torsdag den 31. december 2020

2020 in the rearview mirror

 Well. It has been a while. The days this fall have mostly been a blur of repeating boredom due to the pandemic we all know so well by now, and I have not had the blogging-mojo to share anything for some months. Nevertheless I would really like to say a proper goodbye to 2020 in order to prepare for 2021. Previous years I have done this month by month, but since time this year has been this ever expanding and contracting weird substance, I have decided it makes more sense to go by seasons.

So here we go:

Winter 2020:

One of the things we truly looked forward to in Pennsylvania was the absence of Michigan winter. Both in terms of cold and in terms of hours of actual sunshine. But whatever benefits comes from the milder winters are truly made up for by the lack of resources to deal with the roads. And when you live at the very back of a development on top of a hill, well - if something is brewing we always get the worst conditions. So waking up to this view kept us inside all day

Nevertheless we still made it outdoors for an - ehm - "fun" paintball experience, where some people in the household (especially the one wearing a bright pink winterjacket, which is a very easy target) feels like they don't need to do that ever again! Others had plenty of fun though

We usually never, not even a tiny little bit, celebrate valentines day, but this year we went out for a fun king crab dinner with my colleagues.  Little did we know that our fancy dinner, would be the very last fun dinner at a restaurant for quite some time. It was a very authentic Chinese restaurant and even back in mid February it was kind of empty as an omen of what was to come.

 Spring 2020

Spring had barely made it to the east coast before everything shut down. And from one day to the next we were all home. A lot! One of the things that has helped us immensely in terms of getting out of bed every day, when everything feels the same, are the daily dog-dates we have with Ruby and her owner at 7:15AM every weekday morning. 

And when most indoor places were closed down we opted for the outdoors. We have discovered SO many of the local parks and nature areas, and here are a few of the favorites:

We even got adventurous in the pond right next to our house, greatly helped by our neighbor who donated a kayak and got us hooked on local lake-life to a point where Luca and Kristian would get up at crap-o-clock many a Saturday morning to go fishing with him
Summer 2020

Then summer rolled around. We had many, many travel plans. Luckily I had decided to wait a bit before any tickets were booked, but needless to say Ulrik didn't get to go to Nepal, Luca didn't get to go to Denmark, and Teresa and I never got to go on our big adventure together either. 

There were things to celebrate locally though. Such as Teresa's high school graduation:
and also we got to know Delaware river quite a bit better
And even managed to squeeze all of us into our busted old minivan and drive off for a slice of Michigan summer, complete with lots of driveway dinners and boat-rides.

It was also the summer were Teresa left the nest to move back to Denmark and complete the senior year of high school in the Danish system. Here she is - all packed up and ready to go:

Fall 2020

Fall in Pennsylvania is absolutely gorgeous and we soaked up the cooler temperatures and ventured a bit further out to visit the ocean and trying out some tikihuts at a local show garden

 We even got to drive all the way to Vermont to spend a weekend in the mountains with some of my colleagues. It was stunningly beautiful and we managed to get there just as the leaves were changing and the sun was shining. Here is the view from the creepiest fire tower I have ever climbed in my life:

And then we watched the nerve-wrecking US election. For the first time in my life I chose to spend time on a presidential debate and, well, I think those of us who watched this were left speechless. But the relief when the results finally came in after days of endless waiting was huge. 

Luca went back to school 2 days per week after about a month of online only classes. Playing flute in band called for some alternative solutions, so here he is with his instrument PPE

 I also got to feel very fancy at work upgrading to a N100 mask as I was working with chemotherapeutic agents:

In the middle of all this Kristian had to rush to Michigan to retrieve Ulrik as the virus started to get out of control on campus. As of right now it does not seem like he will be back until fall 2020, and we get to enjoy some of his work here at home

Winter 2020

Now we are here. The winter of 2020 where everything seems to be going haywire with virus. We are keeping to ourselves - especially if there is a sudden winter thunderstorm rolling by.....

We have had a single snowstorm so far but has also managed to be out and about a little bit despite the cold. We can highly recommend a day trip to Jim Thorpe (picturesque town in the mountains)

Also we got to visit drive-through Christmas lights. An event we didn't even know existed until our neighbor got us tickets

Happy new year from all of us here in Pennsylvania. May 2021 bring plenty of opportunities to get vaccinated and spend time with family and friends again (but also still plenty of walks for all the dogs out there)