2020 : A Year In Watercolor

2020, The year that almost was. It was quite a year for all of us. Who would have thought the year would take such drastic twists and turns on January 1, 2020? We were still business as usual in WV until March rolled around, when hints of things to come began surfacing. Before you knew it many of us were working from home, simultaneously home schooling our children.

Those of us fortunate enough to have home offices adapted fairly quickly, but many were working from home for the first time, setting up makeshift office spaces from their kitchen tables or in corners of their bedrooms. The same had to be done for children so they could have space to do homework and have zoom classes with their teachers. Rural WV in particular has issues with internet connectivity. It’s assumed that everyone has internet access, but that is not always the case in our mountain state. Mobile hotspots were set up in various places around Morgantown to give families internet access so children could turn in homework assignments. It wasn’t optimum but it helped.

For me, with more time available in the early mornings hours at home, I was able to delve into my hobby of sketching and painting with a bit more enthusiasm. I attempted to make a collage of my past year’s work for this post but I found that I had more work than the collage of 50 pictures could handle. I improvised by spreading them all out on the floor to show the madness that 2020 became! I also started this blog, which was something I had often thought about doing for years but never quite had the time. Finally I had the time and thought, why not? And what a great journey it has been! Not only do I feel more connected to the people in my own little corner of the woods, but I feel more connected to people all around the world. I have connected with fellow bloggers from every continent and I look forward to checking in with their stories every morning. The sense of community and friendship has been incredibly rewarding and I look forward to a new year of opportunity. I have found such joy in connecting with people this year. I hope you have had similar experiences.

Sure, the year was challenging, but there were positive results as well. We had more time together as a family. We cooked every day at home, had breakfast, lunch and supper together. We took field trips to our local Botanical Gardens and State Parks. For the first time in the 6 years in my community, I met neighbors on walks, joined our local Facebook page, shared photos and recipes, and had smores over a socially distanced campfire in the neighborhood. We discovered the frogs in our neighborhood pond on our evening walks. We looked forward to walking down each evening to see the wildlife changes around our little pond. My husband started carrying his camera in the evenings to capture the moments as they unfolded in our little neighborhood. He has lots of frog pictures. He has uploaded a few frog pictures on his blog https://photos-as-art.com/

The year was a challenging one for parents too. Parents who thought they could never teach their children have done it, and have done a great job of it too! Many have told me how their children and their pets have enjoyed the cohesiveness of family life again. I know that in time we will all be leaving our houses again in the mornings to go back to school and back to our workplaces. When we do, we will have fond memories of our time spent together in our homes during the crazy year that was 2020 and in so doing, remember to always carve out family time from our hectic schedules. The times were uncertain, yes, but we were together, we could slow down a bit, help each other and help our neighbors and that is a good thing. That was the good that came out this year, that and all the watercolor paint tubes I bought! For me, the journey to creativity opened up for me this year and I could not be more grateful. I hope you found good in this year too.

So, let’s take this love and togetherness and carry it into the New Year!

Happy New Year 2021,

Helen

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