One of our old traditions dating back to when we first moved to Salem is going out to Dallas with my sister-in-law to cut down a tree the first Sunday in December.  Nearly two weeks ago now we resumed that beloved tradition.  It was different this time, with limited people, and masks worn by all, but it was no less thrilling.  I think we found the prettiest tree we have ever had.  Having a real tree inside our house is always something I don't want to let go of, and this year that is especially true.  

We decided to stay home for Christmas this year in light of COVID and will be dearly missing my family in Washington.  News of the vaccine shipping out and starting to be administered has given me (you? everyone?) a lot of hope for 2021, but I am cautious about how much and how fast things may or may not change.  And so we carry on with our masks on, finding cheer in Christmas lights at Riverfront Park and in so many neighborhoods here.  

It's been raining for days now, but last Saturday was a bright and beautiful day at Silver Falls.  Mushrooms abounded, pine needles and mosses held sparkling liquid orbs, the air smelled damp and earthy.  

I can hardly believe Christmas is next week and that for the first time, quite possibly ever, I am ready and have been able to just relax for these last couple of weeks.  I've been trying desperately to catch up on reading and reach my goal on Goodreads, which I don't think I'm going to be able to do.  I'd blame it on moving, but I didn't do much better last year, either, so.   I'm already thinking about things I'd like to do in the coming year, more than ready to put 2020 behind me.  I remember naming several things in the journal I kept early this year.  My journaling abruptly stopped when the shutdown happened.  Any desire to document the days just faded away, like so many other things.  I think I'll go back and read what hopes I had for this year, though.  Perhaps it's time to pick up where I left off and reclaim those hopes.  

I'd love to hear what your hopes are for the coming year, big or small. 

by mlekoshi