This wintery December morning was the first time I appreciated its beauty sitting in the sunroom and watching the Advent candle flicker in the expectation of the sun rays to stream in.
The Advent season started on Sunday Nov. 29, 2020. Although I usually observed the four candles of Advent being lit at the church, I never really paid much attention to it due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Often, I missed some of the Advent Sundays, because I probably went shopping for more things. Thus, I was surprised when I found out that one of the Advent candles is rose coloured for Gaudette Sunday on the third week of Advent.
However, this time due to the COVID-19 restrictions and increasing cases, we don’t go to church physically but watch the mass broadcast from the St. Andrews Cathedral in Grand Rapids. I found myself paying more attention to the spiritual preparation for Christmas than ever before.
I meditated in the morning before I started the day to streamline my thoughts and actions. This time I could just sit and watch the daylight come in after a very light night due to the full moon.
I have already gathered what I could as far as gifts and food; I have my poinsettia, pistachios, Manchego and Winternacht chocolate figurines from Aldi’s. Black Friday wasn’t as packed with deal hunters as usual. And there was no apres shopping dining due to the restaurants being closed until Dec. 7. So we stood outside in the November cold, drank cold beer and had a burrito from the Voodoo food truck in front of the New Union Brewery in Lowell. I have yet to buy the Christmas Eve fish from the Fishmonger of the Great Lakes tomorrow in Ada and meet with a very good friend.
The mailman has been good to me. I have received most of the gifts on time that I could even delight myself over a set of beaded ornaments still with a tag “Made in Czechoslovakia” and a treasure trove of children’s mysteries from the Dubois Files by Ludington author Joan H. Young. Rarely, had I ever been able to examine what I had bought always in the rush to usher in the holiday spirit, and then pack it all up in the festive wrapping paper, that tears up so easily.
Somehow , the COVID-19 isolation reminded me of what the Christmas spirit is really about. When I received an email from Tres Bohemes with a link to Jakub Ryba’s Christmas mass yesterday, I knew that I finally had to pause and stop pretending that everything is back to normal.
We spent the Thanksgiving holiday alone with a delicious take-out from the Candlestone Resort- at least there was no mess in the kitchen. I had a well-attended book signing of “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” at LowellArts on Saturday with my friends and invitees showing up in different time slots-what more can I ask for. My next book signing will be on Dec. 13 from noon until 2 p.m. at LowellArts. Stop by for a last minute gift. I will be in good company of the Holiday Artists Market in the gallery.
My parents, Ella & Vaclav Konecny with my brother Vas came to wish us happy holidays and a farewell, as they are leaving for Venice, Florida on Saturday. We had a good chat abiding by the CDC rules wearing masks and social distancing. All holiday fights were preempted by the restrictions.
We were on the phone with our two kids: Emma and Jake to converse about the holidays. And no, I have not decorated yet or put up a Christmas tree or baked traditional Czech Christmas cookies. But we watched both “Christmas Vacation” and “Christmas Chronicles” together with Ludek on our red couch, and that’s all that matters.
And sadly, there will be no Santa parade except for the Drive-Thru one at the Kent County Fairgrounds this Saturday, and no old-fashioned Christmas at Fallasburg. But there will be other promising new things.
So, stay tuned how it all goes.
Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Lowell Ledger article ” New memoir by Emma Palova about family’s escape from communism” hit the stands today in the greater Lowell area in Michigan.
The article captures the essence of our lives on the run from former Czechoslovakia to the U.S. The publication date coincided with the Czech Independence Day. Former Czechoslovakia was born on Oct. 28 1918, 102 years ago. The country founded its existence after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the aftermath of WWI.
The book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” about our family immigration saga is slated for Nov. 12 publication on Amazon.
Follow me for a full post.
Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Lowell, MI – Welcome “Blue Moon” October with your two full moons, pumpkins, candy, spooky characters, books, Girls Nites Out in ugly sweaters and paranormal investigations in the Fallasburg historic village.
The month started off strong with a full moon, a storm in the morning and a brainstorming session in the afternoon with Anthony Mora Communications for the PR of my upcoming book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the USA. As part of the project, they will also be marketing my book no. 2 that never fully reached the market because of covid-19. Thank you Anthony and Lindsey for your work on this project.
While most of the events have been cancelled, the nature hasn’t canceled her show in hues of oranges, browns and yellows. Moreover, today was the Feast of the Guardian Angels. We each have a guardian angel, and this year we need more than one. As I drove to the Vergennes Township hall to pick up my absentee ballot, I noticed a sign on Bailey: “Jesus 2020.”
Just 10 minutes before the brainstorming session, I found out from my Romanian poet/publisher friend Valeriu Dg Barbu, that my book has already been translated into Italian. Thank you Valeriu. Valeriu owns a small publishing house Editura Minela at:
Plus my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on Oct. 7. Happy anniversary Ludek.
The socially distant Lowell Harvest Celebration will take place on Main Street on Oct. 10. This year, the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce is taking over the Larkin’s Chili Cook-Off. The chamber will be selling $5 wristbands for chili tastings at different venues.
Featured photo: Hannah Rietzema at the Springrove Variety, that is now closed.
Copyright (c)2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Stay tuned for news about my upcoming new book, the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” I had to sold off on publishing it due to the COVID-19 situation. But since we’re going nowhere with that, I am moving forward with publishing the memoir in August.
It is now available for preorder on Amazon. Just click on the link below:
Lowell, MI – While northern Michigan is opening today for business in the COVID-19 era, the rest of Michigan is still on stay-at-home order through May 28 with many unknowns looming as we head into the Memorial Day weekend.
Hit by a dual disaster of dam failures in Midland, the state is suffering from a prolonged status-quo of the state of emergency, but eager to reopen.
Although the manufacturing sector is slowly starting up and the gardening places are open, we’re still not going to get a haircut, a steak or a tooth pulled.
This week I got a full-flavored taste of the new normal. A special meeting of the Fallasburg Historical Society on Monday, held at the site of the Tower Farm, was attended with board members wearing masks. The members were properly spaced six feet apart in a circle on the lawn by the Tower Farm.
Read the story “Tower Farm rennovations to complete Fallasburg village street look.”
The issue of wearing masks has been at the forefront of fierce fights on Facebook, in stores, at home and in different organizations. The complaints against masks range from difficulty in breathing to freedom of choice. Somehow masks got political.
Luckily, living in the country, we have enough space to face-off the six foot social distancing challenge.
On day 58, I marked the passage of time by planting my window boxes with geraniums thinking about the health care heroes and praying for them.
In the afternoon we test rode our new EVs (electrical vehicles) that is bikes boosted with a battery. On the news, I found out that due to COVID-19, bicycles have sold out all over the country. People prefer bikes to public transportation for fear of getting infected.
There have been silver linings all along in the quarantine: increased outdoor activity, creativity and innovation to offset the cancelled parades and Memorial Day activities.
Although I’ve delayed the publishing of the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir,” I am moving ahead with the book launch planning. I will have my book launch at LowellArts, as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
The book is now available for preorder on Amazon. Click below.
Lowell, MI – I briefly snapped out of the quarantine lethargy, as the major automakers in Detroit have announced their tentative plans to reopen on May 18. That’s major good news for us, since my husband Ludek works in the plastic injection industry at Novaresc which serves the automakers.
However, as of Wednesday, the number of coronavirus cases in Michigan has risen to 45,054, including 4,250 deaths. The recovery total is 15, 659, and the nurses are prepared for more hard times.
The quarantine fatigue is settling in like this prolonged inevitable irritation. I sat in the car to escape the nagging irritation to the sound of Twisted Sisters’ “We ain’t gonna take it” and a bag of Dark Chocolate Medley by Second Nature and a bottle of Trilogy Kombucha.
Not only did I turn my beloved sunroom into a greenhouse with flats of plants waiting for the Michigan weather to become reasonable, but I am also engaging in more zooming and zoo rooming.
To add to my crankiness, I found out that the Wild Blueberry Festival in Paradise had been cancelled and moved to 2021. Another unknown is whether our French granddaughter Ella will be able to come and spend the summer with us.
That’s why I posted Ella’s birdhouses as the featured photo for this day. She made them at the St.Pat’s summer care program in Parnell. I hung them on my ficus in the sunroom turned greenhouse.
The good news is that I am done with the newsletters for May. It took me longer than usual, because I knew I had the time to do it and I didn’t want to reopen the new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” to add pictures to it, not just yet.
Below is the link to the May newsletter fresh off the presses.