This morning, as I watch the news on television, and then read the news on my laptop, I am overwhelmed with emotion. 2020 has certainly been a year most of us hope we can forget! Covid-19 started out the year and quickly turned our sense of normalcy upside down. Heart wrenching violence quickly followed, leading to months of protests in almost every major city. Today, I watched the horrifying images of the Western states literally on fire. The entire states of California, Oregon, and Washington State appear to be in flames when looking at a map showing a marker for each fire location. Which, at last count that I heard, was over 77 fires. And, we can’t forget the overly active hurricane season we’ve had as well.
Human lives, homes, businesses, and jobs have been lost for each of the 2020 tragedies I’ve mentioned. I can only imagine the many individuals and families struggling and desperate. Unfortunately, we have a few months left to go this year, and I think most of us are wondering what else could possibly go wrong. I’m sure just as many are hoping and praying that 2021 will bring an end to all the turmoil, we have seen this year.
I am a person of deep faith, and a mother who raised her children to always count their blessings no matter what the situation. So, I ask myself today, what blessings have come out of 2020. It may take some digging to get past all of the sadness of this historical year, but I believe everyone can find a reason to be thankful.
I for one am extremely grateful to have a safe, comfortable roof over my head. With plenty of food, clean running water, and electricity to keep me cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. I shudder to think of all the people who are, or will be, struggling with those most basic needs this year, and probably into next year as well.
I am also so very grateful for the loved ones in my life that are truly there for me, no matter what. Even though I may not be able to see them in person, because of Covid-19 and/or distance, not a day goes by that I don’t need them! For now, I am happy to hug them if only in my heart, just to know they are safe and still in my life.
I am thankful for my faith in God, and the comfort and peace that faith gives me in turbulent times. I know I have grown even closer to Him in 2020. I imagine many others have as well. I believe in the positive power of prayer, and my prayers have been plentiful this year.
I realize that 2020 will not magically turn back to what we know as normal at the stroke of midnight on the eve of 2021, but I do have hopes that we will see positive improvements by then. No matter what happens, I have been shown without a doubt this year, that there are still superb people in this world. A tragedy has a way of sifting all the good from the bad and making it easy to distinguish who is who.
I will continue to be more thankful for what I have and worry less about what I don’t. I will continue to look for any flicker of light at the end of this long dark tunnel in which we seem to travel. Hoping for the best outcome for every one of us. Some may think I am being unrealistic, or downright silly. No, I have kept a positive attitude. Even if that means counting my blessings one by one daily, to keep my head up.
Here is hoping each of you can find a blessing for yourself today. Or better yet, be one to someone else. After all, we are all in this together.
⚽ I Took my wife to our local Kroger grocery store today (2/28/20), dropped her off, and headed off to walk three miles on the local trail with a close family member. After the walk was complete (7,500 steps), I went back to the store and walked down the aisle to Starbucks to get a cup of their delicious coffee. As I stood in line and waited, I pushed a button on my watch and when the attendant took my order; I held up my watch and she scanned the bar-code proudly displayed on my watch. That was the first time I have ever paid for anything using my watch. Normally, when I get coffee at Starbucks, I pay with my cellphone. As I departed with a steaming cup of java warming my cold hands, I was reminded that as a kid in the 1940s, Dick Tracy, in Sunday’s cartoon paper, made phone calls using his wristwatch. I’ll betcha that somewhere out there, someone has a watch that’ll make a phone call just like old Dick. Maybe, before I kick that old bucket, I’ll have one. 😊
As my wife and I left Kroger’s and headed towards the truck with our groceries, I asked her how the shopping went and she responded, “I made out like a bandit”. That made me smile because I know how much she likes to work store coupons. I know that at this stage in our comfortable lives, coupons aren’t as vital as when we were young, but I think it’s great that she still tries to save. I asked her once why she still worked coupons so diligently and she responded that it was a hobby. I believe that regardless of our age, or income, “making out like a bandit” pleases us all.
Dr. William Menninger said so wisely, “The amount of satisfaction you get from life depends largely on your own ingenuity, self-sufficiency, and resourcefulness. People who wait around for life to supply their satisfaction usually find boredom instead.” Now, that dog will hunt!
⚽ “Almost half the entire adult population (USA) — have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Cardiovascular disease afflicts about 122 million people and causes roughly 840,000 deaths each year, or about 2,300 deaths each day. Three in four adults are overweight or obese. More Americans are sick, in other words, than are healthy… New York Times.
Now that is scary! I’ve been worrying about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and it appears that I should be more concerned about my weight and what I eat. In fact, the odds of me dying from that virus is a mere.4%. That means the odds are 99.6% in favor of me not dying from it. There is also a 1 in 100,000 probability that I will get infected. That means there is a 00001% probability that I will get infected. If I get infected, there is a 2% chance I will die from it. I know that I should not ignore that terrible virus, but I also know that I should worry more about the flu virus that has hit us hard nationwide. One of my granddaughters told me the other day that she had missed work because of the flu virus, and when I asked her if she had taken the flu shot, she responded that she had. So, the shot doesn’t guarantee 100% protection, but if you contact the virus, studies show it will lessen the symptoms. I have long known that to prevent the possibility of contracting a virus, I should wash my hands often. In church on Sundays we have “Meet & Greet” during our church service (shake hands & greet other church members). My wife and I always make sure we wash our hands upon arriving home. I’m confident our fellow churchgoers do the same. Our minister informed the congregation today that he would suspend that part of our service temporarily. It is recommended that after washing our hands, we use a paper towel to dry them.
So, I have resolved to not worry inordinately about COVID-19 but keep up with its ability to spread easily. I plan on becoming anti social until a vaccine is developed, or it goes away due to warmer weather. I know that is impossible for those that must go to work or school every day. But for this old retired guy, that seems the most feasible road for me to travel. I’m hoping that when warmer weather arrives in April that this monster of a virus will disappear like SARS did in 2003 and MERS in 2012. There’s reason to think that may happen since COVID-19 matches 79% of the SARS virus and 50% of MERS.
If you want to read an excellent article on this deadly virus, click on this link.
William Feather said, “The very moment everything looks serene, all hell breaks loose”. Oh, how true those words are for most of us.
⚽ I read recently that only 2% of people have green eyes and I thought that was interesting. It is a result of pigmentation combined with the natural coloring of the eye that everyone has. The two colors mix to create that wonderful color. I have been married twice and both of my wives have that color, so I just assumed that it was common. To my surprise, 8% of the people in the world have blue eyes, and the most common eye color is brown (which I have). It is thought that up to 16 genes affect eye color, so it is possible for siblings not to have the same color eyes, and they may be different from their parents. Studies show that people with brown eyes are considered more trustworthy, but we all know that’s just not a good basis for trust 😊. Those of us with brown eyes enjoy some health benefits, such as being less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, Type 1 diabetes, and hearing loss. I always believed that blue eyes were rare and green and brown were common. And I always thought that people with blue eyes tended to be smarter.
I remember being in the 8th grade (1955) and being an avid reader of the “Readers Digest”. Mom was also, and I sorta picked it up from her. She saved copies of them all the way back to 1935. I recall reading in one of those books that you could tell a person’s intelligence by the color of their eyes and the order was from bright to not so bright (blue, green and brown in that order). That put me smack-dab in the “not so bright” group, and I was devastated. So, from that point on I tried to prove to myself that I did not deserve to be there. As bad as I felt at the time, it was probably a good thing for me to read because it encouraged me to try harder. Kinda reminds me of the old Johnny Cash song about “A Boy Named Sue”. Of course, some academics today still dabble in the theory that you can intuit intelligence by eye color but most studies indicate that those of us with darker eyes have darker skin and, therefore, less opportunity to advance our education, hence, not as smart as our brethren with lighter colored eyes. I have known three exceptionally smart people in my life. One had blue eyes and the other two had brown. That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.
Some wise person once said something to the effect, “Intelligence is not something possessed forever. It requires you to be open-minded, with a will to learn, and the courage to adjust anew.”
Wherever you are in this world, I hope your family loves you as much as mine loves me. I know you will return their love abundantly. That is my intent as well. I am always grateful that you take the time to read my missives. Until next time, be well…. Tommy. (Wow#57)