Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Last post…of 2020

by Rick Blechta

Starting in 2014, I’ve kept a running file of each year’s blog posts. It’s always sort of exciting to get to the final one of the year. I also enjoy going back and reading how the year shook down blog-wise. There are always a few where in retrospect, they are real downers as far as mood goes.

Guess what I found in 2020’s lot? Reading this set was difficult. So many bad memories.

New Year’s Eve 2019 found my wife and I spending the holiday with some dear friends out in the country. That year had been pretty brutal for us in a number of ways, them too, so we all toasted the arrival of 2020 with “Good riddance! This new year is going to be a great one for all of us!”

Little did we know.

Actually, there’s a good news story here. Our friends have a small business selling pedal-assist electric bikes, pretty high-end ones. They’re also on a trailway, so there is a strong rental program for people who want to bike the trail, but may need a little “help.” 2020 was their best year ever — by a long way. You see, people weren’t going on vacations so they had money to spend on something like an electric bike. Our friends couldn’t get them into their store fast enough. By the end of May, they’d already sold more than the previous year’s total number of bikes! As pandemic restrictions dropped during the summer, their rental program took off too. Then in the fall, they sold off every single rental bike (discounted) which had never happened before.

Closer to home, my wife’s flute studio had to go online. Every single student said, “Sure! No problem.” It was a lot more work for both of us since I am her recording engineer and chief scanner of annotated music, but it all went well. Additionally, during the summer, most of her students wanted to continue, something that has never happened before. So she had a successful year of teaching to say the least.

So there was a bit of good news for some in 2020.

But for the rest of us…bupkis.

Even writers who already live a hermit-like existence had a tough time. We discussed it here on Type M: having trouble concentrating, being distracted by news feeds and social media more than ever, and worst of all, trying to decide whether to write the pandemic into our novels’ plots — something I still haven’t personally decided.

So in two days we will bid farewell to 2020 — a pretty rotten year by any standard.

I have some hope 2021 might be better, but I am always going to carry the memory of last New Year’s Eve when we kicked 2019 to the door, expecting its younger brother to be ever so much better.

It appears now we were dancing on a grave. I won’t make that mistake on Thursday night!


Karel said...

Mad Max takes place in 2021...

Rick Blechta said...

I didn't remember that. Seems appropriate now…