Thursday, December 31, 2020

So Long, 2020!

2020 will be a year people talk about for a long time. 

I like to focus on the positive, so here are some highlights from the year, in no particular order:

  • Comet NEOWISE was the first visible comet to the naked eye in quite awhile. I loved trying to find the best places to photograph it.
  • We broke our previous record for our Backyard Bird Count (set in 2019 with 45 species) with 47 species for 2020 (see sidebar).
  • I read a lot of books and listened to more. I'm starting to keep better track because I get most from Overdrive (the free app that lets you check books out of your library.) One that I listened to and then had to buy was Dare to Lead by Brene Brown, which is chock full of great advice on how to be a good leader (care about people, don't avoid the hard conversations, and communicate clearly are three main takeaways). 
  • Our family stayed relatively healthy.
  • I joined Toastmasters in October and have really enjoyed the weekly meetings to improve public speaking skills and leadership as well as listening and evaluation skills.
  • I got to do a fair bit of caving despite the pandemic, visiting caves in Nevada, Wyoming, and Arizona. This included finding some new caves and mapping them with the kids, teaching cave rescue, plus learning so much more about cave geology, cave LiDAR, and more.
  • We explored a bunch of our "big backyard." I especially enjoyed trips to the Fortification Range and the North Snake Range in Nevada. 
  • We decluttered the house a little more. 
  • Work was very productive for me this year, with lots of projects that could be done from home or out in the field. I particularly enjoyed helping with the inventory of Lehman Caves, lint camps, breeding bird and Christmas bird surveys, writing grant proposals, LiDAR of the Lehman Caves tour route, and learning more about the only glacier in Nevada.
  • Our local trails projects have gotten off the ground, with funding secured and progress happening (although slower than I wanted, there is some light at the end of the tunnel).
  • The kids have learned some new skills. Desert Girl has really improved her sewing with the help of a couple wonderful local women. Desert Boy has taken up forging and with the help of his cousin got his 3D printer working.

  •  Desert Girl has really bloomed with daily horse chores and weekly horse riding lessons.
  • The kids had a (mostly) successful 4-H year. (Desert Girl had issues with her sheep and wasn't able to show in the fair, but everything else went well, and she was delighted to get to show a goat in the round robin competition.)
  • My Aunt Pat passed away, and I have fond memories of her from various family gatherings. 
  • Ice skating was lots of fun.
  • We watched the kids grow amazing amounts this year and get better than me at things like cross-country and downhill skiing, running (Desert Boy beat me at Thanksgiving in a family 5k), and short hikes. 

I hope you've been able to find some bright spots in 2020. How we deal with our lives when they don't exactly follow the path we we thought we were taking tells us so much about ourselves. Here's hoping we can learn and have an even better 2021! Happy New Year!


topoDcat said...

I enjoy your posts! best in 2021

Unknown said...

Thanks for all your posts. They always return me to a magical land.

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