As we ended the year and the news of the new and more contagious covid variant came out, we really started to feel like we were in a crazy video game so, here we share with you our 2020 Game Recap.
Congratulations, it looks like you’ve made it with us to Level 12 of this awful Game of 2020. We’d give it no stars if possible; at this point all we can do is hold on to a sense of humor and keep going. Level 1 began well, we had a year of trips planned and classes scheduled for our Jewelry Lab business. The worst demon in our land, Orange Windbag, was slashed with the Sword of Impeachment and things were looking good! But then the Land of Koalas caught fire and rumors surfaced of a mysterious new foe in a distant land. Nevertheless, by Level 2 Ame had saved up enough Coin for a trip to visit her father, Vance of La Playa, in the Land of Mariachis and Anne made a foray to the nearby Land of Saguaro to learn patina alchemy.
In Level 3 the game got really tough with the arrival of the great foe - the Invisible Menace (the game trailer did not show that at all!). To deal with this, we boosted our weapons cache with Masks and Bleach Wipes and learned a new skill - Hand Washing. We also adopted Pinot Noir Home Menace Testing to monitor ourselves. But the Menace grew so in Level 4 we had to close the Lab and, sadly, we began to hear of deaths across the land, including Ame’s Aunt Jewel, who was felled after a valiant fight. We also lost Anne’s Aunt Bernice (to pneumonia). The shutdown was depleting our Treasure Chest but luckily we found a Zoomomancer Amulet, a glowing blue talisman which helped us move our classes online and keep teaching, which helped get us to Level 5.
We embraced side quests with Ame boosting her Web Shoppe and Anne stoking her Forge of Mokume. While Anne’s long-planned 50th birthday trip was cancelled, she successfully befriended a Magical Bicycle and we cheered the historic flight of the Space Falcon. But our beloved little Ruby crossed the rainbow bridge (heart failure) and an ancient demon raised its ugly head, the Wraith of Racism. Unable to accept the systemic injustice of murders by police, millions of us protested to demand accountability. Somehow, Orange Windbag had survived and continued to rampage and just then … the murder hornets showed up. By this point, the game had become totally surreal. Little did we know, it was just getting started.
By Levels 6 and 7, a bright point had become our new creation, Metal Arts Adventures. In this live, online Zoom show we explore metal arts traditions of Japan, Italy, England, and more - our glowing screens serving as the doorway to a convivial virtual Tavern. We remain grateful for the ability to replenish our Treasure Chest. Sweet little Mochi, her brave brother Zeus and Eva of The Stable are all in good health. Thusly girded by community, and after many forays through the trails of Trader Joe’s and forests of Sprout’s, we hit Level 8! But that brought two new challenges…Hurricane Monsters and Wildfire Dragons. While neither were at our door, we spent anxious hours awaiting updates from imperiled dear ones. Sadly, we did lose Anne’s Aunt Diane (to diabetes). But we also started our online Sawing Circle (a sewing circle for jewelers) and took part in the Hand Medal Project recognizing our #HealthCareHeroes. Anne and her Mom, Joyce the Squirrel Whisperer, even unlocked the achievement of a socially-distanced & masked getaway to the wondrous Cathedral of Yosemite.
Throughout Levels 9 and 10, our Band of Blue kept the Fires of Democracy blazing while the Anti-Masker Zombies spread voter suppression, racism and viruses. But the powerful wizards Biden and Harris arrived with much fanfare and we made our way through Level 10 with resolve. Finally in Level 11, Orange Windbag was vanquished!! Yet, he continues to linger like a smelly, washed up thing on shore. And, in spite of the pleas of Magi Fauci, millions travelled for the Feast Holiday, thereby empowering the Invisible Menace. However, as we write this from midway of Level 12, Orange Windbag is deflating, the Zombies are dying off, the wise Wizards are already at work, the Potions of mRNA are on the way and the sparkling goodwill of the holidays is at hand.
We have lost so much, but there have also been small, precious gifts of time, focus, fitness, food and family. We have many empty chairs at the table, but we are still here. So, we raise a glass of whatever’s at hand in celebration and humble gratitude. May 2021 will be safer & saner, calmer & kinder, more civil, and more just. Hear hear! <clink!>
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