"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Monday, December 21, 2020

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Glad Tidings, etc.

I make our Christmas cards each year, and each year I send them out, yes, in regular snail mail. A lot of people request them (I do write a killer letter), but even if I haven't heard or seen people in years, I send them a card. Why?

Because when I was a wee child, I watched my mother address TONS of cards every year. Then came the year when I heard her say, "We haven't seen these people in years. I'm not going to send them a card this year." Every year after that, the list dwindled, until she didn't send cards to anyone.

Coincidentally, their list of actual friends they saw all the time and did things with dwindled, too, until they didn't do anything with anybody and sat home instead.

I'm not going to be that person. My door is always open, even if I haven't heard from you in a while. And I'm sending the cards, whether you like it or not. 


Welcome to the party, pal

That’s a line from DIE HARD, and if you don’t think that’s a Christmas movie, we need to talk. Tis the season for Hans Gruber to plunge off the Nakatomi Building. Especially this year.

January 2020 held such promise. We had trips planned, I had a book to launch, there was so much to do and see. What did we get in March? A pandemic, raging fires, murder hornets and meth-gators. There’s probably a very disturbing version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” in that sentence.

Travel this year was…well, you know how it was. We took a calculated risk in August and went to the Gray Eagle Lodge. Masks were worn, all meals were outside, and I got my first COVID test upon return—not because I’d been knowingly exposed, but because I might have been unknowingly exposed. It was negative, but the trip was positive.

We went to two weddings, one pre-COVID phase and one during the “take precautions” COVID phase, both for our nieces and new-nephews. The one pre-COVID was in Portland. It was back when life was normal, which is good because it rained that day. I mean…Portland in February, right? It was a lovely, fun-filled wedding and reception, and I treasure the memories.

The next wedding was held locally and outside. We had temperatures taken, wore masks, and there was no hugging, which was the hardest part. The venue even socially distanced all of the seating for the ceremony. It was another wonderfully fun wedding—how can any wedding be bad when you’re with loved ones? PS we love these kids.

Dale did his usual trip to Angels’ spring training in Arizona in March, which was shut down after a week. So far, he’s spending the pandemic doing yardwork, helping his mom, and golfing with his friends at a safe social distance.

I had an amazing year planned. First, I was honored to be presented with the Placentia Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year for 2020. I won’t lie, it was going to be fun riding in the Heritage Day Parade. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I also published a new mystery, MURDER BYTES. The launch party was a blast (thank you so much if you attended!) and I had a calendar chock full of events…that all got cancelled. I did do a lovely virtual book club, and a podcast that will air in 2021. I filled up the days by going to the stables, writing another book, and running for library trustee again. (I won, by the way.)

My horses are still doing well. I managed to find a way to visit Frostie and Snoopy in Temecula and stay safe. As far as Dhani and showing, we went to two multi-day shows and two single-day shows, wearing masks, washing our hands, and kicking people who got too close. I mean, Dhani was well-behaved, but I can’t say the same for myself.

Marcus was thrown full throttle into adulthood this year, having to learn about things like unemployment and negotiating your rent with the landlord. I’m proud of his initiative to stay independent. He and his singing groups have just gotten back together, wearing face shields. It’s looking dire for the arts, but people who have the will to create don’t lose it because times get tough.

Gosh, I’d love to give you all some magical words to make this entire year feel better. All I can offer is the hope that next year we can look back at 2020 and say, “Yippee Ki-Yay, (you can finish the sentence)!”

Best wishes from our house to yours,

The Carlines


No comments:

Proud Member of ALA!

I support fair and equitable library access to ebooks and so should you.