Giving Thanks

By Mary Jo IMG_2944

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday because of the warmth of friends and family gathering together around my table.  People fill my kitchen, good naturedly dodging each other, cats lurk in hope of a bit of turkey, and there's a bounty of goodwill.

That's not happening this year because of the pandemic.  2020 is a lost year in so many ways. So many events, so many gatherings, so many concerts and vacations, have been cancelled.

To the left is my country oak table, bought from a consignment shop. It has about five different leaves that can be inserted, and I bought it specially for Thanksgiving since I usually host here.  Not this year so no extra leaves, but I do love the table!


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True Friends

Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. Eleanor Roosevelt

Me and BFF

Me and my BFF

We all need friends and there has seldom been a time when we’ve needed them more than we do right now. The pandemic has really shown us the value of true friends – mine have definitely kept me sane throughout the lockdown and without them it would have been easy to sink into lethargy and depression. With the days blurring into one another (my husband has taken to calling every day “Blursday”!), having a weekly FaceTime chat or Zoom meeting to focus on has helped me to stay motivated. After all, when your friends ask you what you’ve been doing, you don’t want to just say ‘vegging out’! And emails from lovely friends lift the spirits no end, not least when you hear that they are safe and well and you can breathe a sigh of relief.

I’m thinking about this today especially because it happens to be the birthday of my very oldest friend – happy birthday G! – not in the sense of her age but the length of time we have known each other. And it’s made me reflect on the huge importance of the kind of friends you can really be yourself with and who probably know you better than you know yourself. Those are truly special.

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Ask a Wench: Moments of Joy

Moments of Joy

By Mary Jo

Image001This has been a difficult year just about everywhere.  A highly contagious virus, a lockdown, massive economic disruptions–I'm told that time travelers are being told to skip 2020 as they travel through time!

Yet people are adaptable, and even in dark times, we can find moments of happiness, some of which are actually a result of the lockdown.  Perhaps something that was once routine is now noteworthy, or we're finding that spending so much time at home is providing unexpected benefits.  The Wenches share some such moments. 



For me, one such event was something that was once relatively routine: going out to dinner with the Mayhem Consultant.  What made going out this particular time special was because we hadn't been out for dinner in months!  Maryland had been under strict lock down for months, and the governor had just loosened the requirements to allow restaurants to serve food as long as it was outside and staff and guests were masked (at least until the food and drink appeared.)

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The Family Tree of Life

Canva - Tree of Life Embossed Artwork on Structure (1)Nicola here. Today I’m wondering what happened to all the plans I had at the start of lockdown in March. Back then time spent quietly at home felt like an opportunity to catch up with a load of things I’d wanted to do for a while, whether it was clear out the wardrobe or start a new hobby. With the benefit of hindsight, I can see this was probably optimistic; we’ve all had a lot of shocking, frightening and unexpected stuff to deal with in our different ways, my concentration is non-existent and I haven’t achieved anything close to what I thought I would. On the other hand, and on a more optimistic note, the kindness and strength of friends, family and strangers through difficult times has been truly amazing.

One of my interests before the pandemic kicked in was genealogy. I only came to family tree research a few years ago. A number of relatives had been busy working on different parts of the family history for years and I felt they had it covered and I had lots of other things to research! But then, I don’t know why or how, I started to become interested in genealogy myself and once I’d started it became totally compulsive. I even had an Ancestry DNA test done – which didn’t reveal anything very exciting at all!

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Three Good Things

Dogwood  cathedral

Three Good Things

by Mary Jo  

This is a revised version of a blog I did way back in 2006, the first year of the Word Wenches.  It's been a lot of years, but the same ideas are still worthwhile.

I think the transitions seasons of spring and autumn are the loveliest of the year.  In the northern hemisphere we have spring and lush richness of new life.  In the southern hemisphere it's autumn, with the last nostalgic flare of beauty before sliding into winter.

But now we're dealing with the challenges of a pandemic, and a lot of stress goes with that.  Financial problems, cabin fever, way too much uncertainty, perhaps worst of all, not being able to hug people we love unless they're living with us. 


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