2020 has been an incredible year for me.

Mother’s house at dawn

It started with me living in my mothers’ house after her death in November because we needed to get things organized and arranged as the estate settles.
When my mother died at 101, my calendar was full. To distract myself from watching her decline, I involved myself in many different organizations. Once Mother was gone, there was no reason to stay there. But I did not realize that at first because my forward motion was so great. The interesting life that I made for myself in Washington, DC was just a survival technique.
One day a disembodied voice spoke to me and said, “What are you doing? You don’t want to live in Washington, D.C. Go back to Charlottesville, where you were so happy before. Your children are THERE. Go!” It was a real revelation!!! I heard it deep within my being and knew it was true.

But then, COVID!!!! On Friday, March 23, I packed enough clothes for a month or so and took my dogs with me to The Plains VA. My daughter and son in law gave me a cottage on their farm to use for my own. We had fun. Seeing my family every day was a gift. We did a fair amount of socializing with each other since my grandson lived next door to his parents’ farm. After staying there for about ten weeks, I decided to go back to Washington, DC. I wanted to live my life normally and not expend energy with worry about getting sick. My body is strong and healthy. I figured that if I did become ill, it would be a mild case. And that turned out to be confirmed later in early winter.

My cottage.

Susie Matheson found me a house which I absolutely LOVE. I spent my first night here on June 23. Such a great house! It feels as if it was designed especially for me.

I spent a week sharing a house with friends of my son Robert in Maine, near Boothbay Harbor, in the early part of August. I love Maine and have always wanted to go there in the summer. It suits me and makes me feel good when I am there.

Back in Charlottesville, I have been reconnecting with friends and writing and reading, and enjoying the peace here. My marvelous house has fireplaces, a great kitchen, a lovely terrace, gorgeous views, a master bedroom on the first floor, and it feels like home. Fall was colorful and very mild; therefore, I was able to do a lot of outdoor entertaining. Totally undaunted by the fear-mongering going on in the media, we had a lot of fun.

The virus ran through a group of people where Robert was working in Philadelphia. He brought it home. As a result, I spent a few days lying on the sofa in front of a roaring fire. But I was soon well again, after taking large doses of vitamins, Manuka honey, colloidal silver, hydroxychloroquine, Elderberry syrup. Besides that, I was eating a clean, healthy diet free of most carbs and all sugars. It was a difficult three days, then another four till I felt 100%. Now I feel better than ever.

For Thanksgiving, I invited all who could to join us. We were 22, and we ate outside on the terrace because it was a balmy 73 degrees. So much laughter and camaraderie! People are so grateful to get together and enjoy each other. It was one of the best Thanksgivings ever!

My outdoor tree in moonlight.

We did some last-minute Christmas shopping. Lots of wrapping and putting presents in piles for different families. We went to Christmas Eve dinner at my oldest sons’ house for a marvelous evening with family, great food, and reading The Night Before Christmas. My heart was overflowing with gratitude for my family.

Christmas was simply lovely. We went to my oldest daughters’ house for a spectacular meal with 18 people. All three of their children were there, plus some other guests. And it was such a joy to be invited to eat Christmas lunch with family and not be responsible for any of the food or preparations. I brought Christmas Crackers, which I bought at Costco earlier. They turned out to be of excellent quality with real prizes inside, like a nice metal pen or a keychain with a picture frame attached. They made a big hit!

One of my sons is having a New Year’s Eve party to see this year out. Though most people say “good riddance!” I have loved the closeness of family and friends who are not afraid to socialize. The lack of pressure to do things one after the other calms me. Everyone has learned that there are many things we can live without doing.

I continue to try to inspire women to enjoy the second half of life to the fullest. They may find it is by far the best part of their lives.

I will miss 2020. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a peaceful life in 2021.

Copyright©. 2020 Bonnie B. Matheson

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