We were all ready to see  the past year of 2020 come to an end.  An even year that was odd in many ways.  A pandemic raged around the world and the President of the United States was impeached.  2021: The pandemic is still with us and the President of the United States is impeached…again.  Wait!  Deja vu will not overtake us!  There is hope:  democracy survived and vaccines are arriving. 

Meanwhile, back on the coast.  Odds and ends of life.

This year I will not be volunteering again for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) through United Way of the Coastal Bend.  I started out last year in January but COVID finally shut it down.  This year it started up again in February with different arrangements, again because of COVID.  Clients will be able to leave their documents of copies of documents in a sealed envelope.  Then they will be called back in about a week to review the return, make any changes or corrections and sign the return for filing.  I will really miss volunteering this year, but I thought it best to avoid additional exposure.  Maybe next year.

Good news on the exposure  side.  Husband and I had been on a waiting list for a COVID vaccine through our doctor’s office as the practice is affiliated with a large hospital.  Monday we were called in for our first dose of Pfizer and scheduled for our second one in three weeks; we are in Tier 2.    It was an easy process.  No side effects so far.

Yes, 2020 was a rough year as the pandemic affected us all in some way.  For many the financial impact made it even worse compounded by the uncertainty of when it would end.  Deaths continued as Americans debated the merits of in-person voting versus mail- in ballots to elect a president.  Schools opened and closed.

And life went on with love, laughter and loss. Babies were born and couples married. New careers were launched. I have learned not to take anything for granted.  Each day is a gift.  The seasons came and went as usual while we modified holidays and activities to include masks and social distancing.   Yes, we are  still a divided country in many ways, but surely there is more that unites us.  We will get through this.

New Orleans cancelled Mardi Gras parades this year because of the pandemic.  But you cannot stop the spirit of NOLA.  Residents were encouraged to transform their homes into floats.  There is a book, Porches on Parade, How House Floats Saved Mardi Gras.

Laissez les bon temps rouler – Let the good times roll!

Below is a link for the book.  A portion of the proceed will be donated to local artist funds.  If you scroll down, you can see some of the houses.

36 thoughts on “CHECKING IN FOR 2021

  1. I read about the house floats the other day–how cool is that! Thanks for the link to the pictures. I hope it will definitely be a better year, and thank you for the optimism. We finally have an appointment for our first vaccination in March.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Someone said Galveston, Texas was doing the same thing. Would love to see them. Here there is usually a Mardi Gras on the beach but I haven’t heard anything about it. We are expecting freezing weather starting Sunday so it would not be good beach weather.

      I have to work on keeping up a positive attitude. Some days I am afraid I will not even care to enter society after this is over! Getting that first vaccination helped! Glad you are scheduled to get yours. Thanks for the visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read that they were going to do house floats in Galveston, too. I was going to go down this weekend and check them out, but the weather forecast is increasingly grim. I don’t mind the cold quite so much, but freezing rain and sleet isn’t what you hope for if you want to drive the Causeway!

    My life goes on pretty much as usual, due mostly to my outdoor work and preference for solitary pursuits like nature photography. I’ll have my second dose of vaccine at the end of this month, but I’m not particularly worried about getting the virus. My health’s always been good, and (knock wood, and all that) it will stay that way. My number one chore today is getting over to Pearland to purchase some extra birdseed and peanuts from Wild Birds Unlimited. I think there are some critters that will appreciate it in the coming days.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I would love to see homes in Galveston decked out for Mardi Gras. There are so many lovely old homes there. Alas, going over a causeway or high bridge is not safe. We are expecting freezing rain and sleet here too. Husband did pick up at HEB today so we are set to stay in. I don’t have birdseed but we have plenty of peanuts. There have been robins around too and they seem to like hanging around the birdbath in back.

      We haven’t been really worried either as we are healthy for our age and don’t get out much. I would rather our working children had gotten them first, but the more of us that get them the better. You are fortunate in your work and things you like to do. Stay safe and warm!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great idea to turn your house into a float. I just talked to my brother in Germany, it’s bitter cold, only few people are getting the vaccine and Covid has reached the little village he lives in. My husband and I got our first shots and will get the second one in a couple of weeks. I am so relieved and hope that everyone is getting vaccinated real soon.


  4. Dear Jo Nell, What a lovely blog to read. I continue to be impressed by the resilience of so many people. What a relief for you and Bill to receive your first vaccine.. Now some of the stress will be removed from your life. I should receive my first vaccine shot in March. They are doing it by age groups so Lar will receive his a few weeks after me. I believe when this is all over we will look differently at how we live and function with other people. To be isolated for so long from your friends and family reminds us what is really important.. Stay safe. Be well. XXXOOO Virginia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, getting that first shot brings hope. Glad you and Lar will be getting yours soon. Canada seems to have a more practical and orderly method of administering them. It has been really hit and miss so we felt we were lucky to get them so soon. I agree that we will not look at life the same after the past year. And I realize that I don’t have time to waste at this age. Take care! I made Virginia’s Scones earlier in the week but they are all gone. Bill loves them! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Jo Nell I so love those words … Virginia’s in the kitchen with you. When The Tin Man and his partner were here Lar whipped up a batch to have with our afternoon tea. The boys were so impressed. XXXXOOO Virginia

        Liked by 1 person

    • People are so creative and the houses look so professional – almost better than actual floats. Perhaps they will continue instead of parades. Distribution here has been hit and miss with some waiting in their cars overnight. Stay well!


  5. I love the idea of house floats! My husband and I have our first doses and are waiting to schedule the second ones (hopefully towards the end of the month). Just sore arms for us, although I heard the second one often comes with more side effects. 2020 wasn’t bad for us either… but I realize we are privileged in so many ways. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you have gotten your first dose. Only sore arms for us too. We will see for the next one but I am ready. We have been privileged in many ways too and our children have been fortunate to continue working. I live the house float idea too. Any reason to celebrate and decorate. Many of us were ready to decorate for Christmas early. Let the good times roll whenever! Thanks for the house visit!


  6. I do think that 2021 will be better, much better. Certainly not perfect, but the vaccine means we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that the days when this virus rules the world are numbered. I also think we can become more unified, but we have to work at that. We have to realize that we are not a “blue” country or a “red” country, but actually a “purple” country, and that once we learn to stop listening quite so much to the far left and far right, that we will realize most people are good even if we don’t always agree.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, with the vaccines there is hope. And the virus hit the blues and the reds. That should be the common enemy, not each other. If we could just come more to the middle and try to see the other side. But I know, it is hard! We are all Americans and should want what is best for our country but still speak out when something or someone is not right. Families don’t always agree but we support each other. Take care

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! Speaking up for what is right isn’t the same thing as hating “the other side.” I’m not sure when so many lost the ability to distinguish between the two, but I hope that we can work toward being more tolerant and understanding of each other. It’s the only way forward, for all of us!


    • Thanks, Andrea. I just had not posted anything since late December. Perhaps the vaccination gave me hope. Take care. Bracing for freezing temps starting tonight and the next couple of days. We are just not used to such cold weather. Oh, well, it won’t last and the 80s temps will be back soon. Thanks for the visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Here we are all vaccinated, the whole village, for about a month. We are all invited now for our second jab. For 4 weeks now there was no Corona-infection in our area, but we all wear face masks when being outside, keep our distance and fought for strict lockdown rules. So people from outside are not allowed to visit our beaches.
    To get the jab was easy. We were invited and offered three dates in our next market town just 3 miles away.
    Have a happy week
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you! Your method getting shots is more orderly than ours. And you must be doing something right to have no infection in our area for 4 weeks! Weather is much better this week as it is warmer and the sun is out.


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