Scarred but thankful

It’s a new year, and I am grateful that 2020 is behind us. There’s a lot for me to remember — I turned 50, celebrated 20 years as a blogger, marked 10 years in my job at the Duke Department of Medicine (and then moved to a new position in the Duke Clinical Research Institute), and all that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions and fears and frustrations.

I’m starting this new year in a new space. Erin’s new office shed to the west of the house was completed last month and when she moved in there, I inherited the space inside the house (the former carport that we had enclosed to make an office and laundry/mudroom). My desk is set with work and personal computers, and I look south past the driveway and gravel road to the tall trees; the oaks and poplars are bare right now, but the bronze leaves of the American beech trees and the green needles of the loblolly pines are visible. The other night I stepped outside and heard two great horned owls in conversation. Inside the office, the potted Meyer lemon tree is loving the bright sunshine that fills this space each day. There are four lemons growing on the tree, and a blossom promising another.

I also am starting this year with a permanent reminder of the months that have passed. I have a new inch-long scar above my right brow, and daily jokes from my family about how I got it: too many laughs and drinks one night with a group of friends, a wave of nausea in the morning, coming to flat on the bathroom floor, and my head butterflied and bandaged by Erin. A lesson learned the hard way.

I’m thankful to be alive and well for a new year and ready to make a mark on 2021.



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