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Remember to stay thankful for what we have

May 11, 2020

Remember to stay thankful for what we have [Charlotte Sun Column 5-11-20]



It’s been 70 days since Florida’s first positive COVID-19 case. Depending on who you ask at any given time, it either seems like either 70 minutes … or 70 months. Time has gone bonkers.

But with all of this turmoil, please take a few minutes each day to ground yourself and be thankful for the positives in your life.

Daily updates

The Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce has been emailing a daily update to more than 3,000 recipients every afternoon since March 16.  When the email titled ***UPDATE*** hits the in-boxes, the most recent major news is right there. Following that are the current lists of chamber member restaurants offering take-out, delivery, outdoor and/or indoor seating; retail businesses offering pick-up, delivery, and/or are open for business; and service member businesses which remain open and operational for their customers.

I am happy to report that these lists continue to grow each day. And with the opening of the hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons that list is going to become oh-so-much-more wonderful.

If you aren’t on our email list, please let me know and I will get you onboard. And don’t worry, we don’t share our list or bombard you with countless messages. There is also always something at the very end of our daily update to provide a little bit of relief. Last week’s relaxing photos included a coral reef, fresh strawberries, orchids, a baby manatee, and a bouquet of flowers. Just a little something to momentarily sooth you optic nerves, at least.

Webinars, virtual meetings, and more

For many it has gotten to the point of deciding which of the many offered digital meetings or conference calls to participate in each day. There are a slew of them, and determining which are the most beneficial (or even needed) can be time consuming.

Well, have no fear, the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce is here. This Thursday at 10 a.m., in partnership with the Charlotte County Economic Development Office, we are offering a virtual seminar titled Ready? Set? Re-Open!  This presentation will feature two topics. The first will be about the Charlotte County business climate during COVID-19 presented by the Charlotte County Economic Development Office and the Punta Gorda/ Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. The second topic will be cover what businesses need to do to keep their employees and customers safe when re-opening their doors. This will be covered by Dr. Joe Pepe with the Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County.

Registration information will be available in our email updates and at

Don’t tell anyone

Guess who is having a soft unveiling of their shiny new website on Friday. That’s all I’m saying, but it’s beautiful.

Thanksgiving, Junior

Speaking of being thankful, here’s an idea you can copy. Have a Thanksgiving, Junior! Stuff a turkey, make the green bean casserole, mash the potatoes, and open that can of cranberry sauce. The family members you are self-isolating with will have wonderful day enjoying the smells wafting from the kitchen while watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. (YouTube year of your choice.) For loved ones who are self-isolating nearby, the can pick up a loaded curbside plate to go.

My experiences from last week will help you if you decide to plan your own Thanksgiving, Junior. It’s not easy to find a whole turkey this time of the year, and forget about prepacked Pepperidge Farm cubed stuffing. But Publix saved the day with a store brand turkey, and seasoned croutons were the perfect substitute stuffing cubes. Throw on a fall tablecloth, dig out the turkey platter, wear now-every-day stretchy pants, and you’re good to go.

And afterwards, back to YouTube for the football game of choice. Our selection was the BSC Championship game of 2014 at the Rose Bowl.

Happy Thanksgiving, Junior!


Teri Ashley is the executive director of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, now in its 95th year, with offices in both Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. She can be reached at 941-639-2222 or at