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Thank goodness for such a fantastic fall

By Bryan Stevens

I’ve chucked the pumpkins now that Halloween is in the rear-view mirror. As I turn the page to November on the calendar, I know that I should be thinking of thankful platitudes.

At the same time, I’m thinking I’d like to turn the page on the entire year.

The awful COVID-19 spike of the summer appears to be receding, but I’m worried it could be another trick to lure folks into complacency. Just remember not to let down your guard. Wash your hands frequently, wear those masks if you’re likely to be indoors with large numbers of people, keep a social distance — sigh — and roll up a sleeve and get the vaccination.

That’s good advice, too, if you want to substitute influenza for COVID-19. Two birds with one stone, right?

I got my flu shot at the end of October. The staff at the Erwin Walgreens made the annual experience a fast and essentially painless one. Some experts are predicting it could be a rough flu season. It’s enough to make one groan aloud. The summer of COVID and now the winter of flu. 

Things have seemed slightly better to me in 2021 than I remember them being in 2020. Or perhaps I’ve simply developed more tolerance for inconvenience and uncertainty.

Speaking of uncertainties, will we all be able to get that 20-pound turkey to feed the entire family? What will weak links in the supply chain claim next? Cranberries? Sweet potatoes? The marshmallows for making the gooey crust that goes atop the casserole made from the sweet potatoes?

I’m not too worried. I’ve already told my mom we can get a ham if turkeys are in short supply. It’s a long-standing fact in my family I am on team ham more than team turkey. Granted, I’ll gladly consume both if they are available. Actually, get me some stuffing and gravy and I’ll have a happy Thanksgiving.

Speaking of the upcoming holiday, we’ll probably dig deeper into the wallets for the Thanksgiving dinner. Pundits and politicians argue about inflation. I think it’s just the corporations getting back all the revenue they lost in 2020 during shutdowns amid COVID-19. Remember all the cheap gas we could get back when we had no place to go? Oil companies and corporations might have had a bad 2020, but I won’t be shocked if they report some record earnings in 2021.

Black Thursday/Friday shoppers may have trouble finding everything on their lists. Our lists are far too long, though, in the opinion of someone who has steadfastly avoided succumbing to Black Thursday/Friday madness and has no intention of breaking that tradition. 

Despite my weariness for all things COVID, I can actually find some bright spots by just looking out my car windows as I drive to and from work. We’re having a sensational fall season. It seemed to take forever to arrive, but the mountains have exploded with riotous color in the past week. We live in an area blessed with an abundance of natural resources. It’s way too easy to take them for granted.

Enjoy this beautiful time of the year while you can. The snow and the cold will follow soon enough. I’m prepared, though. I have my Amazon Prime Video account, a cozy den and plenty of hot chocolate stashed away in case that’s another shortage this year.