Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
I finally broke down and dragged the Christmas Tree out of its storage bag.
Every year I say I am too old for this, but I manage to put it up anyway. It is 8 ft, heavy and very unmanageable.
But it is up, I did it myself, and once again I am happy it is done.
I was thinking of the things this year has shown me.
I have learned to sleep without setting an alarm. You think that isn’t a biggie, well it is to me. My wake times used to be 5:30 a.m. I walked dogs and got ready for work.  Now I set no alarm unless I have something early to attend too. What a feeling of freedom!
The dog and I stay up late. I used to enjoy late night television and movies. I also walk the dog before bed. W
hat I have noticed is how beautiful the night sky shines. There is a lot of light pollution where I live. Everything is very well lit and secure. Even with this I can see the stars.  I have found Cassiopeia and am watching the convergence of Saturn and Jupiter. They are saying this could be the same sight as the Christmas Star. It will be beautiful anyway.
I have taken to appreciating every day of sunshine. I open the curtains and take all the sights in.
Also, because of the current pandemic, I notice the  kindness of people. If someone compliments me on anything I acknowledge the act and give someone else a compliment.
Never take anyone in your family for granted.
With the loss of two in our united families this year the gap seems awfully huge. I want to call my sister. She always told me what a joy I was when I was a baby.
I wish I had hugged my sister lots more.  I miss talking to my other Mom, too.
I learned a lot from her, and I am grateful for all her advice. I miss holding her hand in the retirement facility, and the hug and kiss I got when I was ready to leave.
This year also was a time for friends. Being a friend, like any relationship takes some work. It isn’t easy. But luckily  I have found I have some very good friends.
I have also learned that after the election was over and the dust has mostly settled, people are still people. The ones who wave on the street don’t care which box you checked. They still care about other people.
There are still a couple of weeks left to salvage your 2020.
Winter is going to be cold, as always, and maybe lonely and sad for some people. You have time to connect one way or another.
Be safe, be happy, be grateful for what you have. Remember to take time to look up at the night sky.