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Thanksgiving 2021: Grateful to be “Going Back to Normal”

We’re working to get back towards “normal” in the midst of COVID-19 and we’re thankful for the opportunity

There were just six of us looking around at each other last Thanksgiving. It was our smallest gathering since 1995 — back when we were pre-kids and stationed in Florida so many years ago.

We were eight months into the pandemic and we were somewhat in shock. The thought that it would last through the holidays was beyond expectation when it started. Thanksgiving 2020 became another in the long list of events that were altered, rescheduled, or canceled last year.

Eric in the hospital with Covid … not the happiest face we’ve ever seen!

Still, even with just our small group, we had much to be thankful for, knowing we were very blessed. We did our best to take the size of our tiny gathering in stride, as we knew that our minimal personal contact with COVID-19 made it feel like the pandemic was mostly just an inconvenience to us … and a little more. That view soon changed.

We now remember that Thanksgiving weekend as the start of our scary reality of Covid. Eric, our CFO, ended up in the hospital for what would be an 11-day visit to the ICU. The pandemic got real in a hurry. What once seemed like a minor inconvenience was suddenly a life-or-death struggle.

Fortunately, through plenty of prayers, treatment, and positive-pressure oxygen flow, Eric made it through the challenging experience and returned home after a few weeks.

Eric — back in the office and feeling much better!

Having someone so close to us get such a difficult case, with no obvious criteria to explain it, brought a new awareness of the potential danger at hand. Statistics don’t tell the whole story and our close-up view was enough to convince us that Covid wasn’t something we wanted to experience for ourselves. Even the aftermath hasn’t been much fun, as Eric’s taste and smell are still not quite back to 100% almost a year later.

And now we prepare for a new Thanksgiving that we hope feels a bit more “normal”.

Yes, the pandemic is lingering, and while we’re still taking it seriously, there is certainly optimism that we can have a larger gathering with a greater degree of safety than was possible last year.

No, we won’t be going back to the 42-pound turkey we had in 2019’s pre-pandemic Thanksgiving edition (that will never happen again … it was just too big), but it is nice that we’ll be able to have a larger family group together this year!

Closer to “normal” doesn’t mean going back to this 42-pound turkey!

We’ve always enjoyed the holidays, but somehow this year seems that it should be extra special. 

Making progress towards the return of “normal” helps us appreciate what we might have taken for granted before.  While we’re not all the way done with the pandemic, it feels great to progress far enough that we can come together as a family to share Thanksgiving.

We’ll certainly be counting our blessings and hoping that Covid will become another challenge that’s been overcome. Until we get the rest of the way past this pandemic, we’ll continue our prayers for health and safety to all.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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