in a hurry to make a landing. They appeared to be enjoying their slow, belated trip with graceful twirls that made for a fun dance to watch, reminding me of the value in embracing the journey. They performed with a peaceful solitude, without care they didn’t make it with the crowd of snowflakes earlier. It is a reminder of the calm I feel when I’m not comparing my life to another and the time it takes to complete a goal. I’m happiest when I’m not in competition and applaud others for their accomplishments.

After the snowplow awakened our street, I watched the neighborhood kids outside making a slide for their sleds. My mind drifted back to the fond memories of my childhood, sledding down many hills. Then I recalled my children making forts, snowmen and a snow hill on the slide Mark built on their swing set for a fun winter inner-tube slide.

yellowstone-snowmobiling-bison-wildlife-1280x853In my youth, my parents bought snowmobiles and Yellowstone during the Christmas school break became our annual vacation spot. To me the ride was more thrilling than any in Disneyland, with beauty unlike anywhere else. The bubbling hot pots and geysers were colorful and stood out on the white canvas. The intense heat from nature’s tubs kept the snow melted around them, making an easy place for the wildlife to graze. These beautiful pictures are forever etched in my brain. Fortunately, this tradition lasted into the first few years of our marriage, so Mark was able to enjoy this winter wonderland with us.

Since the car accident, which rendered Mark wheelchair dependent, we usually stay indoors during the winter months unless I’m shoveling the driveway or driving to a destination. It’s been many years since I’ve played in the snow. Maybe it’s time to take advantage of the fun it can provide.

I sent Katie and Eldin a text. “Would you like to build a snowman in the back yard? Hot chocolate, dinner and a movie are also possibilities.” To my delight, our 33-year-old daughter accepted my invitation. The snow was powdery and nearly impossible to pack and we are seriously out of practice in how to build a snowman. Katie came up with a brilliant idea of making an igloo instead. I thought about her Barbie and Ken dolls I have in storage and how fun it would be to put them inside the igloo. It was getting cold and this would take more time to dig out. We opted for the Fisher Price family instead.

Life is about memories. Sometimes I’m so wrapped up in my caregiving responsibilities I forget to enjoy the journey. There are experiences I know I’m missing out on and under our circumstances are impossible for me to do. I’m grateful for slow, peaceful snowflakes after our first winter storm, which reminded me to embrace my life without comparing or being in competition with anyone other than myself. An igloo isn’t the snowman we set out to create, but the event of being together was still fulfilling and made for an amusing memory.

Yes, snowmen are cute and I still hope to build one sometime this winter. For now, I’ll enjoy the ones that adorn the inside of our home. I love snow for its beauty and the possibilities it creates for play. The memories of winters past and present are cherished. I appreciate snow from indoors too. With the fire burning and the quiet, peaceful feeling of being home bound, I’m provided with the perfect opportunity to write. So tonight, inside our warm, cozy home I’m singing, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

January 2018 Newsletter

January Bring OnHappy New Year! I hope this newsletter finds you well and satisfied with the closing of another year. A fresh start brings renewed hope for improvement. Associating with others in similar circumstances motivates progress as we learn from each other. For this reason I’ve gathered information on the upcoming month’s support groups and therapy services offered in the Salt Lake Valley. If you live outside of this region, I encourage you to look for support groups near you. Also included are links to useful and inspiring websites. If you have an activity, announcements or other information you’d like shared in this newsletter, please email Barbara@UnitingCaregivers.com.



January 5, 2018 – Full Circle Yoga and Therapy, 4-5:30 p.m. located at 1719 S. Main, SLC. Brain injury survivors and caregivers are invited to attend the support group followed by an adaptive gentle Alignment Yoga practice led by Carla Anderson. Both the support group and yoga practice are free to attend.

January 9, 2018 – Brain Injury Alliance Support Group for Adults, 6-8 p.m. Meets every 2nd Tuesday monthly at Sanderson Community Deaf Center, 5709 South 1500 West, SLC, UT 84123. This social group is for all caregivers and survivors. All are welcomed to share meatball subs and games together.  Bring a side dish or dessert to share if you’d like. Call Jennifer (801) 386-2195, or Beth (801) 585-5511 for more information.

January 18, 2018 – IMC Caregivers and Survivors Education Groups, 7-8 p.m. Meets every 3rd Thursday monthly at a new location starting this month:


IMC Cottonwood Medical Tower (TOSH Campus) 181 E. Medical Tower Drive, Murray, Utah. Caregivers will meet on the 1st floor conference room and the Survivors will meet on the 2nd floor conference room.

Caregivers topic: Getting to Know You – A fun evening planned as we spotlight caregivers and give each one a Welcome Packet with helpful tips and inspirational thoughts plus this years meeting topic schedule.

Survivors topic: New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Lifestyle presented by Stephanie Obrabovich (PT)

January 23, 2018 – University of Utah Brain Injury Support Group 7-8 p.m. Meets every 4th Tuesday monthly at Sugarhouse Health Center, 1138 E. Wilmington Avenue, SLC, UT 84106. This month’s topic: Trails Adaptive Sports & Recreation presented by Tanja Kari. Come learn what options are available. Please call Ryan Pello at (801) 581-2221 for questions.



Aphasia Talking Practice Group – Meets every Tuesday, Noon-1 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East #G50

Meditation Group – Meets every Wednesday, 3 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East Cafeteria Conference Room

Cognitive Skills Group – Meets every Thursday Noon-1 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East #G50

Contact: Dr. Russo at antonietta.russo@imail.org



Together we share coping strategies, provide encouragement, comfort and advice from people with common experiences. For more information contact Margo at (801)455-6089 or Utah@efa.org

January 4, 2017 – Epilepsy Group for Parents, 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. Meets every 1st Thursday of the month at the Riverton Library Auditorium, 12877 S. 1830 W., Riverton, UT.


January 11, 2017 – Epilepsy Group for All Effected by Seizures, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Meets every 2nd Thursday of the month.

New location starting this month at theDoty Education Center – Intermountain Medical Center, 5171 S. Cottonwood St., Bldg. 6, 1st floor – CR2 , Murray, UT.

January 17, 2017 – Epilepsy Group for All Effected by Seizures, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month at the SLC Main Library 200 E. 400 S., SLC, UT (2nd floor conference room).

January 24, 2017 – Epilepsy Group for Teens, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Meets the 4th Wednesday monthly at the West Jordan Library, 8030 S. 1825 W., West Jordan, UT. There are two teachers overseeing this group. Come to enjoy an activity and meet other teens with epilepsy.

Coming Soon


NEW EPILEPSY SUPPORT GROUP in Utah County! It begins on February 15th and will then meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 7:00 to 8:15 pm, at the Provo City Library – 555 N. University Ave.



http://www.caregiver.org (online webinars for caregivers)

http://www.tbicommunity.org (online educational programs)

http://www.braininjury.com (medical, legal, information resource)

http://www.abta.org (brain tumor education and information)

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi (brain injury facts, programs, education)

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/all-disorders (education for brain injury, stroke and other neurological disorders)

http://www.msktc.org/tbi (TBI Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center) national leaders in TBI research and patient care.

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Resources-Support (resource for those with MS)

http://www.epilepsy.com/utah and/or http://www.epilepsy.com (seizure education and support by state or national)

https://biau.org (resource for those with brain injury)

http://www.brainline.org (preventing, treating and living with TBI)


https://store.usgs.gov/access-pass (free pass to National Parks & Federal Land Agency areas)

https://wildlife.utah.gov/watchable-wildlife-for-disabled.html (watchable wildlife for disabled persons)

http://slco.org/adaptive/plus-one-pass (Salt Lake County Disability Plus One Pass)

https://twilightinsight.wordpress.com/hobbies/hobbies-for-healing-the-brain/tbi-and-selecting-a-hobby (select a hobby – ideas especially for TBI survivors)

http://www.discovernac.org (National Ability Center)

(wheelchair accessible trails in Utah)

https://www.visitutah.com/Media/Default/One%20Sheeters/Accessible_Utah_web.pdf (list of accessible resources)

wasatchadaptivesports.org (Wasatch Adaptive Sports)

http://www.discovernac.org (National Ability Center)

https://www.meetup.com (meet up groups)


Laptops http://www.brainline.org/abbymaslin (blog about loving and learning after TBI)

http://www.unitingcaregivers.wordpress.com (caregivers sharing stories, tips and thoughts)

http://www.facebook.com/UTteensupportgroup (social interaction and the exchange useful resources)

newsletterThank you for reading. I hope you found the information helpful and will follow this website via email to receive notifications of every new post. The “Follow” button is located at the beginning of the newsletter. However, if you want to subscribe only to a monthly newsletter, please email Barbara@UnitingCaregivers.com. I will add you to the newsletter email list and send you the link monthly.