Tag Archives: Musings on Life

Good Things in a Pandemic World

Good Things in a Pandemic Word. New Mug, Coffee, and a Good Book!
Good Things in a Pandemic World. New Mug, Coffee, and a Good Book!

As 2021 approaches, I am spending some time looking back over 2020.

For the most part, I have considered 2020 as a year of putting my life on hold. I understand that for so many others, it was a year of illness, death, and financial hardship. I have fared better than many.

As the year comes to a close, I am more easily able to look back and see the big picture. A reason why so many start the New Year off with resolutions to change and make improvements. If I see 2020 as a year of my life being on hold, that is my choice. That means I can also make the choice to see it differently.

What if this year was a gift of solitude and introspection? If times were usual I no doubt would have kept on working in areas that I was familiar with after my retirement last year. It is easier to continue on with what you know than to make decisions and strike out on a new path. I would have kept searching for jobs in the water treatment industry. That was my career, and I was good at it. But I suspect that I can be good at many things. Do I want to stay on that path and wonder about the road not taken? Only time will tell.

There are many things I enjoy. Mostly, dogs, books, gardening, and writing. And I enjoy sharing them with others. I am free to pursue any or all of these. I have always thought that I am an “odd bird” because I have a technical, scientific mind, which was how I earned my living for many years. I also enjoy many right-brained pursuits. I am not just a left-brain or right brain kind of girl. Both sides of my brain fight it out for expression. (That may be why I sometimes get into trouble because of a busy mind!)The year of 2020 provided me an opportunity to look at my life as whole and make decisions about what I want to do with it.

I have also reflected on the fact that I have always been somewhat of a loner. The social meme “It’s too peopley out there” is one I understand. A year of isolation and separation forced by a pandemic, makes me rethink this too. It’s true that I enjoy my alone time and always will. But I now have more appreciation for social gatherings and hanging out with friends and acquaintances. (I never doubted my love and need to hang out with family.) I miss my friends with their smiles and hugs and conversations. Friends can also give us new insights and cause us to realize there are other opinions and reactions to situations. Friends make us think outside of ourselves. They help us to be whole, better rounded individuals.

Staying isolated is hard. But if we look at this over the span of an entire lifetime, it is a brief snapshot of time. How we will see this time when we look back on this period in our lives, will certainly be different that how we feel about it right now. And we get to choose how we will reflect on this time, when the years have passed.

Many have lost loved ones to this coronavirus and I am deeply sorry for them. What a terrible thing. Those losses will mark this as a dark time in history. That does not mean we cannot find a light in the darkness and use it to guide our way.

May peace be with you.

Casting A Stone


Last week was a sad one. A dear friend of mine named Becky lost her battle with cancer. She will be missed by many because she was quite an impressive lady. The rest of this story is going to be upbeat because that’s what Becky would have wanted. That’s just who she was.

You never went away from time spent with Becky without feeling better about yourself and the world in general. She had this Pollyanna view of the world and she believed so hard that we all wanted to be a part of that vision. Her’s wasn’t an idle vision. She did realize that as part of being human, we all need help. And that’s where she went into action. She would roll up her sleeves and help. People, animals, you name it and she wanted to be part of the solution. She was there for people, family,  dear friends,  or acquaintances, often even strangers. She would show up with a gift of food, an offer of transportation, a shoulder to cry on. She would see a need and fill it. And she would do so joyfully or commiserate with you. Whatever you needed, she provided. Becky was one of the most selfless people I have known. I am fortunate to have called her friend.


Many of Becky’s interests paralleled my own. Of course this means they involved dogs! I met her through my, new at the time, husband. They were friends from church. I hadn’t known Becky for too many months when she told me that between us she thought we could start a 4-H Petpals group. This is an animal assisted therapy group, kind of like therapy dogs but employing other types of animals too. Her daughter Rachel was also a founding member of our Petpals group. She had Rachel helping and working with us every step of the way. (Rachel is also a wonderful human being -she learned from the best. Like mother, like daughter. But that is a story for another day.) So we all had dogs certified to visit residential care facilities and some of “our kids” had rabbits that visited too. Previously if someone had told me that I would be involved as a 4-H advisor and supervising visits between pets, kids, and residents, I would have responded “Say what?” But Becky suggested it and I believed it was possible. Not too mention that meant I got the added benefit of spending time with her. She had that effect on people. And you know what? She was right. She went around spreading her special brand of magic, making others believe too. And more often than not, people rose to the occasion.

Becky also became a Professional Certified Dog Trainer. She helped a friend of mine with dog training issues. At no cost of course. She helped local rescues train their dogs so that they would be more adoptable. She and her family raised several dogs for seeing guide dog groups. She was involved with training for the Cell Dog programs in correctional facilities. She spread love to the people as she went about her work too. All the 4-H kids knew she cared about them. The seniors and kids that were visited knew her sincere and  caring ways. The folks in the dog program in jail were recipients of her thoughtfulness from magazines she saved for them to her kind, listening ear.

And Becky was involved in so much more. Church groups and causes, school events, sporting events, local issues, veteran’s events, and too many more to list. I’m sure that I don’t even know all the causes and people she helped. And through it all, she was a caring and thoughtful mother.

And when Becky was diagnosed with her illness, do you think it slowed her down? She may have reprioritized her life to take advantage of what was most important to her but she kept on going and doing those things. She continued to help others. She still volunteered and found ways to brighten the days of others. Over the past year she sent me a thinking of you card, shared a small gift, and sent inspirational emails. I’m sure she did the same for other friends too.

Memories of my friend make think of the following quote from Mother Teresa. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” It’s more like my friend cast a large rock into the waters with the number of lives that she touched.

I hope that as my tribute to my friend,  I can make the world just a little bit better by showing care and compassion to others. She’s a hard act to follow but she makes me want to leave the world a better place too.

Bravo, my friend.