Getting vaccinated gave me hope that the pandemic will end soon. Hugging loved ones for the first time in over a year helped heal my soul. Planting trees gave me hope for healing the earth for a sustainable future. In this post, I’ll share memorable quotes of the year from my journal (some are pretty funny) and some pictures of hope and healing.
Hope and Healing Picture of the Year
This is my five-year-old grandson getting the COVID-19 vaccine. He is so brave, and so are his parents.
Memorable Quotes of the Year
How do you cut off the smoke alarm?
Ralph, on the phone with Jeanne at 10 p.m., calling from our old house in Swoope, 1/24
Why is the smoke alarm on?
Jeanne’s reply to Ralph, who had tried to start a fire in an inoperable fireplace
Sounds like a good place to get murdered.
My father’s response to my daughter, Heather, when she told him the Blue Ridge Tunnel was a mile long, 4/29
I miss the future Jeanne and I thought we would have had.
Me, gazing from the yard at the old house looking at the cows in the pastures that Jeanne’s mother owned, 5/17
I’ve had to prove my entire life that I wasn’t just a silver spoon child and that I could work as hard as any man.
Jeanne, when I asked her where she got her work ethic, 6/28
Oh my gosh, you missed the target and you have a $5,000 night-vision Bluetooth scope on your assault rifle?
My thought when our young friend Marcus missed the target on his homemade bomb that would release blue or pink smoke at his baby’s gender reveal party, 7/12
Megafires out west, monsoon rains in Arizona, heat-wave deaths in Oregon, drought in the Valley … and we argue over how many solar panels farmers can put on their land. What’s up with that?
Me, in an op-ed in the Virginia Mercury, 8/4
Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan—the longest war in American history.
President Joe Biden, 8/31
QAnon shaman Jacob Chansley, one of the most notorious figures of the January 6 Capitol riot, was sentenced Wednesday to three years and five months in prison for his role in the invasion of the halls of Congress by a horde of Trump supporters.
Dan Mangan, CNBC news, 11/17
Motion carries, seven to zero.
Gerald Garber, chairman, Augusta County Board of Supervisors on amending our 57 acres of the comprehensive plan from low-density housing to urban open space, 11/22
The South got it right today.
Larry Hobbs, a reporter for the Brunswick News on the murder convictions of the three white men who killed Ahmaud Arbery, 11/24
Today, acting through the lens of the Virginia Environmental Justice Act, the State Air Pollution Control Board rejected a permit that would have allowed Mountain Valley Pipeline to operate a compressor station in an environmental justice community alongside existing fossil fuel infrastructure already negatively impacting public health in this part of Pittsylvania County.
Press release from the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, 12/3
Pictures of Hope and Healing
As part of the regenerative farming projects at Whiskey Creek Angus, 3,000 native hardwood trees and shrubs will be planted along the streams. On December 4, friends and volunteers from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley, Altenergy of Staunton, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Friends of Middle River, James Madison University, Headwaters Soil, and Water Conservation District, and the Shenandoah Riverkeeper came to plant 300 of those trees. We were finished in two hours.
Mother and Daughter Heal the Earth
Hope and Healing From Renewable Energy
Light at the End of the Tunnel Gives Us Hope
We have great hopes of ending the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Blue Ridge Tunnel, you can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. My daughter, Heather, and son-in-law, Shane, walked with us through the mile-long tunnel.
We Hugged Dad for the First Time in Over a Year: Definitely an Act of Healing
Dad turned 97 this year and resides at the Warm Hearth assisted living community in Blacksburg, Virginia. There was a window of time where the facility was COVID-free, and since we were all vaccinated, we got to visit and hug him for the first time in over a year.
Trees Give Us Hope and Healing
This year, October was designated Riparian Forest Buffer Month. When we plant trees, it gives us hope that they will grow tall and straight, cleanse the air, and heal the earth. Trees provide so many ecosystem services. It gives me great joy to look up the trunk of a tree we planted 17 years ago that is over 30 feet tall, like the Willow Oak pictured below.
Students Give Me Hope
These are my JMU students who learned about, helped manage, and planted trees in riparian forest buffers during the fall semester.
Healing the Earth by Planting Trees
Happy Holidays From Whiskey Creek Angus
May the vaccine end the COVID-19 pandemic, may your trees grow tall, and may we have peace on earth.