2020 – A year behind glass

Hey there 2020, I’ve spent so much time silently glaring and swearing at you it’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end. Like many of you I’ve read and followed each ugly news story knowing I need to stop the doom scrolling but it’s tough to turn away from so many stories of sorrow and outrage. I’m taking baby steps toward more positive online interactions, dipping my toes back into Instagram and reaching out to friends I’ve not connected with in far too long hoping the simple exercise of looking for share worthy moments reminds me things weren’t terrible and frightening all the time.

One thing stands out to me today is how much of this year has been lived behind or viewed through glass. Windows, electronic screens and yes, even wine glasses have become our new connection points bringing both joy and frustration while also framing of some of my favorite photos from the past 12 months. In classic Northwest Frame of Mind style let’s take a look.

February 29th, Leap Day, was the last time John, Ryan and I attended a large gathering, spending the afternoon at a wine tasting event filled with fresh food, live music and plenty of lovely wine. COVID was a nervous whisper in the background, no one was sure if it would really change things, but we were starting to consider stocking up on a extra groceries and maybe staying home for a few weekends just to be safe.

Three months later we were still home every weekend watching the world transform into a strange and scary place. As essential workers our days were condensed to quick commutes (no traffic) and changed workplaces filled with the new norms of masks, sanitizing stations and very few coworkers. All of this left me with very little to see that was new so I turned my gaze back to happier days and picked some favorite photos for artistic makeovers. All editing done through a screen on my iPad.

By July a few areas of our state reopened for small gatherings and we decided to risk a trip to the islands. We rented a house, filled our car with a weeks worth of groceries and took the quietest summer ferry trip I’ve ever experienced. A normal travel year meant 3-4 hour waits to board a boat, then windswept walks along the outside upper decks while sailing to our destination. This year there were no lines, half empty boats and loudspeaker recordings announcing we weren’t allowed to leave our cars for the duration of the trip. The silver lining was a front row position where we could watch the water through our windshield. Safe in our bubble, behind the glass.

We had a lovely week, sleeping in, hiking on quiet trails, skipping rocks on empty beaches and on our last night away I took this photo from the car window as Ryan drove us back to the rental for one final sunset BBQ.

We remained close to home for the rest of the summer, avoiding crowds and trying to make simple life feel fun while hoping we could escape the small circle of our new reality for some fall hiking. Wildfire season put a stop to that as you can see from this photo, taken from my dining room window at noon on September 12th. With air quality ratings in the very unhealthy/hazardous range our last month of potential PNW sunshine was spent inside, in front of windows and more screens.

The end of summer meant election season was front and center and with it came more changes, this time to my volunteering plans. I usually spend hours in September and October phone banking and canvasing for favorite candidates and in 2020, with so much on the line, we had planned to spend most weekends in October getting out the vote. I still logged plenty of volunteer hours but this time they were spent virtually as a member of both national and state level digital outreach teams. Yep, more screen time. Most of our chosen candidates won their races though and on November 10th John, Ryan and I toasted Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as they were announced President Elect and Vice-President Elect.

My final image is the December photo that inspired this year-end post. Once again I was inside looking out but an evening of couch time, quietly editing photos on my phone while John and Ryan watched tv left me with one image I really liked. Thoughts of a years worth of views filtered and compressed through lenses, windows, mirrors and screens came together and here we are closing 2020 behind two layers of glass, facing forward with the past in a mirror. Cheers to a brighter, clearer, safer and happier 2021!

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22 thoughts on “2020 – A year behind glass

  1. Happy New Year, Lisa! Love the image of the rear-view mirror. I’m sure looking forward to — maybe — traveling and seeing friends again. At least we can look forward to a new president! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year D’Arcy! My fingers are crossed that we can resume travel and visiting soonish and yes, I am really looking forward to a new president!


  2. My dear Lisa, I suspect strongly you’ve edited out all the stress-filled and anxious parts ! – because you have rendered that HORRIBLE year almost pleasant !
    Still, I suppose there’s no point whingeing (as I tend to do, alas !) ..
    We had mutual experience of Fire, although I was not as close as were you and the two blokes.
    I’ve never been happier to refer to “last year” !
    Both Mosy and I have blogged very little regarding your elections, but we’re both passionately anti-tRump and pro-Dems; and we each know more about American politics than (possibly) about our own – well, at this time, anyway. She and I will be fervently hoping that the Georgia runoffs prove positive – although Loeffler and Perdue are so utterly VILE that if there are enough tRumpers down there you’ll have bloody McConnell running the country for a minimum of another two years ..
    But January 20th will herald the dawn of a whole new day. HALLELUJAH.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello M-R! You’re right, I did edit out the stress-filled and anxious parts, that post would have been way to long and I suspect I would have never finished it in time for New Year’s Eve. I want to leave it all behind and start fresh in 2021! As for American politics it sounds like we’re kindred spirits, I don’t know how we would have survived another 4 years with T in office. The country would have been unrecognizable. 😦 We remain hopeful Loeffler and Perdue are on their way out too… 5 more days… and then we have January 20th to look forward to, hallelujah indeed!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it, Lisa? One good thing that happened was that I got off Facebook because of the acrimonious exchanges about the election, sadly from one of my husband’s older relatives. Sigh. And guess what? Life without FB is grand. πŸ™‚ We moved to Arizona at the end of March, just as stay-at-home orders were being issued. Although we didn’t have our usual family Christmas, we were able to spend time with my brother and his family and my parents, the latter being the main reason we moved here.

    I’m glad you were able to get away for that week. I was able to get to Wyoming for three weeks and it was delightful to get out. Hopefully 2021 will be a more normal year, even if normal isn’t quite the way it used to be. In the meantime, a happy, healthy New Year to you and yours. Hopefully we’ll hear more from you as well.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year, Janet! It’s great to hear you’re in sunny Arizona now and I agree, leaving Facebook is a wonderful feeling. I have to have an account for work but I haven’t posted a personal line or read anything from friends or family in two years. Whew!

      Three weeks in Wyoming sound perfect, I’m so happy you were able to have that in the middle of this upside-down year. Our Christmas was different as well with one family gathering outside on Christmas Eve afternoon. We had long underwear, coats, blankets, masks and warm drinks but at least we got to see each other in person. Let’s all hope the new year brings a return to some of our more normal traditions and we can visit family without worry and travel without fear of stay-at-home orders.

      Cheers to a safe, peaceful and happy 2021! Lisa

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It will take a while, I think, for 2021 to spread its wings and carry us to something better. Hope springs eternal. I will relax when the electoral votes are ratified by Congress and Joe is sworn in. Until then, my grip on my emotions is very tight.

    And I must say, a 2020 bright spot has been your tweets and your posts. Thanks for staying calm.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, thanks Jim. I really like your comment about 2021 spreading its wings and carrying us to something better, we have to have hope. I’ll admit to a little tension about the Jan 6 deadline and swearing-ins but most of it is triggered by fear of what an unstable person may do when acting out. I still have faith in our processes and am holding on to that.

      I made a decision early this year that my social posts would stay focused on more positive aspects of our communities and I tried to not slip back into doom-sharing. I think I was relatively successful and it’s nice to hear you’ve appreciated the content. I’ll keep it up for 2021!


  5. It is lovely to hear from you, Lisa. This year has been strange and full of change on so many levels. You are right in pointing out so many things are now done virtually or in front of a screen, behind a piece of glass – so much so it is the norm now. That was great you managed to sneak in a short trip away in the middle of the year, even if it meant keeping your distance from others.

    It wasn’t too bad year from my end… Though we got stuck in lockdown for about seven months in Melbourne, we adjusted and got on with our lives. Knowing people that matter were safe meant the world. It will be interesting to see where 2021 will go…it will probably be a bit more of the same for a while and then who knows. Take care, Lisa. Happy New Year to you, John and Ryan. Great photography as usual πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year, Mabel! It’s great to hear 2020 wasn’t too bad on your end and I’ll share your good wishes with John and Ryan today. Take care and enjoy what 2021 brings. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 2021 feels like at least an opening for us to reclaim the parts of ourselves we most value, and I feel similarly when I say that I want to connect better to those with whom I share values and a common commitment to focusing on what is true and nurturing. I’ve had some wonderful moments this year, at a time that with my daughter’s cancer rocked me to my core. I have a lot of people I’d like to “pay back” for their kindness, and an in-person hug will feel so good. We have observed stay-at-home orders very strictly since early March, and I haven’t even been in a grocery store. There’s a lot of living I’d yet like to do. LOL! All the best to you and thank you for your positivity. It feeds my soul.

    And i have a bottle of champagne, the good stuff, already chilling for January 20th. I don’t typically open champagne in the morning, but why not?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right Debra, we do have a lot of living yet to do! It’s definitely time to reclaim connections and hugs and yes, drink champagne on January 20th. πŸ™‚ I’ll have to work during the inauguration time but plan to record and watch everything that evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m extremely late to this post, got here from an old post of mine which was in your 24 hour project waay back in 2014! This is a great way of summing up what was one of the weirdest years any of us have experienced. I can’t see any posts from 2021 so have you abandoned the blog? Hope 2021 has been an improvement and you and all your family are well. Take care, Jude xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Jude, so nice to hear from you! 2020 was one of the weirdest years indeed and 2021 hasn’t been a whole lot better but there’s always hope for a strong finish. πŸ™‚ I haven’t abandoned the blog, it’s always lurking in the back of my mind but I haven’t been in quite the right place to pick it back up. I’m not letting go though so please keep a watch for when this space is active once again! All my best, Lisa


      1. I know what you mean. It’s been a struggle this past 18 months. My flower blog has been in semi retirement for a long time until very recently. I’ll keep an eye on you. Just glad all is good.

        Liked by 1 person

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