I was reminded today by the young man who delivered my groceries that I am deeply appreciative of so many people who’ve helped get me through this year. This young man was frustrated because his cell phone app wasn’t working properly and he couldn’t confirm he’d made the delivery … on time, in his own car, to the right address. He paced around talking about how pressed he was for time by a very tight schedule, how his employer never passed on the tips he was supposed to get, etc. Running way behind, he was finally able to move on to his next delivery. I felt so bad for him that I went back inside and immediately wrote a glowing assessment of his delivery, increased his tip, and wrote a note to his employer saying he and other drivers like him are worth their weight in gold to people like me and he’d better be treated accordingly.
My actions, I’m sure, won’t change a thing. But I am so grateful to that driver for bringing my groceries. And to all the others out there who have, in one way or another, helped me get through 2020.
May all those on this list somehow know how much they are appreciated, and please, dear readers, help me not overlook anyone. It so easy to do when making lists. Add to the list those you can think of that I haven’t mentioned:
- All the drivers, men and women, young and old, who spend their days driving all over town delivering all manner of essentials and pick-me-ups to those staying safely at home. Their jobs will only get harder as Christmas approaches. Among them: Amazon Prime, Amazon Fresh, FedEx, USPS, UPS, DHL, Dumpling, Instacart, and any similar services or retailers that I might have left out (and especially Galina Ciboch, who brings my Dumpling orders)
- The doctors, nurses, and other front line health professionals who work through exhaustion, depression, and danger to themselves to care for the overwhelming number of Covid patients
- The first responders — fire, police, ambulance — who rush daily to rescue others while disregarding the dangers to themselves
- Grocery store workers assuming great personal risk to ensure the rest of us can keep eating (at least two such workers in the Denver area have died from Covid they contracted on the job)
- Workers at packing plants, some of whom have died from Covid, who keep meat in our stores and on our tables
- The adults and children in the neighborhood who leave brightly painted rocks along our sidewalks (river rock is the common mulch used here). The rocks bear all manner of pictures and messages of hope, love, joy, and friendship.
- All the unnamed, unknown individuals working to maintain the many supply chains that keep invaluable inventory stocked in all our businesses.
- Small business owners who obey the Covid rules while still finding innovative ways to serve the public, providing both necessities and the little luxuries (pizza!) that help us all cope
- Small business owners who struggled mightily to survive while obeying the Covid rules but still couldn’t quite make ends meet.
- Anyone following the Covid rules to mask up, wash up, and keep their distance from others. They are helping all of us survive the pandemic.
- The many workers who help hand out food and clothing to those in need.
- City, county, state, and federal officials who risk the wrath of some while devising ways to keep the rest of us safe
- The workers in Washington State who found and removed a massive murder hornet nest
- The firefighters in Colorado, California, and elsewhere who battled historic blazes to save the lives and property of others (some losing their own homes while they worked)
- Home repair workers who venture into the homes of possibly-infected strangers to make essential repairs.
- Television professionals, theater workers, sports professionals, and all kinds of entertainers who have devised ingenious ways to keep entertaining us despite the epidemic.
- Teachers and other education professionals for continuing to find ways to educate our children
- DebBee’s Garden, Inc., for the quick delivery of beautiful flowers to my granddaughter for her theater’s opening night.
- Debi and Larry Blough for finding and delivering to me a big pack of toilet paper back during the shortage (we’ve never met each other, but they responded to something I said on NextDoor.
- My neighbors, the Jankowskis, for shoveling my front walk when it snows
- Everyone who pitched in to make masks and face shields when PPE was in such short supply last spring.
- Poll workers, ballot printers, ballot counters, and all other election workers who made the 2020 election possible and got us through it
- Kimberly Jongejan and the Northglenn (Colo.) Youth Theater for finding inventive ways to carry on and give my aspiring granddaughter a way to continue something she loves during the pandemic
- My son for calling me every day just to chat about whatever (and probably also to make sure I’m still okay.)
- The local veterinarians for devising safe ways to see and care for my Annie and Rowdy