Here we are seven months since my last update.
We have survived the Delta varient of the Covid virus and the pandemic is still with us. The latest varient is Omicron. It is more contagious but initial findings are that it isn’t as dangerous. We are vaccinated and have our boosters including grandson Aiden, one of the Children finally allowed to vaccinate.
We lost my step brother, Don, in October. He contracted the virus and also had a number of other serious health issues. He died just weeks after he went to the hospital for Covid. Lincoln City Hospital sent him to Corvallis’s big Hospital, but when he was stable they sent him home with Hospice care, he died a few days later from heart failure. He died in his sleep. Fortunately he didn’t suffer from the suffocation experienced by so many CoViD victims. And since he died at home he didn’t die alone, as so many have. Making the decision to send a person home when it’s clear they can’t be helped is really difficult for healthcare professionals, but in Don’s case his heart issues made the decision less difficult.
We couldn’t be there for any services and must pray for his immediate family from far away. As we miss him this holiday, I am reminded of the many “Cooper Christmas” parties we had here at the farm. Filled with family and food and laughter. We haven’t had a Cooper Christmas since my mother died in 1985. We continue to have family reunions in the summer, and for a time my sister Sharon took over the Cooper Christmas reins, but when she died and family had moved far, it became harder and harder to bring people together during winter months. One of my favorite Cooper Christmases remain one where only a few of the girls made it to the farm. We opened a bottle of wine and hunkered down. It was great.
this year I am missing those family get togethers very much. We had planned to have a family reunion last August but due to pandemic we cancelled. It would have been the last time I might have seen my brother. I can hear his “hello”, a very distinctive voice that I can’t copy but hear so clearly. His son Keith sounds like him and it’s a real joy to hear him.
This year we hope we can find a way to still connect with family even though we have been separated for so long. Those of us who are especially vulnerable, with my damaged lungs from previous pouts with pneumonia, will need to remain careful with extra vaccinations (for Covid, Flu, pneumonia etc) and continue to mask up when we venture into interior spaces with crowds. But that’s OK we can do that.
Over 700 children have been killed by Covid’s impact. It’s the saddest outcome I can imagine. While comparatively rare, it remains no less tragic for those families and communities. Our empathy is needed and seriously lacking. The entire nation is witnessing our nations worst self. Filled with fear and selfishness that I have never witnessed and would not have believed had I not seen it with my own eyes.
Here at home my family remains protective of me. Very careful for me, testing when necessary and making sure my environment remains appropriately bubbled as needed. We have expanded somewhat. Joanie, my step mom, and I have brunch at a restaurant every week. And every other month we get our hair cut. We also take a break by visiting a local nursery to buy plants we don’t need. And we really don’t need any more plants. We can’t help it. We love new plants. They make us happy.
For Christmas I wasn’t up to par at all. We put up only two decorated trees instead of the usual four or five. But I still have the six additional trees that share the space most of the year. I also added a new Pendleton wool tree. It’s fun! I haven’t put up the clear glass tree, or the charlie brown tree or decorated the Northford pine. (I can’t believe I have kept this tree alive! Yahoo!)
I did put up the real feather tree and covered it in Grandma’s feather tree ornaments. Grandma never had a feather tree though. She had the wild firs grandpa brought in. They were a bit spindly by today’s Christmas tree orchard standards but they were as lovely when decorated as any tree I have ever seen.
Our Christmas decor 2021, sad but mine
below are pictures of our current Christmas home.