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A Fresh New Start
Marg-Ins 1-6-21

Definitely, it’s time to hit that re-set button.

With calendar year 2020 behind us, hopefully we can look forward to better days ahead in 2021; it will still take time but the ultimate goal is getting back to what we know and love – spending time, real time, not FaceTime, with friends and family and celebrating life’s joys and sharing life’s sorrows.

So many people lost so much in 2020; it should go down in history as the year we all got gypped.

Summing up the year, somewhat appropriately as it turns out, I was able to stop by my friend Gloria’s house during the afternoon on New Year’s Eve for a brief ‘hello’ and mask-wearing, social distancing opening of my Christmas gift that she was happy to have found especially for me. The gift box was in a bag, so I carefully extracted the box and opened it, finding Styrofoam surrounding whatever item was inside. I placed the Styrofoam on the cloth placemat on the dining room table and carefully – though not carefully enough, apparently – removed one side of the perforated protective material. As I spied the delicate snow globe resting inside, it tipped out and, seemingly in slow motion, struck the table. So there went 2020 in a nutshell: shards of shattered glass everywhere and sparkle-filled water spilling off the table edge onto the floor below, leaving a mess behind.

The wolves contained inside the snow globe remained intact and the music still played but … the pièce de résistance … the total package was no longer what it was meant to be.

We’re going to send it back and request a replacement. Kind of like what I suspect we would all like to do for 2020 if that was at all possible. In this case, there is no way that snow globe should have shattered so completely. It didn’t fall from a dizzying height, it slipped out on to a cushioned surface.

The thing that bothers me most about that whole situation is how excited Gloria was for me to have it and how it just didn’t turn out as planned. In that brief instant when I saw it in the Styrofoam, I had already picked out a spot for it on my desk at home. The desk is laden with a variety of wolf paraphernalia. I would like to add the music box snow globe to the collection.

Other than the shattered snow globe debacle at Gloria’s, the New Year came in on a positive note. My daughter and son-in-law, with my grandpuppy in tow, came to the house to share a family game night and expansive charcuterie board spread with me, my housemate and her son and daughter-in-law. Ally and Judd had gotten a couple of new games for Christmas and we enjoyed alternately friendly and cutthroat competition. The cutthroat game was Oakdale-opoly, based on Monopoly, but the version featuring well-known Cowboy Capital landmarks. I haven’t played Monopoly in years and Judd came in as the resident expert, according to Ally, but he kind of went broke and I ended up with the victory, amassing more than $6,000 in cash and real estate holdings by the time we called it quits a little after 11 p.m.

Grandpuppy was tired and Ally and Judd wanted to get him home before the main fireworks began at midnight – although we had several test runs around our neighborhood starting as early as 10 p.m.

The rest of us tuned in to the ‘recorded earlier’ festivities from Times Square in NYC and it sure was eerie to see people performing for virtually no one there. They dropped the ball without a whole lot of fanfare and we wrapped it up. My plan was to maybe sleep in a little to enjoy the New Year’s Day holiday. Probably would have worked if my sister-in-law Becky hadn’t texted to wish me a “Happy New Year!” at 8:45 a.m. their time from upstate New York … 5:45 a.m. California time. Oh well, sleep is overrated anyway.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.