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Outdoor Living: What to be thankful for in 2020
Alvin Richardson
Alvin Richardson

(Author’s note: In past years I’ve written columns around Thanksgiving that were inspired by the late Furman Bisher. This year is a little different but I’m still thankful for lots of things so here goes.)

I’m thankful that we had January, February and (part of) March to get 2020 off to a good start.

I’m blessedly thankful for my wife of 39 years. In football terminology “I out- punted my coverage” when I married her.

I’m pleased that we got back from Portugal just before the travel bans struck and that we didn’t have to stay in that beautiful country for the past nine months. I don’t think there would have been enough wine in Lisbon.

I’m very thankful that I have not been smitten with Covid-19 and am hopeful that the pandemic won’t stretch very far into 2021.

I’m thankful for health care workers who put their lives on the line in order to help all those who were sick. On the other hand I’m concerned about those people who think the pandemic is a hoax. I guess they should visit a hospital to see for themselves.

I’m grateful to all those who worked diligently over the past year to get a vaccine going. I’ll show that gratitude by being the first in line.

I’m inspired by school personnel who persevered through countless obstacles to find ways to continue the education of our children.

I’m beholden to the new and very simple rules that can help keep us safe. Those being masks, social distancing and hand-washing. Conversely I’m sad that so many people refuse to do it because I can’t think of a reason for that other than selfishness.

I’m pleased that I found things to do outside during these months that helped keep me safe and pass the time. I’m even more relieved that I’ve finished limbing every tree on our property because I’m getting too old for that much outside activity.

I’m thankful that live sports returned to television after a few months of watching – well nothing.

I’m glad that we found ways to play golf safely – even if it meant riding in separate carts. It turned out to be a much better way of getting some fresh air than limbing trees.

I am very happy that we were able to play high school football this year although the atmosphere was a little different.

I’m exceedingly thankful that we have been able to safely visit with our daughters, son-in-law and grand-daughter. They have enriched our lives immeasurably.

Along those same lines I’m ecstatic that we have a grandson coming into our family in the immediate future.

I’m tickled to death that there is a pond right behind my house so I can be assured of a corona-free environment while I’m fishing.

I will be thankful when the political season is over so those stupid, mean-spirited ads will be gone from my television.

I’m very thankful to hear the National Anthem played at our high school football games and spiritually thankful when we go on the road and the opposing school has an opening prayer over the loud speaker.

I’m grateful that the weather man gave us some days in November to play golf – in shorts. A little sad that those days may be over for a while.

I’m thankful for the trash-talking that goes on the golf course and the friendship that goes hand in hand with it.

I’m not quite as thankful for Eastern Standard Time and look forward to Daylight Savings Time.

I’m thankful for my flip phone because I know how to work it, enjoy that it’s small enough to easily fit into my pocket and because it makes me look like James Bond when I whip it out (to the amusement of nearly everyone who sees it.)

I’m thankful beyond words for a TV on which I can record sporting events and not have to look at long, boring commercials (or political ads.)

I will be thankful when the leaves are all off the trees and I don’t have to clean the yard any more this winter.

I’m eternally grateful that during my working career I didn’t have to drive to Atlanta or in Atlanta.

I’m always sad when high school football season ends for my team but am buoyed when I see the coach and his son share a big hug after the final game.

And as Furman Bisher would so eloquently conclude –