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As we look ahead to the remainder of 2020, hopefully, we can see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel. This year has certainly been stressful and has tested many of us in ways we couldn't even imagine. From Government lockdowns, loss of jobs and income to mask-wearing directives, and in many states, mandates, this has been a long and challenging year. This year has been a year of firsts for me. I would say it's the first time that I've lived through a pandemic, but that's not true. I lived through the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic, as well as the 1968 Pandemic also know as the H3N2 virus.

So, what are the firsts that I have experienced this year? Well, I got a flu shot for the first time (or at least for the first time that I can remember - my Mom may have had me get one when I was very young, but I don't remember).  Another first, I became a mother-in-law in September as our son Triston married his girlfriend of three years, so now we're just waiting for grandkids (though we, and by that I mean I'm not in a hurry, but Brett is).

Also, as many of you know, we held our annual Flakesgiving event this past Saturday at Metra Park, handing out or delivering 1,500 complete meals. I have always participated by delivering. I think I may have missed one year when I lived out in Minnesota, but other than that I have delivered every year. This year was a first for me: I went on Friday and helped put the meals together, and then on Saturday, I helped to make sure that those delivering meals had addresses and the right number of meals to deliver. Also on Saturday I somehow ended up directing traffic as we tried to get cars off the street and into line to get a meal. Another first for me, it lead to an altercation with a very, let's just say, interesting, woman. I'm really trying to be ladylike here and pc. To say the least, she was combative, and at one point, I wasn't sure if it would be my daughter Bailey or I that had to forcefully remove her. But lucky for us, Don Jones, one of our great County Commissioners, escorted her off the property so that we could get things moving smoothly.

It's been a year of firsts for me and not all have been bad. Oh yeah, I forgot, it was also the first time someone hurt themselves while boxing up the meals (thanks for the reminder Chris White). I may have jumped into a dumpster to pack down the empty cardboard boxes and cut my fingers, yea fingers, but just two of them on the side of the dumpster.  It wasn't bad, but for as much as it bled, you'd have thought I hit an artery. Overall, it was a really positive experience and I will definitely go help again next year.


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