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I’ve been invited to a holiday party in which the hostess has asked guests to bring “one thing you cannot live without” for a gift exchange. As I see it, my options are:

My computer

My smartphone

My tablet

My kids

My dog

My Amazon Prime account Netflix

My news feed


Vodka and tonic

CBD oil



Lavazza coffee

Special carpal tunnel mousepad

I see quickly that I cannot bring any of these items to the gift exchange and create a more acceptable list of things I cannot live without which includes:

The Old Man and the Sea by E. Hemmingway The Waterfall by Margaret Drabble

Ina Garten cookbook

Handmade Italian stationary


Ginger tea

Fuzzy slippers

A first kiss

Rainy days

Sunny days

Cloudy days

I look at the two lists. The second list has better gift exchange items on it. But the first list is the truth. The first list can be dated January 7, 2012 to now (date of market saturation of the iPhone to the present). List two is what I used to live for. You know, before.

I resolve to wrap up a cloudy day and gift it to anyone on this earth who might open it up and gaze with wonder at the underbelly of a cumulus cloud without wanting to take a photo of it, without ignoring it completely in exchange for scrolling through a thousand images of much better clouds than this measly holiday gift exchange one.


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