Karin and Anders did manage some ski trips at the very beginning of the year; Karin spent a week in Austria with a friend and then the two of them went to Italy for a week in February...right before the pandemic started...in Italy. (They were fine). And that was the beginning of the end of all the events I could potentially fill this letter with.
Liz’s choir stuttered to a halt. The AWC had 2 monthly meetings and we squeezed in Pie Night, then that shut down, too. Here in Sweden, especially down in southern Sweden, even though all the cultural events closed down, including theaters and concerts and venues, life went on pretty much as normal, but with fewer friends, no hugs and fewer friendly faces at work.
Anders continued to work in the office until after the summer but Liz’s company started a rotation schedule in early March so she spent most of the year working part-time from home, until October when she and her colleagues were all sent home full-time. At Tetra Pak’s, all of Anders’ courses have transitioned online and he’s won a lot of praise from management for how well he’s put the whole thing together.
So...no getting together, no birthday parties, no summer vacation, no dinners with friends, no visiting with Anders’ mom. Everyone around the world in the same boat, so no complaining about it either. Sadly, this summer, Liz’s grandmother died, just before reaching her 104th birthday. It was hard on the whole family not to be able to be together.
Karin turned 21 this summer, and Martin just turned 23. Karin had all her plans for this year turned upside down as well, and as a consequence of the pandemic and a hiring freeze at Axis, lost her job. She also decided to put off starting university for another year since the program she was accepted to went online-only. Luckily, she got a new job almost immediately at Flyinge school, right next door!
Martin has been working since earlier this year at Domino’s in Detroit and is now making plans to move back to Sweden sometime in 2021 and start up college again here, which we are thrilled to hear!
During the summer, Anders did a fantastic job of completely renovating our deck and enlarging our porch, and in the past few weeks, he also lengthened one side of the garage roof which now sports 15 solar panels! New deck furniture was the finishing touch and we are looking forward to using it when the weather warms up again!
The best highlight of 2020 was Liz’s brother John’s new baby girl, born in October, little Kaya Jo. An addition for the family, just when we needed some good news!
We had a little bit of respite in the late summer when things lightened up in Skåne, but they quickly went south again and we’re now back into lockdown everywhere. The coronavirus seems even closer than before, and we all know more people who have had it. Thankfully, most of them have had very mild symptoms and recovered quickly. We are still limiting our get-togethers and staying home, and have, as a consequence, cancelled nearly all of the holiday events and activities that usually brighten up the end of the year. Writing a letter about 2020 seems like a exercise in pointlessness, but since we do have things to be thankful and grateful for, it seems appropriate to keep up this tradition at least!
We hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday season no matter where you are or who you’re with, and that you all stay safe! We sure hope that we’ll be able to see our friends and family again in 2021.
Keep up with all the Ek Family happenings, apart from this online journal: