And so we come to the end of 2020, a truly miserable and memorable year.
12/12/20 –You see how I get my priorities straight: December 11 was my 80th birthday. It also just happened to be the day the Supreme Court told Donald Trump to take a hike, AND the FDA gave the go-ahead to our first USA vaccine from Pfizer. WOW What a day! We can all breathe more easily now and recover from our celebrations. My day ended with a pack of 50 postcards to Georgia delivered on my front steps. No time to rest!
I’m sharing with you a poem that my son John read at the beginning of the day as part of my very special ZOOM celebration from my far-reaching family. You won’t get the inside jokes, but it is pretty special. Love and hugs, Liz Webfoot
In the year of the plague that has emptied each room
we sit alone on our asses and fumble with Zoom
2020 makes me want to enter full sedation.
Swirling, swirling down the toilet goes our worried nation
COVID kills all glee and politics are sheer damnation
What cause can there be this holiday for celebration?
I’ll tell you what cause we have:
A beacon of hope radiates from the Queen
Of our hearts on this glorious December one-teen
She brings us the joy of her eightieth year
And finally find we all a good cause for great cheer
She’s the Empress Fondue, truly one of the greats
The Duchess Lasagna who makes her own plates
She’s the Lady of Laughter, feeble-y down-y
The Mistress of Bridge, the Czarina of Brownie
We shout from the rooftops, oh you are the bomb!
Happy birthday to you, to my fabulous mom.
12/12/20 — Happy 80th Liz. You must be the youngest in our class. What would we do without Zoom in these days of isolation from our children and grandchildren? Thanks for sharing the poem. Lots of fun and love in it. Barbara Hartt Hise
12/12/20 — HBD, celebrated Mom!
I celebrate you too…and I love the “Gifts” to all in 12/11. (anonymous)
12/12/20 — Liz, you beat me by six weeks. I celebrated my 80th at the end of October. Happy belated birthday. Jennifer Seaver
12/12/20 — Indeed, best wishes, Liz. And thanks for all the contributions to this chat group. . . At this point, each birthday is special. I will mark the 8-0 next year! Elsa Anderson van Bergen
12/12/20 — Oh, Elsa, how marvelous. Surely you are the youngest in our class. When is your birthday? Webfoot
12/12/20 — Happy birthday Liz. Love your son’s poem. Nancy Cox
12/12/20 — Happy Birthday, Lis. What a wonderful poem. You deserve all the kudos. Muffy
12/12/20 — Happy Birthday Liz! Your son is a wonderful poet! You did good! Betsy
12/12/20 — Quinessential Liz! The “gods” lined up to give you the most perfect memory of events to include in your milestone moment ~ including both a special poem and the postcards’ reminder that there is still much pressing work on your calendar. Love and hugs, ~ Bobbi
12/12/20 — How did I not remember that our birthdays are only 2 days apart –2 days plus 1 year, that is, you young thing! Loved John’s poem in your honor and definitely it was a good day nationally, thank goodness!
Mine was the 9th and was also a surprisingly lovely celebration starting with Kirsten dropping off coffee, a muffin, and a bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream and ending with her bringing by a plate of the best sushi I’ve ever had, a small bottle of sake, and some egg nog. I partook of it all! (No wonder I’ve gained 10 pounds!) In between my 2 older grandchildren phoned as well as a number of friends, so I felt well feted, even in near absentia. Cheers, Kim
12/12/20– Liz, you are to be congratulated. May your first year in your eighties be a good one, hopefully much improved over the last. And
congratulations too on John’s poem – it’s truly delightful and not at
all an easy thing to bring off. Sandra (Iger Kohler)
12/13/20 — Hi there 80 year old! I really really love John’s poem–that is a work of art! You certainly are Royalty! And he is very clever! XOXOXO Babbie
12/13/20 — Liz, I echo Sandra’s words. You are such a baby! Nice to have you joining the rest of us already in our 80s. And I loved John’s poem. Liz Also
(Editorial note: There have been some hilarious anti-trump videos that are not only side-splitting but brilliant. Unfortunately, they are too big for me to include in our notes here. What’s more, it’s not considered appropriate to be political in our chats. My apologies, but a President like Donald J Trump is impossible to ignore.)
12/17/20 — I just finished Part 15 of our COVID compilation. The year is coming to an end and COVID will be with us for another few months, so I guess I’ll keep going. You will make me feel more worthwhile if you take the time to read some of the more than 60,000 of YOUR words!
Having just read over the past months of emails, there was one comment that I’d like to reintroduce. Amy told us that she was cheering on all of us “hopeful” classmates, but went on to say that she would probably be estranged from her three brothers. There followed a couple of comments. Amy, I want you to know that I have great empathy for you. I don’t know how dug-in are your brothers, but I, too, have a family member who is on the other side of this horrible national fence. It makes it very difficult for the rest of our family to talk freely when he is present. It’s hard for me to enjoy conversation with him — okay as long as I stay with his topics. I can’t mention anything that might be controversial which seems to be everything except for sports, popular music and food. So Amy, I am sad for you and hope that your brothers along with my son can budge a little and can be somewhat okay with Biden. I don’t think that that will happen, but I am always hopeful as well as also sad.
I’m feeling bad about mentioning my son. It is intentionally personal, so please keep all names confidential. Thanks.
OMG – Santa’s on his way and I have done little more than order online things which run into shipping problems. Our smaller-than-usual tree is beautiful, but it’s going to be a strangely quiet and lonely Christmas. Cheers and hugs and a little humbug — Liz Webfoot
12/17/20 — Dear Liz, We do take time to read the 60,000 words, and it gives us cheer. Please keep up the effort and know that we appreciate it. Best, BB – Barbara B Farquhar
12/17/20 — Thanks, BB. It is comforting to know how people feel about it. If you find errors, if I’ve left something out, or if you just don’t like the way I handled something, please speak up. It’s not written in stone, it’s only written in blood.
Of course if you like something, don’t be shy to include those feelings, too! xxx LWF
12/17/20 — Love and joy and comfort to all who read this. I too have a problematic relationship, Liz, and am grateful to have cooking and snow as safe topics!! And love and hugs. Dottie
12/17/20 — Thank you, Liz, for understanding – I do have a sister, three daughters and a couple of son-in-laws who see things as I do and we’re all excited about a new start – just take my brothers on their strengths and look away from their politics – getting used to being alone. No children or grandchildren with us, haven’t seen our CA family for a year, lucky I have Rob and that we get along – amy
12/17/20 — Wow, it does seem that problematic relationships are a sad part of many of our lives. My two sons do not get along–makes for strained family gatherings. But on another note, thank you for all your thoughts, observations, sharings. They are uplifting.Best wishes during this strange time. Be safe and well Barbara Freeman Douglass
12/25/20 — Merry Christmas everyone! We watched the wonderful Xmas holiday movie “Love Actually” last night, as has been our tradition for years. This has to be about the 10th time we’ve seen it — and I never tire of it — think it has to be the “ultimate” feel good movie, starring too many great British actors to list here (Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Furth, etc.). Judy K Judy Marshall Kennedy
12/25/20 — We watched our traditional movie last night—Christmas Story. You’re right, we have no class! Sally
12/15/20 — I watched White Christmas! 1954, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and more…So corny but loved the music and dancing. I couldn’t get over all those women stuck into the pointy bras of the era—guess it brought back memories of my pointy bra days. Barbara (Freeman Douglass)
12/25/20 — Just want to wish everyone in the Class of ‘61 a good—though certainly unusual—holiday. We woke up to a dusting of snow and an outside temp of 10, “feels like -4,” but my sister in Weston, MA just reported hard rain and 59 degrees. I hope everyone is safe and cozy and well. I’m sad that we won’t be gathering on campus for our reunion in May; I guess virtual will have to do. Hugs all around, Sally
12/15/20 — I am looking forward to our virtual reunion. Merry Christmas! Jennifer B-C Seaver
12/25/20 — Merry Christmas to all -it’s bright and sunny here in California, with tempertaures cool for us, in the 50s, but we’re listening to our favorite old Christmas cd’s from Chanteclair and British boy choirs. I’m looking forward to the reunion too – and will give you all a warning – Betsy, Ding and I need to get to work on the program. One thing we loved from the last reunion was our book discussions. and I hope we’ll repeat it. Ideas for other program, and people we might want to recognize for career or volunteer work? Meanwhile, enjoy the moment, with hopes for a saner and kinder government coming in! Dee
12/25/20 — Felice Navidad! Just zoomed with our Mexican son and his wife and the rest of our family! I’m looking forward to our virtual reunion also. It will be fun! Betsy
(Ed. note: a blank email arrived to the chat group.)
12/25/20 — Sorry, my puppy walked on my iPad screen. Maybe she was trying to say Merry Christmas! Sally
12/25/20 — Wishing all of us a lovely Christmas – and even a merry one if you can! Sherry
12/25/20 — Must be behind the times but just learned the in-person reunion is off . Not that much of a zoomed, will need to look for local class mates – amy laidlaw, Fernandina Beach, FL
12/25/20 — Well, it’s the end of Christmas Day, and for us it was delightful. We did nothing and saw no one and actually LOVED the day of relaxation, lovely meals, a nice walk, and internet communication with many friends and family. I am grateful for all that we have and enjoy, and I am grateful for our MHC experiences. It was not at all a bad way to begin our adult lives! Merry Christmas, and Hugs to all, Liz Webfoot
12/26/20 — Strangest Christmas ever! Just me and one son in new place and absolutely unChristmaslike weather. But a time to reflect and appreciate what I do have, including you all. In addition to the Reunion being all virtual, the date is now May 21. Save it! Best wishes! Barbara (Freeman Douglass)
12/31/20 — I want to wish everyone a HAPPIER New Year
Jennifer B-C Seaver
(Ed Note: My apologies to you readers that a marvelous video of dancing robots couldn’t make it to the website. Everyone adored it!)
12/31/20 — That video is amazing, Liz. Happy New Year to all!! Marian
12/31/20 — Such fun to watch! I’ve sent it on to others! An unusual good laugh to end this very unusually awful year. Thanks Liz! Betsy.
12/31/20 –And a better 2021 to all! BB Barbara B. Farquhar
12/31/20 — Thanks for sharing that Liz. I’m with Barb — a Better 2021 (it HAS to be, right?) to all! Kim
12/31/20 — Loved the video, especially the yellow creature. Thanks! With hope and good wishes for 2021 Barb (Freeman Douglass)
12/31/20 — “Great minds thing alike” Barb. I too was mezmerized by the 4-legged yellow creature. Thanks so much for the share, Liz.
Judy K Judy Marshall Kennedy
Come children, gather round my knee:
Something is about to be.
Tonight’s December 31 st ,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it’s midnight, children dear,
Duck! Here comes another year!
1/4/21 — Thanks, Ann. Maybe he’s not as bad as he sounded yesterday. It’s time to start holding our breath — aargh. Cheers — Liz
1/4/21 — Frannie, thanks for the Ogden Nash and smile.
I have lived in Ohio for over 50 years and so have seen both Republican and Democratic Governors. DeWine strikes me as a moderate Republican who is being squeezed by his own party. Four far right members of the Ohio legislature have introduced articles of impeachment against him (and remember that Jim Jordan is a Representative from Ohio), based on his mandate to wear masks and his regulations regarding the closure of businesses. The Chair of the Ohio Republican Party has defended him. He has struck me (a Democrat) as someone who has principles and who usually, although not always, stands by them. While I do not always agree with his positions, I basically respect him. Anne Fry
Merrian Webster Definition of coup d’état :
a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics especially, the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group
1/5/21 — Judy, I decided not to watch CNN last night. Now I’m sorry I missed Tom Friedman. I know you adore him and I’m glad that you shared this with us because I hate feeling so nervous and scared and full of dread. You make me feel less alone. I want to open the doors, and run around and scream “HELP!”. I want everyone to be ready on Wednesday for any problems. I just have to hope that they are. Certainly, “they” (whomever they are), are aware of the possibility. Deep breaths are all I can do.
I just can’t believe that we are going through this. We’re trying not to watch anything today, but I’m sure we will tune into Rachel at 7:00 or 7:30 or whenever she starts tonight. I’m trying very hard not to keep typing and spewing forth how I feel — the feeling which has been growing steadily.
Thank you for putting up with my spewing. Love you all — Liz Webfoot
1/6/21 a.m. — Hi, Ann and everyone else. Of course I couldn’t go to bed! I stayed up until shortly after midnight when it looked like things were hopeful but we would not be getting much more news. Couldn’t sleep, of course, and so I turned on the telly again to find that MSNBC had all gone to bed and turned back to CNN. And voila! I got the good news that Jon is in the lead and expected to pull it off, and Raphael is declared winner, and we’ll learn more today when they start counting ballots again around 10:00 am. However, it is now noon and I haven’t seen a change in voter tally. Nonetheless, I am feeling buoyed and so hopeful that this day will end well.
Aiyaiyai. No more voter tallying. Now we are watching the preparations for the vote count in DC — the National Guard — the HUGE mobs of angry Trump supporters. The best thing about all of this is that he’s getting such a bad rap because he’s behaving so badly. I’m not a Mike Pence fan, but I’m praying that he can stay strong and intolerant of Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the election. Liz Cheney is proving herself, too — impressive. This is going to be a LONG day. Hooray for all of us. Now what’s next? Cheers and hugs,
1/6/21 — Liz, you were the first person I thought of as the GREAT NEWS came in! I sure wish they would call it for Ossoff but it is certainly looking very hopeful! I didn’t sleep much either! But I am so relieved. Here’s to better days ahead! Kim
1/6/21 — Congress is assembling- all with masks. Now doing social distancing. Thanks to Nancy Pelosi. Interesting revolution within the Republican Party today. Ann MB
Editor’s Comments: Little did we know that January 6, 2021, was the day of Insurrection on the US Capitol, an attempt to overthrow our democracy spurned on by our President, Donald J Trump, and responsible for the deaths of 5 people. There is no way to describe the day, much of which was on television. Trump and Confederate flags were flying high, and the rioters broke into the Capitol to go after the legislators. It was gripping and awful, and thankfully the legislators made it to underground tunnels before they were found. There was a huge amount of destruction to the building and to the offices of the legislators, much theft of papers and equipment. A day none of us will ever forget.
1/6/21 — p.m. At least there is good news in what is otherwise the worst day for our country in our history. Barbara Hartt Hise
*What good news?
*Democrats won both Senate seats.
1/6/21– I was glad that happened. Jennifer
* Yes! Much needed after the awful mob today.
* I was glued to the TV all morning, not able to believe what I was seeing at the Capitol – and it doesn’t sound as though the people I was hearing thinks it will stop. What are we coming to in this country? I hope the house and senate can get through their process quickly, and that this will make the Republican objectors think twice about what they are trying to do.
* 1/6/21 — (Ed note: many forgot to sign, but it’s a rather unusual day.) What bugs me no end is that Kelly Loeffler says that after they get back to business, she will still continue to object. How dare she!!!! She says it is her duty to object. How pathetic, and what a horrible group of objecters, and what a horrible day. A couple of Republicans came through brilliantly, and for that I am grateful. Mitch McConnell, Toomey, Liz Cheney — all surprised me with their conscience-driven well spoken statements.
It’s 7:11 pm, and we’re still waiting for things in the Capitol to be cleared out. Boy, I hope they identify and nail some of the offenders. I think Trump should pay for the damage. I found interesting the discussions about removing him from office right now because he is just too mentally ill to stay in power. I think they are right: he is so dangerous. Time will tell… Hugs, Liz WF
Sue Wheatley Carr
* Priceless. Liz T
and Sue also sent in that same chart of women leaders of the world: all the sane countries who are able to control the virus.
* So true. Kim
That’s so telling. Jannifer
Uh oh! Too late for us to do anything about that
1/15/21 –Priceless, but I’m having trouble laughing at almost all of this. Such trying times. So much at stake. So terrifying. I live close to our State House here in Annapolis, so I will know if there are any threats of vandalism or combat. I doubt if there will be anything because we are such a thru-and-thru blue state. Hugs to you all —
1/15/21 — If you need to get away from Annapolis, Liz, you can come to West Chester PA. It’s about a 2 hrs drive. Jennifer B-C Seaver
1/18/21 — We feel VERY lucky to have been given our first vaccine dose a week ago – without any side effects other than a sore arm. In general, Florida, which of course is densely populated with OLD people and snowbirds, has not made registration for the vaccine easy or consistent, and appointments are available to anyone 65 and older. Multitudes of people are distressed and frustrated with the inability to manage the system and get an appointment. We, on the other hand, were so fortunate to hear about a clinic opening in 3 days time, registered easily, and (tho we had to drive 45 minutes to the next county for the shot,) spent no time in lines, screening was efficient, injection was painless, 15 minute observation was in a comfortable room, and we were home again in 2 1/2 hours! I hope the same can happen for those of you waiting… Sherry Welles Urner
Update:Cotton head and mild nausea after 3-4 hours.At about 16 hours, moderate headache, significant body aches, especially facet joints between cervical vertebrae. Injection site tenderness. A weirdly tender spot on the dorsal aspect of R foot. (A friend thought she had a DVT, and I can see why. I don’t have one, though. No redness or swelling.)Now, at about 20 hours, persistent headache, responding slightly to hydration. Exhaustion. Cervical joint pain continues and is now descending down thoracic vertebrae and down bilateral upper extremities to the elbows. Basically, like a truck hit me!Hours 22-23: all symptoms worse (especially headache and body aches), joint pain extended to lumbar area.26 hours: Everything getting better now.29 hours: headache is so persistent. Haven’t taken anything yet, but I might.Also, swollen and tender L-sided supraclavicular lymph node (on the side of the injection)!36 hours and beyond: mild injection site tenderness and the swollen lymph node are all that remain. Feeling good!Yay, immune system working!
1/19/21 — Well that sounds pretty yucky but better than the real deal! Thanks for the warning, Sally. Would appreciate hearing other stories of side effects from you all after both doses, but particularly the second one. Thanks! Kim
PS You must be a better declutterer than I am, Dee! I still have my mother’s pearls as well as several strands of my own, and assorted earrings too! They should look quite fetching with one of my caftans, my garment of choice these days!!
1/19/21 — Just got out my pearls to wear tomorrow to honor our first multi-racial female Vice President. Hope some of you are planning to do the same. Here’s a link to an article about wearing pearls tomorrow: Judy K (Judy Marshall Kennedy)
1/19/21 — Thanks Judy, I enjoyed the article. My usual earrings are my aunt Anne’s pearl studs which I’ll wear thinking about how important the support of our group is. Dottie Smith Mann
1/19/21 — Thanks, Judy. It’ll be the first time I’ve worn pearls in I-dont-know-how-many years — will feel festive. Being so close to DC, when I look at the maps of what is going on there, I find it simply astounding. I’ll admit to worry about National Guard look-alikes from those who would do us in. I will try not to watch TV when they start listing the pardons. Hugs to you all — Liz Webfoot
1/19/21 — Great story, Judy! I’m reaching for my pearls – and forwarding your link to other women i know. Cindy Dennett Yee
1/19/21 — Thanks Judy. I will wear my pearls tomorrow. They will add a touch of class to my quarantine jeans. How very exciting to have a woman VP! Nancy Cox
1/19/21 — That’s a great idea. Jennifer Seaver
1/19/21 — Didn’t know about this “new tradition” but I too will get out my pearls! Thanks for sharing this great idea! Kim
1/19/21 — It’s a good idea – don’t have any pearls any more, but could do some other beads. Dee
1/19/21 — Getting out my pearls!
1/19/21 — I still have my wedding pearls and will wear them in support of Kamala tomorrow. BB Farquhar
1/19/21 — Can I wear pearls with sweatpants and sweatshirt? Sally Sarah E Gipson
1/19/21 — Ditto. Liz T
1/19/21 — How long has it been since we put on a dress or a suit? Jennifer
1/19/21 — Pearls for sure!! Sherry
Ed note: Inauguration Day tomorrow!