I’ve struggled since April to come up with a calendar featuring events that didn’t face being cancelled due to the pandemic we’ve all come to know and loath. I found some programs online, so that worked. But let’s face it, all the great events we’ve come to cherish just didn’t happen – or aren’t going to happen – in 2020, including such beloved occasions as the Western Idaho Fair and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, among many others.

Looking at the remainder of 2020, I realized there will be a handful of things that won’t be “Postponed Until Further Notice” or just flat-out “Cancelled for the Year.” So this is my personal “calendar” for the remainder of 2020. By the way, because we had to skip our May-June issue, we’re closing out the year with an October-November-December issue – threemonths in one edition.

Halloween — This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday; and as happens every year, it’s on October 31. There was a lot that was scary about 2020, so Halloween shouldn’t have too many things to give us worse chills than we’ve already had. In late August, my family and I were discussing the possibility of handing out candy while wearing masks; but this year, we’d be in the kinds of masks we’ve all been wearing to keep us safe from COVID-19. We’d be the anti-coronavirus, safe-distancing, sanitizer-close-at-hand house full of good treats; and if you follow the rules, we’d love to give you some candy. The driveway is long, so there will be lots of room for safe distancing while waiting for your turn to Trick-or-Treat us.

Fall Back — This year, we’ll “fall back,” as they say, on Sunday, November 1. I’m sure we’d all like to “fall WAY back,” to a year that was pandemic-free, but we’ll need to look to the future for that. It. Will. Happen.

Election Day 2020 — This year, we’ll vote for a president on Tuesday, November 3. Whether the incumbent is re-elected or is replaced by a new fellow, it should be quite interesting. Will most of the country vote absentee? Will some states open polling places, with or without precautions in place? It’s anybody’s guess, as elections frequently are. But this one certainly has some new tangles.

Thanksgiving — Whether or not we’ll be able to see extended family this year, Thanksgiving Day will nonetheless occur on Thursday, November 26. There may be only 3 of us this year sitting around our dining room table eating turkey and dressing, but I’m pretty certain the day will nevertheless be special. Why? Because we will make it that way, as we’ve tried to do with every other holiday in 2020.

Christmas — Nothing can stop individual families in their private homes from decorating for Christmas this year, both inside and out – and if you decorate outside, the Bundersons may drive by. Per usual, the holiday will take place on December 25, which is a Friday. As has happened for so many other occasions this year (i.e., birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc.), we will likely order most of our gifts online rather than shopping for them in-person. But we can do it, and it’ll still be fun. Because, once again, we will make it that way.

New Year’sJanuary 1, 2021 is a Friday. I will likely never be so happy to see a year end as I will 2020, acknowledging of course that 2021 is still an unwrapped box of 365 days I know nothing about, whether they be good or bad. I tell myself that at least I can say on New Year’s Day 2021, “Oh, thank heavens, I made it through one year of…THAT!”

I can honestly say this has been one of the most challenging years I’ve ever lived through. I wouldn’t like to repeat another like it anytime soon. I look for all the good news I can, such as progress on a COVID-19 vaccine. Thank God for all the people, all over the world, working hard to find a solution.

That said, I have had some actual fun this year. Never discount the human race’s well-honed ability for creative coping. I chocked up a personal-best record for picnics during the summer, enjoying time outdoors with both responsible friends and close family. We’ve laughed often and, together, enjoyed many a good picnic meal.

Pardon my language, but crap has been happening for a very long time. This time it happened to us. We’ll take our place in history alongside others who’ve experienced…well…plague and pestilence. We’ve all experienced stellar years and harsh ones, and they’ve been jumbled up together. Another good year is out there, waiting for us to come experience it. I think now, after having been through 2020, my next good year will in fact be a great one, even an exceptional one. Because I’ll make it that way – and I can’t wait.

Gaye Bunderson, editor

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