I'm one to never "wish days away," knowing the older we get, the fewer days there will be to enjoy, and never more so than this year, when we've been all the more aware of the fragility of life. But I suspect just about everyone in the world is eager to kiss 2020 goodbye and welcome a new year of hope.
A vaccine for Coronavirus-19 may not completely prevent and not cure the virus, but if it helps makes it easier for us to become less sick and return a bit more to normal, then that's a huge gift and a great deal of hope.
For some, 2020 has been especially tragic with loss of loved ones or income because of the worldwide economic situation due to Covid-19. I know several who have been sicker than they have ever been before, but who have made it through. Others are not so lucky. The constant vigilance -- remembering masks, extra handwashing and sanitizing, disinfecting food, keeping distance -- is critical -- but wearing thin.
We've had tremendous trials this year, beyond the virus.
These and differences of opinion on restrictions during the virus have torn relationships and cities apart.
But I have found certain joys during this year and it would be remiss not to look back and acknowledge those things for which I am grateful, cherished moments, and the things that makes every second of this life I have worth fighting for.
In January, Rick, Kevin and Molly redid my kitchen -- a deeply loved holiday gift! And in February, the new stove arrived! Yes, I'm grateful!
We also were able to see all of Rick's extended family on his Mom's side when we celebrated her 80th birthday in Dallas. (And I got to connect with Laura from Decor to Adore, too!)
March brought a celebration of 23 years together for Rick and me!
The next day, we visited friends Suzanne and Jim in Canada. Rick took off for a trade show which was canceled while he was enroute due to Covid. He headed home; I stayed in Canada for a few days and so grateful for those last few days of semi-normalcy! This was my last dinner out, in mid-March.
I'm grateful for these little guys. We didn't get to see them nearly often enough but I treasure every one of those more carefree times in the spring before Covid hit...
...and in the fall before we locked down again.
I became more in tune than ever before with nature and truly appreciated walks to the Ditch and savoring the beauty of nature, feeling relatively safe in my mask outside. Seeing the water birds, deer and new life in the spring was such a gift.
We were lucky -- we had food to eat....
....and a cottage to escape to, which offered spectacular sunsets to take my breath away.
The change of seasons and the beauty those changes brought with them lifted my spirits in every way. From the first blossoms of spring...
....to the dazzling color display of fall, I was in awe.
Could we have made it through 2020 without the kindness of others? Those incredible doctors and nurses who kept going when feeling both exhausted and hopeless? The scientists who steamrolled through several vaccines? The grocery store workers that allowed us to be able to get food? The other "ordinary people" who helped out in any way possible? Early on it was those who made masks -- not just for those who were desperate for them in the early days of Covid (they did astounding work) but also for sharing them with us.
I appreciated those who offered curb side delivery (and still do!)
And simpler things, like my neighbor taking care of the weeds on my beach at the lake, saving my back!
How could I ignore virtual doctor visits and house calls from my vet who turned Lizzie's lethal paws into carefully manicured, talon-free feet.
We had two occasions for which to leap for joy -- the engagement of one cousin's son, Jeff, to the lovely Lauren...
...and the wedding of another cousin's daughter, Heather, to the handsome Mike. We had to enjoy that on Zoom, but that was OK -- at least we got to see.
Zoom. One of the best things to come from all this was the rise of Zoom so we could connect with friends or attend board meetings. For those who worked, it meant the difference of being able to function while working at home.
I accomplished a lot this year. I completed my 300+ page family history book (or at least the first draft -- I have a few revisions to do!)
I painted loads of watercolors, read lots of books, and paid off my mortgage, which we celebrated with friends at Southern Exposure. Safely!
I was grateful that I could vote by mail.
And by the results.
And would I have made it through 2020 without this guy?
I don't think so. His January concert was nicely attended and his passion for his music and bicycle makes me smile. No one could have been more supported or aware and conscientious in keeping me safe this year. We have more or less distanced for 10 months. Hopefully the vaccine will let us be closer.
And then there was this one -- the Secret Keeper, the Bed Buddy, The Girl with the Motorboat Purr. She was the one who made me get up every morning because she does not like to start her day on an empty stomach!
It wasn't a perfect year, to be sure. But we're turning the page. It won't fix the losses of last year. Loss of life, loss of experiences, loss of precious time. But pretty soon we will be able to get more of these.
And I can't wait.
Happy New Year!