I cannot believe how long it has been since the last time I blogged! My last post was all about the end of The In-Depth Genealogist and my feelings on that. I’m still trying to recover from the loss, but honestly compared to all that we’ve had to deal with in 2020 it really is near the bottom of the list. So I thought I’d touch on some of what was going on in my life since I last blogged.
At the end of 2019, we had a new addition to the family! Sweet baby James came to us and brought us so much joy. While I haven’t been able to visit my sister yet and see him in person- I have gotten to enjoy a ton of photos and videos of the little guy. He’s adorable and has such a sweet personality. He adores his big sister, Lexi, and enjoys watching her antics. I am looking forward to getting my vaccine later this spring and getting to go visit them.
January 2020 was a busy month for me in my professional (engineering) career. I had several presentations that month to promote the Westerville Strategic Mobility Plan. I presented to MORPC, Westerville’s Planning Commission and the Parks & Recreation Board. I also worked with other staff to share the experience of hosting the 2019 Democratic Debate in our city.
My biggest accomplishment for 2020 was getting the acceptance of City Council for the Mobility Plan. After 2.5 years of working on the plan, it was such a joyful relief to get the nod to move forward with the plan. Now the hard part is getting all those strategies into tangible actions!
March was quite the roller coaster of emotion. On the plus side, I succeeded in getting COTA//Plus, an on-demand transit service, approved by council and budget set aside for the endeavor. The council meeting was the first time I really experienced the COVID effect on our life. We were social distancing and the meeting set up had everyone spaced out across the room. It was a weird feeling and it made me a little scared. This same week, our city leadership decided to send many of our employees to work from home. We had very little time to prepare for this change and so we all scrambled to get our home offices set up. I had a room that was until this point, basically a room for the cats.
My dear little Minnie was 19 years old and suddenly what was her personal space was invaded with me! Not to mention the dogs were not too happy about being excluded from the room. During that first week at home, I began to realize that Minnie’s health had taken a turn and after noting that she wasn’t eating any more. Sadly, it was the next week that we determined that it would be a kindness to let her go. I suddenly did not have any cats anymore.
For the next few months, I began to try my hand at sewing my own masks. I’ve known the basics of sewing since a kid, but never really had much reason to get the sewing machine out. Suddenly all we were hearing on the news was about how we should all be wearing masks. My husband and I ordered some themed fabrics based on our interests. For him- dinosaurs, dna, and birds. For me- corgis, reading, and traffic. I made about a dozen masks for each of us and I got better and faster as time went on. I also began to build some of the many Lego kits that I had gotten over the past year. What fun!
I spent my free time playing with the dogs and building Lego. May brought to the front of my mind the need for racial equality. There were many protests for the murders of several black people by police. I had always believed in the “Black Lives Matter” cause, but the death of people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor really struck me. I was devastated by what people of color experience in our country.
In June, work from home continued, but we were told we’d be returning to the office in July. They said that extra care around the office would happen with cleaning, social distancing, etc. We would be required to wear masks and would not be having “in-person” meetings. Around this same time, I was scheduled for foot surgery in mid-July.
In July, we returned to the office and I was really uncomfortable and nervous about getting COVID. Mostly because I was afraid I’d get it and my surgery would get cancelled. I only ended up being in the office for 3 days and then I had my COVID test and then remained home up until my surgery. The test was negative and so the surgery went ahead. I then had a month and a half of staying off my foot as it healed. My poor husband was a big help as I struggled to get around and go to weekly doctor follow-up appointments.
The next month was pretty uneventful for me as I stayed home and built Lego kits. I kept tabs on what was going on at work, but didn’t go back to the office until August 31st. That month we had milestones for two great projects- a pedestrian crossing improvement and kicked off COTA//Plus service. In September, we introduced our new smart parking app “Westerville Parking” for the Uptown public parking lots.
November was quite a month. At first it was an exciting time with the election and wondering what would happen next. We were very excited for Joe Biden & Kamala Harris to be elected and were hopeful for positive change in our country. The news of the official win happened on the same day that my husband and I picked out a new puppy addition from a litter of shelties.
And then we had a big loss in our “family”. My 15 year old corgi, Saphira, became ill and very suddenly died at home. It was awful, but I was glad I could hold her and tell her what a good girl she had been. She was my first puppy and so it was a terrible loss for me.
Just before Thanksgiving my office shifted to 50% of the time at home. I started working one week at home and then the next in the office. Which was perfect timing as our sweet little pup joined the family! Winter, a female shetland sheepdog (sheltie), joined our two male shelties and brought a fun energy to the house. I also celebrated my 3 year anniversary at my job. It was a great ending to the year.
And here we are in 2021! What a month this has been. I am still in shock that we had domestic terror at the Capitol Building earlier this month. It was a turbulent and scary time leading up to the inauguration, but the ceremony itself was a beautiful experience to see our first woman of color as VP. Just a matter of time till we get a woman as President!
So now that you are all “caught up”… I am starting to rekindle my joy of genealogy. It’s a baby step, but I’m attending virtual Rootstech! Are you? If you weren’t aware, it’s free this year and has a great slate of speakers and keynotes. Take a moment and visit www.rootstech.org to get signed up!