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Blog“Just Over the Hilltop”

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Hello from “just over the hilltop” in Norwood where the sun is peeking through the overcast sky. Today is chilly with flurries occasionally trying to dance a little in the air while the wind is still trying to take down the last of the clinging leaves. It’s a beautiful November day in the neighborhood.

I titled this journal “Favorite Things of 2020” because there were so many good and special things that happened in the year that wasn’t. I have been wanting to record them for personal memories but thought I would also share them with you. After the initial shock in the beginning of year 2020, I began looking for and purposely devoting my energies to positive and uplifting thoughts and actions. Does that mean there was no sorrow or sadness? No. But the joys of life were not extinguished and the goal of winning overcame any defeat that tried to discourage. And so the year began.

Homemade bread, twinkle lights and projects

In the film “The Sound of Music” Maria sings of a few of her favorite things and that’s how I want to start my story. Mine are definitely not the same as Maria’s but they are some of my favorite things that happened that year. Homemade bread, twinkle lights, and projects. Family far and family near. Faith growing deeper and church family growing closer. Isn’t it interesting that most of the things listed happen daily, weekly, or yearly in any given year? It’s just that the trials and troubles are different. And though the trials and troubles were different that year, the inner joys and outer pleasures remained the same.

With both of us being somewhat retired, (though I remember telling people when we closed the diner that I was going to be retreaded like an old tire and continue on for many more years (Lord willing)), the shutdown of our three little businesses was difficult. Dick’s carpentry came to a complete standstill because most of his work is remodeling in people’s homes or small businesses and that wasn’t agreeable to the atmosphere of fear. Next the bed and breakfast stopped taking guests with us needing to return deposits from reservations. The cancellations were due to many people traveling from other states and the requirements for being open were not agreeable to our home. Third was the bookstore. Now entering our third year of hopeful expansion of customers and getting known in the community, we shut down this business, too. How can one grow a business if it is closed? Good question for all three businesses. But my desire of arranging things began to get kick in and ideas started coming, slowly at first and then faster and faster.

Projects and more

We started by making a list of projects to do here at Rose of Sharon that had been put off until a rainy day. That rainy day had arrived. Dick might not be able to work for others but he could “work” for us. The downstairs bathroom floor was repaired, porch columns were repaired or replaced, the porch floor was repaired and painted, the back door got fixed so we could use it, and he designed an overhang for that door that was actually built this year. Other smaller projects were completed as the year went by and we rejoiced as they were finished one by one.

Car-hopping made my day and helped keep the lights on

As for the bookstore, that took a different kind of arranging. There were specials orders coming in and I wanted to get them to our customers. So, what better way to implement my love and former desire of having a car-hop then to try it at the store? Saturday mornings became a time to pick up orders which were delivered on a tray right to the customers car. Just toot the horn upon arriving and I would bring the orders that had been sent by social media or the phone and the customers didn’t even need to leave their car. Car-hopping made my day and helped keep the lights on.

One of the most favorite and special things of 2020 was from our granddaughters who lived in the area. They had been learning to bake bread and for several months we were the beneficiaries of their skill via a driveway visit. We were treated to their delicious homemade bread weekly until summer began. How blessed we felt.

Twinkle lights

Another favorite thing was the twinkle lights. Our neighbor across the street quickly put his Christmas lights back up on the tree in his yard and kept them up the rest of the year. This was to encourage and give hope to those passing by and to the neighbors. It worked. So many nights found me smiling as the lights twinkled while viewing them from our picture window. It’s the little things that make us smile and life worth living. What a thoughtful favorite thing for John to do.

I think I will stop writing for today and finish the journal next week in part two of “Favorite Things in 2020.” Homemade bread, twinkle lights, and projects were just a few of my favorite things. Next week will be about our family and church experiences. If you’d like to share your favorite things I’d love to hear about them. I realize that many want to put 2020 behind them but maybe this will inspire you to consider what good and wonderful things may have happened to you in the year that wasn’t. Be blessed, my friends, and I’ll see you next week. Love, Sharon