- Author: Wendy Powers
Happy 2021 everyone! My realistic hope is that 2021 has fewer surprises than popped up in 2020. Admittedly, I don't want to get my hopes up that fewer people will be unemployed, homeless or hungry, that our ANR budget will swell, that inequalities will be erased or drastically diminished, or that I will see far less of my garage. I prefer pleasant surprises over avoidable disappointment. Fortunately, I have much for which to be thankful and I have the power to make a difference for myself and others. Keeping those things at the forefront of my thoughts is my 2021 resolution.
Now, with all that said, it is tough to fully engage back in work. For this reason, I hesitate to take time off – I always have a difficult time getting back into the work routine. I turned off this winter break perhaps a bit more than customary. In fact, a full work week seems like it was long ago. With Program Council this week and the regular ‘First Friday' lineup of calls and meetings, I have no choice but to jump back in with both feet.
Believe it or, I spent much of my time off in my garage, but not on Zoom calls. What a difference walking around makes when there is no heat and the space is uninsulated. I might have to try a headset so that I don't need to be in front of the laptop during the Zoom meetings. Maybe I can get 10,000 steps in each day by marching in place.
Some good news to start off the year includes welcoming Grace Woodmansee as a Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor, based in Yreka, with programmatic responsibilities in Siskiyou County. Welcome, Grace – we have eagerly awaited your start date! Also joining us is Tian Tian as a Viticulture Advisor, based in Bakersfield with programmatic responsibilities in Kern County. Brian and the Table Grapes Commission have waited some time for the right person to fill this role. I am eager to meet Tian in the coming months. Please take a moment to welcome Tian and Grace!
Other good news includes the vaccine. I hope to hear soon that personnel across UC ANR and their families begin to receive the vaccine. Technically, I should be fairly low on the priority list, but as a caregiver I may have a chance to move up a bit. Initially we had heard we might have a chance in mid-December but the days passed without a call. Now that a more infectious strain has emerged, I am hopeful it won't be long now. I never would have imagined hoping that it might be my birthday present later this week. A vaccination would sure beat windshield wipers!