Patsy Pridgen

Patsy Pridgen Patsy Pridgen

The coronavirus is now an unwelcome Thanksgiving guest, likely prohibiting many holiday activities. Despite the COVID gloom, however, there is still much to appreciate in 2020 America.

Here’s a random list of what I count as some of my blessings this year:

The ease of voting. Americans turned out in record numbers this November to cast their ballots, and I was among them. I chose the short drive to Nashville during one of the early voting days. There was no line and no hassle. The entire process took me less than 10 minutes. My only complaint was not getting an “I Voted” sticker this coronavirus year.

Cheap gas. I still have to pinch myself when I fill up at the pump. I’m buying gasoline for less than $2 a gallon on a regular basis. It wasn’t that long ago when I paid double the current price. With many people out of work or earning less due to COVID, cheap gas is a blessing.

No more Zoom for me. I am so thankful the third-grader I basically home-schooled last spring has been going to an actual, in-person, fourth-grade classroom since August. I’m also grateful that the public school my Charlotte grandson attends has recently resumed on-campus classes, even if it’s for only two days a week.

Toilet paper. Praise the Lord that people finally came to their senses and quit hoarding toilet paper. Of all the essentials folks could choose to stockpile during a pandemic, Charmin struck me as an odd choice. As happens during panic buying, the shelves became bare, and we were all forced for a while to scrounge for toilet paper and sometimes, paper towels and liquid soap. For the most part, I don’t see any shortages of items in the Harris Teeter these days, and for that I am thankful.

Amazon. Limited shopping in stores has caused me to increase my purchasing on Amazon, and I’m finding I appreciate this service more and more. I’ve got my account set up so I can click “Buy Now” without having to fill in any information. Easy peasy. Best of all, these folks deliver when they say they will.

Essential workers. I am thankful for the front-line workers who are keeping the wheels turning: health care personnel, restaurant staff, store clerks, bank tellers, teachers, police officers and all who still show up in an office or store or facility somewhere. I don’t know how they wear a mask for eight or more hours a day; it’s hard for me to endure mine for an hour of church. They are American patriots.

Neighborhood walks. For me, life is slower now than a year ago. I find I have more time to amble. One of my favorite places to do so is my neighborhood where, from March to now, I’ve witnessed the changing of the seasons. It’s been a joy to pay attention to nature.

No doubt, living through a pandemic can be depressing. Still, life in America gives me much for which to be thankful.

Patsy Pridgen blogs at and is the author of “Miss Dee Ann Meets Murder.”