Design by Sawyer Pennington


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I really needed time to think about this as there were so many images that immediately came to mind. So, at the risk of Black saying that I "cheated", I went online to see if I could narrow it down. But here's the funny thing. The one that I first thought about, and keep thinking about, I couldn't find. I saw it "live" when watching the inaugural concert and the image was only on for a few seconds. But that was long enough to know that, for me, it was incredibly special. It was Vice President Harris leaning her head on her husband's shoulder, watching the amazing fireworks, with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. It was a simple shot, caught fleetingly by the camera; an unposed, spontaneous image that reminded me of one that you'd snap at a family gathering. But seeing our first female Vice President, who clearly has a warm and loving relationship with her spouse, with Lincoln "watching on" showing the history of the moment, just made it all come together in a single image. Will it "technically" become iconic? Probably not, especially since I can't even find it online. But will it always stay in mind as a memory of the inauguration? Absolutely.


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That's Red. The straight-A student that, although she had the answer, wanted to first do some homework. I, on the other hand, knew my answer immediately. Interestingly, it was a very similar image, but for very different reasons. It was President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden watching fireworks from the balcony of their new home – the White House. Besides it obviously representing a new beginning for the presidency, the fireworks were the grand finale of an evening of celebration that was for and about us – "We the people." And, then I noticed that she was wearing a wrist courage. It reminded me of a simpler and more thoughtful time – one filled with grace and small courtesies. Maybe this is a new beginning in more ways than one …
Design by Sawyer Pennington


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I know that in the scheme of things it's nothing, so I hate to complain, but I'll admit that I miss going to the movies. And I miss the popcorn even more! Yes, I know that some theaters are opened and have COVID precautions in place, but I'm just not ready.

Instead, I've been trying to have "movie night" at home. There's lots of good cable programming available and there always seems to be more shows than I have time to watch. So, I choose one, make it a point to "schedule" it (as if I'm going out to the movies), pop multiple bags of microwave popcorn, and make it clear that no one is to bother me. It's not quite the same, but being wrapped up in my comfy comforter, on my comfortable bed, with hot popcorn isn't a bad second option.


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I am glad you directed this to Red, as I rarely watch movies (in theaters or at home). Although, I am feeling the fallout of Red not being able to hit a "reset" button by escaping to the movies. Now, if you had asked about how the movie industry is adapting to record losses due to the pandemic, I could have gone into detail about its forced creativity. For example, renting out individuals theaters for private events starting at as little as $99 (of course, it is a function of the movie selected).
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Design by Sawyer Pennington


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Initially, by watching my youngest daughter, although 18, acting like a little kid again. She couldn't wait to go out in the snow (although I told her it was more like icy sleet with an inch or two of dusty snow on top) and take photos (for social media, of course). And build what I think was the world's smallest (and cutest) snowman. Her pure joy and excitement made me realize how important it is to see the best in any given situation. (At that point, we still had power although it was heartbreaking to see how many people were already without power, and I knew we might be next.)

The next day, in the middle of the night, we joined the growing number of people (millions!) without power. And although we had done our best to prepare for this possibility, it's still a shock, especially when temperatures are well below freezing. But the funny thing is when I now look back, I don't remember the difficult parts. I remember sitting around a table, dressed as if we were Bernie Sanders at the inauguration, initially playing Trouble and then what became a game of Monopoly that lasted days. (I didn't mention it to Black, figuring I'd get a business analysis of board games.)

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I live in a Houston high-rise that whenever the wind blows, we seem to lose power. So, I was not surprised to find we had lost power at 2 a.m. Monday morning, but I was shocked to see all the snow. And, although I briefly enjoyed the beauty and peacefulness of the blanket of white, knew the fact my condo has huge windows (and no window coverings) meant the temperature would start dropping very quickly. There is a hotel down the street and I was able to get a room, so I counted my blessings. Not because I was able to get a room (by lunchtime, there were none left), but because I had the luxury of being able to escape to a hotel when I knew most people were not as fortunate and had limited, if any, other options.
Design by Sawyer Pennington


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Obviously, this should be directed to Red. But, if my sister asked me this question, my response to her would be … You either let Sawyer play volleyball and take all possible precautions. Or, she does not play. However, why not sit down and have a conversation with her and listen (which is different from hearing) her thoughts before you even voice your own. You love lists. Maybe each of you should independently list all the pros and cons of each decision (play/do not play) and then compare them.


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First, I can totally sympathize with your concerns because "been there, doing that". As Black indicated, my youngest daughter, Sawyer, plays competitive volleyball and would be distraught if she couldn't play, especially as she's a high school senior and this is her last year for both school and club ball. This was one of those times, though, when I tried to put all my emotions aside and do my best impersonation of my sister. In other words, be very logical and pragmatic and weigh the risk/reward, which had to include my daughter's emotional well-being. (Not mine!) The bottom-line is we discussed, and she agreed to, very strict protocols (such as having to wear a mask in our house all the time, no exceptions) because she fully understands all the risks. Not just for her but everyone around her.