We moved yesterday. Our internet is now up, but I just rolled out of bed after a night with howling cats because they got scared in a new place. It sounded like a trip to the vet. I moved boxes and papers and cleared a space on my computer table to slide my computer in front of Vince’s.
Autty Jade is my guest hostess next week. You will remember she hosted a few weeks ago about the topic, “New Beginnings.” Don’t forget to leave your comments and pingbacks on their blogs for today and next Wednesday.
Thank you for your love of quotes and writing. I’ll be visiting all the pingbacks, too. 🙂
See you back here on Always Write in two weeks. Thanks for joining us. 🙂
Tina Schell’s posts reminds me that I don’t need to be so wordy, I can just share my favorite pictures – even that would be 12 pictures, and I have way more than that to share. Donna had a great idea when she displayed her pictures and grouped several together by month.
Becky’s Square Up Challenge: Anything with the letter UP, but the photo must be a square. Superb idea, don’t you think? The UP words are bold. Did I miss any?
This post is way too long. Take your time or skim, either way thank you for reading and being part of my Always Write Hobby Blogger Family this year. You are the some of the bright spots in my 2020 tapestry. It was a memorable year with the good and bad woven so tightly into the design that you couldn’t unravel it with the sharpest stitch remover.
We brought 2020 in with a bang in Las Vegas with our blogging friends from Australia, Carol and Glen.
We only has a short time with them, but squeezed in a trip to Hoover Dam, sights on the strip on New Year’s Even, a trip to the pawn shop of the famous Pawn Stars, and downtown Las Vegas.
We drove home to California and had time for only about an hour in the Sequoia National Park.
Days after they left, I had my final surgery following nearly a year-long bout with breast cancer. Vince was scheduled for eye surgery for cataracts in February and Scardy, our 19-year old cat had successful surgery for nose cancer.
Marching along the timeline of life, you have no way of knowing the the line is going to break two months down the road. Looking back we are so grateful that we got all those medical issues out of the way when we did.
After his successful eye surgery, Vince and I took one last trip to Las Vegas in which we occupied our time hiking around the gorgeous Valley of Fire. This upstanding statue kept his feelings well hidden. Surely those tears did not come from a volcanic eruption!
On the night of our Woodlake Awards Banquet, before the pandemic officially started, we found out that two Kiwanians were quarantined with possible COVID-19. We were stunned, not just that they were sick, but that they were condemned to stay in their home for two weeks. Kiwanians stepped in to bring them food and groceries. Even so, I could not in my wildest dreams have foreseen what was coming. Within two weeks everyone holed up in their homes during the California Lock-Up.
Our son was supposed to visit us at the end of March and he called and canceled. I was shocked and a little perturbed at the time. It only seemed logical that if everyone stayed home for two weeks, the bug would get fed-up and die out.
I stayed home except to walk around Bravo Lake with my friend Sally until the pandemic blew over, which I assumed would be soon. Sally made us masks which I wore when I went out and eventually got used to breathing through it.
April – the Month of Hope
Like steam off a cup of tea
Yet life continued
When our air conditioner died, it disrupted COVID-19 from first place upsets. Washing lettuce from our garden supplied most of our excitement and coolant during May.
I grew up in Indiana and then Oregon without an air conditioner. At a family reunion my seven-year-old self overheard an adult relative who shall remain nameless because I don’t have the slightest idea who said it, “Look at poor Marsha, she sweats just like her mother.”
I was upset at her insulting, though accurate diagnosis even though it was supposed to sound like sympathy.
Fast forward nearly 30 years when my first husband and I moved to California we lived in an adobe house with a swamp cooler in the hall ceiling outside the only bathroom. That was important because of my hair and the nature of swamp coolers, which blow hot wet air when the temperature rises over 90. My thin wisps whipped around my face into my eyes, stuck to my contacts and made me cry ruining my carefully applied makeup and my hairdo every time I left the bathroom.
I digressed to supply and explanation for how supremely important air conditioning is in my life. When the AC could not be replaced in a timely manner because of the COVID slow down, a couple of people suggested that we needed a swamp cooler. LOL
June – Month of Real Estate Transaction
Vince retired from real estate because of his bad hearing in January, but that did not stop the transactions. We sold a rental in March – a miracle we thought because of COVID-19. As it turned out COVID-19 had turned everyone into real estate tycoons including us. This was our second transaction – a replacement rental for my IRA account. It rented as soon as it was completed, and has been a blessing in our life.
Food is always a priority on my list. Our air conditioner still wasn’t working as the weather heated up and the restaurants stayed closed because of COVID-19.
One of our best friends invited us over for dinner and air conditioning several times a week. One couple baked pizza on Wednesdays for pick-up and donated a large part of the proceeds to the Woodlake Food Pantry. June wasn’t euphoric, but it was a time of getting creative and grouping together to get through the crisis.
July – What Else Could Happen?
My blogging friend Terri Webster Schrandt actually came to our home in the short interim in which the air conditioner worked, and the flood hadn’t started. Even though a raccoon bit me in the middle of the night, I was raring to go on a photo journey the next day to Sequoia National Park.
Realtors, even retired ones, invest in real estate. Vince got a call from a builder friend of his asking if we would sell the vacant lot next to us. We had left the acre fallow for twenty years rather than one year every seven as the Old Testament required. At that rate it should be productive for another 140 years.
We sold the lot and the next Sunday Vince invited another realtor friend over to “look at” our house and update the estimate on how much it might be worth. She also listed the rental where Vince’s sister lived, and Cindy moved in with us.
In the meantime, I kept occupied blogging and taking in five of our neighbor’s 50+ feral cats in to the vet to be fixed. They came back missing part of an ear (and other parts, too). That’s how you can tell they are fixed. Another five we caught/trapped and carted off to new homes. That was not super successful.
August – More Mess-ups
Some of you have read these sad tales of our air conditioner flood before, so I won’t repeat them. All these catastrophes kept our minds off COVID-19.
By the end of August we had endured all the paper work of two more real estate transactions. Our upmost need was to find a place for Cindy and her stuff to live besides our tiny cabana. Vince still wanted to move to Prescott, AZ, so we embarked on our fifth transaction and bought a condo for Cindy – in Prescott. Good thing she wanted to move with us! Now we had to uproot!
September – Septic Upwelled – AGAIN!
You’ve read our cat stories of Snickerdoodle and Tex. They were untroubled by our turmoil. By September we were itching to move. Vince still wanted to get a few more things perfect before we listed the house, but our realtor Patty urged him not to wait to list the house. So we sold the house, our sixth transaction for the year, and then dealt with the septic problems.
October – Giddyup
On a more upbeat note, Patty and Jesse took the three of us to a Dave Stamey outdoor concert as a thank you for listing Cindy’s condo. We felt safe and joyful as we sat in family groups in the open air enjoying the famous cowboy poet. Here is a short video for your euphonic enjoyment.
“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.”
The garage sale was long over. The movers had loaded the last of our furniture and boxes. It was empty. I took pictures of every room, but no wall hugging pictures. I was alone and I don’t have long enough arms to do selfies.
Vince had gone the day before in a UHAUL with all of Cindy’s things.
Brave or stupid, Jesse agreed to drive Cindy to Prescott in her car and they left early in the morning as the movers arrived. I have never been more grateful to anyone in my life. But the dangers of COVID-19 still raged in our county as they flame now in Arizona. Like Patty and I, they traveled nine hours in a car together and I believe that God kept them both safe.
I said goodbye to our home of nearly twenty years and went three miles up the road where the animals and I spent the night at Sally and Mike’s Bed and Breakfast, Running P Ranch. Smart move!
December – New Beginnings
My life if full of new beginnings now. Besides the fact that I am in a new place, one of the tools that has kept me sane and healthy over the last 9 months is blogging.
The series of interviews of so many blogging challenges on the web got me started with a purpose for my blog. By supporting challenges I can share my photos and my stories, meet friends, and have fun.
The series ran its course and then Story Chat sprang up with Hugh Roberts’ The People Under the Stairs. What fun that has been! In less than two weeks you will read “A Postcard from the Past” by Anne Goodwin.
Because of the interview with Colleen Chesebro, I started learning and using poetry in my writing. I’ve met so many interesting people through her blog. She invited me to restart one of her challenges, Writers Quotes Wednesdays Writer’s Challenge, #WQWWC.
Another interviewee, Yvette Prior honored me with an interview. Next week Yvette will host the #WQWWC topic “Persistence” on Priorblog. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say about it. Please join in on her blog next week. I will post a response to her challenge right along with you, and will visit your responses along with her.