Wednesday, December 30, ten Mesa West Rotarians enjoyed the virtual holiday gathering planned and hosted by our Club Service Chair, Pam Cohen.  A few accepted the challenge to participate in an ugly holiday sweater fashion show.  
When Pam asked about highlights of 2020, she got the following responses:
Jeanie Morgan was happy a new great grandson, Tucker Yates, arrived in Georgia in August.  He is healthy and happy and creating a lot of joy as new photos are posted regularly.
Ray Smith was able to top Jeanie's announcement.  He also has a new great-grandson, but also has a new great-granddaughter on the way.  He was happy they finally finished their family getaway in Alpine.  It had been a three-year project getting it to  completion.  Pam thinks the club should plan a getaway there.
Dan Coons has enjoyed the opportunity to serve as President of Mesa West, saying "It's been a lot of fun!"
Colleen Coons has enjoyed the opportunity to be Mesa West Rotary's First Lady and watch Dan grow.   In 2020, she has found an ability to make things fun!  
Wayne and Lu General were thrilled to have Dan and Colleen as Mesa West's head honchos.  They feel like the club has flourished under very good leadership.
Warren Williamson was enjoying his favorite beer.  He said 2020 has been uneventful - like most of his life.  He said that was probably a good thing.  The highlight of the week - maybe even the month - was getting the gutters fixed around their spa.  He has a small group at his office - usually just himself and one or two other people.  They have had friends over in small groups a few times.  Warren said 2020 was a year where no news is good news.  Son Hee and their sweet little dog joined the party for a while.
Ray Smith was waiting to enjoy some hot chocolate.
Polly Cady said their year had been trying.  It began with a Viking Cruise  to South America in January when everything was still normal and you could see people's teeth when they smiled.  She loved visiting Argentina.  They also visited Patagonia at the southern tip of South America where she said it was very cold.
Allan Cady explained that he and Polly and the Generals were attending the virtual gathering from a hotel room in Tubac.  He said the highlight of his year was when he and Polly were in Peoria, Illinois with the patriarch of their fishing group.  His friend, Chris, had turned 92 in 2020.  They were gathered together with them for Chris's granddaughter's wedding.  All they guys smoked cigars and drank on the patio.  Chris said, "Allan - I never had a brother, but you're my brother."  Allan said it was a compliment of the highest order.  Allan never had a brother either, but now he does.  Polly added that they were on a Zoom meeting with them on Christmas Day and she really enjoyed her brother-in-law.
Pam tried unsuccessfully to share a video of heartwarming stories from 2020.  When she couldn't bring it up, she recalled two of her favorites.  The first was a group from a neighborhood in London who all went out with umbrellas and danced in the rain.  Since then at 11:00 AM, they all go out and dance in the street.  The second was when a US Veteran, who was 103 years of age survived his bout with COVID and was being released from the hospital on his birthday.  As he was being rolled out, the staff was wishing him, "Happy Birthday Papa."  The link to the full video is:
Pam was prepared with a trivia game where she showed photos of traditional New Year foods as part of a trivia game where everyone tried to guess what they were.  CLICK HERE to see the ones she showed, then CLICK HERE for a website where you can see other traditional new year dishes as well.
The final fun activity was the Ugly Sweater Fashion Show.  Pam's sweater is the top one shown.  It is "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.  Ray's isn't shown to it's best advantage, but it was obvious he looked like an official Christmas Elf wearing it.  Ray also modeled a sweater for Wendell who had travelled to Virden New Mexico to place the memorial on Carolyn's grave.  Wendell's sweater is more than 30 years old.  Gloria Patrick had a picture of Wendell wearing it in a Baseline Rotary book.
What's Ahead in 2021?
Jeanie Morgan is looking forward to getting the vaccination for COVID followed by more FREEDOM!
Warren Williamson again vowed not to indulge in excess moderation.
Polly Cady hopes to be able to travel a little bit more without having to be as careful - see family quite a bit more, and hopes to get back to in-person Rotary - without masks!
Allan Cady seconded all of that stating they know they have to be patient, but are anxious to get back to normal behavior.  They are thankful for all they have and all the friends and family they have.
Wayne General expressed his good wishes for everyone.
Lucinda General said we all need a boat load of patience.  She wants to focus on kindness.  She hopes the club might have a family day at Riverview park.
Colleen Coons stated she wants to be a better leader in 2021.  She is taking on a new assignment at work.  She wants to be a better mother.  She also wants to be a better wife, if possible.  (Dan says she's perfect).  She echoed Lucinda's desire to lead with kindness.
Dan Coons said every day is a blank slate to offer kindness, caring, and giving and keep improving on those things.  He wants to try harder and help improve inner peace for others through kindness.