BY: RACHEL WUMKES
We’ve been saying it for years. A phrase commonly used “after the fact” when it’s easy to see what you should have done, or what you learned.
But as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st our hindsight will LITERALLY be 2020.
And I think it’s safe to say we’re all pretty happy to bid adieu to this crazy, weird year.
As with all other years, it started out great, right? I mean, I wrote this little ditty in January with stars in my eyes and dreams of a wonderful year ahead… JANUARY BLOG.
And things were going okay. We greeted the month of love with a FEBRUARY BLOG chocked full of upcoming activities. I have to laugh as I do a re-read, thinking January was a long month. Little did I know what was to come!
In March, our World tilted sideways. Life as we know it dissipated into the spring wind, blowing across the lake and whipping into the abyss of nothingness, never to be found again.
Okay, that was maybe a tad dramatic.
Going back to read this MARCH BLOG after the first round of the Buy-In Clear Lake program gives me nothing but warm fuzzies. While other blogs that month touched on tips for working from home, how to combat boredom, and COVID-19 resources, the one highlighted was just a bundle of goodness all around.
April brought about a new weekly series on the blog. Feel Good Friday was born this month as a way to lighten everyone’s mood. For it was in this month the monotony of being stuck at home, working from home, and online school sank deep into everyone’s bones. Thankfully, this APRIL BLOG was a beacon of light during those dark days.
In this MAY BLOG, we made history with the cancellation of our beloved July 4th celebration. I still can’t really grasp the fact it didn’t happen. As a staple of what Clear Lake is, it hurt. Big time. It hurt the Chamber, the committee, the residents, and our guests. Someday, years and years from now, should they ever have to cancel this event again, they will look back and say, “The last time this event was cancelled was in 2020 due to a global pandemic.”
The next month garnered a very special JUNE BLOG that will forever be my favorite of all time. You see, after this was published, an editor from the Washington Post called the Chamber to speak with me. After a lengthy interview, I was quoted in his piece about July 4th during the pandemic. As a writer, you just want people to read your words. It doesn’t matter if they love them or hate them. To know my piece was read by an editor at the Post is something I will never forget for the rest of my life.
As we reached the halfway point to this tumultuous year, the Chamber was giddy with glee to be able to FINALLY hold an actual event, as you can see in this JULY BLOG. Being that it was outdoors, and we could keep people within plenty of distance from each other, the golf FUNdraiser was more fun than normal, because we finally got to DO something!
Before we knew it, August was upon us, along with the initiation of All-In Clear Lake, a fundraiser to support the Clear Lake Chamber with this AUGUST BLOG from our Board President, Dan Nichols. We also began preparing for the Teacher Appreciation Breakfast at the school, with high hopes our kiddos would get to go back!
In this SEPTEMBER BLOG we celebrated the fact we could host TRI Clear Lake. After pushing the event from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the fate of the event lingered in the air much like the nasty Coronavirus. Thankfully, the stars aligned, and the TRI went off without a hitch!
With the children happily back in school and the moms of the world ready to rejoice, what better than getting to have Harvest Festival?? With our infectious numbers being down, we were able to hold this safe, outdoor activity. Feel free to reminisce about all the fun; the shopping, the wine and the bands right here in this OCTOBOER BLOG.
While activities and dining began to move indoors, November was a bit of a bummer month for COVID cases in our area. Still, that didn’t stop the Chamber from creating a new Facebook Group to encourage our residents and guests to hit up all their favorite local shops during the Holiday Season in this NOVEMBER BLOG.
And alas, the month we have been waiting for. The culmination of this crazily horrific year is finally upon us. In this DECEMBER BLOG, you can read about how this wonderful community continued to spread an abundance of Holiday Cheer, despite the hardships many are facing.
As we say our final farewell to 2020 on Thursday evening, remember that old saying about “hindsight is 20/20.” With a blank slate ahead of us, it will be easy to look back on the previous year. And as you realize how well the community of Clear Lake rose to the occasion, fighting the adversity of a global pandemic head-on, I hope you smile.
Because 2020 may have been an awful year, but the growth that resulted is something we can now build on. Knowing we can make it through anything… well, bring on 2021.
Happy New Year from the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce!