Sunday Stills: Your 2020 #Retrospective

Sunday Stills 2020 Banner
Sunday Stills 2020 Banner

I had originally thought to take a break until January 10, then realized I’m a bit bored, so why not jump back into blogging? Especially with this theme of looking back on our 2020 retrospective.

A retrospective shows our year in words, photos, stories, and other creative endeavors. Share your good and bad, your best and worst, and what your hope is as 2021 begins. I have chosen to share images, old and new, of the highlights of each month of 2020.

2020 was not all bad. Certainly, the pandemic was (and is) a game-changer and we lost friends and loved ones. Some of us tested positive. Our kids and grandkids are still struggling in a two-dimensional world of learning. Most of us cannot travel to the extent we prefer, and too many folks are struggling financially. However, if this was a sci-fi movie, the plot would demonstrate the resilience of humanity as we navigate through these unprecedented times. Many wonderful events happened to countless people in 2020. While we grieve the losses, let us stay positive and look forward to our blessings and futures.

Here is my retrospective written for each month in 2020. This is longer than my usual posts so please be warned!

January Joyrides

In late December 2019, we headed out on another winter road trip from Sacramento, California, to Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. We spent time with Ingrid and her husband, then FINALLY got to see the Grand Canyon!

Winter in South Rim of Grand Canyon
Cold Winter’s Day in South Rim of Grand Canyon

My brother and partner lived for a short time in Vegas, so we all enjoyed a trip to Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park.

Entering the Narrows of Valley of Fire
Entering the Narrows of Valley of Fire

Later in the month, we made a trip up north to a nearby bird sanctuary to view the comings and goings of the Canadian snow geese that make their winter home in the Sacramento Valley.

looking up at snow geese

Canadian Snow Geese will cause you to look up abruptly as they fly in graceful formations, honking at each other to stay in line. Submitted for Lisa’s bird weekly challenge, birds with long wingspans. Snow Geese have wingspans up to 4.5 feet!

February Fantasy

The land hunt was over. In 2019, we started planning a life change and an eventual move to Washington State. We began the loan process of purchasing a half-acre of property in Nine Mile Falls, near Spokane, WA. We imagined ourselves making payments on the property for a year while fixing up the existing house in Sacramento at a leisurely pace.

Fixing a new deck

March Madness

On March 3rd, my 79-year old mother passed away from complications of age and pneumonia. Little did I know how blessed we were to spend the last days with her in the hospital and say our goodbyes.

Obituary Image

Covid-19 became too real as shut-downs in countries and local communities began just weeks later. Universities and schools began the arduous task of teaching online. We signed papers on our property the day before California counties shut down. Real estate prices fell and we got nervous about the future of the plans for our new home.

A toast to the future
It’s Ours!

April Angles and Angels

Church services were canceled or limited to online viewing. Our spirits were lifted anyway, especially when our pastor and his wife personally delivered the Easter lilies we purchased that were meant as memorials for loved ones.

Easter Lily Close-Up

During the shut-downs, the only fun we could have was going to the grocery store and various big box stores as people flocked to buy materials for home improvement, gardening, and backyard birding. Below, you can see the incredible siding job hubby completed.

Front of house completed

May We Begin Again?

Our delta campground where we windsurfed and paddled delayed its opening by almost 2 months. Honestly, we were lucky it opened at all. At that time, we didn’t know it would be our last summer.

Delta Sunset Painnted

In mid-May, we took a road trip to Spokane once Covid travel restrictions eased. I finally got to show hubby the land we bought! With some advice, we refinanced our property loan to include construction and the home itself and fast-tracked ourselves on the road to move.

Happy on our half acre

June Jubilee

Opening hydrangeas

This month, I reflected on what would have been my mother’s 80th birthday. She always had a garden full of flowers. Anticipating our move by the end of the year, I eventually rehomed my huge potted hydrangea to a friend in November before our move. My last crop of sunflowers began blooming.

sunflower

Joyful July

This month I celebrated Aeros’ 10th birthday.

Me and My Aero

Covid restrictions eased a bit and some travel was allowed. My gym opened for two weeks and I went every day. I had the absolute pleasure of visiting longtime friend and fellow blogger Marsha at her former home in Central Calfornia.

Two Bloggers

Then, to top it off, we got to see a black bear ambling along the highway near the south entrance of Sequoia National Park! Marsha recently moved to Prescott, Arizona and we have been checking in with each other about how our collective moves have been going!

Golden Black Bear

August Angst

Early August found me on my third road trip, this time to Mammoth Lakes on the Eastern Sierra Nevada. My family had originally made plans to stay in a large condo there and drive to Tuolumne Meadows on the Tioga Pass side of Yosemite National Park to scatter my mom’s ashes. Only myself, my daughter and her boyfriend, and my brother and his partner made the trip, so we saved the scattering for another date in 2021. I cried when I saw my family since we hadn’t been together since Christmas.

Near Mammoth is Mono Lake and we enjoyed a sunset stroll among the tufa towers.

Standing beside Mono Lake

Covid restrictions were well in place in Mammoth and people walked around in masks as if we had been wearing them our whole lives. Entrance into Yosemite was limited to pre-reserved permits. I stood at the Tioga Pass entrance to Yosemite wearing my mask—a sign of the times! Although we could not drive in, we could walk into the park through the nearby meadows. This marked my third visit to a National Park in 2020. Not bad for a pandemic!

Tioga Pass Entrance Masked

Sadly, we endured horrific California fires that engulfed the entire West Coast with smoke and hazardous air quality, along with oppressive heat. To add to an already eventful month, not only did we sell my mother’s home in August, but we also closed on our new construction loan…all in one 24 hour period! Whew!

August and September were unbelievably stressful months. If you haven’t had the chance, you can read more about it: Sunday Stills: Towering Turmoil.

Wake Me Up When September Ends

I started September teaching my university classes online. I gave up my third class to another professor because I did not have the energy or motivation to turn it into an online course. I was extremely sad knowing it was to be my last semester teaching after 10 years as a part-time lecturer and also disappointed to not be in the classroom with the students.

We spent the second weekend of September packing up and saying goodbye to the delta, where I had spent 11 summers learning new board sports and camping with new friends.

Sunset over wind turbines

Determined to continue packing and moving, we moved our travel trailer to Spokane a few days later, before winter set in…. Yep, a tire blew out on the trailer in central Oregon, but Hercules Hans (hubby) fixed it and we were safe!

I said goodbye to the last of my sweet sunflowers. Each spring, I grew them from seeds and their lovely blooms gave me three years of pleasure cultivating them, watching them grow, and taking endless photographs of them.

October Obstacles

I would categorize October as the second-worst month of 2020 (behind March) and the month where obstacles stood waiting for us. As we prepared for the last of the two-way road trips to Spokane, we experienced delays with the moving company. We finally had to drive the bumpy, noisy, 20-foot truck there loaded with 60% of our home and return the empty truck. By now we had packed and prepped to the point of exhaustion. As if that weren’t enough, we contracted mild cases of Covid from family members while staying overnight near Bend, Oregon.

super pink moon

Even the blue moon of Halloween was not enough to make the my month better.

Notable November

Once we got the nod from our real estate agent, all systems were “go” for listing the house. We made plans to take yet another road trip, this time to San Diego to visit our collective adult children and family and take some boxes of goodies to them. We timed the home listing and walk-throughs with this visit so we would be gone for a few days. Over 100 families visited the home in three days. My home of 32 years sold in four days, $16,000 above our asking price.

Japanese Maple Fall

Fall leaves finally made their appearance which gave me a sense of peace tinged with melancholy, knowing that this was my last Autumn at my home. We spent a quiet Thanksgiving as my two daughters came to visit and say goodbye to their childhood home for the last time.

We say goodbye to our family home

A December to Remember

December is traditionally a month of festivity and fun with Christmas and our annual road trips south. This month would be like no other December in memory. Mid-month, I said my goodbyes to fellow faculty on Zoom and farewell to my 10-year teaching career. Below is the last look at my walk toward the building and classrooms.

Sacramento State University

We spent two weeks packing the POD after Thanksgiving, filling it to the brim. Early the next morning, on December 13, I tearfully hugged my house goodbye and took one last look at the empty house as we drove away for the last time, me following behind my husband’s truck in my car.

Huggin my house goodbye

This would be our final, and one-way road trip through Oregon and onto Spokane for 2020. Although it rained all through Oregon, there was no snow, and we made record time on our second day with joy in our hearts as we reached our destination in Spokane. A few days later we visited our property and said hello to our new house!

New home selfie

Someone asked me what I learned from 2020. Like any year, I take away nuggets of wisdom from the choices I made. My husband and I walk in faith, understanding that both good and bad things will happen. The pandemic made 2020 a challenging year, but life went on in its usual fashion. This may sound weird, but the pandemic hastened our move out of California, and the timing for both buying and selling real estate was rather miraculous. Let’s just say, with two homes sold in 2020, Hans and I have enough money to live on for several years if we truly retire.

New Horizons for 2021

What is on the horizon? We are patiently waiting for our house to be ready. Within the next few weeks, it will be set onto the foundation, the two halves joined together, the utilities will get hooked up and the interior will be completed. I’m told this could take another 1-2 months. Meanwhile, we continue to live with my brother-in-law.

Once we get moved into the home, Hans will look for employment. His retirement pension from the City of Sacramento wasn’t as generous as mine, since he only put in 7 years. I am contemplating teaching as a lecturer at Eastern Washington University in their parks and recreation management program. But I prefer to wait until the campus opens back to classroom teaching. Heck, I may not work at all and be truly retired. Our only hiccup is we will have to pay our medical benefits out-of-pocket, at least until age 65 (4 more years). If he works, and he plans to, then our medical benefits will be covered.

I need to get my fitness level back to pre-2019. Between foot surgery in 2019 and gyms closing in most of 2020, I feel very out of shape. Once spring comes, I plan to visit nearby hiking trails and bike paths a few miles from the new home. For now, with winter in full swing, I bought a set of snowshoes and have already tried them. With the poles and 12 inches of snow, it is like an elliptical workout!

me and my snowshoes

As for writing projects, I plan to finish my fitness book, No Excuses Fitness, and get that self-published. I found it difficult to write about motivating others to be physically active when I was not. I am also reading more and have some review posts planned to highlight other bloggers’ books!

Did I mention I’m a bit bored? Living in someone else’s house limits a person. But as you read this post, we plan to drive to Couer D’ Aline, Idaho, just 30 miles away to watch the 100’s of bald eagles feed on the salmon in the lake. If I can capture an eagle with my camera lens, I can check off another bucket list item. Keep your fingers crossed!

I hope this post has inspired you to reflect on your own 2020 experience. The following photo challenges have inspired me as well:
Becky B’s Squares
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Lisa’s Bird weekly

Also linking to the Lens-Artists challenge this week Favorite Images of 2020.

I’m also linking this post to lovely Leslie’s at Once Upon A Time and Happily Ever After.

Won’t you join me for Sunday Stills in 2021? Thank you to all who have participated in Sunday Still these last three years!

Bitmoji

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: The #Textures of Our Lives

textured close-up

A similar theme to weathered from a few weeks ago, textures all around us seem to be abundant in Autumn. As we bundle up for warmth in the northern hemisphere, we wrap ourselves in textures.

Art is the colors and textures of your imagination.

Meghan Trainor

This week’s theme for Sunday Stills is texture if you haven’t figured that out already. Reminder to title your post differently than mine.

Textures in Nature

Close-ups of a fallen autumn leaves reveal a mix of textures.

textured leaves on the sidewalk
Ginkgo Leaf Carpet
textured close-up
Textured maple leaf

Our backyard was home to many species of birds. My favorites were the hummingbirds that darted and cavorted in and through the redwoods I planted years ago.

Fluffed up hummingbirdall fluffed up in BW

This little hummer was puffed up after a rain shower and is submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge (birds in color and mono) using “image compare” with the block editor. I also added the desaturated black and white version to Cee’s Black and White Challenge, Close-ups.

Man-made Textures

I meant to post this image of the fence for the previous auburn color challenge but find it works for texture, too. This is called a pine-pole fence which is what will eventually surround our new property.

Pine Pole Fence

Our backyard also shows a variety of textures with the deck planks, fences, and trees.

I will definitely miss my little yard.

The Textures of Our Lives

My daughters traveled to our house to spend their last Thanksgiving there before we move out in two weeks. Both were very young when we moved into the house in February 1988. My youngest was only a month old and it’s really the only house she ever knew until she moved out of the area in 2016.

We say goodbye to our family home

Hubby took some pics as my daughters reminisced how the house transformed the textures of our lives into indelible loving memories. After a walk through the house, hugging corners and outdoor trees, the girls drove away on Friday with tears in their eyes.

I discovered these partial lyrics written by Melissa Schneider (can’t seem to find a song that goes with these heartfelt words). Get a tissue…

Goodbye house it’s time to leave you
And I’m sure feeling low
I know you’re only pine and stone
But the time has come, so goodbye home

Goodbye house I’m gonna miss you
Your walls have sheltered us over the years
Memories overflow along with our tears
Never thought I’d say, oh goodbye home

Goodbye house goodbye home
You won’t be lonely long
Soon a brand-new family will call you their own
But our time is done, so goodbye home

Leaves are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day and Dawn’s Festival of Leaves photo challenges.

December themes are available on my Sunday Stills page. Please take a quick look and note that Susanne from Cats and Trails and Garden Tales is hosting on December 20, and there is no challenge on December 27.

I hope you all had a great week and enjoyed Thanksgiving for those who celebrated.

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

This is So Long For Now, Beloved Bloggers

Yosemite Girls

Yosemite Girls

The above image is of myself and my Beloved daughters enjoying a summer day in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. We just celebrated their late January birthdays, 30 for Lauren, 33 for Megan. I am honored to have passed on a strong leisure ethic to them.

This photo of Lembert Dome from the Tuolumne Meadows Campground depicts my beloved leisure space of all time. How fortunate my grandparents passed on their love of the mountains to my mother and dad, who in turn made sure we spent many hours at the beaches of San Diego, endless days of weekend outings and glorious weeks camping, keeping the values of leisure in a busy, fast paced world.

If you are wondering what any of this has to do with the title of this post, it means I am using this WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme to say a fond farewell to my beloved readers and bloggers.

As another year turned the corner, I made the difficult decision about this blog, Second Wind Leisure Perspectives.

Now is the time for me to take an extended break from writing and publishing.

I am both sad and a little relieved at this decision.

Teaching is Taking All My Time

Although I profess to be retired, I have been teaching part-time as a lecturer in the Recreation and Parks field, which requires more time than I initially expected. Going from one class per semester while also working full-time was one thing, to teaching 15 units a year, some semesters with 150 students, feels like full-time work.

And I dearly love it!

This spring semester I took on a new course teaching the management of leisure organizations. Simple enough one would think, but have you seen the mountains of management literature out there?

I read at least 100 pages of management literature every day, then synthesize it into curriculum and power point slides while making it all relevant to their assignments. I had to create this course from scratch because of my own management experiences in the field.

Last night I lectured from the textbook on the evolution of management theory. I told my 80 students that they will likely never remember Max Weber’s “Bureaucratic Method” of the depression years or Elton Mayo’s “Human Relations Approach” of the 50s and 60s. You could hear a pin drop as students dutifully listened to the lecture.

When I began the next lecture at 7:30pm on self-management, they began to flood me with questions. Suddenly, the energy in the room was exciting and palpable as I shared the latest trends on what it takes to be a new manager in the field. By the time I got home at 9:00pm, I was wired!

This is where my energy needs to be…

…with these university students, hungry for information on what will direct the rest of their careers.

In the blogging world, blogs come and go. I hope you learned a little something from me about finding a healthy balance of leisure in your own lives and that you make wise leisure choices going forward.

I will be visible on Facebook and Instagram  where I will continue to share my photos. I will also continue to read your posts when I can and I do hope to blog again at the end of the semester.

I cannot thank you all enough for the wonderful friendships and relationships I have built since I started consistently blogging in September 2014. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading, liking, commenting and sharing my posts.

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye…

…for now.

All my best,

Terri_signature_red