2020, end of the year special report:

As this most “unprecedented” year comes to a close, I have to admit, that, unlike many other people, I’ve had one of the best years in recent memory !! Not to downplay what others have been going through, but who can complain about two months off paid (not only paid, but more than I usually get for working, heck, if I was paid as much for working as I was getting for not working, I wouldn’t mind working, not as much anyway) during the summer. My son returned to the area after two years away at school and another working his first job in another state. His new, close to home job was as an assistant pro at a local private golf course, with a new boss who encouraged him to play golf with me, on their course, for free, whenever I got the chance, which with June and July off, I had plenty of chances.

We played many other courses as well, almost all on days when it was hot and humid, just the way we like it and we walk, no carts. Brought a lot of water, with at least two bottles frozen, there is no drinking water on the course and we only saw one beverage cart all summer, neither are supposed to be allowed in these “unprecedented” times, no ball washers either. Somehow, we managed to adapt. I even managed to play decent golf, the practice facilities at the private course helped, as did a 10 second putting tip from my son. I was living a dream, hopefully this is what retirement was going to be like and hopefully I could get there sooner than my financial consultant suggested during our most recent meeting.

Reconnecting with my son and golf were not the only benefits of these “unprecedented” times. I don’t particularly like to be touched (barring obvious exceptions) especially by members of my sex, what is up with that? I’ll hug my best friend at his or my wedding, after that a hand shake will do and now even that is no longer allowed. Social distancing, where have you been all my life??

The “stay home, stay safe” mandate is no hardship what-so-ever, especially now that I’m in my 60’s, had it been 40 years ago when my friends and I were hanging out in one bar or another on a regular basis, stay home, stay safe wouldn’t have been an option. On the other hand, I do miss the monthly steak dinners at the local fire house, not because of the atmosphere (100 guys in a room that becomes so loud that you have to practically scream at the person next to you to be heard) I do miss seeing the group of guys that occupy the section of table with me. I’ve known all of them since High School, some longer and it has become the only time and place that we see each other on any kind of regular basis, which is mostly on me, as I no longer seek out the company of my fellow humans for various reasons, mostly having to do with working in the food and beverage business for most of the past forty years. Not that I don’t like people, it’s that after 8 or 9 or 10 hours of having dozens, scores, sometimes hundreds of people up your ass about one thing or another, I’m done with humans, until the next shift. My apartment has become what my daughter likes to call a “people free zone” 99.5 percent of the time. Consequently, “stay home, stay safe” is pretty much heaven.

Another advantage of these times is the wearing of masks. Back in March, mask wearing was mandated at work, having a large collection of bandanas, I opted for this method, not only because of the aforementioned collection but as a wearer of eye glasses, the bandana didn’t fog them over, besides, it provided many jokes regarding the robbing of stage coaches and such. Unfortunately, when I returned to work in August, these were no longer allowed, fortunately, the masks provided by the company didn’t fog my glasses either. And just between you and me…most people look better in a face mask. Another win-win situation, it was a very good year !!

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