2021 – Not As Bad As I Thought…

I was throwing a private little pity-party for myself on Christmas Eve. Plans to travel to Portland and the Seattle area to see friends, our kids, grand-kids, sisters, nieces and nephews had to be cancelled once again. “This year REALLY sucks,” I thought, “and next year is starting to also look really sucky.” The emergence of Omicron as an incredibly contagious variant of Coronavirus AND getting over 18” of snow and near-zero temperatures really cast a pall of doom over my thoughts and feelings.

But on New Years Day, I started working on a post to our Skagit Friends of Wine group. I began scrolling through photos of 2021, and it was like “Wow! We did all that?” Local low-land hikes in January, snowshoeing in Leavenworth in February, Skagit daffodils in March, Long Beach and Astoria in April. May saw us take a 4000 mile road trip, and fulfill a bucket-list desire to see Mesa Verde as well as explore around Taos, NM, Durango, CO and St. George, UT. (Not interested in recaps? This is a great place to skip to the end).

Then in June, Terri posted “Do You Like to Drink Wine?” on NextDoor, and Skagit Friends of Wine was born. We hosted eight events open to all members at various local wineries, wine cellars and restaurants with up to 20 people at the outside only venues. In the process, we made several new friends, and met up with several of them for hikes, meals and other gatherings. 

We got to explore the Olympic Peninsula in July with my sister from Colorado, do a favorite hike at Mt Baker, and attend a grandson’s Little League games. August saw us meeting up with a high school friend of Terri’s, have domino’s and dinner with a daughter and granddaughter, see an outdoor concert with friends, and spend time with our daughter and twin grandson’s from Portland while they were visiting here. Our big adventure in September was a visit to Orcas Island, staying in a cozy cabin at Deer Harbor. Seriously, if you ever get a chance to explore the San Juan Islands, it is pretty awesome. Moran State Park alone would take over a week to see everything.

October turned out to be a pleasant fall month; we got our booster vaccination, and we were out and about meeting with our SFoW group, hiking, walking, dining on outdoor patios, and generally taking advantage of the last few nice days before the Long Wet Gray. November lived up to its reputation of being cold and wet, but we still got out here and there; a visit to Terri’s sister and BIL in Port Townsend, helping on some projects to restore the late 1870’s home they bought, and then celebrating my 70th birthday (okay, a couple of years late) with friends at a bistro with a heated, outdoor patio. 

December! Baking cookies with Granddaughter Grace, our last SFoW event at Lantz Cellars, complete with hand-tossed pizza baked in a wood-fired pizza oven, celebrating our anniversary at Birch Bay – and the weather even cooperated! Then, a first in years, a White Christmas, and another dinner and Mexican Train Domino night with Jenn and Grace. Then more snow, cancelling the trips mentioned above. The snow stayed another day, and the day after that, and the day after that, and … still snow on the ground today, January4!

Hmm, it wasn’t my intention to list the highlights of the year, but what a year it was. The continuing lock downs, then a vaccine! The world starts to open up again, only to have the football pulled away just as we went to kick it. Laying on the ground, the wind knocked out of us, it was easy for me to focus on what we had just lost, not all we had been able to do in 2021. All in all, it was definitely a better year than I thought. 2022? Who knows? It’s anybody’s guess what kind of yo-yo ride it will be, with ups and downs in so many aspects of our lives. The good news is that if you truly live each and every day, it just might turn out better than expected – or remembered. 

3 thoughts on “2021 – Not As Bad As I Thought…

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this post, Bill. At the end I was reminded how important it is to live in the moment…carpe diem…a lesson our cat, Marco, teaches us every day, haha. Happy new year to you and Terri!


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