"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Retrospective on 2021 by looking back on my Sunday Salon posts: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Sunrise. View from our front door on Dec. 26th. It started snowing on Christmas night, so technically we had a "White Christmas."

2021 started off quite good: Biden had been elected President and a COVID vaccine was becoming available. My first post of the year reflected my optimism. Don and I had made a trip to Paradise on Mt. Rainier on a beautiful, clear day. Things were looking up. Sunday Salon (SS): A New Year in Photos. I might have had an inkling that all was not completely well, however, since this is one of the funnies I included in that post:

Then January 6th happened.

Bad and ugly: MAGA-loving "patriots" descended on Washington, DC and stormed the capitol in a clear insurrection attempt. My Sunday Salon post that week asked "Will We Survive This?" Though there was a lot of bad news that week, there was also much to celebrate like the election of two Democratic Senators in Georgia and happy moments with my family. I added more funnies to this post than ever before or since. I guess I figured everyone needed to find something to laugh about. I know I did. Here is one of those funny memes sent to me by my daughter who loves the play Les Miserables as much as I do.

I had to stay focused on the future, something good was on the horizon. My next two Sunday Salon posts focused on the upcoming Biden Inauguration. Surely our long nightmare was coming to an end. After the inauguration on January 20th came and went I lived in the happy afterglow of the events of that day for weeks afterwards. My Sunday Salon post that week celebrated that afterglow and I highlighted many of the virtual moments from that day and the actual ceremony. One of my favorite "events" was the virtual parade. This part of the "parade" is called Dance Across America.  It is so much fun to re-watch this even today months after the inauguration. I urge you to watch it, too. It is only 3 minutes long and I guarantee it will make you smile.

There were also the funny moments during the inauguration that took on a life of their own. Among them Bernie Sanders showing up to the inauguration in his big mittens looking like he just stopped off at the post office before he arrived. People had a heyday making Bernie into a meme afterwards. My daughter even crocheted a Bernie doll to memorialize the event. (See more Bernies here.)

It snowed here in February. On my Valentine's Day post I talked about how COVID was still raging in America and we were all waiting our turn to get the vaccine. In the meantime, we still had to attend meetings and church via Zoom. So did other people. This clip is the funniest example of a Zoom meeting going awry, in a courtroom setting. I laugh every single time I watch it. 

In mid-March we are starting to feel like we are emerging from a very long winter. (Sunday Salon: Emerging) On one good day, Don and I got our first COVID vaccine. Hope permeated us that day. We still had to remain vigilant and continue wearing masks and practice social distancing, but there was that glimmer of hope that we could return to our lives. It didn't keep me from forgetting my mask just about every time I went shopping. I'd have to turn around and go fetch it from the car.

All year long my brain would focus on the good, the bad, the ugly, and otherwise. This week in April I was just consumed with random thoughts. This funny meme encapsulates the end of my blog post for that Sunday.

In April the weather has turned nice (Sunday Salon - Good Weather edition) so we took a trip to the Washington coast for a beautiful day of fun with our grandson, Ian. The photo was taken at the very moment he let go of the 'Ian' kite at the peak of its flight. Even though it was funny, Grandpa was not happy.

If you look carefully you will see the kite's name is "Ian" like the boy who is flying it.

In May we made a trip to California to take our daughter back home to San Francisco. She'd been living with us while working remotely for the past nine months. We made a little vacation out of our trip, visiting all our siblings along the way before we ended up at Lake Tahoe. It was the first time I'd ever been to Tahoe and I loved it. We had a fabulous time even though we were careful to socially distance and only associate with fully-vaxxed people. (SS: From Lake Tahoe)

Me and my sibs in the front row, our spouses are in the back row.

In June one of the very terrible effects of climate change was in clear focus -- temperatures soared and it was HOT in the PacNW. (SS: Hot!) But we did have fun when family visited and even braved the hot tub in such hot weather.

My sister, Kathy, in the tub with Ian and Rita, Jamie is the naked boy showing us a hat.

In another random post at the end of August there is a lot to report about what we were up to as a family like going to a Josh Groban concert (outside, vaccine cards checked, masked) and visiting the library again, the first time since March 2020. But it is clear from this post that I am starting to get really irritated by anti-vaxxers/anti-maskers. It seems to me that the pandemic will never end with this kind of stuff happening everywhere. But I couldn't help making a little bit of fun out of it, though.

My frustration with anti-vaxxers came to a fevered pitch in mid-September when my family became victims of COVID because of people with their cavalier attitude that "I don't need to get vaccinated because I only hang out with other unvaccinated people." In my SS: Quarantine Edition I outlined how all the people, including my grandchildren, daughter, and her husband, their schools, preschools, daycare, and churches were affected. No man is an island, we all live in the world.

I also learned the stubbornness with health directives we are experiencing is not new. This clipping is from a newspaper printed during the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic.

The "teaching" of Critical Race Theory became another bug-a-boo/talking point for the MAGA-loving set. (SS: Oct. 10th) I can't adequately express my sadness at what I see happening in this country.

Thankfully the hot temperatures we experienced all summer cooled down as we moved further into October. We enjoyed lots of fall walks, football games, and the most fun, 'The Hoot and Howl' event at the local wildlife park with our grandsons. (A Fall Photo Diary)

In the SS: Thankfulness Edition I expressed my thankfulness and gratitude for my many blessing, especially my family. But I couldn't help veering off in another direction with a few more funnies and statements to think about. I am so sick of those who think their personal freedoms are more important than the health of the collective whole population.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention frequent subjects in my 2021 Sunday Salon posts, Fred and George, our daughter's ginger tabby cats. They are really funny cats and completely devoted to her. We are so grateful for these kitties, too. Carly got them the day before California went into COVID lockdowns in March of 2020. For many months they were her only companions. (SS: December: Parades, decorations, books...

Christmas 2021 has come and gone. (SS: Days before Christmas with songs and snapshots) but instead of posting a photo or a funny joke from that week's Sunday Salon, I thought I'd share a photo of Jamie taken in Dec 2020 when he was 3-months-old. You might have missed it since it was included in a collage of the dear boy when he was dressed as an elf in my first Sunday Salon of 2021. Jamie and his brother remind me of what is good and worthy of praise in this world. I've got to remind myself to stay focused on that.

Last of all I am including a link to my 2021 End-of-the-Year Book Survey. This is a book blog after all, though it often seemed more like my Sunday Salons were a political blog, and I really do look through the lens of books as I recall moments in time. For example, I remember the book I was reading while we vacationed at Lake Tahoe (Everything Sad Is Untrue) or the audiobook we listened to on our last trip home from Eugene (Interior Chinatown.) This survey highlights my favorite books in different categories (fiction, poetry, audiobook, re-reads, etc.) and other bookish or blogging-related news from my year in books. It took me several days to compile my answers. Thanks for taking a peek at it.

And with that, I will sign off for 2021 and welcome in 2022.

Happy New Year!



  1. Beautiful, Anne! I thank you so much for your wonderful posts. I have saved so many things from your posts that I probably should credit you on my blog!

    Happy New Year!


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