Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Gay Yellen: Finding Comfort and Joy

In the before-times, the term "twenty-twenty" usually indicated good news.
"Hey! Your eyesight is normal!" Or, "Wow! Your logic is clear-sighted!"

This year, a not-so-good connotation arose. At the end of December, when calendar turns, twenty-twenty will forever signify our historic year of global pandemic.

At our house, the trials we've endured have led us to count our blessings. We survived. So many things that we once took for granted have sustained us and saved us from running naked in the streets, howling like banshees. Through social isolation, family separation and, yes, fear of infection, we've learned to count our lucky stars, dim as they sometimes have seemed.

We've found a few uplifting—and often downright silly—activities to keep us sane. A friend turned us on to the old TV mystery series, Murdoch, about a 19th Century police detective who sometimes invents forensic tools to solve crimes. The show is easy on the psyche and a much-needed antidote to our relentless daily news.


Even better, we've dug out some of my parents' old LP's of original Broadway shows. We plunk them on the turntable, sing along with great gusto, and dance around the room until we're breathless. No worries about looking foolish. After all, no one's watching.

On nice days, we walk in the park, feed the squirrels, and summon the wintering ducks. My husband's spot-on Donald Duck impression can spark quite a lakeside conversation.

And sometimes, he cooks. Today, he's making turkey vegetable soup, a seasonal change from his delicious chopped salads. There's some to give to neighbors and plenty to freeze for later.

And there's joy to be found in books. Reading is a great way to while away hours in isolation. Because finishing Book 3 of the Samantha Newman Mystery Series has been my top priority this year, I've read less than usual. But gobs of books are in my to-be-read file, and I look forward to the day when I can start whittling the list down.

Finding comfort and joy in small pleasures helps lift our hearts. I hope you're finding ways to grab some for yourself.

What have you found to spark joy these days?

Wishing you a warm December, full of books and love.

Gay Yellen

P.S. Oh! I almost forgot: Mark your calendar for the last week in December when you can pick up The Body Business, Book #1 in the Samantha Newman Mystery Series, free.

Gay Yellen is a former magazine and book editor. She writes the award-winning Samantha Newman Mystery Series, including The Body Business and The Body Next Door. Book #3 in the series is slated for release in 2021.

Gay would love to hear from you, here, on Facebook, or at her website, GayYellen.com.


  1. Gay, we love Murdoch Mysteries! And show tunes! We've turned to trying some old (but new to us) recipes and Father Dowling mysteries on tv. We'd finished all the Father Brown ones! Wishing you a warm December also! ML

    1. We've been watching Father Brown. Father Dowling? I'll look that up. Thanks ML. Be well.

  2. The LP's you listed brought back memories of my childhood when my mother played Mary Martin's "Sound of Music", Carol Channing's "Hello, Dolly"
    and Robert Preston's "Music Man", my introduction to music that was not Mexican!

    1. I love that this brought back memories, Kathryn. So many great American tunes to enjoy. I love Mexican music, too. Spanish guitar makes me swoon!

  3. I love Murdoch Mysteries! Glad you've found some enjoyable activities to do. I hope you have an enjoyable holiday season.


This is a comment awaiting moderation on the blog.