December 31, 2020 – last day

Good Morning ALL. Can you believe it? The very last day and down to last hours of 2020. 2020 came in with all of the promise and hope that a New Year could bring and is leaving us with thoughts of promise and hope that 2021 will bring. So we will start and end with the same dreams for the New Year although the in between could never have been predicted. This year has been the same and different for so many of us. I cannot compare my year to that of my friend who lives down the street and works in the healthcare field. We both have had much different experiences this past year. She has faced all of the stresses and anxieties that came with COVID19 and the Pandemic as she continued to work. Me on the other hand, when our employer announced that we would be closing our doors to the public on March 16, 2020, and start the process of having staff work from home, I had mixed feelings but mostly I was overjoyed. On March 19, 2020 I was sent home with my coworkers with a laptop and whatever supplies we required to work from home. Later that afternoon I was set up and March 20, 2020 I was working from home. In the beginning there were definitely some stressful times but over the last nine months I have smoothed out the kinks and working from home has certainly been a godsend. Of course, there are moments of stress, but that is inevitable, as my job can most certainly be stressful at times. But I no longer have to spend a minimum of 1.5 hours travelling to and from work. There are no worries about leaving a senior dog, my Alvin home alone for such a long period of time. We have figured out a few things over time and one being that we will need to go to the office for one day per month as we have some large print jobs where the documents need to be prepared to be mailed. I can handle one day each month. Of course, this may change over time. My friend down the street lost her beloved pup Abi in February and in July brought baby Bailey home. Having a puppy at any time is a lot of work and with the stresses of working during a pandemic has been difficult for our friend. We have kept in touch with porch / sidewalk visits, texts and video chats. We live only a few doors apart and yet our lives that were so similar are so different this year. She was not able to spend Christmas with her sister and brother-in-law who are expecting early in the New YEAR nor her parents. Her parents are in her sister’s pod as she is expecting. I on the other hand was so blessed to be able to spend Christmas with my daughter and son-in-law and pups. In January my friend will be hosting a “virtual baby shower” for her sister. So many firsts this year. This is a reminder that I must check out the registry and chose a gift for the new baby. I always love to buy books for little ones, cannot go wrong with books.

I am grateful that we have the technology to see family and friends. This is the time to use this technology so that no one is alone. Take a few minutes and reach out to family and friends. We are blessed to have the technology to physically see each other.

So as we wrap up this YEAR, I have mixed feelings. I would say for the most part I have positive feelings. Working from home was always a dream, a thought that I had but never thought would come to fruition. I missed spending time with my sister and brothers in August. My daughter and I did not take our annual girls road trip in August. Since March, I have mainly seen my friends from the doorway although we did have a few visits. Our girls Annual Christmas party was done virtually. I never thought that I would not enter a store for several months. From March until August, all of my groceries were picked up by my friends and my daughter. I have since that time been to the store a grand total of 6 times, been to the vet numerous times, to Shoppers once to mail Christmas cards and parcels on November 20, and to the Optometrist twice since August. I will say that the handful of times that I have entered a grocery store have been anxiety ridden for me. For the past month or so I have not been to the grocery store although I was to the Bone & Biscuit on December 11th, to pick up gifts for the fur babies including Alvin. I have been to the office three times, twice in September and once in November. Most of my time has been spent at home or going for walks. Thankfully we are able to go outside. As the time passes, I think that the only way that we can stop this virus is to follow the protocols set out by the Health Care Professionals and Government Leaders. While it is not ideal as we are social creatures, it is imperative to follow the rules. Wear masks when in public, wash your hands, stay home when you can and social distance. I will say that trips to the Vet are different now. The last time Alvin went I was not allowed to be with him, I sat with my mask on in one of the exam rooms while they took him to the back exam room. The Optometrist was definitely different. Two visits one for the exam and the other to pick up frames. They as the Vet only book one appointment per hour. Better to be safe.

Perhaps if we would have taken more precautions sooner and taken this more seriously – we would be in a better place, I don’t know. Going forward we must do what is right for everyone. This is not the time to be selfish. We do want to see our family and friends in the New Year.

The sun is up although it appears to be cloudy. This is the last day of 2020. I hope that 2021 brings us hope and promise. I know that it will take months and likely most of this next year before the vast population can be vaccinated and at this point we do not know if that is the complete answer or not but I remain positive that the scientists will figure it out and we will end 2021 in a better place. To all of those folks who lost loved ones this year, I keep you in my heart and hope that your memories will help to bring you comfort. To all those families who lost beloved pets, I keep you in my heart and hope that memories of them will bring you comfort.

May the New Year be filled with hope and promise. May you find your way through this next year with faith, hope and grace. Continue to be kind and respectful and compassionate to all others. We need each other even more now than ever.

Thank you for taking your precious time to read my words, this post. I appreciate your time.

So from our home to yours, Alvin and I want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Second Half of the NEW YEAR – last quarter.

Good Morning ALL. A bit colder outside this morning. Well I had a good day downtown at the office. My daughter picked me up in the morning. Alvin was not really sure what was going on as I have only been away for the entire day twice since March 19, 2020. Can you imagine? I have been away to the office three times since March 19, 2020 but one was for a few hours to attend a meeting. My neighbour Sonja came over and checked on him a couple of times letting him outside and giving him one of his cookie/biscuit treats. The parcel from Steeped Tea did not arrive and the status went to pending but finally this morning it is showing an arrival date of today. For some reason they pushed it to today. Likely got behind in deliveries, I get that. It was nice to see a few people. Three in fact. That was all of the people that I saw at the office. Everyone practicing the COVID 19 safety protocols. I am grateful. I was able to get everything done early and then had time to actually put the postage on all of the letters / packages I had stuffed. First time using that fancy new machine. It worked pretty slick. I was so happy that I could help out our Support Services team. They work so hard. My daughter picked me up about 3:50 p.m. and we headed to Shoppers before going home to Alvin. I had a couple of parcels, card to go overseas and other Christmas cards within Canada. So happy to get everything posted. The gal in the “Post Office” said that it was so busy earlier and she was working alone. Isn’t that always the way? Also, I remembered to pick up extra stamps just in case I forgot to send a card to someone. Amanda and I always have good conversations on the car rides. I mentioned to her that one of the Support Services team was curious if I was following politics. I asked him “do you mean the U.S. elections.” He said “Yes.” So we chattered about the results. He thinks that there is voter fraud and I was very surprised to see that he sided with Trump. Not necessary Trump himself, but the Republicans. Anyway, I shared my knowledge of the U.S. Elections and was shocked by my articulation of the process. I have done lots of reading and I actually know stuff. Everyone is entitled to their thoughts and opinions. Realizing that I don’t know as much about our own government, I have vowed to do some research. I used to know the details but over the years have kind of forgotten. Time to do some reading.

The Pampered Chef order arrived yesterday so that was good.

Well it is time to head back downstairs, put on the coffee, put on the poop and get to work. I had to hit the “snooze” button this morning.

Living with kindness and respect for all. “Even when people do not have the same beliefs and opinions as ourselves.” (most importantly then).

Always, Carol & Alvin

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