Holiday Letter, 2021

Happy Holidays ~Hopkins, Minnesota ~ 2021

Dear Friends and Family,

As I began reviewing the year, and after reading the last few holiday letters, I am reminded how much things change, ever so insidiously that I don’t know I’m living in another reality until I stop to look back and realize I’m no longer in Kansas anymore—or wherever the past resides. I write these greetings as much for my own benefit as yours—to help me pause, reflect and be thankful.

The year began as the previous Year of Covid ended—hunkered down, sheltering in place. Lee was able to return from Japan in January, by way of Qatar, a literal ‘round the world trip. Then the world changed again with the Covid vaccine. Being in the high-risk category due to age, I jumped in line and cried with relief when I got my first shot—By February 19 I had both Pfizer shots; four days later I hopped a flight to Arizona to join my brother Harry and family for a brief respite. That began my Spring of Travel: Easter in Austin, TX, road trip to Montana, Idaho/Wyo skiing, a stop at Heart Mountain for book research, then California to celebrate Carol’s birthday. In May I drove to Iowa to visit Irma Bokelman. I got word that she died 4 days later. My three kids and their families gathered with me on Mother’s Day. Then a devastating train/car accident killed my brother Robert and sent me on an unscheduled road trip back to Montana for the funeral. Tom dropped everything and drove with me; Maiya and Lee flew in later. That same trip, on May 18—the third anniversary of Scot’s death—I was able to fulfill the last of his bucket list items by closing on the sale of the Montana Power Building that we had owned for over 20 years.

When I got back to Minnesota, exhausted and sad, my Book Club Ladies and their partners threw a birthday party for me to lift my spirits. I was touched to the core that Bill Boyt baked the made-from-scratch German Chocolate Cake—just like Mom used to do. The next day my Ski Girlfriends gathered for me, too. It was all so thoughtful, and it helped reset my head and heart.

At the end of June I flew to Texas and drove back to Minnesota with Maiya and her three boys, all under 5 years old—a 1000 mile adventure. We celebrated Christmas in June at the lake, with my Zimmerman clan—Tom, Paige, Oliver, Maiya, Tony, Everett, Silas, Wesley, Lee, Kiba Dog, and me. It was special to have the lake home filled with family. Wessie called Ollie “MY baby.” So sweet.

Much of the year was spent in the company of my friend Bill—sailing the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior, fishing, biking, walking, and playing backgammon along with my broader circle of friends playing tennis, pickleball, and continuing yoga challenges. In my spare time I was editing my Tom & Emmy manuscript, writing a Hallmark kind of love story, blogging, and participating in writing groups—Shut Up and Write, Nikkei Write Now, Retreat2Write, and two book clubs. I presented at two forums on farming and the Japanese American incarceration during WW2, and I was a panelist at my 45th Stanford Reunion–Life, Lessons Learned, and Legacy.

Covid continues to hang over us like a dark cloud, but like most of us, I just work to make it through every day, week, year. A special thanks to my dear mother-in-law Donna, who has been co-parenting Kiba Dog while I’ve been adventuring. Maiya encourages me to learn and post on Instagram Reels and TikTok. So entertaining! I have had many happy/sad, funny/tragic, fascinating moments this year. A highlight was taking a Greyhound bus to Duluth to celebrate the 4th of July at the Marina in Bayfield, Wisconsin. I stood with Bill on the deck of the HMS Loon watching the fireworks, their bursts of color raining down on us, linking the past and the future.

4 thoughts on “Holiday Letter, 2021

  1. Jeff McLean says:

    Thanks for your wonderful writing and being able to here about your travels and time with family and friends. Sorry to here about your losses but keep going as your story needs to keep going!! Merry Christmas

    Like

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