With gratitude, part 1
The word penultimate is swirling in my head right now. I’ll spare you a trip to the dictionary – penultimate means the second to last. This is our penultimate issue of the Kenwood Press, and our penultimate Publishers’ Corner.
But, of course, this is not the second to last issue of the Kenwood Press, because starting in 2021, Melissa Dowling and Paul Goguen of Glen Ellen will be the new publishers of this community newspaper.
And that leads me to gratitude.
2020 has been a truly terrible year. It is so bad that 2020 has become a descriptor rather than just a number, as in “to be 2020’d.” You automatically know what that means. There are so many things that went wrong in 2020, which for me started out on New Year’s Day when I slipped and broke my wrist… on my right hand, of course. I’m an optimistic sort, so I thought, “Well, maybe the worst is over already.” Ha ha.
People have gotten sick… people have died. Fires burned through the county… again. People have lost jobs… businesses have closed. Election season was a horror show. And now, here we are facing the end of this year and starting to see glimmers of hope for the next. A vaccine is on the way. Government seems to be working. And for Alec and me, we get to retire knowing that our beloved KP will survive us, thanks to Melissa and Paul. And they were not the only ones who expressed interest in taking over, which was so gratifying. Thank you to everyone who contacted us and asked that wonderful question, “How can we help?”
We’ve been sitting at the kitchen table thinking about all the people who helped us over the last 26 years. We were, early on, embraced by this community and its institutions (Sheriff’s Office, fire departments, schools, Board of Supervisors, for example), all of whom have been willing to give us information for stories. People often ask us if we rewrite the reports in Crime Watch, and the answer is “No.” What you read is what they tell us, and what they tell us is what the reports actually say. That’s how you build trust. (That some of those reports are amusing isn’t lost on them either.)
So, thank you, fire chiefs, sheriff’s deputies, politicians, county workers, etc., for returning our phone calls.
As for 2020, it’s hard to find things for which we’re grateful, but here are a few:
Yahtzee – We’ve started playing Yahtzee before dinner, usually while we watch the news, unless there’s football on. My mom and I are a team against Alec. It’s a nice distraction, especially when you get a Yahtzee. Alec is the Yahtzee King. He has gotten two Yahtzees in the same game more than a few times. He’s obviously very skilled at rolling dice.
Gardening – Because we’ve spent so much time at home, our flower beds and vegetable garden are looking better than they ever have, there’s so much time to pull weeds. And because we didn’t go anywhere last summer, we were home when the peaches ripened for a change.
Netflix – We can’t be alone in being grateful for Netflix. We have a list of shows that people have recommended and that we’re slowly working our way through. And we have to thank our daughter Elizabeth for letting us be on her Netflix account. A child footing the bill rather than the other way around is definitely something to be thankful for!
FaceTime – Getting to see our grandson Isaac on FaceTime always makes my day. Our daughter-in-law is so good about texting to see if we’re free while Isaac is doing something adorable – Eating! Walking! Saying “Mama” and “Dada” and “wawa” (wagon)! He’s obviously a genius besides being the cutest kid ever.
Actually, the list of things for which to be grateful is surprisingly long in this annus horribilis (we’ve been watching The Crown). Stay tuned for Gratitude, Part 2.