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Ring the Bell


My assumption (and yes, I know what you get when you assume) is that many in the BAD Community have fared the COVID crisis and repercussions better or with more security than much of the country, even the world. I could certainly be wrong. But I think overall, despite COVID, as an American, we have much to be grateful for.

Today is all about being grateful, counting our blessings and sharing some really good food. I don’t know about you, but we have soaked every moment in. Church together in my parents’ living room, volleyball games in a rented gym (just our family), lots of shared meals, intense discussions, reminiscing and laughing about the crazy things my mom says now.

“Do you know him (referring to my dad, her primary caretaker)? Have known him very long?

I’ve seen my parents every couple of months since our visit here in July. They came to Georgia in September. And we are here now. So I see the decline in my mom from a different view and perspective then my dad and siblings who are all local.

But all of this just brings home how much I have to be grateful for.

Ringing to Bell as a Reminder

This visit will end tomorrow and we will give back just a little of our time before we return to Georgia. For our last two hours in Texas, we will ring the Salvation Army bell in hopes of raising some much needed support for an organization that does so much good. And when my kids and I leave for the airport, my siblings will take over ringing the bell for a couple more hours.

It’s something my parents and siblings have done every year on Black Friday for the last few years, but we have never gotten to participate as we typically leave at the crack of dawn to return home. But this Friday, we get to give back in this small way.

As we enter this last month of one of the most challenging years which has stripped all of us of the sense of normalcy we once knew, I encourage you to focus on your blessings and if you can, give back…I know I am.

Happy Thanksgiving, BAD Community! I pray you have a wonderful day however and wherever you have chosen to celebrate this most unusual year.


I Broke Up with Amazon


We’ve been staying in Texas for a while.  It’s looking like I may have the opportunity to take a remote position with another division of my company that only requires me to be in California 4-8 weeks a year and we’re poking around to see if we can find a spot in Texas to settle permanently.  For all the Texan’s out there… no, I won’t ‘California’ your Texas.


Anyway, since we’ve been on the road for a while now, Amazon is a no-go.  Sure, I could have it delivered to whatever campground we are staying at for a few weeks at a time but delivery to campsites is sketchy at best.  On top of that, some campgrounds (understandably) won’t allow personal mail delivery.


You know how you realize Amazon has taken over your life?  When you default grab your phone to add something to your cart every single time you need something.  Anything.


These days, if something breaks on the trailer, guess what?  I have to go to a brick and mortar trailer shop to find the parts.  The salesman walked me through other items I would need and instructed me on exactly how to replace the part.  I ran out of dog food so we went to a super sweet mom and pop pet store where they laughed and shared stories of their own pup.  Gone are my monthly subscribe and save deliveries, replaced with a stop at the local market down the street.


I have realized that in my desire for convenience, I have grown to hurt the local and small businesses a little more each year.  When coronavirus broke out, it got far worse.  I didn’t go into a store for months.  Everything was delivered by Amazon and Vons.  I was safe.  I didn’t see people.  I detached from my local community completely.  Now I’m forced back into connecting with real people, real people whose businesses are hanging on by a thread.


Now that we’re facing furloughs at work, I can’t afford takeout at local restaurants.  I feel sad seeing them struggle and close.  But I can help other small businesses.  I can do my part.  For the first time in a long time, I feel a sense of community and I realized how much I missed that.  I miss real, live people.


I know many of you are going to freak out.  You’ll yell that I’m singlehandedly going to kill the entire town with my germs.  But I’m not going to stay inside.  I’ll wear a mask.  I’ll socially distance.  I’ll test regularly.  But sending all my money to the Amazon gods simply isn’t going to happen (nor can it as explained above).


If you are low risk.  If you don’t have people in your life that are high risk.  Please.  Please.  This weekend, rather than log on to Amazon and spend all your Christmas dollars online.  Throw on your mask.  Socially distance.  And spend your money in your local community.

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