Last January, I wrote that my New Year’s resolution was to buy no new clothes. I didn’t know about COVID-19 at the time, or how easy it was going to be to live the year in three sweatshirts, yoga pants and a couple of nightgowns.
For the first time ever, I have kept a resolution an entire year. I guess this counts as a good thing in a bad year.
It is not in my nature to be a Polyanna, but even I admit this awful year hasn’t been all bad. The pandemic revealed some good memories and heightened the quality of many days.
Sis and I rediscovered the joy of car rides to nowhere in particular. When we were kids, Mom and Dad took us for Sunday drives to see what was happening in the tiny town where I grew up. Those rides usually ended with a frozen custard or a frosty A&W. My father-in-law had a phrase for summer drives; he’d say, “Let’s go blow the stink off” on those hot Kansas evenings.
Today, there are no custard or root beer stands. But we mosey down familiar roads and some I’ve never traveled. We go half-way as far as we can make it without a bathroom, then head for home.
I am a wretched cook, as anyone who has ever asked me for a potluck dish will tell you. But Sis has been putting notches in her spoons. She has invented a variety of wonderful, waste-free dishes. For me, it’s a lot like going out.
I didn’t want to drag the big (artificial) tree out of the basement, so I bought a little one. A friend referred to it as a Charlie Brown tree. Another asked if it was the top of the big tree (I never thought of that). But there is something basic about our little tree that fits a pared-down Christmas. It makes me feel good.
I appreciate the Walmart employees who bring groceries out and load them into our car. Many, many days they are the only people outside our house that we actually see. They have, against all odds, been unerringly cheery.
We’ve experienced an outpouring of affection from and for my neighbors. Several of us exchanged little bags of scented candles, nuts and candy. (Note: If you are a dark chocolate fan and are offered a Truffettes de France, trample anybody who gets in your way; it’s seriously good stuff).
One neighbor starts a newsletter and everyone chimes in. We keep an eye on each other openly but not nosily.
As we stagger into 2021 like runners finishing a marathon, the best thing I can say is that many of us made it. We mourn those who did not.
The path ahead may go up or down, but we will soldier on.
Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors. Her newest historical novel, “Dr. Emma’s Improbable Happenings,” is available at Port Book and News, One of a Kind Gallery, and on Amazon.com. Contact her at email@example.com.