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The top 1% of New Year’s resolutions

A week into my 60th year I’m breaking in the personal trimmer Santa brought and sensing what I hope may be the onset of the wisdom that accompanies fuzzy ears.

All these decades of observing humanity and hearing January resolutions for upgrading it persuade me that just 10 personal objectives, if met, would remedy 90 percent of our shortcomings.

The essential New Year's goals:

1. Drink more water. Probably, a lot more.

2. Eat what we know we should: Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins.

3. Don’t kill the light at night without having learned something new that day.

4. To the greatest extent possible, be kind.

5. Always be reading a book.

6. Save some money.

7. Be actively grateful.

8. Find the bliss and visit it often.

9. Surprise someone in need by lending a hand.

10. Smile, if only to trick oneself into feeling happy.

SMILING ISN’T EASY for the east African orphans, some of them survivors of genocide and civil war, who sang in December at Occidental’s Salmon Creek School.

Sebastopol dentist Larry Ford and his wife and office manager, Gerri, learned that few of the kids in the traveling Asante Children’s Choir had ever had their teeth cleaned, or even examined.

So the Fords opened the office the day after Christmas and with the help of their staff, dentist Silvano Senn and oral surgeon Len Tyko, performed cleanings, fillings and extractions desperately needed by the 14 children and their adult chaperones.

Larry and Gerri Ford had worked about 12 hours when the kids all gathered to thank them in song. Gerri said, “It was the best experience of the Christmas season for us.”

THE WINTER CONCERT at Rincon Valley Middle School was set for Dec. 11, but veteran music teacher Jon Saler’s house burned to the ground the night before.

Postponed, the concert will happen in the RVMS cafeteria at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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