Finding plenty to be grateful for in 2020


Like everyone else, we at Eclipse Media Group didn’t have the year we planned, but we’re lucky to still have plenty to be grateful for this year. We adopted new pets, spent lots of time playing outside and even started experimenting with a little homesteading. We consider ourselves lucky to have been able to savor a few moments of peace and joy outside of the chaos.

Chelsie Woods, Principal
Life is busy year-round in the Woods household. My husband and I both continue to play tennis competitively after attaining our dream of playing tennis in college. Although we are not quite as agile and our bodies usually need several days to recover after a tennis match, our sports lives, paired with that of our two kids, makes every day a juggling act. It’s just busy.

This summer was different. There were not any high school summer soccer, summer hockey or even tennis tournaments. And our family from out of state, who would make an annual visit to Maine, unfortunately could not visit. Our evenings and weekends were free, and fortunately for everyone in this great state that we live in, the summer of 2020 was perfectly sunny, warm and dry.

We spent many weekends and weeks at our camp on an island, in the middle of a lake in Maine that can only be accessed by boat or car ferry. Here, many people trade their car for a golf cart to travel the island town’s 22 miles of dirt roads. We would spend our days lounging at the beach or floating in the lake for hours and our evenings around the camp-fire. There were even times where we would forget that we were in the middle of a pandemic.

I’ve always enjoyed camp life, but this year’s camp life was cherished a bit more. Fewer summer rentals gave us the opportunity to spend more time at camp ourselves to savor the peace, quiet and slower pace of island living where it’s so easy to lose track of time. I’m grateful for these wonderful summer memories.

Andrea Gural, Principal
With two active pre-teenage athletes, we’ve spent the last few years driving all over New England for soccer tournaments, youth sailing regattas, making our summers in Maine (known far and wide to be the shortest in the U.S.) over in a blink of an eye. This year, though it still felt fleeting, was very different. Instead of miles of highway, bland hotel rooms, stinky cleats and cars full of wet spray suits – our time was filled with caring for a large vegetable garden, cruising around on the water, and raising the ultimate suburban COVID comfort item – backyard chickens. 

Never in my wildest dreams (and indeed sometimes against my most strenuous objections) did I picture myself as a poulterer (?), but it’s actually turned into something of a stress reliever. Like most animals, chickens need tending once or twice a day. I also never thought that it would make me smile to have seven hens and one accidental rooster squawking happily (in their own chicken way, of course) each morning as you deliver the morning goodies. Simple pleasures, I suppose. As we look back, I am thankful for the opportunity – and the luxury of more time – to enjoy the uncomplicated, somewhat primitive routine of tending to and nurturing something, helping to restore mental energy rather than consume it. The eggs are just a bonus.

Rachel Peck, PR & Marketing Manager
As a 2019 transplant from Vermont to Maine, I’d spent most of the year leading up to March 2020 settling in to our new community and job. Though May 2020 was supposed to bring a two-week vacation to Europe, it quickly became clear that we would have to forgo that experience and stay closer to home. Thankfully, Maine is a large state with some of the most gorgeous scenery and coastline in the United States. As avid trail runners, my husband and I (along with our dogs) were able to spend many days exploring local parks, climbing a few mountains and just enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. Our favorite “staycations” were the few days we spent in Acadia National Park, which due to the pandemic saw fewer tourists than normal, making it easier for us to visit. Another summer favorite was a few days spent on Frye Island (also in Maine), where we got to enjoy daily bikes, dirt road runs and sunset swims. I’m very thankful to be “stuck” in Maine, during this pandemic. 

Another highlight of the year was an addition to our family in the form of an energetic, spunky Blue Heeler/Australian Shepherd puppy named Finnegan. He’s been dubbed our “pandemic puppy,” and has brought lots of joy and cuddles into our lives – as well as wrought destruction to various household items. Between him and our older dog, Beau, I feel pretty thankful for the companionship of those two pups as both family members and home office coworkers.

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