december 23rd, 2020
Hoping that you are well, reader, and that the health of your family and friends is as good as it was a year ago. It has been a hellacious year, but it’s almost over now and brighter days lie ahead!
As I started combing pictures and events to start this long overdue update, I found myself wrestling with the realization that so much and so little has happened this year. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, which starts in February.
Bachelor Party in Vegas
Took a break from the winter blues of Michigan for the desert sun and awesome nightlife of Las Vegas. It was a quick trip, my second time in the city, but an enjoyable one. I came back with a little more money than I arrived with, got to play golf with a fantastic view, and had great company for the trip.
As we were leaving on this trip I recall being aware of Covid, but not nearly as concerned as I would come to be in the weeks that followed. I was reading The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston to and from Vegas, that certainly did not help things as March rolled around and things got weird.
Life Under Quarantine
In September of 2019, my wife and I decided to sell our home of 7 years so that our trio could spread out a little in a larger home. The universe works in mysterious ways, and behold we found ourselves locked down in our new home for months in the Spring of 2020. Good thing we had that extra space to breathe!
Our first year in the new place has been one of growth; we learned a ton of new DIY skills, learned and practiced gardening, and learned how important self care really is when the world goes mad.
House projects were abundant during quarantine! From changing all of the door handles and hinges in the house, to electrical work to install new fans and chandeliers!
Gardening and Canning
Something we always wanted to do at our old house but couldn’t until we had a bigger yard was starting a garden. It was a fantastic learning experience, and we ended up with a ton of vegetables and herbs!
The kiddo got one heck of a Christmas present from his grandparents last year; a playfort to spend his summer days in! When I was a kid, my dad and grandpa built the one my siblings and I played on through most of our childhood. With Covid, things were a little tougher to get done as a group, but over the course of three weeks, and about 40 man hours of work, this behemoth was built.
Tougher Than Before
This has been a hard year, despite all of the projects and accomplishments I’ve showcased above. I won’t pull any punches; this year has straight-up sucked. We have been lucky thus far, however, and for that I am grateful. Our little unit has weathered one of the most intense storms in memory; being isolated from family and friends, juggling working from home and parenting effectively, opting out of trips and events for the sake of our health and safety as well as the health of our neighbors and strangers around us. We have sacrificed much, there have been tears and disagreements, fears and sleepless nights, but as I write this now I can look back at this year and say that it was not all bad.
We were tested, in my household and yours. We have grown in so many ways, but we have also learned that there are ways that we still need to grow. We have began to think more critically, and found our voices when others were critical of us. We chose to speak up when we would often remain quiet, but we also learned that sometimes quiet is best when you all you want to do is yell.
I have no expectations that on January 1st this hardship is over, this winter will be long and hard in its own way. I feel better now having reflected on who I was when this storm started, and I know that in time I will look back again and see I have made it through one more storm.