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What's with everyone on the roads? No one's paying attention! I made "excuses" for everyone during the holiday season, but that's now over. To be honest, it seems like ever since the coronavirus started; people have forgotten how to drive.


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So, why did you make excuses for them during the holidays, but not now?


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Because during the holidays everyone's preoccupied with, well, the holidays. And everything that entails. That's why I call it the "silly season."


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So, you do not think the pandemic has caused people to be distracted?


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Of course, it has. But you'd think they could focus on driving when they're driving.


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So, before the pandemic, did people focus on driving? Or, did they multi-task? Were they also talking on their phones, texting, or some other non-driving activity? My personal favorite is always grooming – whether shaving or putting on mascara while driving.


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Luckily, I've never seen that but you can tell when someone's doing something else as they keep glancing away from the road. And I always find that alarming. It's an accident waiting to happen. I'm surprised there aren't more fender benders.


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Oh, there are plenty. I have had two different people run into the back of my G-wagen.


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I didn't know that! But that vehicle's huge and formidable, so it's not like they can claim they didn't see you. Forget the car, I can only imagine the wrath they faced dealing with you.


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Only the first time. I was driving near the Texas Medical Center and a woman ran into the back of my G-wagen. Luckily, it was more of a rolling stop than a hard hit. I got out of my car ready to read her the riot act, but before I could say anything she broke down into tears. In between sobs, she explained that she had just left the hospital and her husband was seriously ill.


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That's awful. What did you do?


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I was more concerned about whether she was able to drive than the minimal damage to each of our cars, so spent a few minutes talking with her. The point is sometimes people are preoccupied for legitimate reasons … and we have to cut them some slack.


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Absolutely. And what about the second fender bender?


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I had already learned my lesson, so got out of the car and calmly asked him what happened. It was a beautiful day, yet he claimed that he did not see me.


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Well, that wasn't the right answer!


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No kidding. But, since I was starting from a place of calm, I laughed and said, "How could you miss me? Oh, never mind, that was obviously a rhetoric question." And then, traded insurance information.


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Little did that man know how easily he got off. And I'm not talking about the damage to his car …
Photo by ideeone on iStock


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I'm still shaking my head, in amazement and amusement, at you telling me how there are people claiming that birds aren't real – they're surveillance drones.


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At first, I thought it was a joke. But then, I found a Newsweek article on the "Birds Aren't Real" movement that claims the government killed all birds and replaced them with surveillance drones.


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Well, if you hadn't forwarded it, I'd have thought you were messing with me! Anyway, my absolute favorite part is the "logic" that when the birds or drones or whatever you want to call them sit on powerlines, they're recharging. That's hilarious.
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Photo by Joseph Sohm for Shutterstock


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When I read the "Breaking News" email about the passing of Colin Powell from complications from COVID-19, I realized that many of us didn't even know he was being treated for illnesses that weakened his immune system. To me, he always seemed to be one of those incredibly strong and resilient men that could overcome anything, as I knew he served as the country's first Black national security adviser (during the Reagan administration), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (under President George H. W. Bush) and secretary of state (under President George W. Bush).

I first became aware of Powell during Operation Desert Storm and was living in Hong Kong at the time (shortly after I married a Brit, Shell assigned him to the Far East). I can remember being halfway around the world from home while watching seemingly non-stop news briefings featuring "Storming Norman" Schwarzkopf, with his "larger than life" details about the extraordinary precision of the airstrikes. At the time, it almost seemed more like a computer game than an actual war.

However, Powell had a far greater impact on me as he exuded calm mixed with steely determination, projecting an air of confidence that you sensed came from experience and deep personal commitment. And at this time of war and conflict, he provided a comforting feeling of power and control.


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I will not pretend to be a history buff, nor will I reflect on Mr. Powell's greatness as a military figure, statesman, and trailblazer. I will leave that to others. But, several things stand out about Powell as a man. First, he put America ahead of political party, stating, "I'm just a citizen who has voted Republican, voted Democrat, throughout my entire career, and right now I'm just watching my country and not concerned with parties."

Thanks to Punchbowl News, I learned that as a young man, he worked in a toy store, and the owner, a Russian immigrant Jew, admired the young Powell so much that he impressed upon him the importance of getting an education. Powell was so touched by this that he stayed in contact with him for the next 50 years. (I loved the sprinkling of Yiddish phrases as Powell tells the story.)

Of course, I could not help but smile rewatching this video of Powell along with two other motorheads, Jay Leno and (at the time) Vice President Biden "racing" Corvettes. And, may explain why one of my many favorite Powell quotes is, "Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror." But in his passing, you cannot help but look back over all he did for our country.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. May he rest in peace.

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I can't believe that Halloween's almost here, and the house isn't already decorated. Can I use the fact this is the first year I'm an empty nester as an excuse?


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Does that mean that you are not going to decorate?


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No! But without Sawyer home asking about it or prodding me by pulling the decorations out of the garage, it's still just sitting on my "to do" list. But fall is my favorite time of year, and I love seeing the house with all the Halloween decorations, so it will happen.


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I would think you could just put out the inflatables and be done with it.
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