There is much I am thankful for and that is included in this post, but this year has been such a nightmare in so many ways, I just had to address some of what has made this year so awful. One of my favorite jokes has been when the older guy in “Back to the Future” says to Michael J. Fox’s character, “Whatever you do, don’t visit 2020!” It’s not a year any of us want to go back to.
I am NOT thankful for:
- Because of the virus, I’ve not been able to attend book fairs, farmers markets, and craft shows to sell my books. (I attended only one all year—this past weekend at the Victorian Belles Christmas Bazaar.) And I haven’t been asked to do any PowerPoint programs about my books. Last year I did about 30 of the previously mentioned ways to sell my books. So I’ve brought in about 1/10 of what I did in 2019.
- Because of the virus, I’ve not seen family and friends in California in almost a year. And since I won’t be traveling at Christmas either, it will be March or April before I go.
- Because of the virus, I have not eaten inside any restaurants since March, have had no guests in my home, and wear a mask whenever I go out in public. None of which makes me happy, but I’ll do whatever I can to protect myself and others.
The partisan split
- I hate the way people stick to their beliefs and won’t even listen to other views whether it’s about Trump, Biden, abortion, wearing masks, whatever. I miss civility and manners. In the past several weeks, I’ve spent several hours with people with opposing views, and we’ve been civil and listened to each other. In each case, we were sharing a space where we couldn’t just get up and leave. We didn’t change each other’s minds. And we didn’t call each other names and use the ‘F’ word every few seconds. We did change the subject, though, because there were many other topics we could discuss.
- I hate gridlock among our politicians whether in the state of Oregon or on the national level. In Oregon, when the Republicans weren’t happy with something, they took their marbles and went out of the state and the Democrats were so stuck on their side that they wouldn’t compromise. And in DC, they’re in total gridlock. This is unacceptable in this unprecedented time of need. They simply have to get back to the honorable tradition of compromise to get things done—especially the next stimulus package for the country. It’s been pending since May! Politicians on both state and national level were elected to govern and need to put their country over their party!
I am thankful for:
- The telephone, email, texting, and Zoom. Otherwise, I would really be cut off and feel lonely and depressed. I can talk on the phone to my family and friends and attend meetings through Zoom. Because of these technologies, I’m still connected to those I love and can still be an active member of the groups I belong to.
- For the progress made on developing vaccines to fight the virus. Once a vaccine has been scientifically certified and I qualify to take it, I’ll be first in line.
- My health. As of August, I’ve had my energy back since my total knee replacement surgery last January 28. By taking the precautions of sanitizing my hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing, I’ve been able to continue clerking a few days a month at Backstreet Gallery and to continue being a docent at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum when It’s been open. I enjoy conversing with all the visitors in both venues.
- For my renter downstairs and my neighbors. My renter, Carole, is there to talk to from time to time, closes the garage door when I leave it up, and shares special recipes that she is working on––what a deal. And I love bumping into my neighbors when I get my mail, work in the yard, or walk around the neighborhood.
- My yard man, Todd. He keeps my roof cleaned off and my yard cleaned up. That is not easy when there are as many tall trees as I have and as many storms this area has. And I’ve thankful he trimmed up the trees to let in more light and keeps the weeds away.
- My new roof and my new vinyl floors. I had planned for both of these last year but had to wait. The 25-year roof, was in its 24th year, so definitely needed to be replaced. Because the vinyl floor in the kitchen around the sink and work areas looked like a debris field, I had wanted to replace it for several years. Now it’s a few months since roof and floors were replaced, and I’m very pleased with both.
- My new clock. The old clock worked fine for telling time, but the chimes didn’t work and it was too big for the location at the top of the stairs. It was in the way and folks were always bumping into it—including me. I had wanted to replace it for at least 15 years. My new clock is smaller, has wonderful chimes, and is not in the way. I love it.
- The time and energy and motivation to sort through and clean out. I tackled my office, my walk-in closet, the garage, and the basement, all of which had needed it for years. And I took on many other smaller, tedious chores throughout the house. It feels good to have crossed off so much on my to-do list.
- For the bookstores that are still buying my books in 2020. They are Books and More in Yachats, Books N Bears and The Jolly Egret in Florence.
- Sir Groucho. My cat and companion and friend during this long stay-at-home period. He is loving having me home so much!
- And, finally, for family and long-time friends who mostly live in California. Even though I live far away, they haven’t forgotten me.
I can hardly wait for 2021! I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!