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I’m hopeful for a brighter 2021

TAGS: Farm Life
Carol Ann Gregg Coloring book, puzzle, crossword book with blanket
CROSSWORDS AND KNITTING: COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and winter is right around the corner, so find some simple activities to keep busy.
Farmhouse Window: The days are getting darker, and the weather is about to get frightful, so try something new to stay upbeat.

Soon we’ll be saying goodbye to 2020 and welcoming 2021 with open arms. Here’s hoping that the new year really does bring new and better things for all of us.

As I look to the new year, I can’t help but think how many new words or different definitions will be added to the next edition of Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. My copy is a 1991 edition that my sister gave to our mom for Christmas, so she could use it with her crossword puzzles. The number of new words since then is phenomenal.

What words are we using now that we never used before March 2020? I immediately think of COVID-19, PPE (personal protective equipment), masking up, social distancing and self-quarantine.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, we will continue to use our masks when in public, exercise social distancing and basically self-quarantine in our homes. Here’s hoping that a vaccine can be approved and distributed soon, as well as quick, accurate testing.

As far as agriculture goes, many of us will continue with our daily tasks this winter. Some of us might be looking for something new to brighten our days and to occupy our time.

I’ve been baking for Meals on Wheels more this year. They continue to serve the shut-ins in our community, and they have a special need for sugar-free desserts. It has been a fun challenge to create something different and appetizing for these people.

My knitting group at the local library has partnered with a local women’s shelter. We provide them with hats, scarves and mittens in the winter. Throughout the year, we create homemade dish cloths, pan scrubbers and other household items. One of the group’s members loves to create knit toys and has made several different soft, cuddly items for the children to call their own.

This winter, I plan to put together at least one jigsaw puzzle and to pull out a couple of adult coloring books. It’s been a while since I have colored pictures. I love that these books have intricate designs that I expect to be challenging.

Many of us look forward to the influx of seed catalogs in January. Many people who had never planted a vegetable garden did so in 2020. I’ll bet many of them will be doing it again in 2021.

I haven’t planted a vegetable garden for many years, but I still enjoy perusing the colorful pages of the seed catalogs. I am working at planting more perennials in the flower beds, so I have fun trying to decide what plants will work. In some areas, I could use some nice ground cover. I want something that will spread along the borders but not become too invasive.

It’s getting more and more difficult for me to do yardwork, but I still want things to look nice. This winter planning should make spring planting easier.

I found several local farm markets that have nice selections of plants in the spring. This year, I learned once again not to wait until the end of the season to go shopping for my plants. I hope I remember this in May, so I can take advantage of better selections.

Let’s all try to find something positive to do this winter to help us get through until the warmer weather of spring.

Gregg writes from western Pennsylvania. She is the Pennsylvania 2019 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture and is a past president of American Agri-Women.

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