Happy New Year’s Eve! Are you ready to embark on another year? What wonders and horrors might it hold? Since we can’t look into the future, I thought I’d do a bit of reminiscing about 2021.
- It wasn’t as bad as 2020.
2021 may not have been the happiest of years, but it wasn’t nearly as terrible as the unprecedented 2020. Remember your shock when you first heard there was a pandemic? That it-can’t-be-real moment? But it was real. The end of the world as we knew it. Lockdown for months with no end in sight. The elderly, the sick, and the dying alone in their isolation. Bodies stacked in refrigerator trucks. And most of all, the continuing disbelief that anything could disrupt our everyday lives in such a way as COVID.
This year may not have got off to a pretty start, but there were good points. A new vaccine was distributed nationwide. Mandates were lifted. Most of us had adjusted enough to pandemic conditions that we knew how to be careful. Things would never go back to what they were, but now we had a way to go on.
- I adopted a cat.
2021 brought me little Jaimz, a cat abandoned, then relinquished to OHS, and finally put into foster care with me. When he was deemed unadoptable because of his medical condition, I took him in for good. Since then, he has flourished, becoming a beloved and integral part of our family.
Adopting a pet is good for the soul.
- It got really hot.
Though I’ve experienced a few triple-digit temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest, there has never, never been anything like what we reached last summer. At one point, the average high in Portland was 117◦. Trees burned, plastic melted, people died. Like many of the population, our house doesn’t have air conditioning. We packed up the cats and went to the beach, which was cooler, but not by much. All the time I was thinking, This isn’t really happening. But it was.
- A twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
There wasn’t any champagne, nor did we go dancing. In fact, we didn’t go anywhere, because pandemic. Still, we had a nice takeout dinner and watched the first run of Wonder Woman 1984 on TV. It may not seem memorable, but strangely, that night stands out to me more than the lavish celebrations that had gone before. Warm, fed, entertained, and surrounded by cats, it’s a memory that will last my lifetime.
- I published two books.
Between January and December 2021, I actually worked on seven WIPs, but only two came ready for publication: Adventure Cat, my 8th Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Mystery, and The Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove, book one of a new paranormal series. Ghost Cat had an online launch; Adventure Cat, which came out in November, actually had an in-person launch at a gift store. Some people, the fully vaccinated, were ready to mingle again, though others preferred to give it a bit longer before venturing out in public. Good call—soon after my launch, a new COVID variant was discovered, reminding us who’s boss of the world, at least for now.
- Jim got bees.
My husband Jim has cared for bees for some years and has several hives. Sometimes they make it through the wet Oregon winter and sometimes they don’t. In April, the new bees come from the bee store, and Jim spends days cleaning old hives and getting ready to receive the swarm.
Bees are good. They need all the help they can get. Without bees, there would be much less food on our table, in fact it’s said that if the bees go extinct, so would we. I’m not sure that’s true—after all, humans could always live on synthetic foods such as Soylent Green.
- Pants are over—it’s Zoom time.
Remember back when you attended your first Zoom meeting? Searching frantically for the password? Thinking you were muted when you weren’t? Your cat’s butt? Those things are still happening, but we’re used to it by now. From a two-person conversation between friends to a business meeting involving hundreds, Zoom is the (virtual) place to be.
- We got our vaccines!
The first responders were top of the list, then the nursing homes, then the old people. We, the 65+, were supposed to be next, but Governor Brown pushed the teachers in front of us, a ridiculous move since there were few schools that even aspired to go back to in-person learning at the time. But eventually it was our turn, and we signed up. It wasn’t the simplest matter to find a vax appointment, but really all it took was patience. Jim got his shot at a Walgreens, and I went to the hub in the Convention Center. We were ushered through the process quickly and efficiently by volunteers and the National Guard. I came out of that place feeling like Wonder Woman herself!
- William Shatner really went to space.
No matter what you think about Bill Shatner or about spending billions of dollars on something so frivolous as taking sightseers up in space, it was still pretty cool. Bill certainly thought so. After attending so many Star Trek conferences that I felt I knew the man, I couldn’t help but be happy for him.
- Most of us are still here.
Some of us got COVID; some succumbed to other ailments, but anyone who is reading this post is still very much alive. We get to roll on into 2022 and see what tomorrow may bring. We have another year of hopes, plans, surprises, and maybe a few miracles. I’m not one to make resolutions I know will be forgotten within a few weeks, but I do plan to enjoy the time given. 2020 and 2021 may have brought us “the end of the world as we know it,” but not the end of the world.
Love and Light and many, many meows,