Leaving 2020 Behind - Texas Snowstorm Edition

Before this week, I had drafted a blog post titled "Among Us - 2020 Memories."  I had planned to reflect back on the neighborhood walks, hikes and baking we did early in the pandemic, then how the routines became so mundane after 8 weeks or so. Then this storm blew in and I couldn't even focus. But before I move to February 2021, let me start with a few ways we've stayed distracted and busy during the past 11 months.  The upsides to the hellish year of pandemic.

For years, Ken had been looking at electric bikes, so he decided to take the dive and order a couple of Rad Power Bikes. That was something fun for the people over age 16 in the family.  Eventually, we got a child seat for the bike so our grandkid could also enjoy getting out.  We also found other family fun distractions like:
  • playing Among Us
  • having video chats on the Facebook Portal
  • jumping on the trampoline that was handed down to us the week we moved to Austin. (Thanks, Suzie!)
  • chalk art on the driveway
  • driveway visits with friends
  • backyard visits with family
  • family portraits taken through the back windows
  • watching TikToks...lots of TikToks
  • playing with tech like apps that make it look like you're a pro dancer or that zoo animals are in your living room
  • impromptu Zoom chats with colleagues
  • an indoor trampoline and slide for our grandson so he could burn energy without burning up outdoors

Once summer hit, we ended up getting an above-ground pool to spend our time and take the edge off the 100-degree temps.  This HOA typically doesn't approve above-ground pools, but they turned a blind eye as many in our neighborhood did the same.  Once we took the pool down, we used the "dirt circle" as a new place to center our Solo Stove.  

All of our distractions centered around things we could do here at home or safely outdoors. The monotony of online school while simultaneously working, reduced visits with family, almost no visits with friends other than the few driveway meetups, the lingering spikes in COVID numbers, and being stuck in the same place day after day after day...it all just weighed down and we ended 2020 feeling pressed down.  

I haven't even mentioned the political stress of this election and the months leading up to it.  During almost all of this pandemic, we (white people) were finally paying attention to the racial oppression that has been all over our nation for decades upon decades.  It took us seeing with our own eyes, year after year, police violence toward Black and brown people.  Something about George Floyd begging for his momma and Breonna Taylor being shot to death in her own bed all at the hands of police finally did it for us. 

Still we had a glimmer of hope for 2021. But it started with record-high COVID numbers, an attack on the nation's capital, and then an unprecedented snow and ice storm in Texas.

(Like for part two.  Just kidding.  That's a TikTok reference. I'm in the progress of writing part two and will link it here when it's up!)

So, how was your new year's transition?


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