2020 in Review

As with many people I am glad this year is almost finally over. To think back to January, it started on a crazy positive note, I got a new job. I wasn’t seeking a new job, I did it on a whim, it happened. I was very excited because they allowed me to still take my vacation to Michigan. Shortly after receiving my good news my Grandma Helen passed, I was unable to move my plane tickets so I could fly home for her funeral. I flew to Michigan at the end of January for my Grandma Dona’s birthday, the only people who knew was my dad, my brother and my best friend (okay probably the whole city knew but my mom & grandma did not).

The flight there was delayed or canceled three times. My brother ended up picking me up at O’Hare because I would have had an 11 hour layover at O’Hare (it is a 45 minute drive from Milwaukee). I got to meet my niece, she was maybe two months old and still had the new baby smell. We then drove to Michigan and surprised my mom and grandma at Bingo. It is a great memory.

I knew that it would be the last time, we had fun, we talked. I walked around recording her so I would have it. It was hard knowing that would be it, we still had fun and I was under strict instructions not to come home for the funeral. This was before COVID, before masks and the toilet paper shortages.

The last photo with my grandma, it is a great photo.

In March, I was a finalist for the Tourism Leadership Council annual awards. This was the last big event before COVID shut everything down. I didn’t win, I didn’t expect to, maybe some day, it was not my time. My job was going amazing, I was giving tours, running errands, giving ideas to help create some amazing packages. Everything was going incredibly well, then St. Patrick’s Day was canceled. Every group we had on the books canceled. The world was on fire and there was no help. I was laid off on March 20th, I expected it and was crushed at the same time. I had my dream job and it was taken away by an invisible virus that was taking over everything.

Me and my former Director of HR at the gala. The last event before masks.

I was home with the dogs, I painted and started some household chores. Then they moved all school virtual. So all four of us were home, we couldn’t go anywhere and we could not find toilet paper. Seriously, toilet paper, hoarding for the apocalypse I never thought of toilet paper would be one of the items. I also decided to finish the living room floor, after about a week of constant working, we had a new living room floor.

My pretty floor – only took 7 years

Many people who follow my blog (or what is left of it) know I paint. I finally was able to pull together a collection, this was quite a feat. I also was accepted into a gallery in downtown Savannah, something I had been talking about for several years. I have even sold a painting in the gallery and on my Etsy Store. I do need to start painting again soon, I needed a break.

I got a call from one of the local tour companies to see if I wanted to come back to work. I agreed for 2-3 days a week. It was an experience, the people who were visiting didn’t believe in masks or social distancing. It was a rough couple of months. I was finally called back to my job in July, only 2 days. I agreed to work the front desk three days to help. It has been a learning experience and it makes me wish we had our old clientele back.

Wearing my mask in a hotel.

In the mists of all of that my Grandma Dona passed. It was rough, she taught me how to paint, how to appreciate art, go after what I want, be honest and work hard. She is a big part of who I am, I took the loss hard, I knew it was coming but it still sucked. I also couldn’t fly home, Georgia was on the quarantine list. I watched the funeral on Zoom it was bizarre and fitting for someone who didn’t want a funeral. With her passing they have been cleaning out her house and over 10,000 dolls. My mom says they have made zero progress, they are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. I know there are lots of presents under the tree this year (almost everything came from the collection) I really hope I don’t cry when I open something. I know some of the items, I also know my family so there could be some creepy ass shit in there (seriously, she had some creepy as hell dolls). It is fitting because my grandma loved Christmas, she loved baking cookies and giving gifts. She always had a birthday cake for Baby Jesus, I never asked where that tradition came from we had cake and who doesn’t like cake with a side of cookies.

I have gotten a lot of very sentimental items, things I was shocked she saved. A letter I wrote to Santa, pictures of Jillian, lots of little things I never thought I would ever see again. My brother got his stack, in his stack was a script we wrote when we would pretend we were WWF (WWE) stars. It was amazing and wholly crap did we have some insane imagination and great typing skills. My grandma’s house is a time capsule, with her dolls and all her ghosts. I won’t be able to comprehend the house being empty. I do hope either my brother or my cousin decide to buy the house and completely renovate it (there is paneling in several rooms). The potential for that house, once empty is amazing, full basement (complete with ghost), upstairs needs heat, still a ton of potential.

I was making Christmas cookies this week and kept adding because I wanted to honor both grandmas. I can’t believe I lost both this year. It hit me Thanksgiving when I went to make the phone calls. There have been many times I have been talking to my mom and I said, just ask grandma. Oh wait, you probably don’t want to break out the Ouija board.

The other cool thing I did this year was become a Poll Worker. It is something I thought about for years but it took a Global Pandemic to finally get me to do it. I love it, I help people vote – well not really help. I am there so others can vote, which is pretty cool.

I’m a poll worker! Isn’t that sweater fantastic?

I did make a big ass gingerbread house, well hotel. I learned a lot, like starting way before 5 days is a smart thing to do. It was stressful but yet enjoyable after seeing the completed piece.

Big ass gingerbread house

I sit here contemplating what will come next, will I get to go back to my real job or is it a pipe dream? Or will I be forever stuck on the front desk? I will say I am one step closer to Les Clef d’Or but I need to get back on the concierge desk.

I am hoping for a less dramatic 2021, no lockdown, not as much heartbreak. I usually try to pick a word so I am going with optimistic. I am optimistic, 2021 will not be as big of a dumpster fire, FUBAR, shitshow as 2020 was. Here’s to a beautiful new beginning – CHEERS!

Cheers to an optimistic 2021!

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