Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Wisconsin readers share why they’re thankful in 2020



As we discover ourselves within the midst of an uncommon Thanksgiving season in a 12 months that is been marked by uncertainty and isolation, it might appear arduous to discover a silver lining because the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip Wisconsin and the nation.

Many household get-togethers are disrupted this 12 months, journey plans have been postpone, and its arduous not to consider the toll from the pandemic on our well being, our family members, our livlihoods and our skill to do the issues we get pleasure from.

But regardless of the hardships, readers inform us there’s no scarcity of causes for folks to be grateful this 12 months.

A number of weeks in the past, we requested readers throughout the state what they had been grateful for in the course of a pandemic, they usually had a lot to share. From well being and extra time for household and hobbies to expertise, cleansing merchandise and extra, folks in Wisconsin have quite a bit to be grateful for. And many individuals shared what they’ve realized about themselves and the world round them throughout the pandemic.

Here is what they mentioned:

‘Our cups runneth over’

Chrisa Hickey of Ephraim mentioned she and her household have quite a bit to be grateful for, particularly by means of the final two years.

Chrisa mentioned her husband, Tom, hadn’t been feeling effectively within the fall of 2018, and ended up within the hospital round Thanksgiving that 12 months. He was recognized with end-stage liver failure, was septic and bleeding internally. Tom was within the hospital for 2 months earlier than he went right into a coma, and docs informed his household to arrange for the top.

As an alternative, Tom held on. He acquired a brand new liver, labored by means of a protracted restoration and was house that spring to start rehabilitation at house.

After a couple of 12 months of rehab, Tom went again to work at his handyman enterprise, however then the pandemic began. For the reason that medicine that retains him from rejecting his new liver suppresses his immune system, he’s at excessive danger if he contracts COVID-19, Chrisa mentioned.

Fortunately, lots of Tom’s purchasers are seasonal residents in Door County, so he may work on house tasks after they weren’t round, she mentioned.

“I’m so grateful he was capable of return to the enterprise he loves, as a result of he’s vibrant and wholesome getting out and being lively,” Chrisa mentioned.

Chrisa was laid off from her job as a strategic account supervisor for an organization that has software program for auto insurance coverage firms on the finish of August due to a drop in enterprise throughout the pandemic, however she mentioned she is doubly grateful for that.

Chrisa and Tom’s first grandchild, Jameson, was born August 16. Their son Alex, his spouse Kathi and Jameson moved again to Chrisa and Tom’s house in Door County a couple of weeks later, and Alex joined his dad’s handyman enterprise.

“On Thanksgiving day, Tom and I will probably be surrounded by our three youngsters, our superb daughter-in-law and our grandson,” Chrisa mentioned. “Certain, we’ve got been self-isolated since March to guard Tom. Certain, we’re consuming away our financial savings till I discover a new job. However everyone seems to be right here. Everyone seems to be wholesome. We’re collectively, loving and supporting one another. COVID be damned. Our cups runneth over.”

‘I found what my life is all about’

Joanne Kolodzik of Fox Crossing used to do volunteer work on daily basis of the week. That hasn’t been potential throughout the pandemic, so she dedicated to taking advantage of her spare time.

Joanne mentioned she is grateful for the “unstructured time” she now has, and, as a former trainer, she began to make “lesson plans” for her time every week. She scheduled time when she will be able to be taught, time for enjoyable in nature and time to spend with scripture and to ponder points of life.

“Sticking to my private routine, I communed with the sweetness, fact and goodness round and inside me,” she mentioned.

She watches TED Talks, reads and takes time for images, as effectively.

“In search of to share my observations with household and pals, I found what my life is all about,” Joanne mentioned. “This led me to supply my distinctive images and playing cards to achieve out to others, bringing optimism to them. That was the fruit of my unstructured time.”

‘I’m grateful for my son’

Religion Zangl of Maribel mentioned her son, who was born final November, has been a vibrant spot by means of the pandemic.

“I’ve had the privilege to look at him develop from a new child to be taught to stroll, chortle and work together with the world,” Religion mentioned. “I’m additionally grateful that I’ve gotten to look at my husband develop into a beautiful father.”

‘I’m grateful for my life’

Tina Mandeville lives – and now works from house – in Madison, however she additionally has a small home subsequent to her dad and mom’ in Weston. As a self-employed accountant and a single mom to her great-grandson, she mentioned she is grateful for simply being right here.

Tina, 70, mentioned she is grateful for the automobiles, roads and highways that enable her to journey safely between her two properties, and she or he is grateful her dad and mom live self-sufficiently, at ages 90 and 94, within the house they in-built 1950.

Expertise has allowed her to proceed her accounting work simply since March, and she or he has been capable of proceed to see purchasers in particular person, whereas additionally receiving their info by means of mail, e mail, fax and envelopes dropped off at her door. Tina mentioned she is grateful that she was allowed to proceed working as a vital enterprise on-line and in particular person. She even has extra purchasers this 12 months than common as a result of so many different places of work had closed and folks wanted assist, she mentioned.

Tina has at all times disinfected her workplace and ready rooms, and she or he has continued these efforts. She mentioned she is grateful for the cleansing merchandise that she typically took with no consideration prior to now.

Household can be necessary to her, and she or he is grateful for kids, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in addition to her brothers and sisters, all of whom keep in contact with cellphone calls, Zoom chats and letters. Tina mentioned her household has been capable of get collectively in a lowered capability, conserving security in thoughts, as effectively. She can be grateful her dad and mom are capable of share their legacy with their great-great grandchildren, as effectively.

“I’m grateful for my life,” Tina mentioned. “Though modified by COVID-19, nonetheless a life full of affection.”

‘We now have all needed to be taught extra endurance and tolerance by means of this pandemic’

Karen Olson of Marshfield has been discovering herself extra grateful for little issues that she typically took with no consideration.

Karen mentioned she is grateful for the individuals who bag her groceries and inventory the cabinets on daily basis, and she or he’s grateful for the hair salons and different small companies and their workers who battle every day to remain open and fear every night time about how they may pay the payments. She mentioned she can be grateful for the superb healthcare employees and security employees who danger their lives every day to save lots of others.

She mentioned she relishes every stunning dawn and sundown that she will be able to expertise.

“I’m grateful for the additional kindness and smiles I see in so many individuals, as we’ve got all needed to be taught extra endurance and tolerance by means of this pandemic,” Karen mentioned. “And most of all, I’m so grateful for my well being and that of my household and pals, as a result of with out that, nothing else actually issues!”

‘I’m grateful that God has given me such a gorgeous world to dwell in’

Dillon Ksionek from Wisconsin Rapids mentioned he tried to reduce his use of expertise earlier than the pandemic, however this 12 months it has helped him maintain a way of normalcy in his life. He’s utilizing Fb messages, texts and video chats greater than final 12 months, and he’s grateful to have the ability to use Zoom conferences for private interactions he as soon as took with no consideration.

Many important employees, together with healthcare employees, regulation enforcement officers and firefighters have put themselves at extra danger than common to assist others throughout the pandemic, and Dillon mentioned he’s grateful for his or her efforts, and in addition the for the work of lecturers who’ve been pressured out of their consolation zones to do a job that already required a lot endurance and time.

“I’m grateful that these people are so selfless and prepared to make sacrifices to proceed to assist others and to offer important companies to the group,” he mentioned. “It will be really easy to make use of a pandemic as an excuse to stroll away, but they select on daily basis to adapt and to beat the added adversity.”

Dillon mentioned he’s additionally extra grateful than ever for nature. In the course of the pandemic, many social occasions had been canceled or postponed, and that gave him the chance to decelerate and “scent the roses” this 12 months. He watched timber bud, flowers bloom and child animals roam by means of his neighborhood. He listened to the wind by means of the timber and the rain on his roof, and he took time to admire the great thing about a blue sky, stars, the moon, an October snowfall, sunrises and sunsets.

“As life slowed down because of the pandemic, I slowed down with it and began to get pleasure from the great thing about the world round me,” Dillon mentioned. “It’s straightforward to get unfavorable and to be bored at instances like this, however after I get bored, I simply look out my window now. I’m grateful that God has given me such a gorgeous world to dwell in, and I hope I at all times admire it as a lot as I’ve these final eight months.”

‘I’m grateful for my religion’

Deb Shadduck of Oshkosh mentioned she is grateful for her religion and the folks round her.

“I’m grateful for my religion in God, particularly throughout this time of uncertainty with the pandemic, election and racial points,” Deb mentioned.

She’s additionally grateful for her husband who has been there for her in illness and well being and for her household, even when they’ve their variations. She mentioned she’s additionally grateful for her pals, particularly these she will be able to rely on by means of thick and skinny.

Deb mentioned she praises God for the nice issues in her life, in addition to the dangerous issues, as a result of they carry her nearer to Him.

‘A great life isn’t what you will have. It’s who’s in your life, in your grateful coronary heart’

Linda Landowski of Custer is grateful to have a laptop with web entry, calling it her luxurious. She makes use of it to remain in contact with family members, and she will be able to entry 1000’s of recipes on the web, when years in the past, she would want to look each cookbook or written notes for a recipe she wished.

Linda mentioned she can be at all times grateful for one more day of life. As a most cancers survivor, her battles taught her the way to keep at house and make selections which are finest for her security. She can be grateful for her husband who makes her an ideal cup of espresso on daily basis. Whereas she was in lively most cancers remedies, espresso and different liquids and meals damage, burned and tasted like mud or dust. Now, Linda is grateful for espresso and some other meals or drinks that style good.

Animals and nature have additionally been a blessing for Linda. She mentioned she is grateful for sunrises, sunsets, fairly surroundings, flowers, crops and the assorted animals that go to her yard. Linda is very grateful for the raccoons that come by means of and take down hornet nests, as she is allergic to hornets.

“My coronary heart is at all times grateful for a lot every day,” Linda mentioned. “A great life isn’t what you will have. It’s who’s in your life, in your grateful coronary heart. There are at all times so many causes to be grateful.”

‘Selfmade lemonade’

Daybreak Olson of Wisconsin Rapids is grateful to have the chance to make some “home made lemonade,” out of the lemons this 2020 has given us.

Whereas the pandemic restricted teams and gatherings, Daybreak mentioned it was refreshing to see folks appreciating the brand new aquatic middle and the brand new YMCA and Boys & Ladies Membership within the metropolis. She additionally has loved the view on the new Riverwalk and the landscaping alongside the river.

“Regardless of so many individuals dropping jobs, we nonetheless have a beautiful group, each visually and in stewardship,” she mentioned.

In the course of the pandemic, she mentioned, she has been capable of get pleasure from many issues she by no means discovered the time for earlier than. Members of the family are all house and across the desk for meals extra typically now, they usually have been capable of develop of their religion collectively and have conversations about God, honesty, respect and arduous work. Daybreak mentioned the elections supplied an excellent platform for household conversations, as effectively.

Daybreak and her household have additionally been capable of decelerate and benefit from the pure fantastic thing about the world. They spent a while horseback driving, kayaking and having fun with the pontoon as a household, whereas appreciating wildlife like cranes, eagles, turtles, grouse and fish.

Training has been a change, and Daybreak mentioned they thought a brand new college schedule that integrated digital studying could be a catastrophe. However by means of that change, her 17-year-old son, Dmitry, realized extra self-control and independence and had time to get a job.

Daybreak mentioned she can be grateful for Zoom courses which have impressed her to handle the artwork courses that she teaches and taught her to be extra disciplined in her personal creations, as effectively.

Daybreak and her 22-year-old daughter, Alexandra, who lives in California, have had the prospect to scrapbook collectively by means of video chat, as effectively.

“It’s a totally different world,” Daybreak mentioned. “I do sit up for regaining some normalcy once more, however, wait, what’s regular anymore? A few of these new-found coping expertise I need to protect!”

OTHER: ‘I like you as you are’: Wisconsin readers share what they learned from Fred Rogers

OTHER: ‘May we always be thankful’: Readers from across Wisconsin share what they’re grateful for

OTHER: Wisconsin’s super moms: Readers share their stories about amazing mothers

OTHER: Wisconsin’s favorite dad jokes, from classic one-liners to groaners only a father could love

Contact Caitlin at cshuda@gannett.com or comply with her on Twitter @CaitlinShuda.

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