Our Pandemic Year: ‘Then mother Earth showered us with the gift of a baby’

  • The author with her new grandchild. (Photograph courtesy of Micki Colbeck) Photograph courtesy of Micki Colbeck

For the Valley News
Published: 3/13/2021 10:30:16 PM
Modified: 3/13/2021 10:30:13 PM

There are many reasons to put off creative projects although most excuses can be explained by inertia.

Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, and Rene Descartes all said it well, that objects at rest will stay at rest unless they are propelled by an external force. This is known as Newton’s First Law of Motion.

If there is any good news about the pandemic it is how, in an effort not to be depressed, many of us have become highly creative. The pandemic has shaken up our world, becoming the force needed to push those excuses sliding downhill.

A perfect storm, a trifecta of disasters hit this house a year ago. The dark clouds of COVID-19 were circling closer, forcing us to stay home. My somewhat mindless but very social job at a college café disappeared. The doors to one of my volunteer jobs making maps were closed.

Then Carl’s cancer, which had been tamped down, came roaring back for months of brutal warfare. The house was filled with hospice workers and family; then, in April, everyone was gone.

It is hard for me to separate these events, as they became one. I was now alone, in a shamble of a house, with no job to go to and no one to look after. Carl used to remind us not to waste disasters but to see them as opportunities for growth. I took that advice to heart and started out by shoveling a couple of decades of clutter either to the dumpster or to new homes. Thousands of books went out to the front yard to the “Sunshiny Day Book Giveaway Table.”

Then Mother Earth showered us with the gift of a baby.

My daughter had her first, so I offered to help take care while she and her partner work from their basement. I had forgotten how much fun babies are. Their emotions change by the minute. I am dredging up songs I sang to my babies and songs my mom sang to us.

Friends during the pandemic have become the gold bullion. Taking walks together can be the high point of a day. Random strangers who run by the house I now consider friends as they stop to share stories.

As rich as my life was becoming with baby cuddling and walks with friends and dogs, I needed something creative and difficult to be my pandemic accomplishment. I got out my old Martin guitar and started toughening up hands and fingertips.

I then signed up for weekly lessons to learn jazz and classical guitar.

I want to be able to say that I accomplished something during the pandemic. I want to be able to stand up to the first law of motion and get things flowing again.

Micki Colbeck lives in Strafford.

‘Our biggest and best news is a fifth grandchild’

My husband and I and our family and friends remain healthy. We congratulate our president on his efforts to ensure more units of vaccine and multiple vaccine centers are available nationally.

Our biggest and best news is a fifth grandchild, born in June. She joins our four older granddaughters.

Pre-COVID-19, if grandpa didn’t chauffeur grandma down to the families every two weeks, his life wasn’t worth living. The norm now is visits — few and far between — that take place outdoors.

My younger sister has set up weekly Zoom conversations. They’re marvelous, since we five siblings are scattered in three states.

We have curtailed road trips and restaurant outings. I enjoy cooking and baking but am going overboard lately. The fridge is “filled to the gills.” Whatever “gills” are.

When I should be decluttering I’m rereading favorite authors: Berg, Francis, Goden, Grafton, Grisham, Heyer, Montgomery, Pilcher.

There was no tulip vacation in Holland last spring. About two months ago we heard that it is again postponed. Ah, well, we’re alive.

Finally, may I invite you all to our weekly Spanish group on Wednesdays, at 3 p.m., in the back yard of the Windsor Library — hopefully, once the snow is gone.

Paula Dart lives in Windsor.




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