Sunday, January 3, 2021

Making it to the Finish Line

 December 13, 2020 - December 31, 2020
Tombstone, Arizona

As long as our calendar says 2020 we can blame any negative, depressing and/or bizarre occurrence on the year. For many reasons it is the year from Hell. The year when just about nothing outlandish would surprise us. It became the definition of horrible "things" we had to endure. And certainly the celebration of a new year will be a bigger deal for us than ever before. 

I share the enthusiasm for better times. In 2021. In this new year. Vaccines, open theaters, accessible state and national parks, border crossings, seeing the smiles of strangers in public places. 

But not on January 1. Opening a brand new calendar sadly does not flip a magic switch causing instantaneous glittering rainbows returning us to how we remember normal.

Oh how I wish that were the case.

The pandemic is at its highest level of transmission, and with the sad-but-true continuation of large holiday gatherings around the country, the numbers are expected to keep climbing. Restrictions will continue, lockdowns may be necessary again, remote education will still be the norm for our grandkids probably at least until Spring Break.

2021 is something we're all looking forward to, but real, positive change is more likely a June 1 reality rather than a January 1 one.

However, seeing any brighter future is uplifting. Just having competent leadership, and the potential for a legislature united for working Americans is enough to get me excited about better days ahead. Knowing that the vaccines are out there, already given to millions around the world is happiness-worthy. Having plans and reservations for getting back on the road this Spring/Summer makes me feel more normal than I have in months.

Our Christmas is small and quiet and lovely, as expected. Photos and calls and videos from the kids and grands keep us connected with their (also small) holiday celebrations. It's fun to have Jeff with us, and he's happy to "be the baby again" after many years :-) 

The kid opening his presents.

Ezra excited for it to finally be Christmas.

Elliott chilling through his first Christmas.

Reese welcoming Santa.

M&M have lots to be excited about.

Henry greeting his Christmas giraffe.

Our temps are winter-chilly with a few days of biting winds, and only one more day with rain. We're brown and dry with still no wet in the long range forecast. Certainly 2021 will bring us what we need to turn the drought around!

While our views aren't as pretty as last year, our skies give us plenty of awesome to enjoy.

Dragoons at dusk.

Cotton candy drifts to the west.

Monochromatic cross hatches.

Rare for me to see the sunrise. What a treat!

Catching the eastern skies.

It's completely cloud-free to see the planetary convergence. 

Fire in the sky.

The Cold Moon rises in the pastel east.

Donnie comes to play Cribbage with Bill, and Anna joins him a couple times for coffee and catching up. Otherwise we haven't seen anyone else except the coffee kiosk and grocery pickup folks in Sierra Vista. Bill works in his garage some days, I putter around the house. Jeff has remote school and meetings. Tessa tries out different spots to nap throughout the house.
It's a lazy, quiet time.

I'm happy as long as you keep me company.

Happy with how the half-bath turned out. Still more rooms I could be painting.
Clearing an emission system recall on the rig is required before we can get our current registration so we're off to the Cummins service shop in Tucson. Also a chance to get the check engine light cleared up. Velocity Travel Center is a large facility just off I-10 with friendly and efficient folks. There are three water and electric spots just outside the lot for full-timers who need multiple days of work. We end up leaving the rig but now we have a house so don't need the space. Good to know though.....

There is no recall on record which leads to lots of hoops to navigate for the registration (still navigating), but they replace four gaskets which clears the light. We don't regret getting a diesel, but those repairs are not cheap. Stops for breakfast, Trader Joe's and Camping World and then back to Tombstone. It's ready the next day, and I'm glad to get that off the growing list. We have several items to resolve before our planned travels this Spring.

Near to the KOA, they serve a great breakfast. Masks, good spacing, and a heated patio make for safe dining.

Trader Joe's does a great job of limiting the number of shoppers inside. While this long line looks intimidating when I arrive, it moves quickly.

We celebrate our 8th anniversary and Tessa's tenth birthday. Per usual, we're in bed when the ball drops in New York City. 

So we made it through 2020. None of us are unchanged. All of us learned important things about our world, our country, our neighbors and ourselves. I believe they are all lessons that will serve me well moving forward. I'm resolved to be grateful and to remember that I get back what I put out there. 

To be happy every day is a choice. 
Happy 2021 to you all!



  1. Whew--our Arizona numbers are awful these last few days! Quiet New Year's celebrations over on this side of the mountain too. We too are hoping for moisture in the new year. Happy New Year Bill and Jodee!

    1. Glad to see the vaccines have made it to the nursing homes in Sierra Vista so hope springs that we will see Arizona numbers falling soon!!

  2. Lazy, quiet and healthy are good! With anther La Nina in the forecast this doesn't appear to be the winter that will break our years of drought.
    At least 2020 ha gone and a New Year is always full of promise. Happy New Year!

    1. I'm afraid you're right Jeff - not looking good for much wet this season. Hopefully we'll get a better monsoon season and give us back some of our green :-)

  3. Thanks for this upbeat post with such wonderful pictures of your grands. Glad to hear your RV problem was fixed hope I can say the same soon.

    1. Those kiddos keep us smiling for sure :-) Hope your fixes are quick and "cheap". A new microwave is hopefully our biggest expense on the expanding list of piddly things that need fixing or replacing this winter.

  4. Great to "see" you again Jodee. We enjoyed a quiet and safe holiday time and look forward to whatever comes our way. Forward. Looking through the windshield is always better than muttering about what is in the rear view mirror. Hope to see you in this new year!

    1. Absolutely! We're so looking forward to windshield views moving forward. And including you three in those views :-)

  5. We had a very quiet holiday while thinking about much safer and joyous holidays ahead. It's been a year of first, for sure. I like Sue's analogy about looking through the windshield rather than mutter in the rear mirror. We're thankful to have been healthy through this last year and be in a very safe place. Happy New Year to you, Bill, and Tessa. Hopefully, the new year will bring us together again.

    1. I think we'll always look at the timing of our "base" home purchases and wonder if the universe was taking care of us :-)) So many wonderful days to look forward to - and hoping they include you two very soon!

  6. Everything you said. :-) I appreciate your realistic approach to the New Year, and completely agree that it will be June at the earliest before we see a return to anything resembling 'normal life.' But we have hope for positive changes ahead! I figured out a long time ago that my attitude is the most important determinant of how happy I am, and this year has provided me with lots of opportunities to practice. Hugs to you guys, and wishing you all the best of everything in the coming year. (I love that Jeff gets to be the baby, LOL. And all of the little ones are adorable.)

    1. Indeed my attitude and choosing to be happy have made all the difference for me as well. You two take care and enjoy your peaceful home on the water!

  7. Wonderful to say goodbye to 2020 yet sadly, we're not done with this yet. Sure glad you two have a home base and ways to keep in touch with family. It's pretty quiet out here on the desert. Crossing fingers for travel plans to come.

    1. Not yet, but we will be :-) Enjoy your pretty, quiet desert. Yay to travel soon!!

  8. We too are hoping for a more normal second half of 2021, thanks for the realistic upbeat view of things. We too are spending quiet days and enjoying being here in TX at the beach. WE are looking forward to the changes in leadership and sanity returning to DC.

    1. Your beach pics are so peaceful! I have to believe that we will all be happier and safer after January 20.

  9. So much to look forward to! I hope you get your rig back soon all fixed up. Happy Anniversary to you all! Your grandkids are adorable!