Time Capsule 2020

I started to do Time Capsule posts in 2017. The original idea of time capsules is to pack items into a box that represent the year. In order to minimise clutter in our house, my versions so far have been digital ones in 2018 and 2019, but this year? I might just put in some hand sanitizer and a face mask, along with our internet provider's bill and be done. Right?

On the other hand I have grown fond of these yearly reviews. It's all about the positive moments and memories. So here goes:

2020 was starting off nicely. We were kicking off January at the sports bar. It was Colin's and a teammate's turn to escort the team onto the ice. It was back when nobody had to worry about mass events and stuff. 

He is the boy on the left wearing the "golden" helmet representing the top scorer challenge.

Unfortunately only a few days later 2020 began to show its ugly head. Colin, then 11.5 years old, came down with chicken pox. Alright, we're not going to blame the year 2020, it was just bad luck. Nothing a couple of days spent sleeping, reading...

and piling up those vitamins wouldn't fix.

My work year's first marketing project was a clients' competition, and I was cruising around in the area to get some carrot cakes to them. 

Carrot cakes are a local specialty around here, and we ordered them from our town's bakery. Little did we know that only a few weeks later this it going to be an important initiative to actively support local businesses. 

90% of our clients are corporate ones, but every once in a while, private people call about their computer problems, and we help them, too. That's how carrot cake challenge brought me to this nice house. In my mind I think of it as "the San Francisco House" ;-)

I met some new friends while I was on the road as well.

Out of the blue, a long lost friend contacted me. Her message was "My younger son wants to play ice hockey. How do I do this?" Well, she has come to the right place. Literally. We met at Starbucks, and later she accompanied me to my car where I had a huge bag of goodies for her boy: skates, a stick, shoulder pads, shinguards, you name it. Only a few days later he kicked off his career at hockey school. 

Speaking of hockey career. Sports-wise, Colin's year was progressing nicely as well. He got assigned captain's duties on a regular basis, which made me prouder than when he scored. It's all about being a leader on and off the ice.

With responsibilities come risks - or something like that. An opponent had hit him hard, and he suffered a concussions. Two weeks out due to upper body injury, as they call it. 

Every year in late February or early March there are two open house days at elementary school. Good think I attended the early Friday morning French lesson because as of Saturday the school announced they had to close down for the public. This was the first drastic measure taken due to Covid-19.

Early March is also my birthday. As I don't like to be the center of attention I never throw parties. This year I felt like I wanted to but wasn't allowed. It was OK. Look at the gorgeous flower bouquet my Godfather sent me. 

It was also one of the very last times we got to eat out.

I wasn't sure if Colin's ski camp was going to happen. To be honest I expected a last-minute cancelation, but no, they actually departed and had the coolest time in the mountains. For my hockey boy it was his very first time skiing, and apparently he did well enough to skip the beginner group, and he won his category's race. Well done! It was also a most valuable opportunity to bond with his school mates, as their ways were going to part later this year.

As for me, I also got a last chance to connect in person with my high school girlfriends. We had brunch at a local café

And despite our government asking people to stay at home, I dared to throw our annual St. Patrick's Party. I was glad I did. I needed to soak it up!

The next Monday, pretty much without preparation (remember, the kids spent the week skiing) Colin was  given a new experience: distance learning! Good thing we had 
A: a spare laptop
B: an empty meeting room at the office (yes, a part of our team still went in, the other one worked from home)

It was going to be for at least eight weeks, two of which were "spring break", meaning kids hanging at home with no homework and nowhere to go. It was very clear we needed a fun project to keep us busy at home. That's how some sort of eat around the world project was born. 

We tried to incorporate cultural and athletic aspects of the countries as well. That's how we ended up in a Zurich community park, looking for cherry blossoms. We found magnolia. Good enough to represent Japan? We thought so. 

April is A - Z blogging challenge time! Usually there are 26 work days in April, giving you a chance to publish a post representing every letter of the alphabet. Most bloggers chose an overall theme. It was my sixth time around this year, and I picked my country Switzerland for my prompt.

A is for Alps, B is for Bern (or capital), C is for chocolate, and so on. Things went well until it came to E is for... Equality. Probably not our strongest suit. Still, in honour of for the 25 years' anniversary of the Zurich Pride Parade, the city allowed for this to happen: 

It was temporary, but I thought it was a nice gesture.

Not so nice was the fact that we experienced water damage around our house. We noticed on Saturday before Easter. During a pandemic crisis. Oh dear.

Time to call reinforcement aka Happy Hour via FaceTime.

The Easter Bunny treated us well.

When they had announced a lockdown people were hoarding toilet paper rolls, flour and yeast, and I did not for one moment consider that coffee was going to become an issue as well. I usually get my whole beans from Starbucks stores. 

The closing of full service restaurants did not raise red flags. I trusted Starbucks qualified as takeout. As it turned out, they closed all of their stores. Not sure if they had to or did so voluntarily or ordered from Seattle? It didn't make a difference for me. I quickly ran out of caffeine, and I needed to do something about it. Coop, our second largest retailer, sells some varieties. Not the one I like, though (Verona, a dark roasted blend from Latin American and Indonesian beans). Even the one that comes closest and is usually in their shelves must have sold out quickly. 

I had a coffee crisis on my hand! I tried the Mövenpick brand as I had worked for them before joining Starbucks, but (to me) it tasted as yucky now as it did back then. 

Boy was I happy when I found out I could order some Espresso Roast from Manor online. It took a while to arrive, but it made me happy and relieved. Lockdown was hard enough as it was, but without decent coffee?

My overdue hair appointment fell victim to the fact that hair salons had to close as of March 16. That's how my dark roots had a chance to grow for three months! The day we were allowed to get our hair done again (April 30) was a happy one. Don't we look smart?

Slowly other restrictions got lifted was well. I still didn't like to shop at large stores. We got our produce from cute little farm shops like this one.

By the end of my A - Z challenge I published my 900th post! 

Mid-May we had to send the kids back to school. I didn't feel entirely confident. On the other hand I was happy for Colin - he had not seen his friends in several weeks, and there's only so much FaceTime or Zoom can do.

It felt strange. For the first time in weeks, I was home alone, and I needed to do something. Baking! I made caramel macchiato cupcakes!

While elementary schools in our area resumed their full schedule, Colin's hockey club was bound by other rules, and the poor guys had to train from home for their summer program.

They tried to make it fun for the kids though. One assignment was to wear their full gear (minus the skates) to go about a daily task and upload their videos.. I convinced Colin to do his Mother's Day grocery shopping, and we had a lot a fun filming it:

This is the cheesecake he made for me. Just kidding, I made it myself. He picked the strawberries and made some spaghetti with tomato sauce which he tried to arrange in heart shape. 

At the end of June I celebrated eight years of blogging. What better opportunity than to use some of the gorgeous cherries I got from the farmer's shop than to bake

Cherry muffins with chocolate drizzle?

Colin's graduation from elementary school was approaching quickly. Over the years it had become my unofficial duty to take care of the teacher's farewell gift. I particularly liked his fifth and sixth grade teacher, and I wanted to do something special, which turned out to be a rainbow / unicorn themed event for which I needed customized cookies, which we picked up in Altdorf, which is 70 miles away. 

Well, I wasn't going to rely on postal services! On our way back this was our view:

With the school year coming to an end, we had a summer break on our hands and nowhere to go. Don't get me wrong, we don't usually go away in summer anyway, but of course this year it felt worse, mainly because we knew a trip to North America in fall was out of question, too.

That's how we came up with the great Burger Challenge. We visited some American (style) restaurants and tasted different burgers.

Even though there was no immediate need, we still renewed Colin's passport. Gotta be ready for departure at all times!

Time for another celebration: Our - let me count - 16th wedding anniversary!

Before I knew it it was time to drop him off for hockey summer camp. It was a gorgeous Monday, and I decided to take a mini trip and visit some travel bucket list items.

One of them being the mirror house in Gstaad, created by Doug Aitken. The trick is to catch a moment with very few tourists cause otherwise they‘ll be in the picture!

Oberhofen Castle, Thun

Giessbach Falls in the Bernese Alps

It felt really nice to be out and about. I did catch some sunburn, though. The week went by quickly. Hubby and I took Friday afternoon off to drive to the location where the boys train. It's a mountain resort 65 miles away, and again, it was a beautiful day. We put on a smile and a face mask and boarded a gondola that took us to this gorgeous place, called Herzlisee, the little heart lake.

After a week of chilling at home it was time for Colin to pack his school bag and start junior high! One of his best friends as well as two girls from our town are going to be in his new class, and he made new friends as well, so he is pretty happy, even though he has little to no free time considering hockey practice.

New school year, new ice hockey season! While regular folks were walking around short-sleeved, soaking up the August sun...

The guys trained on the ice and had their first test games. Colin and his team were doing brilliantly for the most part.

Not that day, though. They claimed they were too excited about the following pizza party I had organized. This was going to be the only time a couple of hockey families got together after an away game.

Did I mention Colin got his very fist mobile phone?

Life is good! Pizza, friends, free wifi!

Right around this time, a dear friend got diagnosed with triple negative treat cancer, probably the most aggressive kind. I wasn't going to find out until weeks later though. So all that time our live was business as usual plus Corona, hers consisted in weekly chemo treatments. 

Part of my business as usual was taking part in a month long  "a photo a day" challenge in September (I was gonna repeat it in November, too). One prompt took me to see some local Alpacas, aren't they cute?

My "baby" turned 12 this year, hard to believe. Here he was celebrating with some of his hockey buddies.

as well as with his school mates.

Memorable trip to the Italian Part of Switzerland for a game. Not just a game, the first championship game of the season. They did great and won 3:16

October - time for our family fall break. Since couldn't go to Canada we had to look for bears in our own country. Meet Napa, a former circus bear.

A long-time bucket item for hubby: The Landwasser Viaduct is a single-track six-arched curved limestone railway viaduct. It spans the Landwasser between Schmitten and Filisur, in the canton of Graubünden, Total length 136 m (446 ft), Height 65 m (213 ft)

Scenic drive from Pontresina to Poschiavo , crossing the Bernina Pass at 2,223 meters (= 7,621 feet) 

We went for a hike, 40 minutes each way! The Rhine Gorge was created about 10,000 years ago by a rockslide, the gorge walls reach heights of up to 300 metres. In its depths, the Upper Rhine winds its way for 14 kilometres. It is fed from Lake Toma at the Oberalp Pass, the Rhine's official source. From there it is exactly 1,233 kilometres to its outlet in the North Sea near Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The Earth Pyramids of Euseigne

The earth cones are 10 to 15 meters high and most of them are protected by a rock lodged on the top. The cones were created in the end phase of the last Ice Age, about 80,000 to 10,000 years ago.

Spiez Castle’s massive square keep was built around 1200. During the second half of the 13th century a number of tournaments must have been held around the castle because the visiting knights carved graffiti into the plaster of the main chimney. From the 15th to the 18th century, the castle was gradually renovated.

Back home I made my way to the pumpkin patch. always a happy day!

And we all know once the pumpkins are displayed it doesn't take long and Halloween is here. Usually I shop for decoration items and candy as we travel in the U.S. This year, I had to improvise at home. Thing is, candy like miniature marshmallows (and a lot of other items) that are imported from the U.S. didn't make their way to Switzerland in time. Took me a really long time to still find some in order to make these cookie dentures.

Sadly there was no party. Colin wasn't feeling well, and we didn't want to risk infecting our friends. Of course the next day he felt all better. Yeah well. Hopefully next year there'll be a normal Halloween again. At least we got ourselves some cute PJs.

Speaking of sad. During fall break one of Colin's school mate's Mom suffered a brain bleed and passed away. I had never met her but it made me so sad. The family had only recently moved here form Germany, and they probably don't have a close-knit circle of friends who support them. 

Sad events like this make me want to seize the day and make the best of life - it is short as it is. Cinnamon roll at Starbucks is always a good expression of enjoyment. 

Same goes for  a stroll along the lakeshore.

Or getting out the fluffy slippers and the lumberjack shirt.

At some point the boys' hockey championship was paused. They were sill allowed to practice though. Entering the locker room wearing their mask, they nave their temperature taken, and after training, they shower in shifts. No audience is allowed in the arena, so us parents have to kill our time getting errands done, exploring the harbor neighborhood (can you spot the wine bottle Christmas tree?)

or enjoying a fondue dinner at the chalet they set up for the season every year, even this year. Tables need to be six feet apart or separated by plexiglass, guests have to leave their contact data and wear a mask, except when eating. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere, and I felt like people were so desperate for it! I heard from a farmer that Mid-November he already sold more Christmas trees than in an entire season of the previous years!

It makes sense. If there's nowhere to go (as of December 18 pretty much everything was shut down, except groceries and other essential stores), at least make your home nice and festive!

Our elves had to observe special rules as well. Due to quarantine instructions they couldn't fly back to the North Pole to report to Santa every night. Instead the did like everybody else... and met via Zoom. 

If you've been following me for a while you may wonder... who's the green elf? Cookie (our long-term classic red elf) brought a buddy this season. After all it's a special year. Colin named him Biscuit, and at first he seemed to be shy and reserved. It didn't take long though and he turned out to be the naughty one, filling Oreos with hair conditioner, really? More of their adventures here.

The village advent calendar was due again in 2020!  Every other year families and businesses decorate a window they reveal on their assigned day. Usually there are snacks and warm beverages for passersby. This year of course we were discouraged from doing so. interestingly while we were still applying the finishing touches, people would walk by and wave.

We're almost there. Christmas Eve Dinner at my parents. They told us they are considering moving to an apartment in summer 2021. So of course I requested a last xmas dinner at their place, which is the house I grew up in. It was very nice.

Unfortunately no Spengler Cup this year. There was still some hockey for us to watch though. Our U20 national team was playing the world championship in Edmonton, Alberta. Sadly they dropped out after qualifying rounds.

Last but not least New Year's Eve. For many years we have been celebrating with the same friends. Being good citizens we stayed at home though. I prepared some activities like popping the balloons at my international flags drawer chest (isn't it incredible how handy a piece of furniture can come in?) Inside there were notes about what special tradition that particular country has to ensure good luck for the new year. Italians like to wear read underwear, in Spain they eat twelve grapes as the clock strikes midnight, and in Colombia they walk around the block with an empty suitcase so there would be traveling in the future. One can hope, right?

We had a yummy, home cooked beef filet for dinner.

Then we played many rounds of M&Ms game. You pick a color and a theme card from the envelope. The prompt may say "American Presidents", "Beatles Songs", "Hockey Penalties" or "Australian Animals", and within a minute you try to jot down as many as you can think of. It's harder than you think!

That was 2020, all in all not too bad, right? We got off pretty easy. Other families were hit much harder. We tried to do our part by donating food, clothes and toys.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thanks for reading. See you in 2021!


  1. What a wow post
    Let's hope 2021 is a year fill woth good memories being made

  2. Back again to check out your year... Definitely different to previous years!


Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. It will be visible as soon as I had a chance to verify that you are not an anonymous user and/or a spammer.