by Joyce Wycoff
(We know the day we were born, but most of us do not know the day we will die. This love letter to my life is written on the day I've designated as my death day, the 17th of every month, and reminds me to be grateful for my incredible life.)
The last love-letter of the year falls on the combination of my monthly death day and my birthday, prompting this summary of the year.
In 2020, I ...
- Moved. When the perfect RV park on the Truckee river raised their space rent and offered no assurance that they wouldn’t raise them whenever they wanted, I bought a mobile home in a nice community with a clubhouse, pool, and exercise facilities. It didn’t take long to realize that being on a hill in Reno meant wind … lots of wind. It also didn’t take long for access to the club facilities to be closed due to COVID-19.
- Focused on making photo books. Created The Road to Gerlach as part of an application for an artist in residency program. Was not chosen for the program.
- Flew to Florida to visit a long-time friend and helped her make her own photo book about a local rookery.
- Developed a guide book to help people make photo books and was accepted by Truckee-Meadows Community College as an instructor to teach a class on photo book making.
- Explored the Nevada outback with the kids. Rocks, golden eagle nests, Aurora ghost town cemetery, fun time with family.
- Created Corona Wisdom, a book of art, poetry, and reflections about the pandemic. In order to make this book, I followed a frustrating path of learning InDesign and focused on the unfolding lessons, frustrations, and upheavals caused by the pandemic.
- Was horrified by the number of typos sprinkled through the pages of the first soft-cover copies of Corona Wisdom. Plus, the design didn’t please me. So, back to the drawing board until a hardback copy arrived in mid-November. It makes me happy and has received some lovely reviews.
- Answered a spirit call to be closer to water and nature by buying a 20 year-old RV located in Vagabond RV Park on Lake Almanor in Northern California. Being there made me want to connect more fully to nature and my spirit.
- Returned to California. As a result, I put my Reno house on the market, bought a 10 year-old RV and had it towed to Pinezanita RV Park just outside Julian in Southern California. The plan is to spend five summer months at the lake and the seven fall and winter months in the mountains.
- Reconnected with dear friends in the San Diego area and suddenly felt supported.
- Launched an online magazine, inspired by the fall colors of the oak woodland around me and watching woodpeckers create their granary trees, I launched an online magazine: The Granary Tree, where I will store bits of gathered wisdom from my journey … my acorns.
- Got cold. Became frightened by the mechanical aspects of living in an RV. Searched for a way out; contemplated moving.
- Discovered Borrego Springs, a small desert town an hour away from Julian. Stunning landscape surrounded by 600,000 acres of Anza-Borrego State Park, Borrego Springs has an artsy and somewhat quirky culture that appeals to me.
- Came close to buying a mobile home in Borrego Springs, which would have meant abandoning the idea of a two-RV lifestyle, but the beauty of the trees of Pinezanita, as well as the simplicity of my life, held me in place, resisting the pull of self-inflicted change.
- Turned 75. Grateful for my excellent health, kind and loving friends, and the lessons that just keep coming.
2020: a year of perfect vision gone awry turns out to have delivered a dollop of wisdom. I have chosen to live closer to nature and will learn to live with its challenges.
Dear 2021 ... it would be perfectly fine with me if we made it through the year without moving. Just saying.