Winter 2020: A season of hope

Sepia Saturday 551: The holiday season is upon us — and that’s when Molly’s Canopy traditionally takes a break in December so I can relax, kick back and recharge.

Whispering Chimnneys (December 1954). That’s me on the porch of my first childhood home gazing in awe at the majesty of the snow. Photo by Norman J. Charboneau (converted to sketch)

This year I was grateful for the sustaining power of my ancestors as I told their stories, and my own, during New York City’s terrifying coronavirus lockdown in March-April — then through the months of reemergence as we learned how to stem contagion with masks, distance, outdoor activity and good hand hygiene.

The sustaining power of ancestors

When I began the year blogging about my fall 2019 research Albany — then continued with stories about my maternal German Stoutner ancestors — I had no idea what lay ahead. Then I stopped blogging altogether for a couple of weeks in March.

But the April A-Z Challenge drew me back to the page with Endwell: My Elementary Years fond memories about my early childhood there in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

And as the coronavirus swept the world, I turned to a series I had long wanted to write about my dad’s Uncle Albert Barney Charboneau who died in the last great global contagion — the 1918 influenza pandemic — and its parallels with our own viral outbreak.

Heartfelt thanks

Heartfelt thanks to my readers and relatives who followed along and shared valuable observations each week (among them the Sepia Saturday regulars).

Your visits, comments and solidarity helped me continue blogging on Molly’s Canopy through a difficult year for us all — and renewed my hope that the New Year will be just as fulfilling as new vaccines roll out to end our long quarantine.

Happy Holidays to you and yours from Molly’s Canopy! Please stop back in January 2021 when regular blogging resumes. Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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18 thoughts on “Winter 2020: A season of hope”

  1. My bloglife has brought me great solace and joy over the past six months too. It was lovely to be able to share stories. Happy New Year.

  2. I have truly enjoyed the posts you have shared on Sepia Saturday. Now I realize I have missed your other posts. Enjoy a relaxing holiday!

    1. Thanks, Kathy. I enjoyed your posts as well, particularly as we each chronicled the lives of our ancestors who died in the second wave of the global 1918 influenza pandemic. I look forward to continued visits to your blog in 2021. Happy New Year!

  3. You’ve written some great series this year, Molly. But as terrible as 2020 has been, I think it has given us all a new perspective on the past and a greater appreciation for the challenges our ancestors faced in their times of great adversity. Let’s hope the new decade improves.
    Enjoy a peaceful holiday.
    (Btw, I’ve added my seasonal post to the Sepia Saturday rollcall.)

    1. Thanks, Mike. You uplifting music-related posts were always a bright spot during the difficult year we have passed through. Here is hoping that 2021 will be a be a better year for us all. Happy New Year!

  4. Have a merry Christmas, Molly! I’ve enjoyed your blog as always. I’m hoping to regain some motivation to work on mine next year. But we’ll see! Meanwhile my touchstone for genealogy is my research and of course #genchat !

    1. Thanks, Christine! I always enjoyed your posts and I hope you will continue to blog in 2021. One of my resolutions is to be a more regular visitor to #genchat. Now let’s see how we each do with these pledges to ourselves. Happy New Year!

  5. It has been an interesting pleasure to follow your stories about your family – especially about Albert and his unfortunate untimely passing due to a pandemic in a different time yet so timely for us now. Best wishes for a happy holiday however you are able to celebrate it. At least now we have Zoom and other ways to be in touch even if we can’t all actually be together physically. 🙂

    1. My goodness, yes — what would we do without Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms? And let’s also give thanks for the many digitized photos and records we are still able to access from quarantine. You found some dandy ones this past year for your weekly posts. Looking forward to seeing what 2021 brings. Happy New Year!

  6. Dear Molly
    How you have both entertained and educated us during ghe year. Oh that our formal school education was so captivating. Thank you for all your sharing. I get so inspired to do something when I read your blogs, and then go off on a tangent. I need to focus and be less easily distracted with life this coming year!
    Wishing you and yours a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2021

    1. Thank you, Lorraine. I am so touched by your words. I hope you will find time in 2021 to begin setting down your ancestors’ stories. Once you make a start, you will be surprised at how easily the telling flows. Thanks so much for being a regular reader of Molly’s Canopy, and have a Happy New Year!

  7. Dear Molly: I loved your end-of-the-year message. You did great work this year, despite the pandemic. I always enjoy reading your graceful and insightful posts. Let’s all hope that the new year brings good things for all of us. Keep up the good work and take good care. Rest up! And, as Bob Fitch used to say [on his message machine]: “Can we talk? Of course!” Lots of love…

    1. Thanks so much, Jane. This means so much since you were there with me from the first blog post. Who knew our 2014 trip to see the Union Army re-enactors on the Virginia battlefields would give birth to Molly’s Canopy, which is still going strong nearly seven years later? Your writing and your friendship have inspired me. Here’s to more of that in 2021. Happy New Year!

  8. I’ve greatly enjoyed your research and well documented posts. Do take a rest, and enjoy the days and long nights, as light of peace, hope and joy return. Thanks for being here in blogland! My wordpress and blogger accounts don’t seem to automatically read here, so I seldom comment when I have to fill in the three details below. But I’ll be looking for you next year!

    1. Thanks so much, Barb. I have also enjoyed your historical blogs and the many photos you have shared throughout the year — and look forward to more of the same in 2021. A shame WordPress and Blogger aren’t compatible as I always love receiving comments from you. Have a Happy New Year!

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