Spectrum Connection: December 2020

From the desk of Dave Smalley: A Novel -The Book of COVID

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The final month, the final chapter of the year 2020. I know it is likely popular to issue statements like, GOOD RIDDANCE, and Bye Felicia! I am tempted to join that band wagon. But the reality is, the calendar year is merely symbolic. It really has nothing to do with the virus, shutdowns, murder hornets, hurricanes and well, you name it. However, it is a convenient place to turn the page if you will. We can start a new chapter, but we will not be starting a new book.

Yes, this story continues, and the pages will continue to turn. The plot is unfolding and coming into focus, and the end of the novel seems to be in sight. It seems like a long novel, much longer that Moby Dick or War and Peace. And I would say, for sure, I am not wishing for a surprise ending, I am not hopeful for a fairy tale ending, and without question, please no twists with “bet you didn’t see that one coming.” Let’s just go with “mostly happily ever after”, metaphorically.

As I look back and “reread” chapters, the things I missed become clearer to me. There were definitely missed opportunities as I thumbed my way through the scary pages, as fast as I could, to see where and how the story was going to end. Lesson learned!

Like we talked about last month, the virus closed the road, but it did not close the destination. We took a detour. We had and still have the opportunity to take in new sights, enjoy family and friends more, and explore new hobbies and interests. There are no boundaries. For most of us, not all of us, 2020 is an opportunity, and that opportunity will continue into early 2021, then slowly fade away as the hustle and bustle returns. Yes, I look forward to the hustle and bustle. Frankly, as one of my friends Nick said, it will represent the return of one’s identity. I am hoping that, at the least, this past year has taught me that my identity is much more than that of doing business. All of us are much more than our professional personas.

OK, enough of me waxing back, looking back. Time to look forward, to what is in front of us. Time to focus on family and friends, and the Holiday Season. Perhaps we can have a takeaway from this past year and extend our Holiday Season persona all year long?? How great would that be?! Let’s enjoy the opportunities provided to us, making the best of it and looking out for each other.

We’ve got a few chapters left in this book. Let’s pay attention to the details and recognize the doors open, and not stare that the door closed. To each and every one of you, God Bless, Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas. My love to you and your family,

Dave Smalley


From the desk of Melanie Smalley.

Untitled 1 07December, the last month of the year, I can’t help but to think what might be around the corner I am excited to turn the page, get to the next chapter and embrace 2021 with you! May we all stand ready in preparation and eagerness with our “glass half full” Spectrum mentality I share the message on the following page with you as a gentle reminder to all of us that WE CAN and WE WILL! Cheers to 2021 miss you all and think of you every single day

Love, Mel










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TwoSimple, LittleWords

Lecturer Charles Hobbs tells about a woman who lived in London over a century ago She saved what little money she could working as a scullery maid and used it one evening to hear a great speaker of her day His speech moved her deeply and she waited to visit with him afterward ..“How fine it must be to have had the opportunities you have had in life,” she said

“My dear lady,” he replied,replied,“have you never received an opportunity?”

“No I have never had a chance,” she said

“What do you do?” the speaker asked She answered,answered,“I peel onions and potatoes in my sister’s boarding house

“How long have you been doing this?” he pursued

“Fifteen miserable years!” “And where do you sit?” he continued “Why, on the bottom step in the kitchen She looked puzzled

“And where do you put your feet?”

“On the floor,” she answered, more puzzled

“What is the floor?”

“It is glazed brick

Then he said,said,“I will give you an assignment today I want you to write me a letter about the bricks Learn as much as you can about the bricks in your kitchen, then teach me

Against her protests about being a poor writer, he made her promise to complete the assignment

The next day, as she sat down to peel onions, she gazed at the brick floor That evening she pulled one loose, took it to a brick factory and asked the owner to explain to her how bricks were made

Still not satisfied, she went to a library and found a book on bricks She learned that 120 different kinds of brick and tile were being produced in England at the time Now curious, she discovered how clay beds, which existed for millions of years, were formed Her research captivated her imagination and she spent every spare moment learning more She returned to the library night after night until she became something of an expert on bricks

After months of study, she set out to write her letter as promised She sent a 36 page document about English bricks and, to her surprise, she received a letter back Enclosed was payment for her research He had published her letter And along with the money came a new assignment this time he asked her to write about what she found underneath the brick

For the first time in her life she could hardly wait to get back to the kitchen She pulled up the brick and there was an ant She held it in her hand and examined it

That evening, she hurried back to the library to study ants She learned that there were hundreds of different kinds of ants Some were so small they could stand on the head of a pin while others were so large one could feel the weight of them in one’s hand She started her own ant colony and examined ants underneath a lens

Several months later she wrote what she learned about ants in another long letter It, too, was eventually published For the first time, she began to think that she might be able to do something different with her life She was thrilled to discover that her future was not predetermined And in time, the woman quit her kitchen job to take up writing

Before she died, she had traveled to distant lands and had experienced more than she ever imagined possible

Two of the saddest words in the language are “if only If only I had a chance If only I had the time If only I had more education If only I had connections If only I had more money if only things were different If only

And two of the most inspirational words are “I can I can try I can learn I can adjust I can heal I can change I can grow I can do it

Two simple, little words Yet they can change a life

— Steve Goodier



Angel Reach at the Pavilion

On November 12 th Wicked Whisk had the honor of catering the Angel Reach Wings Strings Aaron Watson Concert at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Our Spectrum Family was in full force that evening, with members of all divisions working together for an incredible charity and event The guests enjoyed a BBQ Buffet, silent auction, entertainment by Texas country artist, Aaron Watson Our Spectrum Team ensured the comfort safety of all in attendance We had buffet plexi glass shields, a hand sanitizer station, and Joe Martinez helped measure the tables to ensure proper distancing Thank You to everyone who made this event successful!

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December 2020Its wedding engagement season the Wicked Whisk team was invited to participate in the Boxwood Manor Open House Boxwood Manor is a stunning new venue in Tomball and had their event was attended by wonderful couples planning their weddings! We had a wonderful time showing our modern take on a Charcuterie Display Individual caprese charcuterie skewers along with a Chef Kevin Bell creation of shaved prosciutto, lemony hummus, crispy Brussel sprouts and finished with smoked sea salt We look forward to catering for all the upcoming weddings we have booked for the remainder of 2020 and beyond Thank You Boxwood Manor!

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On 11 19 the Strong Firm hosted their annual preview party the eve before the Ice Rink opened at the CWMP Pavilion It was an event fun for the whole family, with a kid’s corner, ice skating, and Elsa from Frozen performing on the ice We had fun surprising our very own, Jim Smalley, who operates the Ice Rink for Spectrum with a cake for his birthday! We came up with a fun way to blow out birthday candles, in the age of Covid by using a separate hors d’oeuvres display board while the group sang to him! Thank You Strong Firm for hosting such a fun event! Happy Birthday Jim!

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December 2020 Newsletter Page 8

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