Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard
2020 – a year of transitions
Last December we were frantically searching to find a place for Christmas dinner so that Tom & I could meet with the Gedney & Stern families. Albany turned out to be the halfway point & we actually had a nice meal & enjoyed spending the Holiday together. This year, with COVID flourishing, even going to a restaurant seems questionable.
It would be impossible to list all of the cordial gatherings that took place in the beginning of 2020, but there were many dinners & wonderful times with family & friends. When the pandemic began to take center stage, then walking together seemed to become the way to socialize.
We did tap out & made maple syrup, but already knew it would be our last season. Thanks to the folks who helped with the various tasks that sugaring entails. It was a blessing to have been able to stockpile some of our syrup, so we are still gifting & enjoying it.
It was a strange summer – much too warm & humid for such an extended period in VT. As a result, swimming in Echo Lake was almost a daily ritual & we were glad to have several friendly points of access. Lake George provided a delightful outing for my 75th birthday.
Then came the end of July & the world turned upside-down. On a beautiful summer day, Tom & I brought Owen (9) & Landon (7) to the state park on Echo Lake. The boys & I dove right in and they quickly garnered quite a collection of rocks. We took them back to the shade to show Poppy & soon a lesson in juggling began. Later the boys ventured back into the water with Tom while I remained in the shade. As usual, he swam out further to enjoy some solitary time in the water. When the boys returned & we realized that Tom was missing, I quickly surmised what had happened.
Blessing: a beautiful day with family, a gentle sinking below the surface in a beloved lake, & a peaceful transition to eternity. Because of COVID we were only able to gather a few at a time to honor Tom – at the cemetery, on Echo Lake & at Lake George. The tender presence of family & friends via calls, cards, & emails has been a great comfort. We have many fond memories & funny stories & now a wonderful structure built by Chris called Poppy’s Place.
I hope that all of you reading this can smile as you recall Tom & the times you shared with him. I believe he would like that. I certainly would appreciate it. In peace & love, may the New Year bring you abundant joy & blessings.
With heartfelt affection,
Advent leads from darkness to light
Heavy hearts can find their load lightened
As the days lengthen, our spirits can be brightened
For with the Love that came to illuminate our way
We can rejoice in past joys & look forward to new blessings
May it be so –