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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 courtesy of Red


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I know that you’ve been involved with Make-A-Wish for decades, and it’s an amazing organization, but I’m not sure why you made such a big deal about the recent Texas Gulf Coast & Louisiana chapter ’s dedication of its building. I appreciate that you were part of the planning group, but with all due respect, it’s just a building.

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I don’t expect you to remember that it all started in 1980 when Tommy Austin wanted to do something special for a young boy, Chris Greicius, who was battling leukemia and wanted to be a policeman. That wish became a reality and the start of The Make-A-Wish Foundation.


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That story has always inspired me as it makes you realize the difference that just one person can make. But the building wasn’t named after Chris or Tommy, so I’m still confused.
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I may not celebrate Rosh Hashanah by going to temple, and now that the girls are no longer home for the holiday, I don’t prepare a seder with the traditional foods . But I know and appreciate that it’s one of the most important Jewish holidays, as it’s a time for reflection on the past and hope for the future. And this year, between world events, where I feel surrounded by so much negativity, and on the personal front, with Mom’s passing, it seems more important than ever before.


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Although Rosh Hashanah is filled with traditions, like apples dipped in honey because it is believed apples have healing properties (think of the rhyme, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”), and the honey signifies the hope for a new year that will be sweet … it is still incredibly relevant. In today’s hectic world, a contemplative holiday where you stop and think about the road you have traveled over the last year (including any wrong turns) and where you would like to go in the future may be exactly what we all need.

We wish everyone who celebrates Rosh Hashanah a happy and sweet New Year. And remember, you don’t have to be Jewish to look back and reflect … and then try to do better in the future.

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


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So, I had to smile when Sawyer came to visit us at Mom’s estate sale. And even though I had seen her only a few hours before, I gave her a hug.


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Yes, you make it rather obvious that you are warm and fuzzy. And, a hugger.


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But what made me laugh was when she greeted you by acknowledging that you weren’t a hugger. Now there’s an understatement.


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No, it is merely a fact.


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I never realized, though, just how much both Natasha and Sawyer are like you. Although they begrudgingly let me hug them, they’d both be just as happy with a handshake. If that.


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Maybe a fist bump?
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