Looking back at the second half of 2016
Note: This is the second post on the Daily Post theme “Retrospective” on https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/retrospective/
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Lowell, MI- The second half of 2016 rocked and we rocked with it. We rocked the Milky Way as we elected the 45th president, Mr. Donald Trump by the vote of the Electoral College.
We’ve seen stars rise, shine and fall; both on the human scene and in the sky. Most recently we marked the death of Carrie Fisher better known as Princess Leia in Star Wars. Her mother Debbie Reynolds, the star of the 1952 “Singin’ in the Rain” musical died one day later.
They joined a string of deaths of famous personalities in 2016, starting with David Bowie in January and Prince in April.
We proudly watched the summer Olympic Games in Rio 2016.
We lived through nature’s wrath at us in tornadoes and fires, as we ran human stampedes in malls seeking deals after Christmas.
Finally, we were so disappointed after the much coveted “Hatchanimals” that didn’t hatch.
It was a year to remember, personally and nationally.
Things lost, things found in 2016
Summer breaks rediscovered
In July, I rediscovered the magic of the summer break as our granddaughter Ella Chavent, 6, of Fixin’, France spent her first summer on our three-acre ranch in northeast Kent County.
Starting in July, every morning I took her to the St. Pat’s summer school in Parnell, MI so she can improve her English.
“Grandma, tell me one of your stories,” she asked.
During our brief ride, accompanied by the music of Queen, I told Ella about “that dude with the fancy Corvette,” who almost ran over a boy.
Together, we celebrated Christmas in July after I bought Santa and rocking horse ornaments at an estate sale in Fallasburg for quarter a piece.
“Who died?” I asked at the sales tent which featured lovely items like a black J. Marco Galleries dress with a perfume bottle pattern.
“Our sister did,” said the lady at the dress tent. “We miss her.”
We went to the Picnic Pops concert in Canonsburg to listen to the music of Queen. We beat the heat on the beach in South Haven and explored Ella’s first fairs: the Ionia Free Fair and the Kent County Youth Fair in Lowell.
We gardened and picked red currant to make currant pies, we bought tart cherries at H&W Farms in Belding and made tart preserves and syrup.
Ella went on her first field trips to local farms.
Motivated by Ella who was going to a catholic school, I returned back to church after a 10-year long sabbatical.
And a new journey has begun. I still have on the fridge Ella’s paper star with these words:
“You were made for greatness,” Pope Benedict.
August, Burgundy revisited
Ella and I headed back to France in mid-August. I had her on a leash and she carried in her backpack a collection of stuffed animals.
“They are my tain tains,” Ella said passionately. I could only feel what tain tains mean.
“Grandma, hold on to me, I need you,” she said.
We held on together as we landed at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris after a sleepless flight.
“Nice to meet you,” said a woman in a short skirt.
“Selene, this is mom,” Doc Emma introduced us. “Mom, this is our friend and au pair, Selene.”
Selene was the first of a colorful set of characters, I was to meet during my third stay in Burgundy.
From my studio on Rue Magniens in the peaceful wine village of Fixin’ I wrote about the “Climates” aka vineyards in the aftermath of the Bastille Day killings in Nice.
September, things new. .Podcast platform
Upon my return from France, I dedicated my studio time to new accounts, such as the Americas Community Voices Network as we headed into the election.
It was a feverish time of exploring and discovering on both the WordPress and Podcast platforms.
The fall at the Pala ranch means preservation of pickles and tomatoes. Why? Because you have to answer to winter when she asks.
“What did you do in summer?” so goes the old Czech saying.
October, things old, things new
October delivered a bang in many different ways, on many different levels. My cousin Brona Pink of Stipa, maintenance manager for Zoo Lesna, visited the USA for the first time. He stayed at my parents’ Ella & Vaclav Konecny in Big Rapids.
Today, I wish we had spent more time together.
We also celebrated our wedding anniversaries, Ludek and mine, along with our son’s Jake & Maranda.
On Oct. 21, the Rockford Ambulance took me to the Metro Hospital on M-6 aka “Hotel.” I passed out from exhaustion and dehydration, and I started a new path to better health and wellness.
November ushers in president-elect Trump
In spite of my better judgment, I voted for Mr. Donald Trump on Nov. 8th. As a lifelong Democrat I voted Republican for the first time. Doc Emma missed the election by one day.
“Good, at least she couldn’t vote for Trump ,” my mom Ella said angrily.
Tired of old Washington tactics, much like the rest of the nation, I was ready for a change.
A spiritual and physical change in everything.
I started with myself; I did a thorough inventory of my mind and my physical belongings.
I have fiction manuscripts collecting dust on the shelves in my studio. They’re good stories. I was the bad one.
I stopped the rut of yo-yo dieting and overeating. I cleaned the shelves of my pantry and threw out a lot of old things.
If perfection exists in this world, the family Thanksgiving 2016 was next to perfect. As a family we got together, we didn’t fight, nobody got drunk and we didn’t burn the turkey.
After the holiday, my parents left for their winter stay in Venice, Florida, as fires blazed in Kentucky and tornadoes whipped Alabama.
December whips and shakes
Dec.7, 2016- On the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, I tied yellow ribbons of hope around our ranch.
On Dec. 7th, I published the first installment of the 2016 IW Inspiring Women series featuring artist Linda Kropf Phillips of Lowell at https://emmapalova.com/2016/12/07
Dec. 8- I started marketing a brand new account for Costa Rica on ETravel & Food at https://etravelandfood.wordpress.com/2016/12/08/visit-jaco-costa-rica/
Dec. 10- Together with the Fallasburg Historical Society, we celebrated the biggest “Christmas at Fallasburg” party ever, thanks to the power of the social media.
“Thank you Mr. Zuckerberg, your Facebook helped me make the party a huge success.
No pun intended, but it was a party for the “history books.”
On Dec. 17, I passed the Czech Christmas baking tradition on to granddaughter Josephine Marie Palova, 3. She joins the gallery of the Palova bakers spanning generations of traditional Czech baking.
Yesterday on Dec 28, I mourned the loss of my doggie friend, Annie. Annie was the neighbor’s dog who filled in the gap after my dog Haryk died almost three years ago.
“We’re heartbroken,” our neighbor announced Annie’s death.
“I loved her like my own dog,” I responded in tears. “Goodbye, Annie.”
As we close on this year, and the red dogwood twigs in Christmas bouquets have new shoots, the yellow ribbons are still hanging around the house.
Dec. 29- Today is my brother Vas’ birthday. He has completed 55 trips around the Sun. May he enjoy many more.
“Happy birthday, Vas.”
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