Here in our household we started off 2020 with a new baby. That was the nice part. We stayed in to keep her from catching the flu. I looked forward to the end of flu season so that I could proudly parade my two beautiful children around to all of my favorite thrift stores and buffet dining establishments ( I can’t believe I haven’t had Pizza Hut lunch buffet in over a year!).

It was decided finally that our floors were rotten, and it took two weeks to fix them. With a new baby I was beyond annoyed that I had to pack up and move out. But, I stayed with my parents and it was good to be back home. I didn’t know at the time that I would barely see my family for more than five minutes in the yard here and there from March12- Aug. 7 (when we took our first car ride with my mom in over four months.) I guess the rotten floors were a blessing in disguise.

We missed our big Easter celebration. It was a rainy day, anyway. We celebrated the boy’s fourth birthday with a drive-by birthday party and dinner on the front porch with his grandparents. Our neighbors were so kind to drive their tractors by, forming a tractor parade just for him. It wasn’t the big get together he was used to, but he loved it.  For my own birthday I decided I would spend the day going to a few thrift stores in town, since I had hardly been able to all year. But my throat was sore, and I had a fever. So I stayed home and got tested for COVID on Monday. It was negative. (To this day, I have a low-grade fever, and I really think that my thermometers just don’t work.)

Even when we started seeing family occasionally, it wasn’t like it used to be. We never stayed the entire day like we used to, and we stayed mostly outside and I had a heart attack if anyone tried to sneak a hug in with the kids.

In October we started getting out a little bit more. We had a few near normal experiences eating inside with family and letting grandparents keep the kids for a few hours. I had a yard-sale at my sister’s house. We went to the same few houses we always go to on Halloween. October was a good month.

In November there was no going to two or three family Thanksgiving dinners. Mama made me a sweet potato casserole for my house. It was the best I’d ever eaten.

There was no rushing out to do Christmas shopping on Black Friday. We did most all of our shopping online.

Little sister turned one and we had a little party, just the four of us. We had a drive by party for her too, but she was too young to know what was going on. And there was no outside dinner with grandparents, because it just wasn’t worth the risk with COVID numbers rising. I feel like sister got cheated on her first year. At least she won’t remember it.

Christmas celebrations with grandparents were rushed and masked. Michael and I had a nice time together at home watching the kids enjoy their toys and eating leftovers.

We were in bed by 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

We made it through, and 2020 wasn’t all bad. We spent time at home. The boy has played in more mud puddles than most people probably ever even see in a lifetime. Little sister doesn’t seem to mind that she never gets to go anywhere.

And now it’s 2021. And it really doesn’t seem like this year is going to be any safer than the last. 

And that, as Forrest Gump would say, is all I have to say about that.

Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at

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