Hello dear Spark Friends: i hope this finds you all warm, safe, and looking forward to the holidays. I know I've been quite silent for the last 4 1/2 months. I'm afraid this Pandemic has taken quite a toll on my. I reached out to my counselor in August because I felt I was losing my perspective. She seemed to think that I was dealing with some depression. Although I asked, how can one not be depressed with all that was happening in our world even then.
My oldest daughter was mad at me because my political views didn't align with hers. My childhood neighborhoods were being destroyed by rioters and looters under the umbrella of 'peaceful protests'. My youngest daughter was struggling with now having 2 babies and I was getting regular calls about how hard it was and how little her partner (they are not married) was helping.
I was doing my best to take care of myself. I had a garden this year for the first time in about 3 years and I worked in it nearly every day. As soon as my gym reopened in June I went back to my Pilates class and met with my Personal Trainer. I felt comfortable enough to attend the larger classes in August.
For awhile I thought things were looking up. Our Covid numbers were manageable, more places were opening, and although we all had to wear masks, life was feeling a little bit like normal.
Then I got the news about my niece. Her treatment for Metastatic Breast Cancer was not working. There were no other options. They stopped treatment on November 6th and she passed away surrounded by her husband, children and step-sisters. Because Covid numbers were now so high and our state had once again locked down most things, we did not travel to attend the funeral. This is Ruby with her children about 8 years ago:
I am not sharing this with you for sympathy, but as a way of explaining my absence from Spark. I have still been sharing with friends and participating on the teams I belong to. Spark does give me a sense of familiarity. The world might be upside down these days but I can depend on Spark to be there always! I thank Chris Downie for that.
Minnesota has actually been experiencing a really mild November and December - until today. Today the snow started before noon, is still falling, and the wind is so strong that there are drifts everywhere in my yard. For awhile this afternoon it was snowing so hard that we could not see the houses across our road. Daisy went out about 6:10 p.m. and again at 6:55 p.m. - her earlier tracks were completely covered over.
So winter has come but I'm grateful to have had so many weeks of being able to take nice walks with Daisy, most days not even needing the long underwear! Our family will not be getting together for Christmas this year but I am grateful that all my children are safe. I am not able to help Lauriellen right now but am grateful that we were able to have the boys over a few Sundays so she could catch up. Jake (26 months) has been diagnosed high on the Autism scale but I am very grateful that Lauriellen has found an excellent group specializing in caring for and teaching children with Autism. There is a team of college students (in the field of child psychology) who are coming over regularly to work with Jake and there has been an amazing transformation in him in only a few months. And one more thing - my gym was closed again 11/21 but they found a way to provide one-on-one training through Microsoft Teams and virtual training with our own favorite instructors - I am taking a class every day right now because it's in my own home!
There are so many things to be grateful for even in these crazy times. I think I may have forgotten that. I am also grateful for each and every one of my wonderful Spark Friends.
Happy Holidays to all of you!