Fare Thee Well 2021 | A Reflection, Part 1

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Fare Thee Well 2021 | A Reflection, Part 1 – Julie Jo Larson – Author

Fare Thee Well 2021 – A Reflection, Part 1

In January I said “Fare thee well 2021” with mixed emotions. It was a year of great delight, growth, and happiness. It may come as a surprise when I confess it was also been a year of great sadness, grief, and uncertainty for me.  It was a year like no other, which says a lot for a level-headed, unemotional person.

January 2021 is but a distant memory. The cold temperatures couldn’t freeze the anticipation I had as my first book edged closer to its launch. 100 Things to Do in Minnesota Northwoods Before You Die headed to the printer in February after multiple edits. Meanwhile, my website was in disarray. I made an executive decision to have a professional create a website for me that could support E-Commerce. The decision put a strain on a friendship, which was already suffering from demons beyond my control. I am grateful to Bradley Miller from BAMsites for creating a website that beautifully reflects both me and my writing. I hope to reconnect with my lost friend in 2022 and build our relationship back stronger than before.

By the end of March, life began a rapid forward trajectory. My daughter (Morgan) and her high school sweetheart (Josh) planned to tie the knot in 2022, after COVID 19 ran its course. Josh’s mom Yvonne, a dear MsStorian friend, had bravely battled cancer since March of 2020. Social distancing was hard, but necessary to protect Yvonne. We rarely saw each other in person for over a year. And then… wedding plans were moved up as treatments failed to slow the progression of Yvonne’s disease.  The happy couple decided to say their vows under the canopy of trees in the woods, behind our house. These were the woods Morgan played in as a child. It would take some magic, but I knew the wedding would come together in the end. I had just two months to make it work.

April is a blur. Wedding Plans, book events, media interviews, graduation, and a friend’s move out-of-state created a jumble of mosaic pieces. I had no idea what I was doing as a new author, but Krista from Blue Cottage Agency helped me make sense of marketing my book and next steps. Authors answered my one million questions and calmed my nerves. Morgan planned her wedding day, and Josh made a beautiful wood arch that blended in with the pine trees. Yvonne stopped by and walked the path to where the ceremony would be held. Her smile was infectious as she took in the love our children shared together.

A quick trip to Saint Louis to meet my publisher at Reedy Press was accomplished the day after my husband retired. Stephen is a few years older than I am, and after working over 35 years for the State of Minnesota, he was ready to travel and fish more. He ended up in urgent care in Northern Iowa due to a stomach bug. We returned just in time to finish preparations for Morgan and Josh’s big day.