Year in Review 2020

December 23, 2020

Fuzzy ChinFor most of us, the year 2020 has been a time of unexpected changes and uncertainty that we are glad to see end. For me, I started 2020 with missing a tooth and attempting to grow a beard. The facial hair stayed until February when I got tired of the itching. Mostly, I was looking forward to getting an implant to replace my tooth.

In December 2019, a metal anchor was placed in my jaw to hold the false tooth. The dentist in Iowa City said it would take three months to adhere to the bone, then I could get the gap filled. However, my dentist in Pella kept moving my appointments up and I received my new tooth at the end of February, a month earlier than I had been originally told. However, as he finished, my Pella dentist noticed the anchor hadn’t adhered correctly. Therefore, I could temporarily keep the implant, but would need to go to back to Iowa City. Then, I would have to restart the nine-month process for a new tooth again. My first appointment was scheduled for March 31, but plans changed before that visit took place.

With reports of a new virus that had the potential of massive casualties, everything shut down and my appointment was postponed. Like much of the world, I adjusted to sheltering in place and stayed home when I normally would have started going out.

Just before everything shut down, I made the decision not to apply as a counselor at CHAMP Camp. This was the first time I willingly did not volunteer since 2002. Camp 2019 was physically too hard on me and I knew I had to retire. With such a change, maybe that’s why the world went nuts! It turns out I could have volunteered for virtual camp, but participated as much as I could.

Tilting back watching trainsDue to school restrictions, I missed a few college and grade school classes I normally visit. As colleges adjusted to virtual classrooms, I was able to give my regular presentation via Zoom. Without needing to travel, I was able to talk to a school in Indianapolis, as well as my regular Iowa colleges. Before this year, it isn’t something I would have considered, but I think it could allow for more school visits. It doesn’t work as well as in person, but pretty close.

All summer, my parents and I watched church via livestream on YouTube. I didn’t think I would get to preach this year. However, I did get the opportunity to give God’s Word once in September and again in October at Peoria CRC. I missed church fellowship with other believers and enjoyed getting to be with a congregation again, even if just as a visiting preacher. I was scheduled for another church after Thanksgiving, but the service was cancelled due to increasing virus concerns.

Joel PreachingI went to my regular doctor’s appointments and little else. In August, my dentist noticed the tooth implant had finally adhered to the bone. He said he hadn’t seen such a thing happen before, but was thankful for small miracles.

Thankfully, my parents and I have stayed physically healthy this year. We went on a few train watching trips that didn’t require interacting with the public, but not much else for outings. We all missed being active outdoors, but did what we could. They did manage to get two overnight trips organized, but didn’t go far from home. Trips primarily included watching trains and having car picnics.

Doctor visitThrough all the uncertainty, I have had good nursing coverage. My main day assistant was gone for four weeks, but nights have been covered and God brought us through challenging days. It was possible the first three months of 2021 would have several open nights, but that has now been resolved.

My parents have stayed very busy with work despite many business closures. We’re thankful for job security, but they would also like to get a much needed break and time away. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to get help for me in the evening to allow them to be gone.

Even with extra challenges, I’m thankful for the year and the blessings God has provided. In 2021, I am uncertain about changes in health insurance proposed by the newly selected president. I pray I will be able to stay home and active, but will go wherever God leads me. This year has allowed me to make significant progress in my book and I look forward to its competition.

Have a great and blessed year ahead!


Weekly updates are available on my blog, The Quad Life.

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