January Newsletter: Christmas Abroad, Gift Tally, Snowball Fight, Let It Snow and Go, Featured 2020 Indie Author, Favorite Music of 2020

Christmas Abroad

My family gathered in the mountains after we all isolated and tested. Two feet of snow greeted us but most of it disappeared after a day of rain on Christmas. We stayed inside, opened gifts, played games, and cooked a bunch of great food.

Gift Tally

In December, I asked for a few things for Christmas. I got the Christmas tree and the hikers and other wonderful things I forgot I had mentioned to family members. The best gift was being together. Awwww! But, it’s true.

5 foot artificial Christmas tree decorated with homemade ornaments
The Five Foot Version
Photo by Ann H Myers

I imagined a three foot tree. This 5′ works well though. Transport was easy. Nobody bothered to fix the lights on top. It didn’t seem to matter. The ornaments are either old and transportable or are ones we made out of clay.

Woman's boot next to a black bear's imprint in the snow.
My Boot and the Bear
Photo by Ann H Myers

This is one of my boots next to a bear print in the snow. The day after Christmas we went for a hike through the swampy woods. I wore my new boots from Orthofeet. They are lightweight and pretty grippy. Most importantly, my feet stayed dry. We hiked for four miles. Towards the end my toes hurt, but this was breaking-in blues. Two hikes later, I am a really pleased with these boots.

I’m still trying to find flashlight gloves that are not cycling gloves. I lost my driving gloves–sigh–so I may as well combine my need to have warm driving hands with the ability to shine a light into the crevices of my car.

Snowball Fight

At the beginning of our hike, I was able to capture the snow ball fight pictured in this slideshow.

Let It Snow? Wait! I Meant Let It Go

The end of a year is a time for reflection upon lessons learned and a time to look forward to applying these lessons in the new year. My biggest lesson learned and practiced in 2020 was to let go. Our lives are seasonal and transition is required. Letting go of the past is necessary in order to grow and prepare for what comes next.

As for other lessons learned, these are my favorites from other articles.

  1. All you have is now. This is #4 of 10 Life Lessons “always focus on what you are doing now” Carpe diem. Stop multi-tasking.
  2. No more bad hair days. #3 of I Just Turned 55 “A good haircut and a nice pair of shoes show that you take yourself seriously — and others should, too.” Laura McCamy This is good advice even for Zoom.
  3. Struggle Is Good. #1 of 25 Things About Life I Wish I Had Known 10 Years Ago Never say “I can’t take it anymore.” Say “Bring it on!”

Many motivational blogs out there praise the practice of gratitude, forgiveness, kindness, and generosity. As all of these are a function of love, let’s keep practicing them.

Featured Indie Author of 2020

I make this choice based on what I like and not some preconceived notion of what literature is supposed to be. I have always disliked being told what to like. The Trials of Hercules by Tammie Painter was my overall favorite indie book in 2020. Why? Because I love mythology. Plus, Painter’s story humanizes the great hero Hercules.

My Favorite Music of 2020

It may be hokey to say so, but my favorite artist of 2020 is Andy Williams. I “discovered” him during quarantine. His voice reaches me within the depths of my soul. Listen to his album Lonely Street for starters.

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