For the past several years, I’ve been writing a blessing on a scrap of paper each week, placing said blessing in a popcorn tin, and then reviewing the year’s blessings at the beginning of the following year.

I’m going to give it to you straight – I dreaded reviewing 2020’s blessings. I figured the year would be filled with variations of “survived another week without contracting the corona.”

Surprisingly, there was nary a mention of COVID-19 amongst the blessings. Indeed, the year started strong with four blessings in week one – we made my great-nephew laugh until he snorted; I watched The Mandalorian and Schitt’s Creek; and the New England Patriots lost in the playoffs.

Actually, the NFL made multiple appearances in my blessings tin. I counted the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl win as the week four blessing, which raised my eyebrows because I had already located a week four blessing in the tin. Oh, well. I had obviously made a mistake and written week four on the scrap of paper when I should have written five.

That’s not the only NFL-related mistake I made. Later, in week 38, I listed the NFL’s season start as a blessing. Then, I listed it again in week 39. Apparently, I really needed some football in my life.

While reviewing scraps of paper, I also saw the words “scripts and shots.” As I scribble the blessings on the backs of envelopes or shopping lists, I supposed I was looking at a note to self. But, no, the words were under a week 36 header. Then I remembered. Boy, did I remember.

There was also the week my blessing consisted of “nuggets and mashed potatoes; yep, that’s it” and another one that comprised “nine hours of sleep.” I’m unsure if I received nine hours of sleep the night before I recorded the blessing or nine hours of sleep the entire week.

And there was the week my sisters, niece, and I traveled to Ashland to take in the Winter Wonderland of Lights. Due to the corona, we masked up as we took in the dazzling display. It was a chilly night and my glasses kept fogging up. At times, I couldn’t see anything, so I literally bent at the waist and felt around in front of me so as not to walk into a tree or a person.

When we weren’t around humans, I removed my mask so that I could actually look at the lights. (Yes, you read that right.) At one point, we had to walk across a bridge that spanned a pond. I didn’t want to fall into cold water. What I really wanted was for my loved ones to lead me over the bridge, but they had forsaken me. When I removed my mask to look for them (again, you read that right), I saw a woman pull her son to her chest. I can only assume she assumed I was intoxicated, and she didn’t want her child near a lunatic who was under the influence.

I also saw my loved ones. All three were doubled over, but not because they were lost in the dark. It’s because they were laughing out loud at me. They had assumed I was having a seizure and they found the spectacle hilarious.

Still, that was the best thing to happen to me that week.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.