Monday, May 18, 2020

My Christmas Letter 2019

“Silence, Earthling! My name is Darth Vader. I am an extraterrestrial from the planet Vulcan.” 
Back to the Future

“Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.” 
Jim Bishop

Today is May 17th, or 18th…May 18th as I just checked my smart phone. And I’m pretty confident it’s a Monday for whatever that is worth today. On this cloudy, unseasonalble cool May in North Carolina I became inspired to write my Christmas letter 2019. I wrote several drafts previously – back in December, and maybe a short one in January, though I never sent my cards. I figured I’d send them for Valentine’s Day – that nutty MB, sending her Christmas cards for Valentine’s. Not too many friends would be surprised. Then that romantic holiday passed. St Patty’s Day – feeling the luck of my Irish, too caught up in this novel virus and all the swirling drama and talk, those cards collected dust. Today, Monday, May 18th, my cards sit, in a corner, neatly stacked, waiting for the trash or a wacky red head to pop in the mail in May (or June, or Christmas in July). We shall see.

I haven’t written a blog in well over a year. Up until recently, I’ve been too busy with life, shuffling here and there for this and that, running in circles, treading water to complete a task amongst ten other tasks. I’ve pretty much given up on “keeping in touch” with new friends, never mind old friends, sometimes don’t even keep in touch with family. Sit down dinners? Who has time for them? All the prep, the time, for a moment on the lips, a mess that lingers sometimes till morn, and half the time maybe I have one customer who sits to eat? I succumbed to life as a newly crowned happy hermit, me and the hubby, with life just passing us by, kids one foot out the door. How I wished for life to slow, how I longed for the days when I was stuck at home with the kiddies, shackled to nap schedules, feeding and snack time, bath time, bedtime story snuggles. Those were the days! If I could just have one moment in time to relive those days. I know I’m not alone. But I pinched myself back to reality, I figured those days were long gone. Life is good, keep calm and carry on. Livin’ the dream. Be careful what you wish for they say cause welcome to a new age.

2019 was a good year, though I don’t remember it in its entirety, it was a good year. I think my first draft went something like this…Kids are good, all did well in school. Daughter a junior at college, pictured here with her boyfriend of 4 years. We love him. She works really hard in school, straight A’s, and various part time jobs and volunteer causes. She just got accepted to an overseas school this summer as part of her major – we can’t wait to visit! Daughter #2 living the beach life while attending school, hard to pin her down for a picture.

Son, pictured with his lacrosse gear, is heading into his junior year so we took a college tour –see the orange and purple tiger mascot in the background? With Clemson Engineering as his goal, he’s working really hard in school and so far it’s paying off with straight A’s. He's working really hard at lacrosse, attending off season workouts and even forgoing joining the swim team, demonstrating his commitment to the coach for a spot on varsity. He’s also become quite the classical pianist which fills the house with music which does my heart proud.

Daughter number 3 working hard her first year of high school. She’s making the grades, dancing and volunteering at her studio 5 days a week, and after school practices for dance team. I’m worried she’ll burn herself out she’s so busy. See her in her JV dance uniform? She’s so pretty.

The "baby" started the fall as a 6th grade middle schooler, he loves baseball and Xbox. He made a traveling baseball team after trying out for 4 teams. He’s now a Havoc! Look at him in his uniform! I know he's MLB bound. So proud of his perseverance. We can’t wait for the season to start!

Hubby and I bought a boat and spent the summer exploring the Pamlico waters with many adventures. Here we are, he as captain, aye aye his first mate. The highlight that brought 2019 to a close was our 120 year old Washington, NC home was part of the Christmas historic tour. We had over 500 people tour our home from top to bottom. See us pictured at our mantle with our official historic society nametags to commemorate the event. I worried up to the day of all these strangers trapesing through our home, the possible germs – you know with flu season in motion, the wear and tear on the old floors – but alas it was a wonderful experience with many new friends made. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2020!

Here's a preview of Christmas card 2020:

Daughter #1 summer school program cancelled. College studies online. She’s taking life in stride.

Older son did not make varsity lacrosse or find a prom date. That turned out to be ok with him because school and prom and lacrosse all cancelled. He’s discovered a whole new world of activity that involves social distancing: kayaking, fishing, golfing, mountain biking and drive in movie theaters. Everyone gets an A. He’s loving life. 

Daughter #3 has been dancing virtually. She spent two months, hours a day, practicing to make the varsity team via virtual tryouts. Unfortunately she did not make varsity though I’m not so sure there will even be a football season to perform. She was set to get her driver’s permit – that got put on hold. She was set to become a lifeguard and work at a pool this summer – that too on hold. The most social of the bunch, she misses her friends. But we painted her room pink and gray and created a virtual wonderland.

The traveling Havocs season was short. My tween is lost in a black hole called “The Xbox.” Someone send out an SOS please, he needs rescuing.

The hubby still heads to work, mask on, daily temperature taken, his business considered essential. We are grateful he has a job.

Everyone boating, every day of the week, the water so crowded we are standing by the river's edge.

Me, truth be told, aside from the tragedy of this pandemic and all the horrid implications for many, my YMCA membership on hold, my quest for toilet paper (and now brown sugar - who knew?) I’m happy as a clam. I have stepped back to a time I truly thought was gone except for the snapshot of a year preserved on a holiday card tradition, this is as close to time travel as I'm gonna get. I’ve got my family home, life has slowed, and I can breathe (knock on wood!). It’s an opportunity  to get caught up, stop and smell the roses, and prepare for a new day.