There are things you just don't expect to see in Texas … and now will never forget.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We knew a winter storm was coming to Texas, as it dominated the local news for a good part of last week and certainly going into the weekend.
Red, of course, had her hurricane preparedness lists, and looked to those to be as prepared as possible. Of course, there were additional things that had to be considered for a winter storm – like wrapping external pipes, having faucets drip, and having warm clothing and blankets ready. (Northerners may be used to prolonged sub-zero temperatures, Southerners are not. But, at least being from New York, we knew what to do.)
But you can plan and prepare all you want. When the power goes out for an extended period of time (no matter what the cause) it's a shock and you have to quickly go from planning mode to reaction mode. Which is what happened to both of us, with Black's high-rise losing power early in the storm and Red's house joining the millions (!) without power a day later. Our specific situations aren't important, but we're each very grateful that we're back "online" and are writing this from our homes where power has been restored. (Luckily, we didn't lose water.)
But throughout the last few days, we've been inspired by the resilience and heart of Texans who just don't give up. In times of need, Texans come together. Whether it's neighbors helping each other, strangers handing out blankets and bottles of water, restaurants giving away food, or Mattress Mack opening Gallery Furniture megastores as shelters, Texans are tough, big-hearted, and never give up.
Our hearts go out to all those that have been impacted, and especially those still without power and water. We ask that everyone do whatever they can, even if it's just conserving power and water, to try to help others. As always, we'll overcome this challenge. Together.
Last year on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, in these divisive times, we can all learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof that peaceful protests can achieve social justice.
For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.
National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.
Red admits that although she knows bagels aren’t a healthy choice, she’ll occasionally treat herself, not only because they remind her of growing in New York when almost every town on Long Island had at least one bagel shop, but because she loves whipped cream cheese almost as much as the fresh, squishy bagel on which she smears it. And while she was a fan of both cinnamon raisin and onion bagels as a kid, the introduction of the “Everything” bagel was a turning point. However, her all-time favorite is technically not a bagel, as it’s a bialy.
On the other hand, it only takes one look at Black’s “selfishly svelte figure” to know that she has the willpower to resist bagels (including her favorite, sesame) as well as all the other carbs that she loves, but when it comes to National Bagel Day and the “health” issues of bagels, she has an interesting perspective,
Bagels are one of life’s true culinary pleasures, often tied to wonderful memories, so you cannot always measure their value in terms of nutrition. But, when it comes to healthy eating, it might be interesting to remember that bagel-cutting injuries are common and result in thousands of people having to go to emergency rooms or urgent care centers … so, celebrate carefully.
A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.
Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,
Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.