Yes, there are still things to be thankful for in 2020, you just have to get creative.
While it has generally been a horrible year in so many ways, we still must find ways to give thanks if for nothing other than still being above ground. That’s especially true this year.
Of course, not getting or surviving COVID would be at the top of most thankfulness lists, as it should be. Thankfulness for the coming vaccines — even the one that has to be stored at -150 degrees or something ridiculous like that — is also fully warranted. It’s probably OK to even be thankful a bunch of other people will take it before you do so you’ll at least get to see if it works or causes anyone to grow a third eye.
This year has been a rough one. OK, massive understatement. So, that could make it tough to have as many blessings to count as we might normally B.C. (Before COVID). But I’ve found a few things to be thankful for, even if a few may seem like reaches.
- I’ll get the low-hanging fruit first. I’m thankful for a wonderful, beautiful wife, amazing kids and terrific dogs. We’re fortunate to have one another and there’s no one I’d rather go through a pandemic with, or life with, for that matter. Along with extended family and friends, our cup overfloweth with non-material riches. Truly, it is what matters most.
- I’m thankful hurricane season is over. We spent more time in cones this year than a scooper at Cammie’s Old Dutch. (Dad joke alert!) Fortunately, we made it through. There was destruction everywhere, but Baldwin and North Mobile County definitely got the worst of it. But we can still be thankful we’re not Louisiana.
- I’m thankful for electricity. We may give Alabama Power a hard time about what they do with their toxic coal ash, but there’s no doubt we need the juice. The hurricane experiences this year have shown me exactly how electricity-dependent my family is. I think we can survive without it for roughly two hours before everyone is angry, panicked and yelling, “Let’s go to your parents’ house!”
- I’m thankful for football. Even with all of the hoops that have been jumped through in order to allow a season of football, it may have been the most normal part of the year. We — at least in the Deep South — needed football back after The Lockdown to distract us from everything else. Yes, it’s kind of a bummer the fans haven’t been able to attend, but the cardboard cutouts are pretty funny and at least nobody’s doing “the wave.” Look who’s finding silver linings everywhere!!
- Speaking of The Lockdown, I’m thankful there seems to be at least some recognition shutting down our entire economy can have really horrible side effects. While our toilet paper aisles (thankful for TP, too!) would indicate many of us believe another lockdown is coming, there’s at least some ray of hope our leaders will do everything they can not to go that way again.
- I’m thankful the election is over. I know there’s still a lot of anger about the outcome, and people on both sides believe laws are being broken and the peaceful transfer of power in our country is in danger. Putting that aside for a second, though, I think most of us are relieved things are winding to a close and we can just move on, regardless of how we may feel about it. I’m sure there’ll be legends about the “stolen” election for decades, but at least the nation can finally take a deep breath.
- I’m thankful for good health. I had pneumonia in March and it flat-out sucked.
- I’m thankful Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is on the job fighting against medical marijuana so those sick kids who need it will just have to go somewhere else and Alabama won’t turn into a Cheech and Chong movie. He can add that to his decision not to prosecute Big Luther Strange for bribery, his own violation of PAC-to-PAC transfer laws and this week’s out-of-nowhere attack on mayors who removed Confederate statues to prevent violence, to his greatest hits catalog. I’m thankful you all get sarcasm.
- I’m thankful for the sperm whale in Mobile Bay and the people trying to help her. I know the outcome probably won’t be good, but it’s a pretty fantastical story anyway. A 36-foot sperm whale in Mobile Bay?!! Who could ever have imagined? Someone sent a video of a guy on a fishing boat when the whale came past and his amazement was hysterical. It’s just one more strange thing 2020 has given us.
- On a somewhat related note, I’m thankful this led to me hearing about the time a town in Oregon used half a ton of TNT to blow up a dead whale on the beach. Pieces of blubber rained down for a quarter of a mile, including a hunk large enough to crush a ’60s-style land yacht car. If you’ve never watched the newscast of it, it’s online. Definitely the most perfect example of groupthink ever.
- I’m thankful we may be able to find some kind of Mardi Gras workaround — even if it is totally strange. The idea of no Mardi Gras in Mobile is pretty deflating. If we can just get the vaccine-flavored MoonPies, it could be a win-win.
- And finally … I’m thankful for you, dear reader, for those who still want a newspaper in this day and age and those who support it with their advertising and subscriptions. I will say that when the pandemic began, things looked bleak for the news business across the board, but it has improved and hopefully, we’ve gotten a little smarter about how we handle things as well.
Enjoy your Turkey Day, whether it is with hermetically sealed family members in the same room or via a computer screen. Perhaps because 2020 has been so “difficult,” we all will truly feel a little more thankful even if we’re facing hardships. We can be thankful 2020 is almost over and hope it doesn’t have any more curveballs to throw our way. Probably no one will be more thankful than Baby New Year 2021, because the bar for greatness has been set very low.
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