Annual Summary of 2021

2021 started with the constant threat of Covid-19 so we stayed safely at home until vaccinated with Moderna in late winter. Nina knitted a sweater for her niece. Jerry studied tax laws then worked (via Internet) helping people file taxes from January to May. Jerry made an oak bookcase which fits under the double windows of the room added last summer. We read books and watched movies on the Internet and Library DVDs.

Gardening started as soon as the ground thawed. Day Lilies spread too much in the flower bed beside the driveway so they were transplanted to a new bed out front. After adding compost and a load of sheep manure we planted seeds and starter plants. A new cold frame used old storm windows to protect seedlings from late frosts. A little peach tree planted this Spring surprised us with 20 delicious peaches. Voles ate some potatoes and beets but there were enough to share. We ate well, froze greens and pesto, canned tomatoes, made rhubarb sauce and stored many butternut squash, pumpkins and garlic bulbs. It was an exceptionally warm autumn. We kept expecting frost to kill the garden plants but picked leaves until a hard frost finally came in late October. The last carrots were pulled from unfrozen ground on December 17.

It was a very hot summer. We camped at five different State Parks (Woodford, Elmore, Lake Carmi, Lake St Catherine and Gifford Woods,) staying at each for two nights to hike and explore back roads. For three weeks our garage kept four e-bikes which were tried by many people. We enjoyed them on a hilly 31-mile tour which included a woodsy trail. Little electric motors provide the help needed for people like us to continue bicycling. Cruising friends Tom and Jan of sailing vessel "Ambler" visited for a week's tour of New England. Our two great-grandchildren and their parents came for a weekend. We replaced the four windows which we had not gotten to last year, replaced and painted trim boards and painted more of the house and garage with help from granddaughter Sara. Jerry made a cornhole game. We enjoyed parties in northwestern Vermont, staying overnight twice with different friends.

Brother Tom and Kay visited from Wisconsin in September. A Vermont friend, Elaine, and her dog Drea stayed with us for a few days. We joined Jerry's high school classmates for their annual reunion, smaller than usual this year due to the pandemic. We had nice visits at daughter Jennifer's house in New Hampshire. We visited friends, Dennis and Betty, in Burlington and played a lot of bridge. We got vaccine booster shots in mid-November.

Technology dependence hit us when water spilled on Nina's laptop computer, losing data and disrupting daily routines. Salvage attempts did not work and the first replacement was so defective it had to be returned. The second replacement is OK, but doesn't seem as nice as the damaged machine. We had a big Thanksgiving dinner with Sara and ate turkey soup long afterward. A bear which should have been hibernating got our bird feeders on December 9 so the feeders were brought inside at night after that. Eight inches of snow arrived December 19 followed by days above freezing. Daughter Hilary came with our favorite NY Bagels for a nice Christmas and we feasted on another big turkey while an ice storm encased her car. By year's end the driveway was clear but our solar panels were still covered.

It was a busy year even though we did nothing "big." We look forward to an easing of the pandemic so we can get out more.