Thirty-one days until we say so long to the year 2021. There are a number of things I will not miss about the year, but there were many wonderful memories made as well. I will not burden you with all the items on my bad list as this is the season of good cheer.
My seven grandchildren are the absolute best in ways too numerous to mention, but I will mention some anyway. They are all brilliant, talented in a wide range of interests, kind, fun and funny, respectful, loving, adorable, gorgeous and, in my humble opinion, the most wonderful group of grandchildren on the planet!
The beginning of 2021 left much to be desired as far as being with the grandchildren due to the virus. We managed to get through it without being affected, but I missed seeing and being with the Charlotte grandchildren and spending limited time with the ones who live here. This will be my only negative comment, although…no, I said I wouldn’t burden you.
Moving onto spring, soccer games were back. Several of the grandchildren were involved and, with masks on, were once again outside running up and down fields and seeing friends. Outdoor birthday parties were held and enjoyed by one and all. Seeing as how we had all been basically quarantined from anyone outside of family, it was a joy to be with friends safely distancing. And, although masks were/are still the accessory of the day, it was great being together.
Our travels had been seriously curtailed, so we enjoyed being on our children’s boats. Our Charlotte grandchildren had a wonderful time going for boat rides and playing in the ocean off uninhabited islands. Fishing off the boat or dock, playing corn hole and other outdoor games, and a water slide provided a lot of entertainment on hot summer days. And Labor Day weekend meant a family getaway to the Virginia mountains. The weather was beautiful and there was swimming, hiking trails, rope courses, games and apple picking to keep us busy.
As fall rolled in, it was finally time for our family trip to Disney World. This is a trip all 15 of us enjoy every two years. Except for the heat and humidity, we had a wonderful time. With a new reservation system in place to keep the individual parks from getting overcrowded, we managed to ride and see everything we wanted – some new rides and experiences and many favorites gave us much to talk about at the end of the day. Over the six days in the parks, I managed to walk more than 50 miles. I felt good, but my feet let me know they did not.
Halloween was a hit with the grandchildren. Last year’s idea of setting up outside for the trick or treaters carried over to this year. We all love this idea and hope it will be the new norm. Parents got to meet and have a short visit with friends and neighbors while the children got their treats and looked at the decorations. One house even had a Halloween cartoon playing outside with hay bales to sit on and take a little break – good for parents and children alike.
Thanksgiving brought us all together, and we have much to be thankful for. I love all the delicious food, the warmth of the home, the decorations and the tradition started by my father-in-law of having everyone write a note saying what they are thankful for. On Saturday, some of us drive to Ashe County to cut down a Christmas tree; another thing my husband and I have done since before our daughters were born.
I now look forward to taking the older grandchildren who live here to buy food for the food bank. They put one thing we bought in a box each day like a reverse advent calendar. Last year, my granddaughter had so much fun picking out items while I was explained to her what the food bank was all about. She is excited about doing it again this year – the start of a new tradition.
Whatever your 2021 was like, I hope you can still look back and smile as you remember some of the wonderful memories you made with your grandchildren. However you celebrate the season, I wish you joy and memories you will cherish. Oh, and Happy New Year!