Note to self: SAVE a version of your blog along the way or you have to rewrite the whole thing!!!
During this season of Corona, otherwise known as; Cab Sav, Original 16, Merlot, or as known to the world -COVID 19, there have been many new and wondrous things that have happened - alongside many miserable things.
We have learned to ZOOM - with and without pants. We have learned, by trial and error, to always put a bra on prior to leaving the house. We have learned that playing board games is much more fun in person. We have also learned that sometimes you really can not teach an old dog new tricks. (Bernie and I trying to play the game, Among Us, with our kids.)
Some of us have started new hobbies, new ways of cooking/eating, activities and more. Lots of us have shared these new ideas, thoughts and some, even shared their cooking!
A couple of weeks ago, just prior to Christmas and after many years of not making a concerted effort, Bernie and I decided to head out and look at Christmas lights. With it being just the two of us, we needed to get out of our space and at least acquaint ourselves with the lights of the city. We downloaded the interactive map of lights and headed to our vehicle.
As we headed to our first location, I took a slight detour - and wouldn't you know it - Bernie needed to know where we were going - always so curious. I said that we needed to buy hot chocolates. "Why?" was his comeback. I said, "Because, it is tradition."
Looking like a cross between a puzzled Pug named Millie and a salt and peppery mountain man named Grizzly Adams, he asked, "It is?" Now, to be clear, the mountain man look might just be his COVID look and have nothing to do with being puzzled.
"Yup!" Yup. That is all I said.
We purchased two hot chocolates and continued our journey to look at Christmas lights. A lovely evening made into an amazing evening due to a small little tradition.
Now let's fast forward and quickly reverse to a few days ago. We had decided to go for a walk and I needed a different landscape than the sidewalk on Pembina Hwy - as riveting as that is. We went to a nearby dog park - just across the river and parallel to the perimeter at St Mary's Road. (dog park - another up and coming blog).
ASIDE: As we drove in, we passed a sign. Bernie said, 'did you see that sign?' I replied, 'Not this time, but I have seen it before. He said, 'What the heck does it mean? It said, No GPS Over People. What is that supposed to mean? You can't use GPS? What?" If you know my husband at all, you know that in his mind he is also saying, "Idiots." I had to mull his statement over - I had seen the sign a number of times and it took just a moment for me to realize what the sign ACTUALLY said and another moment for me not to call my darling husband, Idiot.
"Bernie, the sign said, No GPS over five people - GPS=Groups." HAHAHAHAHAHA! He totally had missed the number 5 - which he claims would have cleared it all up for him.
Anyhoo - we continued to the park and began our lovely walk. It is a massive dog park and there were a massive amount of dogs and people there. We walked along the riverbank and just enjoyed a gorgeous day with the hoar frost still on the trees - it was just beautiful. I started to notice, however, that many people were carrying this joyous little red and/or brown insulated cups that held little steaming wonders of flavour. These folks had planned ahead and had prepared for their little walk in the park. I declared to Bernie, "from herewith and herefore and all the other here's you must say - I declare that we will always pick up a hot beverage prior to our walks/hikes - thus declareth me. It is our tradition."
My little Grizzled pug looked at me and, dare I say, questioned my statement. "Purchasing a hot beverage prior to our walks is a tradition?" "Yes," I replied.
The next day we decided to once again go for a walk and, as I was still not interested in the Pembina Hwy route, we decided to head to Beaudry Park - just West of the perimeter down Roblin Blvd. Because we had this 'tradition', I did some research and as a plan ahead type of woman, found a foodery on route that could help me 'continue' this tradition. (AND, that is no easy task as there is very very little in way of fooderies between our place and Beaudry park - if you take the quickest route.) We purchased our traditional hot chocolate and coffees and headed down the road to our walking destination.
As we enjoyed our hot beverage and walked the trail, Bernie questioned the use of my word, tradition. So, as any good person(s) would do to solve a problem such as this - we went to the source of all answers and had a Googlation (you see what i did there? Google and Revelation? So smart.)
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a Tradition is:
1a: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behaviour (such as a religious practice or a social custom) b: a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable… the bulk of traditions attributed to the Prophet …— J. L. Esposito 2: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction 3: cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions 4: characteristic manner, method, or style in the best liberal tradition
It would seem that my 'traditions' could not really be traditions until we did them a 2nd time - which, I am bound and determined to do. I could, however, make a case for myself that others in society had already formed this tradition and I was just partaking of it. However, was it Bernie and my tradition to pick up hot beverages prior to light shows and hikes? Probably not. Have to give one to the grizzled pug.
*FOR REFERENCE (Note: photo of hubby was taken after he purposely brushed all his hair back for me!)
This is a mathematical picture ADDITION EQUATION
PLUS this picture
EQUALS This picture
My Grizzled pug!!
What have I learned through this season? Perhaps that even with all the traditional things (and let's just focus on Christmas for this discussion) that we have 'always' done over the years - such as: Christmas choirs, Christmas gatherings, New Year's Eve Parties and more - we have found a 'new' way through it. Was Christmas the same as it has been in years before? Far from it. Has the year been like any other? Nope. But, here we are - through 2020 - and we reached 2021. We picked up new ideas, new ways of doing things and, dare I say, some of which may become traditions as we carry into 2021. Perhaps we will always have a ZOOM church service that runs alongside an in person service - so those who are sick or unable to attend still can be part of the service. Perhaps we will always try and get outside more as we did in 2020. Perhaps we will carry on having staff meetings online so that everyone has a fair shake at speaking and sharing. Perhaps we will continue to wear pajama pants to work - ok, maybe that is one tradition some of us will need to get rid of!
As I look back at 2020, I can't say it will rank up in my top 10 list of years. Not that i have a list of my top years - but if I did - it might not make it into the top 10. Nevertheless, I did learn a lot. I tried a lot. I cried a lot. But, maybe what I learned is that you can find the good if you go looking for it. Just like you can find the bad. It is sometimes really hard to see the good when all around is bad and there is no denying that for some - the good was very very hard to see. I am just grateful that we end our year with Christmas. It symbolizes hope. It reminds us that there is hope.
May you all find the hope.