Nobody needs to remind you, 2021 was rough year in more than a few ways. But in all the year-end reflections, how about a look a what went right? With that in mind …
Today’s Thread: What was one of the silver linings for you during 2021? We’re talking something personal, something in the community, the fact that two Popeye’s are coming to town … anything. What’s one thing that put some sort of positive spin on a trying year?
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A silver lining: over the years this community has seen competition in healthcare, dating back to the Home Hospital and St. E days. They always worked together for the good of the community. However, throughout this pandemic, we have walked this journey hand in hand, Franciscan and IU Health, making certain that the community is prepared and patients are given their best chance for outstanding care, all in the midst of great uncertainty. Friendships have been forged, communications have been opened wider than ever before and we are truly all in this together in the healthcare arena. That’s an outstanding silver lining in the midst of this challenge, one that we could have never predicted or prepared for, but we are working together to ensure our community is protected.
I have been volunteering at the Tipp. County Health Dept vaccine clinic since April. It has been such a pleasure to work alongside people who are so upbeat and kindly giving of their time and skill. It is not uncommon for a vaccinator to finish their volunteer shift and go straight to work their nursing shift. Even though they are working long hours, they remain cheerful and full of patience and praise for the people getting vaccinated. Especially when vaccines were in short supply, it was great to see the excitement and relief by the folks coming in for vaccinations.
I am impressed by the people in our community - there are so many good folks out there!
Two things come to mind immediately: Lafayette Urban Ministry serving Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds who othewise would not have had a Thanksgiving meal and volunteers placing wreaths and every single grave site at the Soldiers Home cemetery.
I learned some new skills and made upgrades for my freelance work! Learned how to do 3D printing and 3D modeling. I got my FAA Commercial drone license for my video work, as well as built myself a cinema cam rig. Made my first mini documentary. I quit a job I loved but was working me to death to pursue my freelance work full time, and made progress on starting an online shop to make props. Just overall proud of excited that I slowly nurtured my creativity to finally make a return.
I had the opportunity to install, alongside a landscaper and native-plant provider and expert, a mixed, mostly-native garden I’ve been designing for some time. Putting hundreds of plants in the soil with my own two hands was both literally and figuratively grounding. It was very gratifying to be able to shape something positive in one little slice of our planet even as so many negative forces and events swirl all around us.
I signed a contract to write a book, and I've even made progress on it!
After more than a year with no in person dining, we successfully reopened La Scala for dine in. We were able to maintain 5 staff members through the pandemic and hired amazing new ones. We have always been blessed with amazing employees, but they have become family in a richer, deeper way than ever before. We've supported each other through illness and emotional breakdowns, but also celebrated milestones together. Our own little family of three has been through many traumas this past two years, but we have been supported by a beautiful La Scala family.
In a year when so many politicians unabashedly passed laws making it difficult—perhaps impossible—for some Americans to vote, it was gratifying to see Tippecanoe Co. Commissioners go through the redistricting process in a fair-minded, bipartisan way.
Of course, medical personnel and other frontline workers must be lauded for working so heroically through the Covid pandemic. I’d also like to thank the staff of the Tippecanoe County Public Library—a wonderful local resource that has been particularly valuable during this long lockdown.
Bigger picture: I was incredibly impressed with Purdue students and the level of commitment on the part of the large percentage of them to doing what needed to be done during the depths of the pandemic. Truly, These Kids Today are alright.
Personally, watching my kid win state in tennis was a highlight. And vaccine availability for my younger son in November has been huge for our peace of mind.
Both of my daughters are having their first babies in the coming months. It takes faith to bring new life to the world at the moment-so I take it as a positive for the future.
I started playing some solo music gigs with my guitar and my suitcase drum (farmers' markets, busking) and had a blast! Made a few bucks too. Someone in New York left a fiddy in my guitar case!
I have a ton of things to be happy and grateful about but I'll go with the first thing that jumped to mind: I got to see my kids be part of a state fair band performance that was fantastic - an all time best placement for the school. The fact that my son had one of the solos in that performance made my heart swell with unearned pride!
In 2020, we lost my dad to covid. My two daughters lost in-person school and all the socialization and growth that comes from being off to college. It was a dark, sad year. In 2021, I’m so grateful that we’re all vaccinated, none of us are sick, and both daughters are off to college and having the lives they were meant to have. Just watched our oldest practicing with the Purdue band for the halftime show for tomorrow’s bowl game. Last week, attended the crossroads classic and watched our youngest play with the IU pep band. Being a pharmaceutical research chemist, I’m grateful that vaccines have allowed some normalcy to return to our lives.
Dad died one year ago today. He had been in the hospital for two weeks. The nurse held an iPad to his face so I could say goodbye. I talked to him for 15 minutes, telling him how proud I was to be his daughter. We made eye contact and then he died. It’s so sad and it was an awful way to die. He was so proud of his grandchildren. He would be so happy they are off to college and having a somewhat normal year.
I experienced a lot of change in my workplace at many levels. There was a lot of uncertainty and a bit of angst over how it would turn out. But in the end, everything worked out for the best. Sometimes when you have no control over changes that could affect you negatively, you just have to ride it out and adjust as necessary.
So grateful for all the work that the county health department is doing to protect our community. They are all working tireless hours to keep us informed and keep us safe from Covid. Proud to be a small part of what they are doing. I have been volunteering since the end of January and while I haven't been able to volunteer as much as I did at the beginning, I am committed to continuing until they don't need me anymore.
It has also been lovely to see some signs of "normal" especially for our kids. Marching band and pep band have returned. WL marching band had an all time best finish at state fair. It is these memories that I will carry with me into the future.
I quit my old job, and, after struggling for a couple months, found one that gave me benefits and some more money. It was an awful year for me, but my new job has helped me keep it together.
Looking around for what I can do to make things easier for others. I certainly made the bees, and hummingbirds happier with changing by the week wildflower gardens. My dog pal appreciates the time we've spent with her the past 2 years, and we appreciate all her kind too. I've grown many meals from seed, I have tomato sauce in the pantry I grew, then canned back in August/September. I've become a garlic farmer. Learning some Italian via DuoLingo. I'm enjoying YouTube graduate school and sharpening new skills in Adobe Premier.
My Only daughter got married this year so I have a Son-in-law. Awesome. (It's the simple things)
We welcomed another grandson to the family and he is a sweetie, even though he is officially one of the 'Coronial' generation.
My sons and I were able to visit my great grandparents farm on Cape Rosier and see where my father was born. We had never been there before and we stayed at the Hiram Blake Camp at Weir Cove. I'm the first in my father's family to be born outside of Brooksville, Maine since the 1760s when Joshua Gray brought his 4 sons to build the fort at Castine before the Revolutionary War. My grandparents divorced when my father was an infant, so I didn't ever know that side of the family. It was a wonderful home coming to be on the Cape. In the Lafayette community, after being fully vaccinated I hosted my book club at Walt's Pub for a Mike Kelsey show and that was the first time in 19 years that we had all been together. Mike had played my son's graduation party where my book club ladies played hostesses in 2002 when my husband was still alive. Despite the hardships of the last two years of plague, I am grateful for live music, friends and family. May this next year bless you and your families and may you find hope in new and old places.
Overall, this pandemic has brought me Zoom. Through it, I now speak to far-flung siblings more regularly than ever before. It's not the same as in person, but it's way better than letters and phone calls.
Not dead yet.