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 Something about this year makes me vocalize this familiar childhood lament. Can we, please, just be done with this year? I feel pummeled and exhausted and weary from… everything. I try really hard not to complain, for it gains me nothing, but this year is pushing me, along with most everyone I know, to the limits.

The weather has been…challenging, yes, that’s the word. We have had deluges of rain, a record number of 90-degree days, and more deluges of rain. We are on the second round of named tropical storms and hurricanes. If I even think about complaining about the weather, I just look at what the Gulf Coast has to endure this year. And the west coast—so many fires! I am grateful that Oregon and Washington finally got some rain. If we could send California some of the rain from Tropical Storm Beta…

And yet. Here we still are. Getting through this year one day at a time. Hardly any pears, but a good number of apples. Peaches ended early, but Italian plums are here. Lima beans struggled with the rain (and I love limas!), but green beans have done quite nicely. There is not a single kiwi berry on the vines, but persimmons are looking good. Raspberries struggled this summer, but figs started producing in abundance. Raspberries have recovered well for a good fall crop. You get the idea—a lot of things are less than ideal (or non-existent), but there are still good crops. I just have to be flexible and change my expectations.

As always, my mother sets the example I should follow and sets the standard high. She was getting routine bloodwork done, and the nurse chatted about what wonderful shape my mother was in and how great that she is 91. “Do you smoke?”  “No, nor drink,” replied Elaine. “Oh, I have to drink. You don’t realize who stressful this is.” My mother did respond then, but later commented to mne, “I lived through the Depression, and then World War II, which lasted for over a decade. THAT was stress.”

Well, so there. We have to wear masks for a year or maybe even two. We have food to eat and shelter over our heads, as many did not in the 1930s. Pull up your socks and do what needs doing is the example set by the Depression-era parents.

Perhaps this is the lesson I am learning this year: keep going. We have today to live and to cherish what we are able to do, eat, and to reach out to others. We are fortunate

The stresses are real. Most everyone is just one straw away from the proverbial breaking the camel’s back. However, the support from our community makes it possible for us to keep growing the food that helps feed all of us. And this year reminds me that we are all in this together.

I hope that you find the support in your circle that helps you through each day and that makes it possible for you to help your neighbor in some way. Thank you for your part in providing a portion of our support!

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