2021 in the rear view mirror

I planned to write an end-of-year letter to friends, but gave up and decided to turn it into a blog.

So, dear friends, 2021 was a year of missing pieces. No overseas trips, few social events, and no encounters with crowds.  

Our only adventures were ones that involved saying a short prayer that everyone inside the restaurants and movie theaters we visited had been vaccinated.

In 2021, our farthest travel destinations were to a town sixty-seven and a half miles north of us and to a Native American museum—Hibulb Cultural Center– thirty-five miles away. Given the lack of other trips, both were wondrous adventures. In one, we were invited to join relatives of a friend for a sunny afternoon of food, storytelling and laughter. In the other, we learned more about the history of native peoples in our region and left with a desire to know more. 

Though we spent a great deal of time at home, we were able to use this time wisely. While we couldn’t travel to Spain to refresh our Spanish, or return to Ireland to work on our “lilting brogue,” we have begun to study the Greek alphabet. We were already familiar with alpha, beta, and delta, and can’t understand why the World Health Organization skipped epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa, lambda, mu, nu, xi before landing on omicron. 

Perhaps they should have opted for something one syllable in length and easily slipped into a sentence, such as, “I have not one iota of confidence that we can trust them to move from omicron directly to the next letter, ‘pi’.”

Some of these alphabetic symbols have meanings, e.g., theta means ‘thick,’ as in, “I can’t believe how many theta-heads there are out there who won’t get vaccinated.” Omicron means ‘off.’ “Wouldn’t it be lovely if the virus skittered omicron soon.” This awkward sentence further supports the choice of epsilon to follow delta. And since epsilon means ‘end,’ it would have sent a strong signal that the virus needed to leave.

What did we do when we weren’t studying? We didn’t have as much time for self-improvement as we would have liked, because we had to go grocery shopping, bake, and eat. Our monthly visa bills were proof that nothing has been more important during the pandemic than visits to QFC, Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Costco.  Clothes hems are fraying, holes are appearing on the knees of our jeans (making them very fashionable), and weeds are taking over our garden, but our bellies are full and the shape of our bodies reminiscent of muffins, mind you, homemade muffins. 

Baking cookies replaced dining out on our agendas. Now that it’s the holiday season, we have expanded our repertoire from oatmeal raisin and sesame tahini cookies to chocolate/pumpkin and cranberry/orange breads, chocolate truffles, and madeleines. I’m planning one more bake-athon for cranberry/date bars.  On the healthy side of the menu, we’ve been turning out loaves of Irish brown bread, crusty lunkers so weighty that only a crane can lift, and full of flavor.

When not in the kitchen, Ann still writes, and Greg continues to build guitars.

That sums up our year. We are grateful to have kept healthy (no colds in two years), spent time with friends, been able to return to our YMCA to exercise, and added to our streaming subscriptions.

May you and your families be safe and healthy, your holidays sweet, and the coming year mask-free.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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9 Responses to 2021 in the rear view mirror

  1. Marilyn Pedersen says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Greg, Ann! We’ll be in La Paz, Mexico with our family this year.

  2. travelnwrite says:

    Well, ever the optimist, I figure if you are studying the Greek alphabet and not Spanish, that you’ve finally decided to come visit us and not go to Spain!! YAY!!! Or should I say, “Bravo” or “Opa” as we do here??

  3. stillalife says:

    Unfortunately, we wouldn’t get far in Greece by saying A, B, C, D, E, etc. I think we’d better stick to Spanish.

  4. Evelyn says:

    What a good way to sum it all up. Thanks Ann.

  5. dkzody says:

    If we could just get the people to all get their vaccines, I would be happy. I would even continue to wear my mask when out (as I did even after vaccinated and boosted). We should be so much farther along at this point, but alas, it is not to be.

  6. stillalife says:

    I agree, and the latest variant sounds frightening, given the number of unvaccinated people running loose.

  7. Martha says:

    Our lives are all merging, without really connecting. Looking forward to actually SEEING you and Greg sometime in the near(?) future.

  8. stillalife says:

    I’m glad you added a question mark after near. But yes, we would love to get together.

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