Tis The Season For . . . Taking Stock

 

I’ve written a few times, during my tenure on Ricochet, of my late December penchant for coming up with twelve words (one for each month) to describe the year that’s on its way out. I can’t remember a year that I’ve been gladder, or more anxious, to see over the side than 2020. So, without further ado, here we go:

January“Weird.” It was warm. Not like winter at all. I barely used any hay, and as a result, at the end of the year I have a barn half full of old hay that, although not spoiled, because it’s been under cover, is old and which the sheep aren’t all that anxious to eat. Sigh. Rumblings of a virus from China. Trump has shut down travel. Wonder what that’s about.

February “Better.”  More like winter. Still no snow, though. Lovely respite in Florida with a Ricochet friend.

March “Puzzling.”  The China Virus. Not sure what it means, at least to me, individually. Most politicians don’t seem worried. But there seem to be many mixed signals. Not sure who, if anyone, actually has a handle on it.

April“Sad.”  Mr. She has taken a turn for the worse. Exploring options for home care. Don’t want to send him to a hospital or nursing home, since, because of what I’ve come to know as “COVID,” I’ll probably never see him again if I do. Escalating panic in the health-care system.

May“Frustrated.” I can’t do many of the things I love to do. Go to the gym for my thrice-weekly swim. Take Mr. She to Eat ‘n Park on Tuesday mornings for a geezer breakfast bar. Have lunch with my two friends of the longest-standing, both of whom are cancer survivors in high-risk groups. Feeling isolated and vaguely desperate. Thank God for online friends.

June“Resigned.” It is what it is. I love it here. Bloom where you’re planted. Dig. Garden. Walk. Find ways to get Mr. She outside if you can. Care for those you love, and let the chips fall where they may. (WTH is going on with all these swarming bees?)

July “Overwhelming Grief.”  OK, I cheated. July gets two words. Mr. She is gone. Struggle with bureaucracy, funeral homes, logistics in the age of COVID, to try to figure out what is best and make sure all dear friends are accounted for and included. More salvific company, courtesy of Ricochet friends.

August“Settling.” Coming to terms. Try out the new rowing machine because, still no swimming, and everything still closed.

September “Aging.”  Another birthday. Crimenutely. Anno Domini. Hanging in, trying to age gracefully and not look ridiculous with it.

October“Renewal.” Stepping out. Opening up. Doing better. Another respite with dear Ricochet friends.

November“Disappointment.” Nuff said. And, Lord. More lockdowns. Do any of these people have a clue what the hell they are doing? I think not.

December“Struggling.” But mostly OK. And Christmas is coming. And with that, the Light of the World. I will survive.

It’s been rough, hard, and occasionally gruesome. And I know, in real terms that I’m lucky, and that many have had it worse than I have. But, even knowing that, it’s been tough. And I wish I had higher hopes for 2021. Hopes which would mitigate the effects of the minor meltdown I had in a big box store in Washington PA this morning, when I was, at the very last minute, looking for a 20A outlet to replace the one in my bathroom that suddenly gave up the ghost yesterday. (I’ll be wiring it in tomorrow morning, before Jenny and Peachy get here for the holiday.) The overhead Christmas music was pleasant and upbeat, and had put me in an excellent frame of mind. And then, suddenly, Elvis and stupid Blue Christmas.

I lost it. Right in the middle of Home Depot. Thank God for my peeps down here who don’t give a damn about COVID or social distancing when they see someone who’s obviously in trouble. I really don’t want to live anywhere else, and I don’t care who they did, or didn’t vote for President (although to be honest, I don’t think any of them have taken their TRUMP 2020! signs down yet.)

All better now. It’s Christmas Eve, and the Light of the World is on His way.

Merry Christmas, Ricochet, from my house to yours. And a special shoutout to absent friends and loved ones, whoever, and wherever they are. Hug those you love. Mend fences. And above all, be kind. Life is short. And fragile.

Thanks for always being there. Pretty sure most of you have no idea of the good you do. Please let me know if I can ever return the favor.

I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me

And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That’s when those blue memories start calling
You’ll be doing all right
With your Christmas of white
But I’ll have a blue, blue, Christmas

Published in Group Writing
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 21 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    It’s not “my holiday” but it is for the people I care so much about. Sounds like you were due for a meltdown; wish I could have been there to comfort you, but I’m so glad you had people around to comfort you. Have a blessed, joyous time with Peachy and Jenny.

    G-d bless.

    • #1
  2. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Heartbreaking

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Hugs.

    • #3
  4. PHCheese Member
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Merry Christmas and a Happier New Year She.

    • #4
  5. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Thanks guys (and gal) for the good wishes and comments. @percival, that fellow looks as if he could deliver a spectacular hug.

    • #5
  6. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    She: I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
    I’ll be so blue just thinking about you

    Been there. Know where you are.

    • #6
  7. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    She, your strength, good humor and above all your faith are beacons of hope for the rest of us. There are always good and bad days, and strange moments that can trigger either. Wishing you peace and comfort tonight, and in the New Year.

    We are close by and ready for a personal hug whenever you need one or a hundred.

     

    • #7
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    This post is part of our Group Writing Series under the December 2020 Group Writing Theme: “’Tis the Season.” We still have plenty of open days. You can do better than disco, I’m sure, and Ricochet will thank you. Stop by soon, our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits.

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #8
  9. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    You had the roughest year of all. We are so grateful to have you with us, She. Here’s to a better year ahead. 

    • #9
  10. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Thank you all. I’m so very grateful for your friendship and kindness..

    Merry Christmas.

     

    • #10
  11. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Thanks for always being there. Pretty sure most of you have no idea of the good you do. Please let me know if I can ever return the favor.

    Right back at you, She! Lux venit.

    • #11
  12. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Oh my Lord. It’s been a few years since I’ve read one of Dave Barry’s EOY wrap-ups (wraps-up? Is it like “spoonsful?”)

    But I’m really glad I saw this one–Dave Barry’s Year in Review: 2020 Was A Year of Nonstop Awfulness. I’m not even through February and tears of laughter are rolling down my cheeks.

    We’re trying to think of something nice to say about 2020.

    OK, here goes: Nobody got killed by the murder hornets. As far as we know.

    That’s pretty much it.

    Just about sums it up right there, I think.

     

    • #12
  13. Weeping Member
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    • #13
  14. Some Call Me ...Tim Coolidge
    Some Call Me ...Tim
    @SomeCallMeTim

    She,

    Have a Merry Christmas and wishing you a much better (hopefully) New Year.

    Tim

    • #14
  15. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    God give you strength She. The loss of a loved one is devastating. The loss of a spouse must be like an amputation. I hope you can find solace in Christ, some activities, and ultimate hope. With hope it will get better. 

    • #15
  16. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    She:

    I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
    I’ll be so blue just thinking about you
    Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
    Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me

    And when those blue snowflakes start falling
    That’s when those blue memories start calling
    You’ll be doing all right
    With your Christmas of white
    But I’ll have a blue, blue, Christmas

    As I celebrate the fifth Christmas without my husband, surrounded by the children and grandchildren we made possible together, I miss him more than ever. This song, as only Elvis can sing it, brings it home like no other.

    • #16
  17. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    She: when I was, at the very last minute, looking for a 20A outlet to replace the one in my bathroom that suddenly gave up the ghost yesterday. (I’ll be wiring it in tomorrow morning, before Jenny and Peachy get here for the holiday.)

    Electrical project completed without incident. Normal operations at Chez She reasserting themselves.

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):
    As I celebrate the fifth Christmas without my husband, surrounded by the children and grandchildren we made possible together, I miss him more than ever. This song, as only Elvis can sing it, brings it home like no other.

    Thanks, and God bless.

    Mr. She loved Christmas. He was, as Jenny and I were talking about yesterday, an impeccable package wrapper, and often was privy to everyone’s presents before they were given or received, just because we’d all give our “stuff” to him to wrap. He loved the lights on the Christmas tree (a source of many light-hearted (and sometimes not-so-much) disagreements over the decades, because we had such different ideas about them), and he loved being on the farm and among the sheep in the barn, because it made him feel connected to the Christmas story in ways he’d never felt before as a child of the “Southside “Flats.” (When he was growing up in the 40s and early 50s, they weren’t so much, as Wikipedia describes it now, “Pittsburgh’s Georgetown,” they were more like James Parton’s mid-Victorian description of “Hell with the lid taken off.”

    I’ve always been fond of his musings about the young Biblical shepherd, who he imagined as lonely and sometimes despairing, as he cared for his flock among the hills and valleys, and wondered,

    Well, this is all very good and fine. I am their shepherd. They have me. I take them to green pastures. I take them to the still waters so they can drink and refresh. I make sure they have food, and that they are not chased or bothered by their enemies. I am kind and merciful. They’re lucky to have me.

    But.

    Who’s looking after me? Who is my shepherd? Waaahhh!

    Oh, wait . . . I think I’ve got it!

    The Lord is my shepherd . . .

    Thank you so much for these lovely comments. You guys and gals are the absolute best. Merry Christmas.

    • #17
  18. Eleanor Member
    Eleanor
    @Eleanor

    She (View Comment):

    She: when I was, at the very last minute, looking for a 20A outlet to replace the one in my bathroom that suddenly gave up the ghost yesterday. (I’ll be wiring it in tomorrow morning, before Jenny and Peachy get here for the holiday.)

    Electrical project completed without incident. Normal operations at Chez She reasserting themselves.

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):
    As I celebrate the fifth Christmas without my husband, surrounded by the children and grandchildren we made possible together, I miss him more than ever. This song, as only Elvis can sing it, brings it home like no other.

    Thanks, and God bless.

    Mr. She loved Christmas. He was, as Jenny and I were talking about yesterday, an impeccable package wrapper, and often was privy to everyone’s presents before they were given or received, just because we’d all give our “stuff” to him to wrap. He loved the lights on the Christmas tree (a source of many light-hearted (and sometimes not-so-much) disagreements over the decades, because we had such different ideas about them), and he loved being on the farm and among the sheep in the barn, because it made him feel connected to the Christmas story in ways he’d never felt before as a child of the “Southside “Flats.” (When he was growing up in the 40s and early 50s, they weren’t so much, as Wikipedia describes it now, “Pittsburgh’s Georgetown,” they were more like James Parton’s mid-Victorian description of “Hell with the lid taken off.”

    I’ve always been fond of his musings about the young Biblical shepherd, who he imagined as lonely and sometimes despairing, as he cared for his flock among the hills and valleys, and wondered,

    Well, this is all very good and fine. I am their shepherd. They have me. I take them to green pastures. I take them to the still waters so they can drink and refresh. I make sure they have food, and that they are not chased or bothered by their enemies. I am kind and merciful. They’re lucky to have me.

    But.

    Who’s looking after me? Who is my shepherd? Waaahhh!

    Oh, wait . . . I think I’ve got it!

    The Lord is my shepherd . . .

    Thank you so much for these lovely comments. You guys and gals are the absolute best. Merry Christmas.

    Thank you!

    • #18
  19. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    She: I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
    I’ll be so blue just thinking about you

    Been there. Know where you are.

    Yup. 

    Remember bawling because the Whitney Houston version of “I Will Always Love You” started playing in a restaurant. It was not even the Dolly Parton version, which I liked a lot better, and which my late husband and I had heard together, for the first time, in “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas.” A drive-in movie on a summer night, already an old-fashioned thing to do circa 1985 or so. My husband pointed out the rats eating popcorn around the weedy edges of the parking area, which for some reason is a nice memory…

    Bless you, She, and bless the memory of Mr. She. 

    • #19
  20. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Remember bawling because the Whitney Houston version of “I Will Always Love You” started playing in a restaurant. It was not even the Dolly Parton version, which I liked a lot better, and which my late husband and I had heard together, for the first time, in “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas.” A drive-in movie on a summer night, already an old-fashioned thing to do circa 1985 or so. My husband pointed out the rats eating popcorn around the weedy edges of the parking area, which for some reason is a nice memory…

    Bless you, She, and bless the memory of Mr. She.

    Thank you. Your comment brought to mind an episode from a few years ago when we were suffering through World War Mice, in which they were entering and exiting the house through a small opening it took me ages to find and seal up.

    I came into the kitchen one morning to discover one swimming for dear life in the cat water bowl. Note that our house was then (as it is now) replete with cats. No word on whether it was doing the breast stroke or the butterfly. Or how many style points it accumulated for its effort.

    As used to the little wretches as I’d become, I could still be startled by them when I was unwary, so I screeched, and my late stepson, Sam, came running. He quickly scooped it out of the water bowl and set it free–in the house!

    Me: What did you do that for?
    Sam: What??
    Me: Let the damn thing go inside the house??!
    Sam: Well, I didn’t think you’d want me to kill it.
    Me: I didn’t want you to kill it. I wanted you to put it OUTSIDE!
    Sam: Oh, sorry. But I thought . . .
    Me: NEVER MIND.

    It must have gone out the same way it came in. Or perhaps I just haven’t discovered its mummified corpse yet.

    Somehow, that’s turned into a nice memory, too.

    Merry Christmas, @grannydude.

    • #20
  21. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    Bless you, dear She. The whole first year is just going to be a series of “First Times…” I’m hoping that we can be a source of comfort to you here, and that your “in person” friends can be prepared to help too. Just enjoy the memories, and if they make you cry, then it’s because of the love associated with them! 

    • #21