Let’s face it – 2021 did not turn out the way we hoped it would. COVID-19 is worse than ever with the Omicron variant spreading like wildfire. And, speaking of wildfire, two communities within a few miles of our daughter’s home in Boulder, Colorado have been decimated by a historic, fast-moving fire. We are grateful our family hasn’t been directly impacted and pray for those who have lost everything. But, perhaps the cruelest turn of 2021 was depriving the world of the chance to celebrate Betty White’s 100th birthday. Betty died yesterday, just three weeks before her birthday, apparently of natural causes. (Since this IS technically a genealogy blog, I HAD to include the video clip below!)
As 2021 opened, our youngest daughter and her family were living with us in our small Cape Cod home while they waited for the short sale on their new residence to go through. Yes, it was cramped and at times a little challenging, but it made the holidays a little brighter since we could celebrate together without fear of the dreaded “virus.”
By April things were dramatically different! Scott and I bid successfully on a condo in Woodbury, CT and the kids moved to a temporary apartment. On April 30, Meg and her family moved into their beautiful new home in Southbury, just 19 minutes from our condo. Meanwhile, 1673 miles, away, Cait and Matt began planning the build of their “mountain house.” On May 7 we moved out of our home of 35 years. Four days later I went to Colorado to spend a month with our grandsons. (Kudos to Scott for organizing the condo in my absence!) I guess we will have to dub 2021 “The Year of New Abodes.”
We spent the summer and fall exploring our new surroundings. Long drives, restaurant visits, and trail walks resulted in genealogy projects being put on the back burner. Not to mention ruining my reputation as a person who never goes outside! (A small sampling below. Follow Scott on his Facebook page to keep up with our adventures!)
A highlight of the fall, was a “partial” family reunion in October. My sisters Betsy and Kathy, their spouses, and the Vermont “contingent” Laurie and Sandy, joined the Connecticut group to celebrate. Not everyone could make it, but we hope to make up for that in 2022.
I did manage to get some writing done and worked on improving my writing skills. I took a class on crafting strong characters, hoping to bring my great-grandfather Sigmund Lichtenthal to life. His story is great, but I need to “put some flesh on the bones” as they say. I’ll be taking another class on organizing story plots this coming week and then it’s BACK TO WRITING!!
This Christmas was a vast improvement over that of 2020. We took our chances and met Cait and her crew in New York for a few days. Fabulous! The annual Christmas Eve gathering at Meghan’s resumed at her new home following negative COVID tests by all. Sadly, not all could join in. (Let’s hope we can all get together in the summer!) As expected, there were some bumps as a few people tested positive in the following days. Eh – it was worth the risk – symptoms were minimal and now we have some very special memories!
For historical sake, I’ll give some context. The COVID positivity rate is higher than ever in Connecticut: 20% as of yesterday, Dec. 31. However, most people (the vaccinated and boosted) are only experiencing what amounts to nasty cold symptoms. Testing is tough to get – kind of like looking for a Furby on Christmas Eve 1998. The governor of CT struck a deal to bring millions of test kits to the public, with delivery expected on Thursday, Dec, 30. Unfortunately, the company reneged, rendering all the planning useless. Hopefully, we will receive some kits this coming week. Caitlin left us one kit from her stash, but I’m reserving that one in case we actually have to go somewhere.
We are all COVID-weary. I’m thinking of starting a betting pool – when will the first newscast air that DOESN’T include the word “covid”? I’m thinking June 7, 2022. (Props to any family member who knows why that is a significant date!)
I could go on and on recapping 2021 – it truly was a weird one. Joyful days of sailing with friends, visiting with others, and hanging with family countered the stress of contracting THE VIRUS. But – look! We are 13 hours into 2022 and doing okay!! So, that brings me to…
My Goals for 2022:
- Staying healthy (I was going to say “staying alive”, but I’m shooting for the stars, here!)
- Hanging out with friends and family MORE often.
- Completing the first draft of my book, now tentatively titled “Nothing Really Bad Will Happen.” (The story of our family’s experience during the Holocaust era.)
- Continuing to organize our family genealogy.
- Keeping up this blog… (technically this one post meets the goal!)
There are others but these are ones I’m pretty sure I can accomplish. Wouldn’t want to commit myself publicly to the dubious ones, like the ubiquitous “losing weight” and “exercising more”.
A big shout out to all of you who followed me through 2021. Thanks for joining me on the journey! Here’s hoping 2022 REALLY is the one we will look back on fondly and say, “What a great year that was!”