2020 Year End Holiday Letter

I hope everyone is having a pleasant 2021 so far.  Here is our annual holiday message for all of our friends and family. 

2020 has been indeed a trying year for all of us.  A year that we will never forget.  A year of learning to adapt to our new situation handed to us, and to be creative and embrace the simple things and the comforts of home.  It’s also been a year to pray for friends and loved ones that have suffered from the corona virus, and unfortunately, some we had to say good-bye to.  Helen & I continue to seek alternative ways to have fun together while doing our best to stay safe and stay home as much as possible. 

The year started off normal enough and in early February, Helen & I attended our first and only convention of the year, Zolocon Sci-Fi & Fantasy Con in Warminster, PA at the historical Centrifuge facility now billed as, “The Fuge”.  We really enjoyed this con with the absolutely amazing amount of nostalgic merchandise and items available at all the various vendor tables.  We definitely plan to attend this con again in the future. 

We celebrated Helen’s birthday at the end of February with an extended weekend in New York City.  We had a wonderful weekend in the “Big Apple”.  We visited a neat antique toy store in a unique mall that had many specialty shops including a shop that specialized in selling Old Time Radios.  We did lots of walking around the city, and for the first time we walked around the “Strawberry Fields” section of Central Park that pays tribute to Beatle legend, John Lennon.  We also toured for the first time, the “American Museum of Natural History” with its amazing collection of rocks, minerals, fossils, and…Dinosaurs!!!  Helen & I attended 2 great Broadway shows,  “The Play that Goes Wrong” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”.  And of course we enjoyed some great meals at various eateries including “Juniors”, “John’s Pizza”, and “Sardi’s”.  

American Museum of Natural History
“To Kill a Mockingbird”
John’s Pizzeria of Times Square
Strawberry Fields in Central Park

Helen & Johnny attending “The Play That Goes Wrong”
Helen & Johnny enjoying dinner at “Sardi’s”

The month of March is when everything came to a screeching halt.  Within what seemed like a blink of an eye, we all of a sudden (in no time at all) were in a worldwide pandemic.  Helen & I quickly learned that we were in the ‘high risk’ category.  Helen is 16 years cancer free and a 21 year type 2 diabetic and I am a 27 year type 1 diabetic.  So we made the decision to cancel all of our travel plans and prepared to stay home as much as possible.  All of our usual conventions, Monster-Mania, Chiller, MANC, SerlingFest, etc. were all cancelled in 2020.  Fortunately, Helen was able to work remotely from home.  We missed seeing our friends, family, going to the coffee shop, restaurants, and all the normal activities in our life.  However, we realize that this is not forever and it will pass in time.  From here, Helen & I began to cook up some creative ideas and activities for us to enjoy at home. 

One of my favorites activities is Friday Game Night.  After Helen signs off from work Friday afternoon, our game night begins.  We adjourn to the basement to start the fun.  We begin by enjoying a fun dinner, such as Pepperoni Pizza, Sloppy Joes, Hoagies, Hot Dogs, Ribs, and other fun foods like that.  While eating our fun meal we play a classic board game such as Aggravation, Yahtzee, Battleship, Trouble, Movie & TV Trivia, and others.  We also enjoy some fun music, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, etc. while playing our games.  After our game and meal, we move over to the TV for a game or 2 of bowling on the Nintendo Wii.  We’ve also played some tennis as well.  For those of you that have seen Helen’s posts on Facebook, know that she routinely beats the pants off of me, although I do occasionally win a game of Yahtzee.  However, I truly do enjoy our game night and the fact that we are now finally getting to enjoy our basement game room.  I hope we can continue this long after the pandemic is over.

Clue
Tacos
Yahtzee
Hoagies
Aggravation
Trouble
Kate & Al’s Pizza……Yum!!!!
Battleship
Sloppy Joes and Tater Tots!!!!……..A Holmsey favorite!!!!
TV Trvia………..
Movie Trivia…………
And even Christmas Trivia!!!!!!!
Hot Dogs and Baked Beans
The Flintstones Game
The Fibber McGee & Molly Game
More Pizza!!!!
Scattergories
Ribs!!!!!
And some after board game and dinner bowling with Helen & Johnny…………Helen usually wins!!!!!!!

We received very sad news in April that B-Mom’s younger brother Albert, from Cherry Hill, passed away as a result of Covid.  The passing of Uncle Al was an awakening that this virus is indeed no hoax and that it can strike at any time.  This was again reinforced when we learned that Helen’s cousin Lynn, from Tennessee, passed away in May.  Lynn was such a sweet young lady and she also passed from Covid and she was only in her 40’s. 

In adding to the creativity around the house, Helen and I participated in an online paint party where we painted sunflowers.  We’ve done many of these paint events at various venues, but this was the first virtual painting event we participated in.  Helen continued with painting this year as she completed 3 wonderful paint by numbers paintings.  Every day when she signed off from work, she would go downstairs to our make-shift painting studio and put about 40 minutes a day into her painting before dinner.  This was beyond my capability and it was around when I was taking my usual mid-afternoon nap. 

Our mini paint studio in the basement
Sunflowers
Our Virtual Paint Party!!!!
Yes, I agree Helen’s is better….but I do like the cool “Holmsey” signature!!!!!

Our beloved coffee shop “Breaking Grounds Coffee and Cafe” unfortunately was a victim of Covid and shut it’s doors for good late this year.  Helen and I did only one presentation of “An Evening of Old Time Radio” in February, and then we placed the presentations on hiatus.  However, some good news, the coffee shop business was purchased and re-opened, and is now “Colonial Cafe”.  More good news….”Colonial Cafe” has already asked Helen & I if we’d like to continue our “An Evening of Old Time Radio” presentations at the newly established coffee shop.  So, Helen & I are looking forward to hopefully sometime in the future when conditions permit us to resume and share some great “Old Time Radio” at “Colonial Cafe”. 

Since all vacations were canceled this year, we spruced up the house a bit in 2020.  We finally had our 30 year old dilapidated shed removed and hauled away.  We also had our driveway resurfaced, and we had 2 giant trees removed from the back yard.

Tree trimming and removal
Timber!!!!!
The squirrels are now puzzled……”Where are the trees????”

Thankfully, Helen and I were able to continue our internet radio show on the internet radio station “Radio Once More”.  In June we celebrated our 6th year of “Woo-Hoo Wednesday” on “Radio Once More”.  We’ve also continued our additional non-Wednesday shows known as “Woo-Hoo Extra” and we’ve also periodically combined forces with our friends at “Yesterday USA” for occasional simulcasts.  As a matter of fact we kept ourselves extra busy on the internet radio this year.  During 2020, Helen & I presented (24) 3 hour “Woo-Hoo-Wednesday” shows, and (28) “Woo-Hoo Extra” shows including (1) 6 hour overnighter,  (1) 3 hour simulcast, (1) 4 hour simulcast, (1) 6 hour simulcast, and (4) 9 hour simulcasts.  If you haven’t had the chance to listen to us yet, we invite you to tune in on Wednesday evenings, 9PM (eastern time) for some nostalgic fun at www.RadioOnceMore.com.     

“Woo-Hoo Wednesday”!!!!!

2020 is also the year that Helen and I decided to begin re-watching the entire television series, “Dark Shadows”.  Our DLP TV finally died on us, so we now entered the world of flat screen television in our living room with a new Vizio LED TV.  I digitized the entire DVD set of “Dark Shadows” and it now sits on a hard drive in our living room. We began our quest of watching all 1,225 episodes on August 1st.  Every night for dinner, we set up the TV trays in the living room and watch a handful of episodes.  My rough calculations compute that we should complete the series in April 2021.  We decided that when we finish, we’ll continue to watch a classic TV series with dinner.  We’ve considered “The Night Stalker”, “The Naked City”, and “Peter Gunn”.  Any suggestions?  Actually, I’m also watching the entire series of  “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”.  Back around April, I decided to get back on my treadmill.  Every other day, I treadmill just under a half-hour and watch an episode of a classic TV series.  I jumped around a bit until I decided to stick with “Dobie”.  Each treadmill session I cover a little more than a mile.  I’m now on episode 90 of “Dobie Gillis”, which means I’ve done over 90 miles since I started hanging out with Dobie & Maynard.  Now I realize to all you runners out there that to you, 90 miles isn’t very much, but I look at it that at least that’s 90 more miles I’ve done rather than sitting on the couch. 

Dark Shadows on our new 55″ Vizio TV. We now welcome the world of flat screen Television to our Living Room!!!!

It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the end of another year.  A very different year than we’ve all experienced in decades!!!!  Helen and I have not made any definite traveling plans for 2021.  We are awaiting the availability for when we can be safely vaccinated.   We are hoping and praying that sometime in 2021 will bring back some normalcy back to all of our lives.  Let’s all hope for the best!!! 

Be well folks!!!!  We’ll chat soon!!!!!

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