Christmas 2020

It’s snowing in Murray Hill New Jersey and for me that means Christmas. With the excitement of this first snow comes the first walk in it. Steve dropped work, we skipped lunch and headed out into the lovely cold whiteness of it all. We may head out again this evening. Those crazy Canadians.

Walking is something that we’ve been doing a lot of these crazy days. It is the great outdoors that will surely save us. Our year began with a winter walk at the Jersey Shore. Sandy Hook at Gateway National Park to be exact. It was a brilliantly sunny, blustery walk through the dunes where we felt a world apart from the beginning of the pandemic hysteria. Since then we have hiked and climbed and walked many a mile of beautiful trails here and recently returned to the beach in October. We’ve lost all track of time but could probably tell you how many miles we’ve walked and hours we’ve spent outdoors.

This has been a year of just the two of us. With the occasional socially distanced and masked visit from a very small group of people we are friends with. There have been Zoom quilt guild and community garden meetings. Lot’s of FaceTime with our grandson Theo. Weekly phone calls. Online learning to be a bee keeper. Sewing and quilting to blanket the world. Steve cycled 700 and some miles. And the baking, cooking and preserving. Oh, if you need toilet paper I’m your girl. That was something I did not want to run out of again. Although I will admit I did make butt wipes out of old sheets. Still looking for a diaper pail.

There is not a weed left in my yard and I fenced off an area for my victory garden from which we ate salad the whole summer long. I planted potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, sugar snap peas, sweet potatoes, honey nut squash and I don’t know what. There is an extensive herb garden where I grew something new but very familiar, Amsterdam celery. I dried and froze this herb for enhancing soups and salads during the winter months. We’ve had a lifelong dream of having a farm and realized it on a small scale with a community garden plot and our backyard victory garden. A great appreciation has developed for those who farm and do this well. It is an art and labour filled with so much knowledge and understanding of nature.

We are looking forward to the new year and the vaccine. Our first order of business will be travelling to Wisconsin in June to attend the wedding of John and Emily. Then it’s on to Canada.

This year we will be home for Christmas this year but only in our dreams.
We wish you and your family the best that is yet to come. We wish you great memories to keep you through tough times. We think of you all always.

Happy Christmas
Barbie and Steve.