I’m thankful for birds. That’s one reason I spend the money, time, and effort to keep them happy most of the year-round. That’s never been truer than now.
Usually, my wife and I would be on Amelia Island, Florida, right now, enjoying the birds, wildlife, and strolls on the beach. The coronavirus, of course, changed all of that. We decided to continue to stay close to home. We also didn’t want to miss out on getting the vaccines to protect us from the virus.
So, instead of searching for great egrets, little blue herons, American white pelicans, willets, sanderlings, and black skimmers, I’m settling for mostly seedeaters this winter. …
Because of the needed health restrictions, we stayed close to home for much of 2020. That didn’t keep us from visiting with family and friends, however.
We recognized that the issued restrictions were and continue to be for our own safety. So, we faithfully followed them.
Like everyone else, we missed our everyday human interactions with friends and family most of all. Then we discovered a satisfactory no contact substitute.
Zoom is a program that works on devices like laptops, smartphones, and iPads to share face-to-face. Many businesses and educational institutions use it to operate during the pandemic.
We enjoyed being able to interact with folks and see them, too. …
My wife and I are leaving the lights on for you. And, no, we aren’t Motel 6!
The year-end holidays may be over, but our modest festive light display is still burning brightly. We began our celebrative decorating early and are letting our lights shine well into the New Year.
We are not crazy, nor do we own stock in our electricity company. We have our altruistic reasons for letting the lights continue to shine.
Lighting up our homes inside and out runs deep in our linage. My wife’s family always brightened their cozy farmhouse with tactful holiday flare. …
It’s a new year, and I couldn’t be happier. I imagine you are right there with me.
It’s all too easy to remember the bad of 2020. Canceled vacations. Remote learning. Lockdowns, unfamiliar yet necessary health recommendations. Ubiquitous death and illness. Record global high temperatures, wildfires, and hurricanes. Street weddings, street violence, racial prejudice, delayed funerals, and sports without fans in the stands. Those were but a few examples of last year’s upside-down waywardness.
A pair of intertwining events dominated nearly every aspect of our lives here in the United States. The coronavirus pandemic enwrapped presidential election news as if it were kudzu smothering a forest. …
I’m glad this year that we would all like to forget is finally coming to an end.
I know we still have a few days to go in 2020. I figured summing it up early would help us get a head start on the coming New Year.
As is my custom, I recorded some of the newsy pieces that didn’t make the headlines. Consequently, there’s no mention of the presidential election.
1 — Soot from raging wildfires in Australia turned glaciers black in New Zealand
5 — The BBC reported that 4 million hectares or 9.9 million acres had burned in Australia’s New South Wales since July 1. …
I’m not sure what Christmas will bring this year, let alone Santa. With the pandemic surging and health guidelines more stringent, it might just be my wife and me enjoying Christmas Day. And that’s okay.
Pandemic or no pandemic, Christmas is still Christmas, whether we are alone or with a gaggle of rowdy relatives. We can still celebrate the sacred day. This year, though, our celebrations will probably be very different since the pandemic is still raging.
Since we likely can’t gather in our traditional ways this Christmas, I have an idea. …
A familiar aroma wafted all the way from the kitchen to my office. Joy overwhelmed me as I inhaled the welcoming whiff of Christmas cookies.
I had seen my wife mixing the ingredients and rolling the dough earlier in the morning. Just imagining the taste of the gluten-free Moravian ginger snaps and cookie crumbles made my mouth water.
Neva loves to bake, and the dynamo that she is, she did so even though not feeling the best. After nearly 50 years of marriage, I knew not to intervene.
Baking is only one of Neva’s many gifts for which I am grateful. During the holiday season, she goes into overdrive, providing goodies and other pleasantries for friends, family, and even strangers. That’s in addition to taking the lead in decorating our home for the holidays. …
I haven’t been bored during all of these stay-close-to-home pandemic months despite my limited times of being out-and-about. I have had plenty to do, and even then, I haven’t completed everything that I had wanted or needed to do. Just ask my wife.
I did accomplish one important goal, however. I wrote my own obituary. I don’t mean to sound morbid, especially during the holiday season. I don’t want to be a prophetic scribe either. I know my humor can be strange sometimes, but I am not kidding on this solemn note.
I was fortunate to celebrate another trip around the sun recently. I still have a long way to go to match my folks’ longevity. Mom lived to be 90, and Dad died a month short of his 90th. …
I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready for the holidays. It’s been a long year with all that has happened, and we still have a month to go in 2020.
What a month it is, though. Holidays of all sorts fill December. For Christians, Advent marks the beginning of the Christmas season, the four Sundays before the big day on December 25.
For our Jewish friends, Hannukah runs from the evening of December 10 to the evening of the 18th. The winter solstice is December 21.
Orthodox Christians, Amish, and other faiths extend the season into the New Year with the celebration of Epiphany or Old Christmas on January 6. That’s the date fixed for when the three kings found the Christ child by following the bright star. …
Thanksgiving season is upon us here in the U.S. The day won’t be the same as in years past, with the pandemic still raging. Nevertheless, we can, and we should celebrate.
I have always relished Thanksgiving. The food, the fellowship, the interplay of cross-generational conversation and gaming made the day special.
Growing up in blue-collar northeast Ohio, my four siblings and I had a boatload of first cousins with whom we communed on Thanksgiving Day. Our maternal grandmother graciously oversaw the gathering of her three daughters and their families.
A buffet of all the traditional Thanksgiving goodies filled the long dining room table at our Aunt Vivian and Uncle Kenny’s place, where we usually assembled. …