The new year has arrived.

Everyone has been talking about how bad 2020 was, but we all know it could get worse. Maybe we can all look forward to a better 2021.

We should try to think about what we want to accomplish this year and make it happen. I want to make an effort to think in a more positive manner. Rather than telling myself I can’t do something, I want the little voice in my head to say, “You can do this!”

The year 2020 was not all bad for me even though I did catch the coronavirus. There were many great things that happened in my life last year. My daughter started kindergarten and has been enjoying school. My wife and I had several home improvement projects completed, including putting up a fence and installing a concrete sidewalk. We went to Florida over the summer and enjoyed our time at the beach. I also got to visit my mom and brother in Atlanta last year.

And my mom came to New Albany for Christmas and we had a great time visiting with her. My mom spent lots of time with my 5-year-old daughter, Vivian, playing soccer and Hungry Hippos. My wife and I even got to go on a date while my mom watched Vivian.

My wife and I rarely get to go on dates so this was a special treat to get out and spend time with just the two of us. We decided to get out of town so we headed over to Tupelo and went to a place that allows you to paint a piece of pottery and have it fired in a kiln.

We each picked out a piece of pottery to paint for each other. I chose a frog figurine while my wife selected a dish in the shape of a dove that can hold jewelry. It was fun just sitting there talking and painting the pottery. We vowed that we would try to have more dates in the new year.

After painting the pottery, which was my wife’s choice for an activity, it was my turn to pick out something to do. So I chose to go to the Barnes & Noble bookstore. I enjoy browsing bookstores in search of a new novel. We both selected new books and headed to lunch at the Blue Canoe where I had a delicious double hamburger with jalapenos.

Finally, my wife and I were not quite ready to end our date so we headed over to Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo. I have lived in Mississippi most of my life and had never been to Elvis’ house. Growing up in Vicksburg, I did not make it to North Mississippi too often to see what this part of the state offered.

Now I am happy to live in this part of the state because it offers so much. Since living here I have also visited the birthplace of the famous playwright Tennessee Williams in Columbus and the home of William Faulkner in Oxford.

I look forward to exploring more places around this part of the state in 2021. I just hope the coronavirus clears up soon so we can take advantage of all life has to offer.

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