This Thanksgiving looks a lot different than the ones I've had previously.

Admittedly, we haven't done the "big" family celebrations for a while now. It's not like back in the 80's and 90's, where everybody would gather at that one aunt's house and the kids would be relegated to the card table in the living room.  In recent years, it's been more of a low key thing, maybe six, seven people at most.

And this year, well, that's not happening.  We've just decided as a group it's not worth the risk.  We have diabetics, me with MS, and Husbando's disability, so we're just not going to do it.  But just because we're not doing the big  lunch or dinner, that doesn't mean that every tradition has to change.  I still have things I'm thankful for, things I don't take for granted.  And it might as well be time to remember that.

I'm thankful, first of all, that nobody in my immediate family has gotten sick.  We've been careful though, too.  We have to be.  I'm immunocompromised, and my dad is in his late sixties.  So when I go out, I wear the mask, I use the wipes, and I use hand sanitizer.  I stay away from big crowds, and I do my best to get what I need from the store with minimal dilly dallying.  Get what you  need, get out, and get away from the group.  That's been my practice. And it's working, if I'm being honest.  Yeah, it sucks to have my mask get foggy every now and then, but I haven't so much as gotten a cold since March.  That's a win for me.  So I'm thankful that so far, cross fingers, our little household of three has not gotten sick. And as far as I know, I don't know anyone who has died from all this. I know there have been some, and that's terrible.  I hope we can stop that from happening again.

I'm also thankful to still have a job.  I know a lot of people lost work this year, or had to change jobs, or had to change the way they do their jobs.  I had several friends all over the country who had to start working from home, and others who couldn't work at all. For example, a friend of mine who works as a lighting director for a theater in KC hasn't worked all season, since the theater can't put on productions. Another friend has been teaching her college classes online, and one friend is working on animated movies in California from home.   But since we are tasked with sharing information here at the stations, that means I'm considered an "essential worker".  It got a little scary there for a while when I was given paperwork to prove it, but it's turned out alright.  I hope all of you are able to get back on your feet, if you've had to adapt with all this.

I'm thankful for all the shops and shoppers out there in our area, too.  Sure, some people panicked at the beginning.  But eventually everybody kind of calmed down, and nobody seems to be hoarding a bunch of stuff anymore.  It was a bit sketchy there for a while with paper products, meat, stuff like that.  But the stores worked hard to get everything back in stock as quickly as they could.  I saw several people step back from the panicking. I remember one time I was in a big store here in Sedalia, buying the infamous toilet paper.  The lady down the aisle from me saw me take one package.  She said, "the limit's two, you can take two".  And I just replied that I only needed one. "You know what, I only need one.  I'll only take one, too."  She totally understood and didn't grab a second package.  I think we all have collectively de-escalated things, and I hope we keep it that way. Just take what you need and leave some behind for others, you know?

Anyway, this Thanksgiving I'll be sleeping in a little, and Husbando will put some meat in the slow cooker. I think he's doing a Mojo beef and rice. Not exactly tradition, but... Tasty! I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you take a second to be appreciative of what you do have, even though a lot of us have lost a lot.

Thankfully yours,