Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Wisconsin readers share why they’re thankful in 2020

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It could appear arduous to discover a silver lining this Thanksgiving because the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip Wisconsin and the nation.

Many household get-togethers are disrupted, journey plans have been postpone, and there are fixed reminders of the pandemic’s toll on our well being, our family members, our livelihoods and our means to do the issues we get pleasure from.

But once we requested readers throughout the state what made them grateful this yr, that they had lots to share — from well being and extra time for household and hobbies to know-how, cleansing merchandise and extra. And lots of shared what they’ve realized about themselves and the world round them throughout the pandemic.

This is what they stated:

‘Our cups runneth over’

Chrisa Hickey of Ephraim stated she and her household have lots to be grateful for, particularly by means of the final two years.

Chrisa stated her husband, Tom, hadn’t been feeling effectively within the fall of 2018, and ended up within the hospital round Thanksgiving that yr. 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 medical doctors informed his household to organize for the tip.

As a substitute, Tom held on. He obtained a brand new liver, labored by means of an extended restoration and was dwelling that spring to start rehabilitation at dwelling.

After a couple of yr 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 stated.

Fortunately, lots of Tom’s purchasers are seasonal residents in Door County, so he might work on dwelling initiatives after they weren’t round, she stated.

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

Chrisa was laid off from her job as a strategic account supervisor for an organization that has software program for auto insurance coverage corporations on the finish of August due to a drop in enterprise throughout the pandemic, however she stated 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 dwelling in Door County a number of weeks later, and Alex joined his dad’s handyman enterprise.

“On Thanksgiving day, Tom and I might be surrounded by our three kids, our superb daughter-in-law and our grandson,” Chrisa stated. “Certain, now we have 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 each day of the week. That hasn’t been potential throughout the pandemic, so she dedicated to profiting from her spare time.

Joanne stated 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 taught, time for enjoyable in nature and time to spend with scripture and to ponder facets of life.

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

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

“Searching for to share my observations with household and mates, I found what my life is all about,” Joanne stated. “This led me to provide my distinctive pictures and playing cards to succeed in 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 stated her son, who was born final November, has been a shiny 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, chuckle and work together with the world,” Religion stated. “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 dwelling – in Madison, however she additionally has a small home subsequent to her mother and father’ in Weston. As a self-employed accountant and a single mom to her great-grandson, she stated she is grateful for simply being right here.

Tina, 70, stated she is grateful for the automobiles, roads and highways that enable her to journey safely between her two properties, and he or she is grateful her mother and father reside self-sufficiently, at ages 90 and 94, within the dwelling they in-built 1950.

Know-how has allowed her to proceed her accounting work simply since March, and he or she has been in a position to proceed to see purchasers in individual, whereas additionally receiving their data by means of mail, e mail, fax and envelopes dropped off at her door. Tina stated she is grateful that she was allowed to proceed working as a necessary enterprise on-line and in individual. She even has extra purchasers this yr than ordinary as a result of so many different places of work had closed and folks wanted assist, she stated.

Tina has at all times disinfected her workplace and ready rooms, and he or she has continued these efforts. She stated she is grateful for the cleansing merchandise that she usually took as a right up to now.

Household can be essential to her, and he or she is grateful for youngsters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in addition to her brothers and sisters, all of whom keep in contact with telephone calls, Zoom chats and letters. Tina stated her household has been in a position to get collectively in a diminished capability, preserving security in thoughts, as effectively. She can be grateful her mother and father are in a position to share their legacy with their great-great grandchildren, as effectively.

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

‘Now we 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 usually took as a right.

Karen stated she is grateful for the individuals who bag her groceries and inventory the cabinets each day, and he or she’s grateful for the hair salons and different small companies and their workers who wrestle each day to remain open and fear every night time about how they may pay the payments. She stated she can be grateful for the superb healthcare employees and security employees who danger their lives every day to avoid wasting others.

She stated she relishes every lovely dawn and sundown that she will expertise.

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

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

Dillon Ksionek from Wisconsin Rapids stated he tried to reduce his use of know-how earlier than the pandemic, however this yr it has helped him preserve a way of normalcy in his life. He’s utilizing Fb messages, texts and video chats greater than final yr, and he’s grateful to have the ability to use Zoom conferences for private interactions he as soon as took as a right.

Many important employees, together with healthcare employees, legislation enforcement officers and firefighters have put themselves at extra danger than ordinary to assist others throughout the pandemic, and Dillon stated he’s grateful for his or her efforts, and likewise the for the work of academics who’ve been compelled 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 keen to make sacrifices to proceed to assist others and to offer important companies to the neighborhood,” he stated. “It could be really easy to make use of a pandemic as an excuse to stroll away, but they select each day to adapt and to beat the added adversity.”

Dillon stated he’s additionally extra grateful than ever for nature. Through the pandemic, many social occasions had been canceled or postponed, and that gave him the chance to decelerate and “odor the roses” this yr. 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 stated. “It’s simple to get adverse and to be bored at occasions like this, however after I get bored, I simply look out my window now. I’m grateful that God has given me such a lovely world to dwell in, and I hope I at all times recognize it as a lot as I’ve these final eight months.”

‘I’m grateful for my religion’

Deb Shadduck of Oshkosh stated 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 stated.

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 stated she’s additionally grateful for her mates, particularly these she will rely on by means of thick and skinny.

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

‘An excellent life isn’t what you may have. It’s who’s in your life, in your grateful coronary heart’

Linda Landowski of Custer is grateful to have a pc with web entry, calling it her luxurious. She makes use of it to remain in contact with family members, and she will entry hundreds of recipes on the web, when years in the past, she would want to go looking each cookbook or written notes for a recipe she needed.

Linda stated she can be at all times grateful for an additional day of life. As a most cancers survivor, her battles taught her learn how to keep at dwelling and make decisions which can be greatest for her security. She can be grateful for her husband who makes her an ideal cup of espresso each day. Whereas she was in energetic most cancers therapies, espresso and different liquids and meals harm, burned and tasted like mud or dust. Now, Linda is grateful for espresso and every other meals or drinks that style good.

Animals and nature have additionally been a blessing for Linda. She stated she is grateful for sunrises, sunsets, fairly surroundings, flowers, crops and the varied 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 stated. “An excellent life isn’t what you may have. It’s who’s in your life, in your grateful coronary heart. There are at all times so many causes to be grateful.”

‘Home made 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 stated it was refreshing to see folks appreciating the brand new aquatic middle and the brand new YMCA and Boys & Women 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 stunning neighborhood, each visually and in stewardship,” she stated.

Through the pandemic, she stated, she has been in a position to get pleasure from many issues she by no means discovered the time for earlier than. Members of the family are all dwelling and across the desk for meals extra usually now, and so they have been in a position to develop of their religion collectively and have conversations about God, honesty, respect and arduous work. Daybreak stated the elections supplied a great platform for household conversations, as effectively.

Daybreak and her household have additionally been in a position to decelerate and benefit from the pure great thing about the realm. 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.

Schooling has been a change, and Daybreak stated they thought a brand new faculty schedule that included 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 stated she can be grateful for Zoom lessons which have impressed her to handle the artwork lessons 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 possibility to scrapbook collectively by means of video chat, as effectively.

“It’s a totally different world,” Daybreak stated. “I do stay 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

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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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