Although the world seems to be revolving backwards, and this has been a terrible year of loss for me personally, and for many of you, there are still so many things to be thankful for! Lately, I haven't really been thinking about all the positive things going on that I am thankful for, but, if you will allow, I am thankful that I thought about them for this.

We have seen so many negative changes in our society (don't worry, NO POLITICS ;) between the medical challenges of the coronavirus, the feeling of separation from others that we are experiencing, the lack of structure for so many, the lack of income in so many cases, the challenges of work life and family life and sometimes having to combine both. There are things that are making life difficult.

Saturday Night Live recently did a sketch where a fortune teller was telling the future for people in 2019, and foreseeing what they would be experiencing in 2020. It was hysterical – because it hit home. The fortune teller tells the first person, that she visualizes that person and her boyfriend home, and he is washing Doritos, and she is screaming at him that he needs to use more soap. No one would have understood a year ago, but how many have found ourselves washing and sterilizing items we may have never dreamed of in the past. I am still thankful that we are finding ways to stay safe and get the things we need.

The fortune teller advises the second person that she visualizes that person on the phone with a man from Fedex, and that she's crying and saying, “Where is my adult coloring book, I need my adult coloring book!” If told most people a year go that they would be spending hours a day coloring in adult coloring books, they would have fallen off of their chairs, yet I know at least a dozen friends who are doing so for the first times in their lives. I am still thankful that we can appreciate that joy and beauty.

The third interested party is told that his upcoming trip to Paris has been replaced with an automobile trip to Kentucky. He is also told that he will have a terrible fight with his friends because he has done something awful.....He ate in a restaurant!!! I am still thankful that I can go to places to sit and eat safely outside. I am more thankful that I love to cook, and don't eat out that much anyway.

I watched the sketch and I laughed. It was terrible, it was sooooo true, and that's why it was funny. I am still thankful that I am at a point where I, and apparently many others, can laugh at the surrealness of it all. I am thankful that the coronavirus experience has taught me I have so much to be thankful for.

I can also say that I am very thankful that I don't personally know anyone who has had a bad experience with COVID-19. I know people who know people, but it has not touched my inner sanctum.

I am thankful that during this pandemic we have found ways to continue to touch the lives of so many through this new online congregation. From seniors in elder-care communities, who have really felt the brunt of this horrible situation more than most, to those seniors living alone who may have felt it even more, to parents and children who are separated, to faimilies needing to be more together. There is no doubt that the loneliness, fear, uncertainty, and loss, has affected each of us differently.

I am thankful that we are finding ways as a society to replace our in person contact with other forms of interaction. My way of communicating is by sharing online, and writing to you here. I am thankful that you read this. Stay safe and stay healthy!

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