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2020 Takeaways

The Year Time Stood Still

The year is almost gone
And what have I done?
Did I waste the time away
And left things in disarray?
Because I chose to play.

There’s just days to go
Better write a list to do
Before we say adieu
And remember to thank Godot
For the bad and the beau. TravelswithCharie

I had so many planned travels in 2020. In fact my suitcase was packed for a trip to the Philippines the last week of January. My cottage there was partially destroyed by a typhoon and I had repairs to see to. But the suitcase with presents for friends and family never took flight. Covid-19 ruled our lives. 

Among the things I had packed were boxes of chocolates I had bought to give as gifts. I ended up eating all of them rather than have them expire. Reading, meditating while basking in the sun, and learning to prepare new dishes became my support system as were calls from relatives and friends and the “care” packages my sister sent to me. 

My cousin introduced me to Instacart so I didn’t have to go out at all to buy groceries. But the stores were mostly out of essentials like toilet paper, liquid hand soap, Purell, Clorox disinfectant and rice. It took months before I could get Brita filters for my water pitcher and little things I never thought would run out.

I started a series of blogs called Armchair Travel and wrote about the books I read, the poems that reverberated, the websites I perused, the travel vlogs I followed on YouTube and posted photos of the places I missed. It was all good. It helped to tide me over during the long days I spent at home. 

The Federal government sent stimulus checks in May. It paid the bills for the repairs to the water heater and the leaky faucets. And my neighbor helped me repair our common fence. It’s a good thing these were taken cared of while I was at home. 

Then there was my other neighbor complaining about my pine tree. He knocked at my front door at 9 p.m. but I never open my front door, day or night. I finally got my gardener to cut the offending branches that were going over the neighbor’s fence. And pretty soon said neighbor put up a tarpaulin of some sort. Wish I could have talked with him in person so I could have complained about the used cans and bottles his kids and guests threw on my backyard. What happened to respect and decency?

It wasn’t till October when I was able to get away for a week. I went on a road trip to Oregon and had some glorious days. Alas wildfires enveloped the West Coast and we could barely leave the house with ashes thick enough to coat our cars. Still, I had a magical trip to the beach, a first in a troubled year. It was beautiful and we ate seafood. 

October and November were tough months with the presidential election and the delayed results. I can’t remember a time when we had these problems in any U.S. election. I’m not surprised though at the lack of interest shown by our legislators toward the American people. They only think about their political party, hardly ever about the needs of our people. And racism reared it’s ugly head.

Christmas has come and gone. The cases of covid-19 infections in the United States and California in particular are through the roof. There’s no more room in the hospitals and there’s talk that they’ll have to ration care. So here we are still stuck at home after a full year. And not surprisingly, very few countries are welcoming travelers.

I have to say I’m grateful despite this crazy scenario. I’m healthy, I have a comfortable home, there’s food on the table, my family is well and I’m constantly in touch with my relatives and friends. The vaccine is being distributed and I hope we can get it soon. 

There’s hope. And that is a gift. Have a happy 2021!


Image by TravelswithCharie


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