You may not know this about me, because I know it's silly: but I don't like odd numbers. They're not symmetrical. You can't split them in half and line up piece evenly on the edge of your desk. As you know I tend to do. So I woke with a vague sense of wellness on 1/1/20. An even year and an even decade.
Then everything went to hell. There were, of course, bright spots:
Which brings me to this year's Christmas letter:
I started not to write a letter this year, as really, the less said the better, don’t you think? I tried to think of (relatively) safe topics and all that came to mind were sex, money, and religion. And I don’t have much to say about any of them.
But to be fair, we have a lot to be thankful for. The trouble is, it feels a little like bragging to mention them, so I’ll keep it quick. We’re thankful for each other, a home that’s remote and entertaining to take care of, and not having to try to make a living or raise kids right now.
Like you, we didn’t do a lot of the things normally reported in a holiday letter: No parties, trips, or winter in Arizona. We did, however, have some great boating trips in the late summer. We have a new garden on the way and we got a little trailer for when we can travel again. We also have an embarrassingly large stockpile of essentials: hand sanitizer, toilet paper, yeast, and flour.
Having to slow down even more than normal for old folks has been weirdly good. In addition to all the yard work, we’ve pursued other hobbies. I sew a little and work in the yard. I pretend house cleaning is a hobby, as is, I’ve learned, waxing the boat!
Fred works in the shop all the time fixing and building things for the property, such as an amazing garden fence. We took down a bunch of trees earlier this year and he’s building raised planting beds with lumber he’s milled with his chainsaw. Didn’t know you could do that.
Life was good here, but reality was never too far away. Earlier in the year, we lost my beloved second cousin to Covid. He was 90 and more active than most folks. In fact, he’d gone skydiving two weeks before he died.
The national debate over masks and lockdowns has become personal for us, so when I dreamed about walking into a café full of people, it’s not too surprising that they threw me out when I asked why they were there and weren’t wearing masks. That’s how the year has felt, isn’t it, like being thrown out of what should be a happy place.
So we’re not dwelling too much on it.
The most important thing to say is we’re thinking of you with love and hope for a much better new year.
Fred and Robbin