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We are approaching one of my favorite holidays. Although this year will be celebrated quite differently for us. No large gatherings of family and friends, but a scaled back version is on tap for us, and for many I know.

To say that 2020 has been one of the strangest years I’ve ever experienced, is an understatement. It started with the loss of several family members, moved on to the pandemic, and added a few wildfires that burned many acres and structures in our state. One fire alone burned more than 195,000 acres. That was only one of eight fires all burning at the same time. The firefighters were heroic trying to save homes while many had their own homes burn to the ground. They definitely belong on my thankful list. They had endless weeks of intense heat and windy conditions that fueled the fires out of control.

All in all, I still have much to be thankful for. I’m alive to utter the words is a great place to start. I have a few friends who have survived the virus and it was no easy road for them. I can stay in touch with family and friends, via the internet, texts, and Zoom. I’ve celebrated birthdays that way too. My own included. (I’ve decided not to add this year to my age since I didn’t get to use much of it.) Thanksgiving will be a Zoom holiday too. Because being careful today, means the possibility of sharing special occasions next year together. That’s where hope comes in. Hope keeps me stable when the circumstances around me say something different.

I’ve learned to wear a mask and be grateful for the small contraption that keeps me and you safe when I wear it. It’s amazing how much I notice peoples eyes now. Their eyes can tell you so much about who they are. They are the window to the soul as they say and they give character to a person’s face. I’ve learned I can see a person’s smile by their eyes even when I can’t see their mouth.

As I sit down this year to give thanks, I want to remember all the wonderful things that have made this time tolerable. Sons who stopped by wearing a mask and sitting six feet away from us. Their way of saying they love us. Add to them grandkids in masks, and friends every week on Zoom. And of course there is the usual reasons for gratitude like food on the table, a roof over my heard, and most importantly the love of my husband. I can say that the year has literally zoomed by. Pardon my pun.

Life is really quite precious. I may be doing it differently right now, but it really is wonderful after all. I’ve found many special moments to celebrate in this year and for that I am thankful. I love these words by L..R. Knost. They express my feelings completely.

Life Is Amazing…And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful, it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life…And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.~*~ L.R. Knost ~*~