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The yard on North Willow Street is decorated in the spirit of Halloween, despite being a couple of weeks off. It seems like doing something creative is a chance to do something normal during an anything but normal time.

The pumpkins and spider webs filled one corner of the neatly fenced yard. The fall leaves this time of year drifted across the lawn in the ever-present Ellensburg wind. The scenery had a nice, normal vibe in a pandemic world.

ELBOW BUMP

Inside, a young woman met visitors at the door with a smile and a pandemic elbow bump that has replaced a handshake these days. The new normal is becoming the new standard.

Ellensburg High School graduate Sarah Reid, 29, is comfortable in her house, helped pick out the pumpkins in the yard and put up the decorations. She’s generally a bit on the quiet side, but got a little more talkative as the conversation went on. She’s not so much into the scary movies of this time of year, but she does like old television series and old movies.

“I like ‘The Addams Family’,” she said, moving the fingers on her hand, bent at the wrist, emulating her favorite character Thing with a giggle.

MOVIES

Yeah, she likes the human hand character Thing cast in the 1964-66 series ‘The Addams Family,’ thus the hand motion. She also gets a charge at the classic line from the enormous butler, Lurch, “You … rang.” “The Addams Family” is one of those funny scary sitcoms that’s not too scary.

“I like that,” said Sarah, who turns 30 at the end of the month. “I like ‘Bewitched’, too.”

“She has the innate ability to memorize the dialog scenes in a movie,” her dad Don said. “She can recite the line. I have no idea how she can do that. She has an uncanny ability to visualize the scene and be able to tell you all about it.

“I’m not sure she realizes what she’s doing. But sure enough, she can tell you all about the movie and picks up on storylines really easy. It’s as if she has this ability to counter other conditions in her life.”

‘PILLOW TALK’

She also takes a shine to Doris Day, movies like “Pillow Talk,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much” and “Send Me No Flowers.”

“Doris Day is pretty,” Sarah said. “I like her a lot. She’s great.”

Sarah is intellectually challenged, but she is secure in her world. She is currently working at Fitterer’s Furniture downtown, where she cleans the windows and keeps the place looking nice. She’s a dependable employee and takes her tasks at hand seriously. She has also worked at Goodwill throughout her high school years. She also worked in a beauty shop and knows how to get around on the HopeSource bus.

She participates in Special Olympics bowling and basketball.

“We were hoping that she’d be able to play basketball this year, but we’re not sure with the COVID-19,” her mother Kate said. “She’s pretty good.”

“I like dribbling the ball the most,” Sarah said. “I made a basket once and that was great.”

GREAT FAMILY

Her brothers Trevor and Elliott keep a close eye on little sister, have ever since they moved to town when Trevor was in the sixth grade and Elliott third.

“They’re always fighting over her,” Kate said with a laugh. “They’re always saying Sarah can come live with either one of them.”

The family participated in the Buddy Walk this year in Ellensburg. Last year they traveled to Seattle to join in the Pacific Northwest region’s effort to support the Down Syndrome community. The National Buddy Walk brings friends and family together to bring awareness to the Down Syndrome community.

DOWN SYNDROME MONTH

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Down Syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition. Each year, about 6,000 babies are born with Down Syndrome — a 1 in 700 chance.

The prevalence of Down Syndrome increases with the mother’s age. It is associated with delays in physical growth, characteristic facial features and intellectual disability. In fact, the average IQ of an adult with Down Syndrome is equivalent to that of an 8-year-old.

FULL, PRODUCTIVE LIFE

But like all facts, they can fail to provide a full picture. The truth is, children born with Down Syndrome can absolutely go on to live happy and long lives. And with Down Syndrome Awareness Month every October, we can be inspired to learn more about this topic and to celebrate people born with Down syndrome and the medical advancements that increasingly improve their quality of life.

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