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Some Little Lessons I’ve Learned from Pandemic Thanksgiving + Start of Covid Christmastime

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned over this Pandemic Thanksgiving + start of Covid Christmastime:   On the Wednesday before your it’s-just-us-this-year Thanksgiving, it’s really nice to cook the big meal with your kids while also not stressing about cleaning the house for company. You’ll miss the family you won’t be seeing, of course, but you will absolutely appreciate the calm. And the discovery that your twelve-year-old likes to chop vegetables.   On Thanksgiving Day, have dinner late so you can make a charcuterie board for lunch. No one will be upset about this.   On that Friday, clean the house in the morning before you start pulling out all the decorations. Yes, you’re still going to have to vacuum up the needles after all is said and done, but you can’t beat decking the halls when they’re already sparkly. (Also, somebody spilled cranberry sauce on the floor yesterday. You have to get out the mop, anyway.)   On that Saturday, there’s no shame in counting a masked-up early-morning trip to Lowe’s…

Toto, This is Why I Don’t Live in Kansas

It all started with a text from my mom.  It was this past Thursday evening, and I’d had a quick dinner with David and the girls before he ran out to a scrimmage with his softball team.  I was planning to give the girls a nice, long bath, put them to bed, then finish writing a post for this blog that was almost all set to publish.  It was one of those moments when I had it all under control. “Man, I hope it doesn’t rain,” David mentioned, checking the sky as he headed out the door.  I wiped off the girls’s faces, then let them loose to play on the living room floor while I cleared the table.  On my way past the kitchen island, I picked up my phone, and when I saw the text I had to read it twice.  It was from my mom, and it said we were under a tornado warning–one was marching its slow, menacing way up the interstate that runs past Mom’s town and, a further on up the road, past ours.  Huge thunderstorms were escorting this tornado–and…