Still plenty to be thankful for in 2020


Let’s just go ahead and say it: 2020 has been a real bummer of a year.

This pandemic has clearly put the clamp down on a lot of things in our lives. For me, it has meant a lot of cancelled band gigs, and not going to see live music – something I absolutely love to do. We have spent less time with friends and basically no time with family. As social people, this has been pretty hard.

A motorcycle trip I had planned with two friends to New Mexico was put off until next year (finger’s crossed) and a planned trip to see my dad is also on hold.

Of course, that meant more time at home to get all of those projects I had been putting off done. Honestly, I have completed about .000001 percent of them.

Thankfully, I like my wife, which is a good thing as we have been working from home together since the end of March. She usually travels a lot for work, but instead she is stuck at home with me day after nearly endless day.

Yes, she is a saint.

But as we reached Thanksgiving last week, I had to stop and realize how fortunate I am. And I am sure you all did much the same. Yes, it has been a difficult year, but there are many, many things to be thankful for.

* My daughter, Julie, got married this year. She married a great young man, too, so that is double great. Her wedding was a very beautiful affair at a great place in Duluth, Minn., where they live. We all wore our masks and followed the rules and no one got COVID-19. It was a day I will never forget.

* I bought a new guitar this year. Is that something to be thankful for, you ask? Well, to me it certainly is. It was 14 years old and in mint condition. It is an electric guitar made by a brand that is getting harder to find and is nearly impossible to find in mint condition. So yes, that is something I am very thankful for!

* My son, Nick, graduates from college in a couple of weeks. He finished his 6-years enlistment in the Air Force and went right to Florida to go to college after he got out. It took a little more than four years, but the kid I was certain would never graduate from high school is nearly a college graduate. And he got great grades to boot. I am so proud.

* I did not throw up this year. Hear me out. I have not puked since 1983, and every year that I extend this record is a banner year. I didn’t even really come close this year. (I wonder if I just jinxed myself – the year isn’t over!)

* I celebrated another year of marriage to my best friend. This is truly something I cherish and am very, very thankful for. I am not sure where I would be in my life without my wife.

* I got a chance to continue to write these weekly columns. Sure, some of you might not put this on your thankful list, but I certainly do. I love to get my thoughts down and in print every week. It is such a privilege that I am able to do so, and I never take it for granted. Thanks for reading these columns!

* Finally, I am thankful for you, the people who still read newspapers. There are fewer of us every year, but we are hanging on. I appreciate your dedication to the newspaper and am honored you choose to read us.