Thank you @Katie, for inviting me to make a contribution to this year’s Remember in December. I recall last year celebrating the new coming in while on the beach with my large extended family and some guests from Croatia. At the time, I said that the year 2020 would be a year of clarity when we looked upon reflection. In the USA, perfect vision in a visual acuity test is often referred to as 20/20, meaning that a person can clearly see what’s 20 feet (6.1 meters) away. I don’t claim to be in the least be prophetic, but I certainly wasn’t wrong that the events in this past year opened the eyes of many, and made them see things that they hadn’t previously noticed, but were always there to be seen.
There were numerous inequities that were highlighted, the one that most struck me was the sudden lack of food security for a segment of the population who previously never had that concern. With the instantaneous shutdown of government agencies, business closures and businesses forced into issuing refunds, millions of people were left vulnerable with no way to earn an income and unable to get assistance from their local municipality. There were news stories showing people in vehicles lined up for miles to get a free food basket so their families could eat for the next week. Many of us are unfamiliar with the sort of helplessness that one must feel when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from. We’re used to being able to go to our local grocery market, and chose from a plethora of offerings. The lockdowns/lockouts triggered an uncontrollable level of anxiety for a lot of people who now realized that they were not that much different that the panhandlers they saw on the streets begging for money just to put something in their bellies.
This anxiousness was palpable in the discussions posted on this community board. Especially, those that wrote about the refunds that had been given against their stated cancellation policy and without their permission. They had no income, but still had bills to pay, and were fearful of losing what they had.
Life is all about lessons learned, and bad times often brings out the good in individuals. Some people became very resourceful, and started planting their own gardens, community gardens, or in pots. Since they didn’t have money to buy seeds, they learned how to germinate seeds from foods that they had purchased, shared and exchanged seeds and seedlings with their friends, family members, and others in their communities. These actions build ingenuity and strengthen community, and are the things that help us all through difficult situations. I am confident that the comments shared on virtual communities like this one have helped people actually live through problems that they wouldn’t have been able to face without the support (and sometime chastising) of others who spoke up, because they cared about someone’s wellbeing.
Rather than let food spoil, restaurants and food suppliers gave away their perishables or sold them at a deep discount to help feed hungry people. Even through unfortunate there came goodness. Such as, there now are channels in place for famers to funnel their produce, cattle, eggs and milk to charitable organizations, and they will not have to destroy some much of it like earlier this year. Now that we have some idea of what the more immediate future will look like, and know that social distancing and masks are not going away in 2021 even with the rollout of vaccines. More so than any other difficult period in our history, we will need to continue to figure out ways to be prepared to handle disruption to our life routine, and help ourselves and each other while we navigate through this period when we are establishing a new normal. You are still allowed to complain, get upset, become frustrated, and be contradictory, but please don’t stop adding your perception, because we all need to keep each other aware of what may be just out of sight.
I write my post in memory of my dad, Marty, who would have celebrated his 87th birthday today. He didn't like gardening, but he was quick to lend a hand to anyone who needed. The funniest thing that I remember about him is that for his own convenience, he often typed in ALL CAPS. Maybe he was really yelling at me. I dunno, because I was just too amused.
Stay safe everyone.
Thanks @Debra300 for your lovely post, for I could hear your voice, through it!
One thing that 2020 has reminded us: Is that life and mortality are fragile, both precious and the not negotiable end game.
So whilst we have memories, we can always remember that life will go on ........ whilst we have passion, those memories are so much more colourful.
I think Marty might think the same, for he sounds like he was a kind, practical and pragmatic man! We need to honour ourselves and others.
Thanks for sharing @Debra300, some very sage advice there! Life is certainly about lessons learned - as they say, 'you should never make the same mistake twice' 🙂
Did you grow any new produce yourself?
I love that your dad used to write in all caps - I have several family members who do the same. I think they just know how to make themselves heard 😊
All of the garden pictures are mine. We just took seeds from fruits and vegetables that we purchased from the market. After they dried, Keep Cool germinated the seeds by placing them in moist paper in ziplock bags.
Here's a link about paper towel germination: https://www.gardenbetty.com/starting-seeds-in-coffee-filters-or-paper-towels/.
The gardener can plant in the ground or pots, and will need enough space for the leaves to spread as the vegetables grow:
@Debra300 love the initiative. We should all be thinking more how we can be self sufficient & continue support of our local farmers. In Sydney we have a wonderful company Oz Harvest that nourish those less fortunate, run by a sensational woman Ronni Kahn. Can highly recommend a book she has written a book called ‘A Repurposed Life’.
Thank you for such a lovely post and the warm sentiments, which I'm sure resonates with most readers. 2020 certainly has been a year that will go down in history; we've all been given a reality check. If there ever was a time to do a 20/20 check of our eyesight, then this is the moment. Near or Far-sighted, we've been compelled to reassess the way we live our lives. I believe it's now time to get a new pair of prescription glasses to deal with our own individual myopia.
Happy Holidays, Safe Christmas and , Best Sishes for 2021
@Debra300 Thank you for this positive and heartwarming post. That word "heartwarming" is used a lot at this time of year, but it is the right word for ideas like yours that make us feel hope and see the goodness that can come out of difficulty. Love the idea of 2020 giving us the vision we need to move forward. And your dad is adorable.
Adversity makes us better people......I should be a bloody saint by now!!!
You have become resourceful, and doesn't it feel good when you can pick that produce you have nurtured for weeks and months, savour in it's freshness and lovely flavour, a flavour us older ones had almost forgotten. These days with Supermarket merchandising, produce is picked for marketability, not maturity, and bought produce is just plain tasteless and bitter. The joy of hopping into your very own grown tomatoes, Sweetcorn, watermelon, strawberries is indescribable.....it's a world we had almost forgotten!
Hey Debra, today is a special day but, believe me, your father is still there with you!
I heard a saying a few years ago I was so taken with and, I think it's appropriate here......
Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation. No one actually leaves us until the ripples they cause in the world die away.
The ripples your father created are still strong and far reaching.....remember that Deb.
I love your creative responses and observations to the food supply issues @Debra300 and these are skills that people, once acquired, carry with them for the rest of their days, especially once they appreciate the benefits of home-grown and fresh of the 'vine'/'bush' picked as needed! A beautiful lesson learned in difficult times, another wonderful positive to add to the mix. Keep up the great work, and thank you for sharing! Have a very safe 2021!