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  • Throwing out the empties and get rid of reminders
    1/12/2021 A fellow I know was grousing about the past year. 
    His birthday was coming up and he felt, once again, that this year failed to meet his expectations. He was unhappy with the year, unhappy with himself, unhappy with the fact that he’d even allowed himself to hope that 2020, of all years, was going to be better than the previous ones. 
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  • Large goals for NaNoWriMo and a reason to celebrate
    1/5/2021 My friend, Anita, is felting up a storm. 
    Philip is cooking something new and posting a photo of it every day. Megan is reading Shakespeare on video, Jason is doing woodwork projects, Tom and Mary and Katie are sewing thousands of masks, and Peggy is studying Spanish, German, and Latin—all at once. Then there are the folks who are just trying to make it through the week, working jobs that demand more and more of them every day. 
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  • A year where we continually lowered expectations for the holidays
    12/29/2020 It is a year of lower expectations.
    Every year, there is a chorus of folks urging us to lower our expectations for the holidays — buy less, consume less, worry less about having a picture-perfect holiday, and spend more time reflecting on what the holiday means to us. This year, it seems, we will finally get a chance to do that. 
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  • Celebrating as much of the Christmas season as possible
    12/22/2020 Whatever you think about Christmas, I think you would have to agree we need one this year. 
    Everyone I know seems determined to do as much Christmas as it is possible to do. My pastor announced at the beginning of Advent that we were going to have 26 consecutive Zoom Advent services. 
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  • A nice long chat with an old friend . . . on Zoom
    12/1/2020 Yesterday, I had a nice long Zoom chat with an old friend. 
    I know this is nothing remarkable these days, but it was the first time my friend Andrew had used Zoom and I was frankly a little surprised. 
    Andrew isn’t on Facebook. “It’s none of anyone’s business what I’m up to!” he tells me. 
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  • Having an animal office mate while I work
    11/17/2020 Today I will get Blue again.
    Blue is the anxious Italian mastiff that I dog-sit on Wednesdays while his owner, Bill, works in the office. The new procedure is that I walk down to Bill’s house, fetch Blue, and bring him back to my home. This seems to work better than having Bill drop him off. When Bill does that, Blue hangs onto Bills legs and tries to avoid coming in my house like a petulant four-year-old trying to avoid daycare—which is exactly what he is. 
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  • Early snow can start you towards new fun
    11/3/2020 This has been a year that defies explanations.
    I spoke with my parents a week or so ago. We have used Zoom and other types of video to communicate but, more often than not, I just call up my dad, he puts me on speaker, and we chat as we always have. 
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  • Scary stories are what we need right now
    10/27/2020 It’s the season for all things scary and I found myself wondering how many people are actually looking for more things to frighten them this year. 
    There is a new horror movie about Zoom that is supposed to be terrific . . . and I won’t be watching it. I’ve never been a fan of horror movies. On the very few occasions I’ve tried to watch a scary movie, I end up both covering my eyes and plugging my ears (the ominous music is the worst part of it) and I end up with a pretty limited experience of the film. 
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  • Encountering bears on hikes and relying on cleverness to keep me safe
    10/6/2020 The two women told me about the bear when I was on my hike. 
    They were on trail bikes and saw the bear in the direction I was headed. “It was scary!” one of the women said. 
    We were all a little nervous. There had been a bear attack just a few weeks earlier up on the ski hill. 
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  • A lovely treat of more dog stories
    9/22/2020 It seems I have acquired a reputation.
    I have been handing out dog treats for three months. Every day, I take the same trail, and every day, I meet many of the same customers. Dogs have an amazing memory when it comes to getting a treat—particularly from a stranger. 
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Thursday, January 21, 2021

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