I can see from the writings of various bloggers that the pandemic did, despite its horrific death toll, do a few good things: families getting to know each other again (maybe too much?), learning to relax and enjoy quiet time (if you don’t have five children), reconnecting with nature, learning to bake/cook or just doing more of it, finding out what your children are really learning at school (and having to relearn it to teach them).

I’ve been baking

Hubs and I are retired with my daughter and her husband living nearby, but my son is in Utah. We haven’t seen him in nearly two years now. Bummer. We were blessed with our first grandchild, Eli, just before the state shut down, and he kept us happy for the past year.

What the pandemic did for us is force us allow us to clean out our home of 35 years to get it ready for sale, which we had planned for 2020. My husband was at our local landfill so much they offered him a job. I think there is a whole section with our name on it. Mind you, we would have donated much of it, but nothing was open to which we could donate. While we were doing this, workmen were in and out of the house doing a million reasonable number of repairs: they repainted inside of the house in a nauseating attractive neutral beige, replaced the HVAC system, and dug holes in our lawn to check the septic system.

We had thirty-two open houses until we arrived at an awfully low attractive price which generated an offer. Then my daughter and family moved in with us for a month. We packed during the day, they packed during the night when their working from home jobs were done for the day. And we got to babysit Eli.

Somehow, through all this, and taking reasonable precautions (masks and gloves for all visitors), no one got sick.

In the middle of all this, I edited and published my book The Last Pilgrim to the sound of silence great applause. Where in heck can you market when everything is closed? Luckily some of my blogger friends took up the cause!

Garfield, who had resisted all attempts to be put into a carrier for three years, amazingly went right in on the day of our move-out. And off to the vets for a week. He kept me awake all night when we picked him up, nuzzling and kneading and chirping his happiness to be home, even if it was a new home.

When we moved out, we had to move into a hotel for a short indeterminate about of time until our new house was ready, a time of acute depression wonderful downtime and many phone calls pleading and begging both the construction company to finish and our moving company to keep all our belongings for a few more days – including running electricity to our freezer which was still full of food.

We ate take-out, cleaned our own hotel room and made the beds.

But…we made it.

The movers were carrying the furniture into our new house while we signed the mortgage papers. We lived without online service for three weeks, but we rigged up two digital hotspots for our computers and TV (one of which we burned out!) with help from our son-in-law.

And it rained and rained. Our backyard was a muddy river, and we thought about getting

out our kayack, but the bad weather forced allowed us to get unpacked. And in time to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So this is my saga of 2020. We are blessed by good health, two vaccine shots, and time with our growing and incredibly cute grandson. I miss my pool…but more of that later, as we try to accommodate work around our many HOA rules (72 printed pages of them).




  1. I know downsizing will come to me eventually but boy am I not looking forward to it. Cutest little present. Do they allow children to be posted in the US? We tend to old fashioned hand deliveries but then again the UK is much smaller. I guess the postage might be prohibitive too.

    1. So sorry to hear about your health issues, and I hope you are managing to find joy in your life. We are having them too, but so far manageable. I will be 77 this year – hard to believe it – but I’m still active. Of course longevity was on my mother’s side – my grandmother was 103, my mom 95, and her sister 99.

  2. A great success, or should I say, achievement. Well done for surviving it.
    And I cleared out the summerhouse over the weekend, which was where everything I couldn’t fit in the new house went. I can now get into it and sit down. Amazing!

  3. I love Eli’s pics, thanks for sharing. Put a big smile on my face. I’m glad things worked out, however crazy. You’re emerging sane and happy, and busy sure, but in a good way. Cheers to that.

    1. Charlotte, you and George are models for how to survive Covid. You’ve taken lemons and make, yes, lemonade. I tell my friends about you a lot. I hope thing keep getting better for the two of you this year. And what about that wedding?

      1. Were are hoping that the 4th time will go ahead 28th August. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that a summer tour for three months goes ahead and sadly George had been preparing for a big piano competition in April and it got postponed, guess the date of the main competition, yep our new wedding date so after four months preparation he’s had to pull out! I just hope I can get back started again, I had to cancel an audition in Paris because they wouldn’t let me travel even with a covid negative test and you only get opportunities like that very occasionally, so say a little prayer for us and I’m keeping positive.

    2. Things are going like that for me this year, too, but not with the enormous amount of hard work and practice the two of you have to do. Fingers and toes crossed that things WILL improve for you and here’s to August 28th. Our anniversary is the 19th.

      1. I will say a little prayers that your issues sail away too this month. Congrats for the 19th that is near to my Mum and Brother’s birthday and the 28th is actually George’s 28th birthday too.

  4. This was like reading a goo (interesting, witty, dark at times) short story, Noelle. I hung on to every word. We’ve downsized three times so far in the past 10 years, and somehow, as we consider maybe moving again, we have a lot to get rid of to downsize again. It is (NOT) fun. But satisfying, once done. Congrats on making it through a challenging year. Your cute-as-a-button Eli certainly helped a lot, I’m sure.

  5. Wow, you’ve been busy, Noelle. I’m si glad it all worked out in the end and you are confortably installed in your new home. All’s well that ends well💖👏👏 a grandson is such a blessing.

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