Instead of having dinner at Ove’s (not that that would ever be on the program this time of year) we decided to spend the money on Oregon blue cheese. Seriously, our dinner tonight is all snack foods, but tasty good ones. Our cocktail napkins have beautiful roosters. Cock-Tails—get it?
On our final walk of 2020, we worked up and down the rocks to get there and found sea glass, agates, rounded pumice, and two of the little stones Jan calls “pinkies,” turned back south at the metal stairs, came home on the road, met a neighbor, and it rained most of the time. We were both wet from our walk, but that was hours ago. We have showered and washed our hair, and dressed in nice clothing we nearly forgot we owned in order to celebrate the end of this terrible, no-good, rotten, lousy, inept, appalling, no-holds-barred-we’re-glad-it’s-nearly-over stinking year. Can we say putrid?
Gary here: Happy to have heard John Prine’s “Hello in There,” and I understand. He’s gone but his songs are still here. We’re still alive and so are the people we know. The people we know who have gotten sick, recovered. We have a new President, one that Greta won’t glare at. Deb Haaland is going to be in, and we wish Leonard Peltier to be out. My wife still loves me and I love her. It’s a good thing we didn’t get ice cream, we’d have overdosed on that. We don’t have to go anywhere till next year and I talked to my cousin in Finland.
Jan here: This year has brought us closer to neighbors, prevented us from hugging family, and reminded us of how lucky we are to have one another. FaceTime doesn’t do it. I finished a half dozen quilts and more than thirty woven shawls. I read seventy books and revised a novella. An essay about a friend’s mother went off. Gary is beside me. We gave up seafood (excepting Thanksgiving) and had only two take-out meals, but walk most every morning and since I’ve lost some weight, I can run a hundred yards or even a kilometer without pain. I cut Gary’s hair like always. I cut mine.
UPS delivered Gary’s vacuum cleaner bags to our neighbor, but he found them before the rain spoiled them. It wasn’t the regular driver.
Is there a theme here? Probably not. Or maybe we’re talking about luck or choice, about having choices, about not having as many choices as we might wish. When stores are half-empty and public places are mostly deserted, it is a reminder that others are doing what they should by staying home and staying apart.
We eat better though not as much and at regular mealtimes, which we never managed while we were working and even after both of us retired. There is so much we have been unable to control. Meals are one thing we can.
Nearly 40 thousand Oregonians have been vaccinated. By the end of today 20 million Americans will have been diagnosed with covid-19 and more than 345 thousand have died. The New Yorker did a lengthy piece contrasting Washington State’s science-focused response to the pandemic to New York State’s political response, and the muddled and lying federal response from the White House. Suffice it to say that epidemiologists from north of Seattle and the University of Washington come off looking like heroes.
This has been a hard year for everyone except the wealthy, who have access to better health care than the rest of us can dream of. They have also become richer as the stock market booms, and ordinary Americans struggle to pay bills and keep their children safe and fed. Aiding the wealthy only benefits the wealthy. All that trickles down is suffering. The affluent can save their money for an exotic vacation next year. Most Americans spend every dime, and that spending is how grocers and and other working people still have jobs. What they have trickles up. It’s about time the wealthy whining about “class warfare” is called out for what it is—a battle they already won. It’s time they took their foot off the necks of actual working people. (You know this part is Jan, but she’s stepping down off her horse now)
A hard, hard year for the world. We wish you a happier 2021!