Happy November, Alexandria, and welcome to The Women's Health Issue!
I love featuring accomplished, awe-inspiring women! Our cover story this month ("Pathway to New Beginnings: Mental Health & Hope In The Time of COVID-19," beginning on page 16) is a celebration of four such women who have taken on the mental health crisis by providing safe access to services during the pandemic. We all need a little help sometimes, and these women are bringing hope back to our community.
Speaking of the pandemic, I must admit that I have yet to fully find my stride in this COVID-19, "new normal" world. Along with social distancing regulations and mandatory masks, travel opportunities have become limited. As a true wanderer, not being able to escape 'my bubble' feels claustrophobic and unnatural. That's why I was so thrilled when my team decided to take us on a trip to Italy... without us having to leave Alexandria.
"A Tour of Italy: Memories In Every Bite" (page 51) will take you on a local adventure, in which every stop will find you at a local Italian eatery. Each location offers curbside pick-up and social distancing dining options, but if you would prefer to prepare your own Italian meal in your own kitchen, Noe Landini of Landini Bros. has got you covered. His Italian-American Thanksgiving Day recipes on page 55 are the key to calming even the most restless of us.
It's so incredible to think that Thanksgiving is only a few short weeks away. But there is another holiday that we need to acknowledge first: Veterans Day. I always struggle with my Veterans Day messaging because, to be blunt, saying, "thank you," never seems like it's enough. For this military spouse, finding the right words on such a meaningful day always seems so impossible. This is why the Salute to Service feature of VIP is so near and dear to my heart. It was my way of attempting to bridge the gap between our military families and our community; to provide a deeper understanding to Alexandria of what our service members and their families endure for the sake of our nation. This month, we have brought you two unique stories about two extraordinary female veterans.
As I'm sure you've gathered, the pages ahead contain many VIPs with meaningful stories to share with you. From overcoming addiction, surviving abuse and battling cancer to 'mask mouth' dental concerns, balancing your hormones and finding positive energy through music, this issue is one you'll want to read and reread before passing it on to your moms, sisters, friends and colleagues.
Until next time, Alexandria. Stay thankful.
Kellie Gunderman, Publisher