March is such a fickle month.
It is the seam between winter and spring—though seam suggests an even hem, and March is more like a rough line of stitches sewn by an unsteady hand, swinging wildly between January gusts and June greens. You don’t know what you’ll find, until you step outside.
This quote from Addie LaRue describes exactly the March I had. A rough line of stitches sewn by an unsteady hand perfectly recounts the days of the month. One would be hard pressed to sew a straight line with the wild winds that March brought! (I know because I attempted a bit of sewing on the pergola cover that the wind has wreaked havoc with!)
In March I jumped on the Costco Tulip Bandwagon and thoroughly enjoyed their brief, but spectacular display! I also got my first COVID-19 vaccination (dose two happens today!) which means I am one step closer to seeing family that I have so desperately missed. Though there is no photo as my daughter does not want photos shared online, Olivia reached the 6 month old milestone. Thankfully, I do get sometimes permissions from Heidi to share Vivi and Winston… and this month’s Winston just made me laugh! Those curled up toes. That hat! (Bald headed babies are just the best, yes?) I have been enlisted to do some hat sewing, which I hope to get to this week!
I enjoyed seeing the movement of the sunrise as it inched its way up from the back corner of my yard heading to its summer rising point.
Despite winter wanting to cling on a bit, the signs of spring kept gaining ground.
And that was March… I hope your March had some high points! See you all back here on Wednesday for some unraveling!
But February made me shiver… — Don Mclean, American Pie
As I put this look back together Don Mclean’s song kept echoing in my head. A melancholy song for a melancholy month… a month of some hard emotional lifting. A month that the weather, miraculously, matched my mood.
But as I look back, I see glimmers of hope… increasing daylight, a gift of flowers that remind me how very much I am loved, a brilliant young poet who speaks to my heart, not one but two finished objects, and a wee doggy who is simply the best companion – especially on the hard days. Oh, and the snowdrops closed out the month, gently reminding me that these melancholy days are not permanent.
“How did it get so late so soon?”
I have been debating with myself since the waning days of December about doing this last “Look Back” of the year. It was just such a month of “nothing.” Yes, I decorated for the holidays. Yes, I listened to music and sang along loudly! But it just wasn’t at all a “normal” year. Christmas gifts were ordered (for the most part) on Amazon and shipped directly to the recipients. If I thought mail was slow moving here in my neighborhood, well… Michigan said “Hold my beer” with their mail delivery foibles (a simple anniversary card has yet to arrive, though it was mailed on December 14th). A package that was full of special things for Vivi was sent at astronomical cost via UPS, but at least it arrived safely!
Yet, though all of this… it just did not feel like “year end” if you know what I mean. December just felt very discombobulated. I found myself waffling between these two sentiments: how on earth is this year over and how on earth is this year NOT over!
But there are photos (minus the 28th when I just did not take any photos at all!) and, though they are far from exciting, I am sharing them with you!
The Best Part of the Month
Are things that are not reflected here. A handmade Christmas and Birthday card from Vivi. My daughter’s ingenuity in making an ornament with Winston’s wee handprint on it! FaceTime calls, phone calls, and text messages galore. And my son getting a significant promotion at work. Those are simply the best things ever.
In this month that lacked any semblance of “sameness” I found the best comfort in “old things.” Things like ornaments my kids made when they were little and Firestone Christmas carols.
Also… me… yes, I quietly turned 60 in December. And that was exactly how I wanted it to be. It was a day of reflection for me… where I have been, where I am now, and where do I still want to be.
Best “Oh, Wow” Moment/s
I loved that the Scott Volunteer Fire Department brought Santa around… masked and safety protocols in place… so that the child in all of us could experience again the wonder that is Christmas.
The Christmas morning photos of Vivi and Win just make my heart sing with joy.
AND! That $6 amaryllis that I got from Trader Joe’s that started to open on my birthday.
What I did Well and What I can do Better
I did these “Look Backs” for the entire year, but I think they can be better. More unique. More individual. My word (Release) is helping with that… in fact it might be the very first thing I let go of… the rote task of scrambling to take a photo. Yes there will still be a look back in 2021, but it will look and feel very different!
That is it as I shut the door on 2020. I hope you enjoy this look back as much as I do! If you want to see the entire year of Look Back, you will find them all here!
Thanks and I will see you back here on Wednesday for some Unraveling!
November is chill, frosted mornings with a silver sun rising behind the trees, red cardinals at the feeders, and squirrels running scallops along the tops of the gray stone walls. — Jean Hersey
This quote is almost my November… while there are no gray stone walls here, the squirrels run races on the power lines as they hurry to bury another acorn or two!
I really like November. The skies are different, the air smells different, and the sunrises and sunsets have moved to new spots on the horizon. Outside it feels like everything is settling in as it tucks itself in for a well-deserved rest until spring. And this year my November very much felt like that…it had a different look, there were different smells, mornings start quietly, and evenings settle into a comfortable rhythm as we wind down the day.
It truly helped to focus on “living as if this is all there is” and better still, November brought the promise of a spring. It is much easier to be patient when you can begin to see the glimmer at the end of the tunnel!
Let’s look at my November in pictures!
The Best Part of the Month —
Hand’s down November 7th was the absolute best part of the month!
Something New —
PA had new voting machines, so I made sure I had the PA Voter Hotline number at the ready! We also had our first dusting of snow, our first hard frost, AND some new spinning!
Best “Oh, Wow” Moment/s —
The glowing patio thanks to the sun and a few leaves remaining on a bush… my picture on the 28th does not do it justice.
What I did well and What I can do better —
I am thinking about the future of these look back posts… several times during the month I reached the end of the day and realized that I did not take any photos that day. I feel this need to “get something” but… is that done well? or Can I do better? I am not sure. Lots to think about, but I will absolutely end the year with one more installment!
That was my November! I hope yours was good as well!
Now… a tiny post script… things are bad right now, Gentle Readers…hospitals workers are over their limit and many have reached their breaking point and there is no reprieve. We have reached the grim milestone that every minute 2 people die from coronavirus and we are not yet seeing the Thanksgiving peak. Honestly, if you can stay home, stay home. Get your groceries delivered… really. Do it, it is a necessary evil right now. We need to do everything we can to help hospitals not be full. Do some holiday decorating, and spend some time appreciating how lovely it all looks by staying AT HOME!
September showed up right on schedule, and lasted a whole month. — Jenny Wingfield
This was a month that I wish felt like February… short and over almost before it began. The days just dragged on and I had the worst case of the blues in September. It was hard to find one thing good in any of the 30 days and even in this look back there are few things. It feels like each day is an exercise in finding something to distract me from my sadness. I am missing my family terribly and September was especially bad. I missed Heidi’s 30th Birthday (because, honestly… a call is just not the same as being there), Winston is growing *rapidly* and it feels like I am missing all.the.things. And I know there are so many of you who are going through the same things I am and I think about you every day… and I wonder will we get through this? How will this change us? I can’t imagine that any of us will be better for this enforced separation.
Thing I was most surprised by —
The smoke from the fires out west making its way here and impacting our skies (and the air we breathe). It made me understand better how this was impacting those living in the midst of the fires. And it made me more worried for my daughter who lives near San Francisco (as if I needed one more thing to worry about, but worry more I did.)
Thing I was most grateful for —
Winston has been smiling, but not on “cue” or not when my daughter had her phone (of course, lol) but there was a moment and she managed to get one on camera!
Thing that “got me through” but there is no image —
The book club from my church. This month our Dear Church Zoom Conversations have helped me tremendously. Being in a group of people who are trying to find ways to be a better ally was better than I imagined. And though we finished our book discussion, October will bring continued discussions with a broader group of participants. I am nervous, but very excited to continue this journey.
And with that… my look back at September is over. Happy Monday everyone!