Oh 2020! We will be glad to see you in our rear view mirrors. I could probably just post zillions of memes for this update and be done with it. But what the heck, let’s do a little recap.
The year started out great with a fabulous Caribbean cruise with Brian, Carrie and the boys. We sailed on the Norwegian Escape and were guests of The Haven, the “penthouse” of the ship. It was spectacular, and only whetted my appetite for doing even more cruises. I was just beginning to think about exploring a solo cruise of Australia and New Zealand when news of a nasty virus making its way out of Wuhan, China began to appear on American news casts.
In late January, Lauren came down with the (seasonal) flu and became sick enough she was admitted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She spent a week in the ICU, but finally made good progress and then recovered fully at home.
We spent February watching the news with fears of impending coronavirus crisis. Daryl and I made a half day drive down to Picacho Peak State Park to have a picnic lunch with Barb Heimel and her son & his wife.
The first week of March, I made a gigantic grocery run, and planned to settle in for several weeks to wait out the storm. Oh, wasn’t I naive? It quickly became evident the Covid-19 crisis was a big deal and was here to stay. Countries, states and cities mandated mask wearing and social distancing, and called for closures of non-essential businesses and travel in an effort to “flatten the curve.”
In the midst of the Covid shutdown, Carrie’s mother Bonnie passed away quietly at her home. It has been a bittersweet grieving time for Dennis and Carrie, knowing Bonnie is at rest and no longer suffering, but missing her terribly. Fortunately, Dennis lives only a couple miles from Brian & Carrie, and has spent part of every day at their home, helping to take care of Lauren. He loves her immensely and she is good medicine for his broken heart.
I also received news that my childhood best friend Denice passed away on April 21 after suffering many years with a degenerative nerve disease. I’m so glad I got to visit with her last October on my trip up the Natchez Trace Parkway. I knew it would be our last visit.
In order to ensure I did not become infected with Covid so that I could make weekly visits with the Reeds, I stuck to strict quarantine for the last nine months. I stayed home alone the majority of the time, getting out once or twice a day for a walk along the canal with Hanna, doing a grocery pickup order every ten days or so, and buying lots of fun (and a few necessary) items from Amazon. I didn’t mind being alone; in fact I kind of enjoyed it. My home is comfortable, my health is good, I had plenty of TV to watch, books to read, and social media to surf, as well as keeping in close touch with my siblings and Robin & family via text or video chat. So I was not lonely nor bored. But I did miss Disney trips, camping in my RV, and more common things like just walking through Walmart and Target, or running to Safeway for a single item.
The 2020 presidential election season was filled with fiery discourse, hateful attack ads and out of control debates. On November 3, the nation told Donald Trump he was through. Throughout his lame duck session, he refused to concede, and continually filed ridiculous and desperate lawsuits trying to overturn the election. Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.
In November, Pfizer and Moderna both announced they had developed a safe Covid-19 vaccine that is 95% effective against the virus. The FDA granted both formulas Emergency Use Authorization, and health care workers began getting shots on December 14. I expect to get mine as soon as my age/health group is eligible, sometime around February or March. Hope is on the horizon.
Christmas, like every other day this year, will be lowkey. I will spend it with the Reeds, opening presents, enjoying a special meal (with pie!) and playing games. My experiences this year have reminded me that a holy season with love is greater than a festive season with joy.
I hope and pray 2021 brings back some of the things I have been missing, including visits with my Boise family, the Holsingers. As soon as I have had my vaccine, I will be heading north! We may have a wedding or two on the calendar this year. I want to get Minnie back out of the side yard and explore some new horizons. And hopefully, Disneyland will be open once again!
Until then, may you always have friends that care, health to spare and love to share. Merry Christmas!