20 things for 2020 so far

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

On July 1st, we hit the half-way mark for the year 2020.  When we raised our glasses and rang in the New Year in January, none of us, in any country in the world, knew what would hit us in a few short months.

Because the year so far has been so overwhelmingly different from any other, here are 20 observations for 2020 (and we’re only half-way through!)

  1. The room that needs painting, the light bulb that needs changing in the spare room – all the things you didn’t notice that need fixing in the house are glaringly obvious when you work from home.
  2. I still love the feel of a book in my hands, but in a pinch, e-books will do nicely.
  3. Chipmunks are not as fast or as smart as I thought they were. My house cat caught two chipmunks in the last few weeks while on a rope and harness in the yard. Lucky (for the chipmunks), it was a catch and release situation since we were there to save their skins.
  4. You save a lot of money when you don’t have to buy gas, lunch or clothes for work.
  5. You save a lot of time when you don’t have to brave traffic to get to work.
  6. The travel time you save is never used to attack the “to-do” list you always said you would tackle when you had more time.
  7. We are in the middle of the third heat wave since May. I don’t like
    +35-degree celsius, hot and humid any better than I do -30 degrees celsius, cold and damp.
  8. The one good thing about hot, humid weather is there’s no need to cook because who the heck is hungry in that kind of heat?
  9. Cats nap a lot during the day.
  10. Husbands nap a lot during the day.
  11. I can no longer leave the house without a mask and hand sanitizer in my purse.
  12. Black Lives Matter. Period.
  13. I’m late to the party, but discovering on-line shopping.
  14. It’s not the same as the real thing, but I appreciate the musicians who put together concerts via Zoom to honour front-line healthcare workers and entertain the masses.
  15. Six feet feels too far from friends and family but too close to strangers in public places.
  16. There are no professional sports games to watch on TV? Oh, I hadn’t noticed.
  17. Don’t judge me: I started watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix and I love it. (Yes, I know it’s cheesy, but a cheesy treat never hurt anyone.)
  18. How can leaders in different countries have such different approaches to the same killer virus?
  19. I am really, really bad at Sudoku. I keep playing on my tablet to try to sharpen my observation skills, but it’s hopeless. The numbers I plug into those blank spaces are rarely the right ones.
  20. Travel is overrated.

This post was written in response to the daily prompts provided by
Jibber Jabber with Sue for Day 9 (country) and Day 10 (treat) and Day 13 (blank)


Like a normal summer day

This post was written in response to the daily prompts provided by
Jibber Jabber with Sue for Day 3 (hot) and Day 6 (right)

The days of summer are here and they are a relief from the wretched spring of confinement. One hot, sunny, beautiful day follows another –  like perfect, sparkling diamonds on a necklace. Or maybe the days just feel like they are precious gems because we have learned to be grateful for the simple things in life.

I spent one afternoon at the home of good friends that I hadn’t seen for months (not counting Zoom). I toured their garden, admired the flowers in full bloom, and the lettuce, vegetables and herbs that were making their appearance. Then we sat in their glider swing and ate lunch made from some of the freshly picked vegetables. The sky was completely cloudless, an endless stretch of azure blue as far as the eye could see. The sun beat down on our hair and skin, making us feel sinfully lazy after our meal. Our feet lightly pushed off the floor of the swing, sending us gently gliding back and forth as we talked about everything and nothing. It almost felt like a normal summer day after a surrealistic spring.

The next day was just as beautiful. We need rain – badly. But after weeks spent indoors, it seemed ungrateful to wish for it. Instead, Ben and I saddled up our horses and went for a ride in the woods. There is something about the scent of pine, the shadows cast by sun-dappled leaves and the soft footfall of the horses that soothes the mind and spirit. It almost felt like a normal summer day after a surrealistic spring.

I spent part of the next day gardening.  Kneeling in the dirt, I pulled relentlessly at the weeds that thrive despite the drought. My arms felt strong as I pushed the wheelbarrow filled with roots, weeds and clumps of dirt to the compost pile, again and again. Freed from the weeds that choked them, the plants and flowers in the flowerbed seemed to breathe a little easier. Only when the sun started to slowly sink and the scent of the steak Ben was grilling called to me, did I put away my gardening tools. It  almost felt like a normal summer day after a surrealistic spring.

But it is not normal. We still need to keep a physical distance from others. We can’t leave the house without a mask and hand sanitizer. The rules for shopping, going to the local pool or, anywhere, really, have all changed. And I am not a gardener, so that is definitely not normal.

But for now, it feels right. I need a project, one that lets me spend time in the fresh air and sunshine. I need something to help me make sense of the surrealistic spring. Seeing my friends helps a lot. So does riding the trails. And now, learning to coax failing plants back to health helps too. It lets me believe that, like the plants, we too will heal and go back to living healthy lives on a healthy planet.

Thanks for the advice, Dad

When I saw today’s word  prompt, I realized I had published a post just over a year ago that’s a perfect response. I know this defeats the purpose of the prompt, which is to use the word as a starting point to write a new post.  But I will call it a “cheat” day!  I hope you enjoy the post.

This post was written in response to the daily prompt provided by
Jibber Jabber with Sue for July 2:  Advice


My Dad was a great person.  He was quiet, hard-working and led pretty much by example. He gave me a lot of good advice that has stood the test of time. But there are some simple pieces of advice that just no longer work today.  Here are a few:

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