Photo By: Sue Hardesty

Her most recent book, An American Queer, a collection of “The Amazon Trail” columns, was presented with the 2015 Golden Crown Literary Society Award in Anthology/Collection Creative Non Fiction. This, and her award-winning fiction, including The Raid, The Swashbuckler, and Beggar of Love, can be found at www.boldstrokesbooks.com/Author-Lee-Lynch.html.

The year 2020 wasn’t a total bust except for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who should not have died or have been permanently harmed by Covid 19. In the U.S., many lay those deaths and disablements at the hands of the greedy, power-hungry 2020 administration and its followers.

Personally, I’ve been taking inventory of the bad and the good with my sweetheart, and finding some surprises.

Yes, over seventy-four million Americans voted to keep the traitorous officials in office, but eighty-one million plus voted to restore our democracy.

There are arms-bearing fanatics at the gates, but they have served to expose long-entrenched enemies of this country: racism, misogyny, religious zealotry, fear of any kind of difference, from xenophobia to homophobia. I trust many Americans are finally acknowledging these defects in ourselves.

I couldn’t see my family this year, but I can call them without the long distance charges that accrued when I was a kid and my mother dialed her family once a week at low Friday night rates, if no one was on the party line.

To compound that loss, our much-loved niece is sick and in pain from cancer treatments, but the treatments will cure her and then she’s going to treat herself to Disneyland.

We lost our good and gorgeous gray cat Bolo, but we’ve adopted a shelter cat and a foster dog.

A long-term couple, old friends of ours, are no longer together, but are finding their ways.

Our perfect lesbian neighbors are moving away, but now are our fast friends and are trying to find a buyer compatible with us.

We endured colonoscopies, but have clean bills of health.

Covid isolation made me put on the pounds, but I’ve already lost more than I gained.

My sweetheart has a demanding job with long hours, but with her sacrifice, we can afford our goofy, loving cat and dog.

We had to give up feeding seed and suet to the birds when rodents discovered the food source—and our house—but our sugar water feeders were so swarmed by hummingbirds that everyone, from friends to delivery people, delighted in coming to our door. The hummers outnumbered humans enough to relax their shimmery bodies and let us watch them from inches away. Other neighbors provided for the birds we lost.

The roof needs replacing like, last summer, but by staying home we’ve saved enough money to get it done next spring.

Our neighborhood cancelled the monthly potlucks, but I’m no longer exposed to that ridiculous number of homemade desserts.

Speaking of food, the women’s lunch, the Mexican lunch, the men’s breakfast, and worst of all, Butches’ Night Out—all were cancelled in 2020, but have I mentioned my clothes suddenly stopped shrinking?

My county just entered the extreme risk category for COVID, but I know no one who has gotten sick and we tested negative, thanks to our ability to isolate.

A beloved old friend died, but we had one last joyous visit in the mountains around Crater Lake in Oregon before her last decline and her spouse is going to, slowly, be alright.

Top conferences like the Golden Crown Literary Society and Saints and Sinners went virtual. I missed getting together with friends, other readers, and writers, but the popularization of Zoom and Duo and Skype have strangely given us perhaps more in depth encounters than hurried lunches and large group dinners.

Shopping became an infrequent, rushed chore, but impulse buying, useless accumulation, and shopping as fun may help save the planet.

Between the plague and the threat of a Totalitarian state, I feared my time on earth had been shortened, and it still might be, but day to day I’ve had more time than ever to finish a book, start another, be with my sweetheart, and just be.

For me, the word “but” has become synonymous with the word “gratitude,” as in: the 2020 occupier of the White House severely damaged our country and my gratitude to everyone who helped oust him is strong—no buts about it.

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