Three years later…

We all hang by a thread, and there are many things we cannot choose about our lives. It’s how we react to the inevitable that counts.

Mary Higgins Clark

Desk View
February 26, 2021

Three years ago today I began posting on oneletterup. Up until about a year ago, it was a total deep dive into recording family history and stories. Sometimes also dipping my toes in the murky waters of difficult emotions. I tried my hand at poetry and flash fiction…while attempting all the while to silence that inner critic…which I’m happy to report… gradually quieted to a dull roar (well, most of the time).

Memoir is my go-to topic, but then I wondered…how long will this be interesting to others? Hopefully family will circle back to it someday when they get to be my age…curious about family history and who came before…back in the “old days.” I wish I had more family stories (from the “way old” days!).

Blogging became a solace during the early days of the pandemic as waves of fear and uncertainty crashed down around me. Huge knock-me-off-my-feet waves. A year of seasickness. Just when I thought “things” were calmer, something awful happened. Pandemic wise. Personal wise. Political wise. News wise. The unimaginable kept happening over and over…to me and everyone else. Some much worse than others. I’m not talking about the toilet paper emergency.

I read your stories and knew I was not alone. As isolation intensified, so did the need for connection. At first it was helpful to write about what was going on in my neck of the woods. Oh yeah Andrea, I understand…that’s happening here too...from around the blogging globe…a virtual hug.

However, after a while it started to feel…well, disingenuous…to share funny stories or otherwise mundane tales of my increasingly restricted (and mostly boring) daily life. While at the same time…strangely enough, I gravitated to – and enjoyed – those very same stories on other blogs.

“Normal” blogging in a surreal 2020 world eventually became less about writing and more about photography. Camera in hand, I recorded what I knew would be there no matter what. Mother Nature was dependable and I loved her all the more for it. Walking in “my” woods…always a comfort.

I only made it to the beach a few times, as pandemic parking restrictions curtailed more frequent visits. Watching the tide come in and out will have to wait for this summer.

June 25, 2020
Hampton Beach, NH

I ground to a halt in December and took a month off from blogging. Everything was just too much. I think many of you know what I mean. To those who checked in on me…I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that.

Let’s hope 2021 brings back some semblance of a new “normal”…soon. Whatever that may be.

As always, thanks for visiting! 🙂


V.J.’s Weekly Challenge: Waves

22 thoughts on “Three years later…

  1. It’s happened to all of us in one way or another! I tend not to post when things get boring — if they bore me, they must bore others — but that’s not really true! I can’t wait for this strangeness to subside and to get out an be a normal person again!

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  2. “A year of seasickness…” exactly.

    I’ve wondered, too, how my readers could endure one more blog post about me and Bear and the Refuge and cranes. Or dogs. How fascinating can Bear and Teddy continue to be? When I’ve backed off from that, to my surprise, it seems my readers missed that. Then I understood that my dogs, “my” cranes, the Refuge all of that is for others what it is for me, little sojourns into the good kind of unpredictability.

    My personal jury is out on what I want my life to be like “after.” I don’t want to stop doing art the way I have during this past year. In a way, that and the outer world going on as it has pretty much said to me, “Don’t be fooled again. You wondered what was real? This is real.” I personally think many of us are going to be pretty confused when it’s “over.”

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    1. I have often taken refuge in your Refuge and enjoyed tagging along on your adventures. So I’m glad you are still there. 🙂 Yes, confusion will probably reign when this is “over” (interesting how we put that in quotes).
      Yes…”Don’t be fooled again…” (that’s a song lyric – I can hear it) and I agree this is/must be real. Gotta decide how to handle a future normal when the time comes – including if I ever can “plan” much of anything again (again the quotes…).

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      1. Inside of me is a huge ball of emotion that is beginning to occasionally emerge. It wants a good long cry, but for now it doesn’t dare. Today walking with Bear out at the Refuge I took a route where we wouldn’t have to deal with other peoples’ dogs, a relatively empty, crane-less stretch of road. Two cars passed us and the people inside waved and smiled in the passionate way that has marked Covid time. It wrenches my heart. When we got to the car, one of the couples — an elderly couple — in one of the cars had parked and was looking at the geese. I asked if they would like to meet Bear. We had one of the conversations that’s proven to belong to the Refuge and spring crane season, incredibly sweet. It’s intense and healing magic. I hope that never goes away.

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      2. I hope that never goes away too. What a special – seemingly magical – place for you and your dogs. One of these days it might dislodge that ball of emotion when you least expect it. I get to the edge of that, too, at the oddest times.
        What a sweet exchange with the couple who parked – so many of us are hungry for connection during “these days.” I’ve noticed people trying to stare harder or smile with their eyes; the usual smile masked over. I look forward to seeing real smiles again.


      3. When I was at the vet with Teddy a few weeks ago I noticed the dogs in the waiting room looking at the people questioningly, like they weren’t sure. I realized dogs are used to reading our faces, and they were looking for smiles. Made me very sad to see a little pittie mix hearing my friendly voice and not being sure because she couldn’t see all of my face. When we finally met, she kept her tail between her legs, just the tip wagged.

        The happiest thing to happen in this valley, though, was the shot “clinic” in the parking lot of the high school. Everyone was filled with joy and it was because they were DOING something about it. It was great. ❤

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      4. Oh wow, of course dogs look for and read facial expressions. How strange it must be for them. And then I think of infants making eye contact but nothing else. The effects of this will be felt/analyzed for years to come.
        The shot clinic near here is in a high school parking lot. A friend of mine went at night. People would honk their car horns with excitement after getting their shots; but since it was dark the medical people in charge (National Guard) thought there were vaccine reaction emergencies happening. But everyone understood (eventually) that these were only happy noises. ❤️

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      5. We should write all this on our blogs, I think. I think we need to mark the moments when the fog began to lift.

        My neighbor and I got our shots almost at the same time. We sat in the parking lot laughing and talking through our open car windows. A fireman was dancing in the puddles of melted snow!!! Dancing! A woman (volunteer) came to tell me I could go and the smile on her face when she saw the smile on mine didn’t need a mouth to register. It was beautiful.

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      6. I love it…that is so special. Dancing makes perfect sense. Joy in action. Yes, we need to mark the moments. Maybe a new blog category…when the fog began to lift or something like that. I’m grateful that history is moving in a more positive direction.

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  3. What I like about your writing, Andrea, is that is always reflective, and often you mention something that resonates. Let’s hope the future brings more time with actual waves and less time with the emotional ones.

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  4. Normal still seems a long way off, but I’ve tried to avoid Covid tales. I found them endlessly depressing and still do. We are all relying on our own devices, and if we’re lucky a good partner, to see us through. My walks are more repetitive than I would like but they’re often still very beautiful. We’ll get there! 🙂 🙂

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