Education Week asked teachers and administrators for a six-word review of “the awful year.” Here are three examples:
Bars are open. Schools are closed.Chad Aldeman, Bellwether Education
No one in my family died.Janet Keller, Santa Monica, California
We’re doing the best we can.Shari C, elementary school principal
Gary has long answered “How are you?” with “I’m alive.” He got that from someone who came back from Iraq, but it also comes from a song by The Hollies (“I’m Alive” in 1965). To my mind it connects to a series of events, notably the experimental surgery he had on his leg in 1989, which revealed a benign tumor eating away at bone from the inside. (Better than bone cancer.) The good surgeon repaired the hole, but Gary had his leg up for weeks and “hobbled for three years.” He was home for lunch another time when the one wave hit the west side of our house, squeezed under our door, and slammed the picnic table into the side of the house. It also took out all the windows at an ocean-front restaurant just a few miles north.
Yesterday, we walked three miles mostly onshore on sand and rock. We didn’t get hit by a wave. We drove to Costco, Natural Grocers, and Freddy’s for our regular grocery shopping. We came home and took a nap. Being out always exhausts us. Gary vacuumed yesterday and I dusted, we ate leftovers and talked to our sons.
So much excitement. So little accomplished.
We are both alive and sheltering.
I miss my family every day.
I want to hug my people.
No one in our immediate family has died, but many people have died, too many we know have been sick, too many isolated, but too few did everything they should to be safe. I cringe sometimes, hearing what people risk while pretending they are safe. We are both retired, we’re following the rules about masking and distance, and we spend no time in bars. As another person insisted to Edweek: “We need to do better next time.”
Accept there will be a next.
Three have died in Clatsop County.
I meant to make booklets of my novella this month, and have gotten only as far as layout, but not printing. The rain thunders overhead. It almost never comes down on the coast. It pours sideways against gravity, it runs down windows like a firehose. It beats us into submission.
Though this morning the rain was loud enough to wake anyone, something woke me when it banged next door (imported contractors never, never, never understand the weather on the coast—perhaps the port-a-potty fell over?*), and I think we will not get our walk today. Instead, I will caramelize four or five onions, begin laying out a quilt design, and stew a little longer about the next warps. I plan to weave a blanket in four panels using the handspun I have been ordering in recent months and two massive skeins of OAK Koigu.
I will comfort myself with color.
We wish you a better 2021.
In six words: we deserve better.
- It was the neighbor’s garbage can, and it woke up everyone.