Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020 in review: pandemic

James' birthday is March 10.

We usually celebrate over dinner at a nicer than usual restaurant. This year, however, James asked to postpone the festivities so that his girlfriend could be included. That seemed reasonable, so instead of going somewhere fancy, we went to Panera.

We usually like Panera, but that was an off night. The service was slow, the floor was sticky and we had to bus our own table.

"This was the worst birthday dinner ever," we joked. "We'll make up for it this weekend."

Suddenly, Seth was working from home full-time, Ryan's college classes had moved completely on line and James' spring break had expanded from one week to an undetermined amount of time. We were told to stay home and we did. It was a long month.
April was more of the same, except now the barn was completely off-limits, too. To cope, I threw myself into the Wellman sisters' Shelter & Share Photo Challenge...
and Lauren Hoeffer's April Photo Challenge. 
That helped, but it was another long month.
May brought a return to riding.
That was a good thing. I needed the horse time to deal with the first big wave of cancellations. These included Carol's trip to Colorado for James' graduation and the graduation itself.
Instead of a formal ceremony, James got a car parade. It wasn't the same, but it wasn't terrible either.
There was also another photo challenge. I started to refer to this as live showing at home. Little did I know that photo showing was about to make a major comeback.
June was less about the pandemic - although we continued to be careful - and more about social justice issues. 
The highlight of the month was Darcy's tenth birthday party. This was a backyard get together, with a few friends and their dogs. Although everyone sat further apart than usual, it almost felt like the Before Times.
July was all about BreyerFest, which - like everything else - was virtual.
My expectations were pretty low, but Virtual BreyerFest was surprisingly fun.
July was also the first in a string of really good real horse months. Not only did I ride a lot, I added a new horse, Flynn, to my schedule.
Inspired by the success of online photo shows such as the BreyerFest Open Show and Bethany Shaw's Card Shark Live, I decided to hold one of my own. August was the perfect time, because I knew that was going to be a hard month and I needed a distraction.
The Pandemic Performance Panorama was a big success, but it didn't change the fact that I moved my youngest son into a college dorm in the midst of a global pandemic. Fortunately, despite a couple scares, he made it through the semester with his health intact.
September was a quiet month. I shipped a million boxes of show prizes and went to the barn almost every day. Hobby related highlights included a short visit from my friend, Bobbie, and her travelling circus...
and a Colorado hobbyist group ride in the Garden of the Gods.
October was more of the same, except now I was entering photo shows rather than hosting them. For the first time ever, I set up a dedicated photo table my house. I took a lot of pictures specifically for this show, but I also entered some from the April and May photo challenges.
Additionally, I welcomed home a small herd of new arrivals. In the space of just a few weeks, I received three finished commissions. These included Okie Too by Danielle DunHeritage by Moriah Voogd and Tucker by Nikki Button.
I also bought a Bourbon resin because I needed a naughty rolling horse.
November brought a deeply divisive election, worsening pandemic numbers and another photo show.
I started scaling back my barn time in favor of staying home and taking photos. It felt like April or May all over again.
At the end of the month, James came home, and we celebrated a quiet Thanksgiving.
And then - finally! - it was December. This long, weird year is almost over.
The same can not be said for the pandemic. That's worse than ever.
There is a vaccine light at the end of the tunnel, but it's still a very long tunnel. I have mentally prepared myself for another six months of staying home and staying safe. Instead of meeting friends for lunch, there will be more Zoom parties and porch visits. I'll keep on attending photo shows instead of live shows, and I expect we'll have another Virtual BreyerFest.
Despite this, I am hopeful. Eventually, things will get better, and someday James will get his long-delayed birthday dinner.


  1. What a great recap of the year. I love how you have made the best of the worst. And thank you for all your posts that are a bright spot in our lives. :)

    1. Blogging has been a really good outlet for me this year. I'm thankful that my efforts have helped others a little, too.

      Happy New Year!