As the dust is still settling on my 2020 calendar, I recently reflected on the year that was. Many people have described the events of last year as “unprecedented times.”

If I had to choose one word, it would probably be “wow.” In the spirit of the “12 Days of Christmas,” here’s a monthly breakdown of my pandemic year:

• The first month of 2020 brought to me a cellphone as dead as could be.

The demise of my cellphone wasn’t unexpected. It had been limping along for months, randomly shutting off while making calls.

I had to keep it plugged in all the time — imagine how difficult that was when I wanted to take a photo. While some people look forward to getting a newfangled device, I dread having to figure out how to use a new phone.

• The second month of 2020 featured travel-size sanitizer and a box of latex gloves.

Prior to the novel coronavirus getting its official name, I was preparing to go to Disneyland for my birthday.

With an abundance of caution (a popular phrase during the early days of the pandemic), I wiped down the immediate area where I was seated in the airport concourse and on the plane.

There was little evidence of the pending pandemic at the Magic Kingdom — very few people wore face masks and there wasn’t any social distancing. After ushering in my 60th birthday in California with my bestie Carol and her daughter Cassie, I returned home and watched as the world changed almost daily.

• The third month of 2020 resulted in a reprieve for my computer and pens.

One week shy of my 14-year anniversary with EO Media Group, my essential job became a victim of revenue losses because of COVID-19. I became acutely aware of how much I had nested in my workspace when I was tasked with packing up my stuff in less than 48 hours. Needless to say, my cleaning deposit wasn’t refunded.

• The fourth month of 2020, I don’t even have the words.

Settling in for the long haul, I did a couple of projects around the house. In addition, I rediscovered my love for craft projects.

• The fifth month of 2020 featured laughter and all that Zoom brings.

Even though I’m technologically challenged, I did a comedy gig via Zoom for Higher Power Fitness. Setting up my laptop in our hallway, clients of Cindee Henderson enjoyed an evening of laughs. During the process, I also got a glimpse of what educators would face as they transitioned to comprehensive distance learning. I take my hat off to teachers for making the best of a difficult situation.

• The sixth month of 2020 left me displaying.

While I took my hat off to teachers, I actually wore one a lot. Thanks to shutdowns, I went through two, 10-week stretches without the services of my hairdresser. My reverse skunk look was quite pronounced in April and June, which revealed the secret that previously only my hairdresser knew for sure — my real hair color.

• The seventh month of 2020 included many days a-swimming.

I’m surprised my husband and I didn’t have permanent water wrinkles from how much time we spent in our little backyard pool. John is certain he spent more time in it this past summer than the previous seven years combined.

Truly a great summer, we almost forgot there was a global pandemic.

• The eighth month of 2020, I swear I’m not a-bilking.

Jumping through hoops for five months, I claimed my freelance hours and pay on weekly claim reports for unemployment. I also had to fill out additional forms explaining why I worked a few hours one week and none the next.

• The ninth month of 2020, we didn’t do any dancing.

Overwhelmed by smoke from area wildfires, our backyard pool season was cut short. In addition, my husband and I celebrated our 37th anniversary with soup and sandwiches.

• The tenth month of 2020 and at home we’re still keeping.

With fall in the air, we started to get a glimpse of the cabin fever to come.

• The eleventh month of 2020 wasn’t filled with griping.

A renewed sense of gratefulness reminded me how important family and friends are. My bestie and I have been a source of support for one another throughout the year.

When we both found ourselves struggling the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Carol and I visited at her dining room table — sharing laughter, tears, junk food and my husband’s homemade German chocolate cake.

• The twelfth month of 2020 leaves me wondering what is coming.

In looking forward to 2021, it is my hope that some sense of normalcy returns.

I’m taking the removal of directional arrows at Safeway as an indication that we are moving in that direction.


Tammy Malgesini, the former Hermiston Herald community editor, enjoys spending time with her husband and two German shepherds, as well as entertaining herself with random musings.

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