The great thing about stories is they have endings. You know when you start them that in so many pages, minutes, or hours the characters will get a resolution. It may not be a happy ending but at least it will be some sort of ending to at least that one brief set of events and changes in their lives.
My year started with spectacle in Pasadena, CA. TGF and I did the traveling Christmas. First to the in-laws for the actual holiday then to Los Angeles to visit with friends and with them cross off a major bucket list item: The Tournament of Roses Parade.
Started in 1890 by the Valley Hunt Club as a way to showcase the beauty and fine weather of Southern California, the Tournament of Roses Parade (aka: the Rose Parade for everyone else) was a precursor to a day of physical tournaments that included jousting, chariot races, foot races, polo, and tug-of-war among other activities. The planners decided to have the parade entrants decorate their carriages with fresh flowers and the rest, as they say, is history.
Every single thing on a Rose Parade float must be organic. Usually this means flowers. Often it means seeds and grasses and using plants in a way that astonishes me every year.
This trip, this event, was enough of a bucket list item that I rented a high-end camera and lenses to go with it, protected it on not one, not two, but three airplane flights before I returned it to the equipment company.
The parade was as amazing as I wanted it to be, loud and fun and making friends with strangers and bonding in a very long line for coffee at the Ralph’s by the parade route. Even more amazing was getting to see the floats up-close and personal after the parade was over.
And the floats themselves…so much creativity. Gorgeous flowers that if you don’t get to smell if you, like me, simply watch the parade every New Year’s Day on TV. It was a warm day in the sun with good friends. What a great way to start a new year.
The theme for the 2020 parade was “the power of hope.” We had no fucking idea what was coming.
On January 4th we got on a plane at LAX at god-awful-o’clock. When we got off the plane at DCA just in time for rush hour I was sick. And I stayed sick until the middle of February.
And for the record, no, it wasn’t COVID.
There was no high fever, no loss of the senses of taste and smell, and all the coughing I did was a direct result of the rivers of mucus running down the back of my throat every time I approached an angle that was even vaguely horizontal.
I had a nasty bacterial infection I’d probably been incubating since before we left for the holidays, and that I probably caught (or shared with) one of my draw-mates from curling as he had all the same symptoms and required the same antibiotics and timeline to get better.
Lots of snot and two courses of antibiotics later and I was ready to take on the world.
And on February 24th at 11:45 my work life fell apart. CoolBoss (I call her this because this is how she would have labeled herself. She tried so hard to be our friend.) announced she was leaving, Friday would be her last day, and our team was getting split up.
Half the team would go to Nerd Director and the other half, which included me, would go to Empire Building Director.
Tomorrow: Part 2 where we talk about justifying your existence, micromanagement, mind reading, and moving the goal posts.