Not so bad afterall.

On New Years Eve, our family talked over the dinner of Tamales we bought from a local small (really small) business. The topic I introduced was all about the year we were about to emerge from. As you know, it wasn't just any year, this was the year to forever be talked about and mankind may even go on to cringe at the mere mention of the date 2020. I know for me at least, it carries with it the trite tone of a connotation that accompanies an overused term coated in negativity, sadness and controversy. In fact, the topic perhaps should be avoided at dinner tables to prevent associating the feeling of revulsion with the meal in front of your guests.  At least, that is if you choose to focus on the bad parts of the year.

Reflecting on the havoc that was released in 2020 was not the point of our conversation. I recently noticed that there were some events that occurred this past year in our local area, that would've normally been THE monumental notation of the year.. but instead were easily forgotten amidst the election/Covid/riot happenings of the year. In fact, I recently found myself blinking my eyes in amazement and metaphorically scratching my head as I tried to decipher if these memories were a dream, if they really happened this year, and how I could have overlooked them.

If any year has been packed full of events - this one takes the prize I'm sure. In addition to politics, social issues, riots and the pandemic, everyone by location and by household had their own experiences on top of those continually touted on national news. For us in Utah, we experienced a sizable earthquake just a few days after the stay-at-home mandate was ordered in March. After having been taught annually throughout our childhood about the BIG ONE (earthquake) that has been predicted will occur in Utah, this was a rude awakening - metaphorically and literally as well - and it shook us to the core. Aftershocks continued for months (was it a record number recorded? I'm interested in knowing) and I think we're still uneasy as a result of it. As for the personal side-effects that stemmed from everything in 2020 - that is for each of us to write about - but I eluded to mine in this blog, if you're interested.

The memory that I slightly recalled recently, in the wake of all of the events, was notable - but became awash in a dream-like memory amidst the chaos. In September (yes, just a few months ago, yet my memory had already faded! What is happening to me?!), land locked Utah had, what meteorologists have related to a hurricane. The storm stemmed from hurricanes off the coast and managed to reach our state; another crazy event, but at this point it seemed almost expected, given the madness that had already occured in 2020. Meteorologists said, "The main difference between what Utah experienced overnight and a real hurricane was the lack of rain and storm surge; the rise in seawater caused by the storm and causes the majority of damages hit by tropical systems." It ripped up lawns with more efficiency than perhaps sod removal machines could achieve. It toppled countless trees that had stood strong for 100+ years. A man was killed by the door of his truck being thrown open into him. Schools and businesses were closed and the power was knocked out for 200,000 homes. The national guard was called in to help with the destruction. A week later, there were still 4700 homes without power. People had lost the food supply they'd built up in their freezer since March and many couldn't work. To me, the craziest part of that event was the fact that I could so quickly forget it happened at all. 

This started me thinking and was the reason we had our New Years Eve dinner discussion as a family. How many things would we overlook or forget because of the chaotic events of 2020? We began to recount our year, which was chock FULL of memories!

I'll recount a few:

  • My sister's 1st baby was born in January
  • Hyrum took a big fly fishing trip in February
  • I was able to help my Dad through an unexpected surgery and recovery while my mom was gone helping my sister and her husband and new baby.
  • We took a 5 day trip to St George Utah in March
  • I got to fly out to LA to visit my sister and get in all the baby snuggles I could for 8 days in March - (immediately before the lockdown and earthquake and all that was to follow. What a blessing!)
  • Hyrum was able to keep his job by working at home.
  • We got to finally launch our neck gaiters that we'd been working on for over a year. (great timing, right?)
  • Utah had a big snow at the end of March and we got to go up the canyon and enjoy walking and playing in the beauty of it all
  • We drove to 9 mile canyon and saw the petroglyphs
  • Hyrum took our son on a day trip, fishing in Nevada for his 16th birthday and let my son make the drive along with many memories.
  • We spent a day inside playing games and crafting all day for my daughters 10th birthday and enjoyed our other daughters birthday on vacation.
  • Hyrum and I celebrated our anniversary in May by fly fishing, then getting to order food curbside and spent the night "away" in our big treehouse.
  • We finally purchased our first RV trailer and explored our state in new ways as a family, finding new rivers and lakes and making new memories fishing, riding bikes and telling stories over the campfire.
  • Our family vacation happened to be one that didn't need to be canceled, since we were renting a cabin in South Dakota. It was there that we each made the most amazing memories that start conversations full of excitement still. We explored caves, drove the needles highway, fished beautiful rivers, saw Mt Rushmore, Visited Devils Tower in Wyoming and fished in Colorado, to name a few memories.
  • Hyrum took another high mountain, week long backpacking trip to successfully find golden trout. 
  • We took the kids to remote locations to rock hunt for geodes
  • We woke early one morning and drove out to see the sunrise over the salt flats - our son's spectacular idea
  • We fished in multiple locations where large moose crossed our path
  • We reviewed some film to find the eerie visitor that lurked behind Hyrum's back while fly fishing - and now we keep our head on a swivel more when we're out. Lesson learned. (check the video out HERE and let us know what you think it was)
  • High On The Fly was featured in Midcurrent magazine TWICE. (see HERE)
  • Our family succeeded in achieving the Utah Cutthroat slam together. (Our blog about that will be coming soon, along with some awesome news!)
  • Our son's school got to play all of their football games and we got to see all of them in person and cheer him on in his successes!
  • Our daughters grew in their talents of sculpting, creating cosplay and art by leaps and bounds
  • Our son got to finally get his license, date, and get a job
  • Our children fondly recall their experiences traveling around and each getting their turn to fish with Dad. 

In the end, this is what 2020 was to us. We LIVED we LOVED and we TRIUMPHED. Life was experienced and memories were made. 

With so many negative things going on in the world, it's SO important that we don't lose sight of the positive! There is so much good that is happening and so many amazing things we can do. It is equally important to notice the good that happens and acknowledge the bad - because making it through is a triumph and full of valuable lessons we need to learn!

If I was going to use one word for 2020, it would be PIVOT. If I was going to take the lessons of the year and offer advice for the next, it would be to persevere, have hope, keep pushing on, count your blessings and find a way. Also, Maybe we should keep a journal. 

What did you experience in 2020 and what lessons did you learn? I'd love to hear in the comments!

High On The Fly RV TrailerDevils TowerFly fishing with daughterfly fishing with daughterFly fishing with sonGoodbye Brook Trout

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