The world has changed …


Walking out onto our upstairs patio there are signs everywhere that the mild fall Indian Summer that we have been fortunate enough to enjoy for the past month – yes, convertibles have been sighted numerous times as have motorcyclists – has become little more than a memory. Catching sight of thermometers that have dropped deep into the blue zone telling us that it’s now well below freezing - just one more indication that Mother Nature has began its annual hiatus. Changes abound and yet, there are reminders everywhere you turn that perhaps, tucked away in pockets, there are indications that life simply continues unabated albeit on a lesser scale.

To simply highlight how much the world has changed isn’t a good enough introduction to another post to a blog. To shine a spotlight on the magnitude of the tragedy in which many of us are caught up doesn’t tell the full story. Even as hope is mounting that there is an effective vaccine about to be distributed there is still that gnawing sense that any semblance of normalcy isn’t about to happen any time soon. What is good enough is that through it all – what has changed and what hasn’t – we are becoming more comfortable with the normalcy that, like you, we are embracing. And, did I mention, winter is coming: Who really wants to step outside at times like this!

What hasn’t changed!

With all the lockdowns we keep saying to ourselves just how lucky we have been to be working from home for the past 10 years and honestly, nothing much changed in our daily routines. Our clients keep us busy, thank you, and as much as we love to travel, staying put has given us more time to work on various projects –all is good in Pyalla’s world.

As soon as we finish celebrating the arrival or 2021 we have a major project to pursue that will keep us busy for most of the first half of the year and while it too is a change for us I have to admit, I think it will be a fun project. Watch for updates as we get deeper into 2021. The jury is still out as to whether or not there will be more virtual events taking place in 2021 even as most attendees would surely love to see a return to events of old. Fingers crossed in this regard as the next big HPE NonStop event is planned for Denver, September 2021.

Last week we took a mid-week drive up to Estes Park for no other reason than why not? We had clear blue skies, temperatures hovering around 50 Fahrenheit and we knew that at this time of the year, the streets would be relatively clear of tourists. We found Claire’s Restaurant and Bar open for outdoor seating; their mimosas still priced at two for one, with staff only too pleased to see us climbing the steps to the check-in stand. If you saw the pictures at the end of our previous post, you will get the idea; little evidence that anything had changed since we last visited this establishment the same time last year. As the picture below depicts so clearly, little evidence too that winter’s chilly blasts last all that long. We didn’t wear masks as we entered the establishment last year, but then again, this year once we were seated, off came the masks!

And no changes here, either!

American football players are once again active on the Gridiron. Updates kept on coming to my phone about Cricket games in the southern hemisphere as did updates about the latest Rugby score in the UK. I was even following the tune-up sessions of America’s Cup yachts as they darted around Auckland’s harbor. However, the dreadful price communities are paying as the effects of this global pandemic continue to be never too far from our thoughts and yet, looking back at 2020 the last thing we want to see happen is a repeat of 2020 in 2021. On the other hand, whenever normalcy is being discussed it’s hard to ignore that we have all changed and accepted an altered state of life none of us readily admit to having as we hunker down for a very muted holiday season.

We did celebrate Thanksgiving with our daughter and her family and we will be celebrating Christmas Eve with them as well.  Margo restarted weekly visits to the grandkids and we even brought our granddaughter to our Windsor home for a few hours. Yeah, we have glass everywhere in a house so our daughter declared that the only thing we could do to make our house less kids friendly was to append nails to the walls, facing outwards … Not too sure about what our granddaughter thought of our home, but I have to believe she did enjoy the time spent with her grandma.

What may be changing!

Our appreciation for fine art won’t change any time soon, that’s for sure, but even as we begin to think about celebrating Christmas at home this year we talking about erecting and decorating our own Christmas tree – something we haven’t done since moving into our new home in Windsor.  Not to dwell too long on the reasons for this, other than to reflect that for our family there is a degree of bitter sweetness to it all as Christmas Eve had been a time to celebrate Margo’s mom’s birthday. However, the time had come for us to take a good long hard look at what really did happen to us in 2020 and the mere fact that we are electing to celebrate amidst the global angst is yet more evidence of the changes taking place in our lives today. Then again, maybe nothing really changes as this morning Margo took back the Christmas tree decoration and put them all into the box – I guess no tree again … maybe next year?

We are extremely thankful for the opportunities we have had this year to enjoy the company of good friends. We have travelled back to California on two occasions – the first pre-Virus outbreak and then, only a short time ago, post-Virus outbreak. The shine has truly come off California in 2020 and we aren’t surprised to read of the many Silicon Valley firms leaving the state. So would we, if we hadn’t taken that step back in the late 1990s. And yet, the creeping California syndrome is beginning to make its presence felt here in Colorado to where, we have to admit, we are a little unsettled by what we see taking place.

Could we move to Texas? Maybe Florida, or Nevada? Who knows – it’s still way too early to speculate. As long as our daughter’s family is here it is not likely we will seriously consider any moves. On the other hand, should her situation change where she decides to move well, not sure really but there will bound to be a conversation or two. We like our new home so much that it would be a tough call to make, but then again, Margo and I have moved around so much it would simply be the beginning of yet another chapter in our lives.

Californian friends are the best and even as we are building friendships in Colorado, this news about the departures out of California certainly make you pause to consider possible future moves. On the other hand, we look at ourselves and reminded each other that we were among the earliest families to make that eastward journey. And yet, winter’s not only coming; it’s arrived! No thoughts of packing for now. Moving between houses on our street means rugging-up and making sure as few square inches of skin as possible are exposed to the elements and that’s about all we can think about.

What is changing!

Gridiron, Cricket, Rugby and Sailing – what about Indy Cars? As you know we have followed our good friends, Brian and Jan Kenny’s grandson, Colton Herta, for a very long time so what can we say? The kid is a superstar according to NBC Sport commentator, Leigh Diffey. Not while Diffey was providing television coverage of an Indy race, mind you, but the last endurance race of the year where Colton took his BMW ride to first place in the GTLM class (against Porsches and Corvettes) before handing it back to another BMW pro driver. As the third driver on the team, he was expected to simply bring the car home, undamaged and in a position to contend later in the day. Unfortunately, all he was able to do after the last driver change was to watch from the pits as a green-flag restart saw a competitor run up the back of their BMW, eliminating them from a pretty obvious podium finish. 

In his sophomore year competing in the Indy car series, Colton backed up his rookie year where in 2019 his series point’s tally had him in seventh place. Coming into 2020, Colton promised even more and despite the constantly changing track schedule, it proved to be an even better year in 2020. Becoming more consistent, gaining yet another pole and winning one more race, “Mr. Consistency” earned enough points to be third overall as the series concluded.

Most important of all – and something all racers view as their most important goal – “Mr. Perpetual Motion” beat his fellow Andretti teammates and that included Indy 500 winners Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay. The Andretti team rewarded him with a significant upgrade in terms of sponsorship and now, for the 2021 season, Colton will be driving the Andretti car number 26, sponsored for the full season by Gainbridge.

Will Colton become the de facto team leader? Time will tell and as for number 26, turns out that this was his number during his carting days even as it was his dad’s, Bryan Herta’s number in sports cars. The only downside was that in 2020 we didn’t have an opportunity to be trackside at any of his events and looking at 2021, the news isn’t looking all that better. However, late breaking news comes with the rescheduling of the Long Beach 2021 race to late September and plans are already being formulated to make sure we are there for what will now be the 2021 season's final race. 

What continues to change!

While watching the news out of Australia, where our other daughter resides, it’s apparent that they have done a much better job dealing with the virus. However, just as it looks like it’s time to head to the beach and to enjoy summer grilled sausage sandwiches up and down the coast, Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. Wicked storms came in and wiped out pristine beaches. Horrific rainstorms pelted the northern rivers into Queensland’s Gold Coast. 

Then again, the extreme nature of them may have surprised local residents but from memory, such summer storms come with a regularity that should not surprise anyone. From my vantage point up here in Colorado with snow lying frozen in place, it would seem that nothing much has changed where our other daughter and rest of my family resides.

What is gradually changing!

I referenced the previous post when covering our recent trip up to Estes Park and in that post I wrote of our decision to buy an eight generation Corvette convertible. In the follow up conversations that have taken place since that post as well as during exchanges on social media platforms, we can honestly say that we have no idea when that car will arrive. Although we went back to the dealer to rework some of the options we had chosen including a couple that we had omitted from the build.

So no, nothing is changing as far as what’s in our garage is concerned and that is a first for Margo and me – no car purchase during 2020. Mark that down as a testament to not putting any miles on the cars we already have. When trips to the supermarket to pick up a head of lettuce are the highlights of the month, you cannot ignore the changes that affect us the most. Simply living day to day; making sure you have more than a head of lettuce in the pantry on the off chance that items needed to keep on living are no longer to be found on supermarket shelves.

Changes? Yes, they will continue ... 

To sum up all that has happened and all that has been observed this year, it can only be described as a descent into the unknown. When we stepped off our cruise ship the last day of February and headed to the airport for the flight home, we had no idea. Yes, we saw folks wearing masks out at the gates but those who had chosen to wear them were in the minority. We had heard too of the difficulties guests had experienced on sister ships to ours but the real shock was to set in many weeks later; we truly had dodged a bullet, so as to speak. As we walked through the front door on arriving home, all those months ago, we had no appreciation for just how many news channels we would be watching almost daily or of just how many times we would see emails informing us of this upcoming business trip or that vacation that had been planned being cancelled one after the other.

The world has changed; there’s no escaping this observation. Just as it is no longer really newsworthy in the sense that it has affected us all for a very long time it seems and yet, with the arrival of winter we have to admit that spring is only three months away! Yes, we can expect to be hit with a couple of early spring snowstorms but simply watching trees bud and flowers making an appearance, we have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that the world will not stop changing. As we continue on yet another trip around the sun, the best possible thing for us to say is that yes, we made it! We continue to watch the sun come up each morning and yes, while perhaps we are down on the quantity of life experiences we had taken for granted all these years, for Margo and me, there has been no let down in the quality of life. Looking forward to seeing many of you as we come through this year and into the next and with that, best wishes for the holiday season and all the very best in 2021! 



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