Here we are approaching one of the most celebrated times of the year…Christmas! Ah, but it is a strange year, wouldn’t you say?

“Stores crowded with people are causing me dread… and visions of toilet paper dance in my head!”

Yes, the pandemic has changed our “normal” life routines. However, for me, this is a much happier holiday time than last year, as I recall I was suffering the effects of Lyme’s disease and I did not have either the desire or the ambition to put up our decorations. This year, we were able to put up our three Christmas trees and various decorations making the house very festive, indeed. And yesterday, I was even able to bake a batch of snickerdoodles for the season. That made the house smell yummy!

In February we went to visit George and Diana. They purchased a new home in the Tampa FL area. Kris and Dave were visiting at the same time. We had a great visit. Their home is lovely, and I am sure they will enjoy the warmer weather.

February 11th was the original meeting of a newly formed book club. It started out with four friends and we have just added our 10th member. We meet monthly (observing social distancing) at one another’s home. It has expanded my horizon of the types of books I normally read which is great. The conversation is always lively.

In June I attended a couple of local seminars on stem cell injections for treatment of joint pain, etc. My knees have been bothering me for several years and I was not a fan of knee replacement surgery. I chose to have the treatments in both knees on June 24th. By the next day I could feel the difference and have experienced great success since them. However, now that my knees are working better, my hips are not so great. One step at a time…

Scott, Searra, Lilly and Iris came to visit us for a couple of days. It was wonderful to see them. They got lots of pool time during their visit. One evening we enjoyed a song fest. All of them have wonderful voices and enjoy “performing” along with the songs.

We did spend August and September in New York working on our cabin and visiting with Jimmie’s two sons and their families. Craig, Kerry, David, and John helped us tremendously. We (mostly Jimmie) got lots of tasks completed at the cabin and we took residence on Sept. 1st. There are still some major things that need to be done, but as we are “living primitively” emptying buckets of water from the sink or using the shower in the fifth wheel allowed us to survive nicely. Hopes for next season will be to have a flushing toilet, a working outside shower and all water draining into a catch basin of sorts. Our solar panels are providing us with enough power for the television, a refrigerator and a couple of lights. Our stove and our small heater are both propane and work well.

October, November, and December have been quiet. We order our groceries on-line and the store loads them into our vehicle for us. Thank goodness for Amazon and other internet “stores” as we are pretty much able to get what we need on-line.

We miss the spontaneity of being able to visit with people without making sure that strict quarantine rules can be followed. Not being able to visit the casinos has been both a bad and good thing. We miss the fun; the lights and noises, but we have more money in our bank account. LOL!

All in all, we are doing well. We are happy in our home; we laugh a lot; we, knock on wood, are healthy. There are lots of families that have not been so lucky. We are praying that the new vaccine will help. We are praying that people will do their part in wearing masks and social distancing.

It is somewhat of a miracle that this year, of all years, the Christmas Star will appear in the sky on December 21st. Maybe it is a message for us. Maybe it is a sign of change. Maybe it is a sign of hope.

Wishing you a very Blessed, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Jimmie, Susan, and Cooper