I’m always looking for gifts for people who are ill, gifts other than flowers that stimulate allergies, or plants that need watering in the hospital room. Here’s an article I once wrote on the subject. Now I have some additional ideas: You might consider a gorgeous display of dried lavender to sweeten the sick room. Also, during a visit with my father last month, I learned of The Teaching Company’s taped college lectures on all manner of religious subjects (Genesis, Augustine, America’s religious history, Eastern practices, and so forth), nice for the bed-bound person needing distraction and intellectual stimulation. The full and amazing menu of offerings ranging from “Voltaire and the Triumph of the Enlightenment” to “How to Understand Opera” is listed here.

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