Good riddance to a very odd year

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2020

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I hope you had a relaxing and safe Christmas holiday break. It was nice to focus on other things besides the normal routine. I focused mostly on eating.

My wife is a terrific cook and she always ups her game this time of year. The turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, shells stuffed with North Carolina barbeque, sausage balls, pineapple casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes and blueberry cornbread were off the chart. Let the record show all of the above were not consumed in the same meal. She spread the smorgasbord over four days and there’s plenty left over.

The cheesecake and cinnamon roll breakfast casserole on Christmas morning were the desserts that topped off a feast of gluttony that set my exercise program back at least a month. Oh well, I knew it was coming and tried to behave.

We were planning on going easier on the sweets this year, but a friend shared her delicious mango bread and our neighbor dropped off a huge supply of chocolate chip cookies, fudge and oatmeal cookies. She didn’t know it, but oatmeal cookies without the raisins are my favorite.

I didn’t really want anything for Christmas because I already have everything I need, so there was no need for a list.  Santa listened to a certain degree, but knew I really like honey roasted peanuts. Our Charlotte relatives always send us a pecan (pee-can or pa-conn) sampler in a decorative tin, but I had forgotten. I ate most of it by myself last year and it was April before I had lost the extra weight. We haven’t opened it yet, so maybe discipline has finally arrived.

I know I am going to continue to stir the pot, but we referred to the above nut as a pa-conn in my part of the Midwest. My mother thought the other way sounded crude, so that’s probably why. To each his own, but pee-can still evokes an odd image.

So here we are. Christmas is behind us once again and a new year beckons.

2020 should be Exhibit A as evidence that you never know what’s coming next.

Never in my wildest fever dream would I, or any of you, have foretold the incomprehensible and certainly unparalleled sequence of events that made up the last 12 months.

We all know the details by now and will be reminded of them all week, so there’s no need to delve into them here.

However, we should all be extremely grateful for the gift of life and remember those who have left us this year. It’s hard to stay positive all the time, sometimes even some of the time, but there are many lessons that we could have learned and hopefully will use to make the world a better place in 2021.

Bah Humbug, you say. This whole year has stunk. Nothing good has come from it and I can’t wait for it to be over. You’re not wrong, but opportunities for good arise from bad experiences. We just have to try to take advantage of them.

We’ve all felt COVID’s impact somehow. Those who have lost loved ones have my deepest sympathy. Our frontline healthcare workers, first responders and others who deal with the virus daily are true heroes and have my deepest respect and gratitude.

My main takeaway from 2020 is that I’m more resilient than I thought, and I think that goes for everybody. We’ll continue to meet lifes challenges head-on and do the best we can. Good riddance to 2020 and here’s to a happier, safer and more normal 2021.