Before the race starts, the horses parade around the saddling paddock, led closely by a horseman. Crowds line the perimeter, folks watching closely for signs of their readiness to run: do they look energetic, ears alert? are they feisty or placid? When the bugler plays the Call to Post, the jockeys swing up to their backs and together take to the track.

Here at the beginning of Thanksgiving Week in the year of our Lord 2020, today is the day I jump up on the horse and head out to the starting gate. Even though our holiday will only include people in our Pod, that’s nothing new for us.

The New Yorkers (sadly, Not in our Pod and We not in Theirs) have had a serious tradition pulled from them: Oireachtas, the annual Irish Dance Gathering in Philadelphia, has been cancelled. They have attended the competition for the last many years, preparing for it Non-Stop in the lead-up. They’re bummed, but stoic.

Here at Sonnystone, the Jrs usually arrive early for the Macy’s Parade and we have our Dinner around noon–turkey, mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, and pumpkin pie, along with assorted side dishes. That will remain unchanged, since NYC is offering up a fake Macy’s Parade that we Truly Appreciate. After sleeping off the feast, they have always celebrated at Jessica’s grandma’s house; not this year.

Traditionally we have put up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Weekend, but why should we be Traditional when so many people can’t be? Instead, This year, I’ll send as much food back home with the Jrs and start packing. We’ll leave early Saturday morning and drive to WDW, our Home Away from Home.

As usual, we are bringing cooler weather with us as we head to Florida; high temps in the 80s are now predicted to be barely 70 during our stay. I actually like that, and don’t mind a little rain, either. The masks will feel more comfortable, the crowds will be thinner, and I’ll wear a jacket with pockets so I don’t have to carry a purse.

Ha! you say…she’s preaching about pods and restrictions, but takes the risk of traveling herself! Well, I will Not use truck-stop bathrooms and I will not have contact with the Unmasked…Even my doctor agreed that Disney World is Safe. If only there had been a mask mandate right out of quarantine, the whole world would look like Disney.

So I’m picking up my pace as I near the starting gate, looking alert, feeling a little skittish, not sure if I’m the jockey or the horse…

Samantha’s visiting again today to help me with decorations.

When the gate opens, I’ll be ready to run…

Peace