For all of us this has been quite the year. Last year at this time I was reflecting on a decade of change, growth, loss, creation, pain, joy ~ no way to know what 2020 would bring. Life is only a sliver within our control, we already know this ~ we control our reaction to what life brings us, that’s about it.
In a “choose your own adventure” novel, I wouldn’t have chosen this year but along with my family and friends, we have made some good memories. Even though I am further away from so many of the people I love, we have grown closer as we have supported and carried each other through this year (probably ZOOM deserves a shout out, it is so nice to see everyone’s faces while we talk 🙂
When Trey and I were preparing for our move to Georgia, we thought we would be empty nesters (and maybe a little like love birds on a prolonged honeymoon) but that’s not how it worked out. We are sharing our little lake home with both Ella and Gentry. Both girls were thrown off of their anticipated tracks by the pandemic. Ella has taken a gap year, she will be at DUKE next fall. For now she fills her day with volunteering over at Sweet Olive Farm where she helps take care of rescue animals along with an army of committed volunteers. She has learned how to work with her body, she is building muscles, she wears overalls and work boots to work. She has come home with bruises, contusions, sore muscles, all covered in mud. I have never been more proud of her ~ there is nothing that can replace learning how to work hard with your body. Getting dirty and sore can be very good for the soul!
Gentry (Trey’s youngest) is waiting on the edge of her seat to return to China and pick-up with her studies as she works to finish her master’s degree. In the meantime, she is translating and teaching others how to speak Mandarin. She has also taken up sewing by hand and has made everything from masks to tote bags. Camille (Trey’s oldest) made her own big move this year and bought her first home in Omaha, Nebraska. Her wedding plans have been put on hold while we wait for the worst of the pandemic to be in the rearview but she is still happily creating a good life with her hubby-to-be. Andrew is continuing to make a good life with Kelelah and her two beautiful boys (and their adorable pup 🙂 He is also a very successful business man and a bona fide nature and adventure enthusiast. We are so very proud of all of our children and surround them with love and support, for now and for always!!
As I am writing my last bit to you all, the sun is just starting to come out from behind the rain clouds and the mist is lifting off of the lake. It is a beautiful December morning and I am so glad to have this day. I am so grateful for this wonderful, wild, strange year. One of my favorite memories is of the four of us (Trey, Ella, Gentry and I), taking sleeping bags down to the dock on a warm mid-summer night and laying down, talking and sharing as we watched the night sky unfold. This was one of the many unexpected and lovely moments this year brought ~ this year of 1,000 walks, many family suppers, quiet days/nights spent at home, big moves, even bigger changes, fearful tears and sweet contentment. And now, we see a new path opening. The vaccine has brought a sliver of light and we can see the end of the tunnel (fingers crossed). Now, hopefully, we are on our journey out of this unexpected land we have inhabited over the last 10 months.
I do not know where 2021 where will take all of us ~ we will see. I know it will be good if we all hold hands as we go there.
Big hugs and love to you all, sending you and yours blessings and warm wishes.
At the tippy top of this post is my 2020 YouTube Playlist, it is also linked just below ~ and below that . . . . a list of the songs, small thoughts and images are shared for those of you who want to take a journey through our Mayfield-Toman-Smith year.
- Agnes Obel – Familiar
2. Sol Seppy ~ Enter One
3. Phoebe Bridgers ~ Georgia
4. Tears for Fears ~ Shout
5. Alice Phoebe Lou ~ Fiery Heart, Fiery Mind
6. Stomper ~ Wishing Well (featuring Lucy Tops)
7. Agnes Obel ~ Fuel to Fire
8. This is the Kit: Bashed Out
9. Florence + Machine ~ Never Let Me Go
10. London Grammar ~ Wasting My Young Years
11. Radical Face ~ Ghost Towns
12. Courtney Barnett ~ Avant Gardner
13. Lindsey Stirling ~ Crystallize
14. Arcade Fire ~ Arcade Fire presents Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
15. Ruelle ft. Fleurie ~ Carry You
16. Tori Amos ~ Pretty Good Year