Challenges, attitudes and pandemic good news | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 3/25/21

A year ago, you were planning for an end-of-season ski trip or a cruise in the Mediterranean or a week in Mexico or a summer vacation in Whistler. 

For most of us that didn’t work out …

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Challenges, attitudes and pandemic good news | Life in Ludlow


A year ago, you were planning for an end-of-season ski trip or a cruise in the Mediterranean or a week in Mexico or a summer vacation in Whistler. 

For most of us that didn’t work out so well. We stayed home, stockpiled toilet paper, filled the recycling bin with wine bottles, mourned those lost loved ones, lamented not being able to see family and slept in. 

Consequently, many of us struggled to maintain a positive attitude while others succumbed to the pressure brought on by the pandemic and its politics.  

Frankly, I sense attitudes of all improving with the tsunami of vaccines about to drown us and the fine-tuning of the behavior guidelines facilitating community activities whether they are at a restaurant or the Beach Club Pool. 

In addition, for those of us interested in college basketball there is this unbelievable NCAA basketball tournament. The 12-year-old grandson who visited us for a few days this past weekend can tell you everything there is about March Madness except for whom the gym at Butler Field house is named. (Tony Hinkle and the gym is featured prominently in the movie “Hoosiers.”) 

BJ and I have college reunions this fall back at Wabash and DePauw in Indiana so she has been polling her sorority sisters via email to see who, if any, are planning to attend the festivities. One of them, Joyce Wilson-Sanford replied with a note that struck a note for me on the subject of planning and managing attitude. It follows.   

“Planning” There’s a new concept! In the past 18 months, David, my husband of 37 years, had a heart attack, bypass surgery, pneumonia, sepsis, broke his neck and had a stroke. So, I figured I might as well have major abdominal surgery for a giant sarcoma (big, big, big tumor) that was cancerous. Living with all of this is hard but not as hard as it sounds.

I did manage to push out one more new book in a series “I PRAY ANYWAY” — this one for the spiritually cranky. And I started a Podcast that I would love to have you listen to. It’s called bobnjoyce Talk HR/OD.

Bob was my partner in crime in doing good work in a very large company. We will probably get sued. It’s informal. We coach change agents. It is thanks to COVID and Zoom that I managed to do creative work while either David or I limped around the house when not taking napping to an art form. All this to say, I would like to come to the reunion. And who the hell knows if I will. Two vaccinations done. Onward.” 

I suspect most of us faced fewer challenges over the past year than Joyce did but I am optimistic we all fought them off with the same energy. 

In our house there was some good news coming from the pandemic. 

BJ does our taxes every year and is an AARP tax aide along with keeping pretty good track of our income and expenses via Quicken. 

As a result, she provides the following financial results by comparing 2020 to 2019. Fuel down 47 percent, clothing for BJ down 35 percent, for Ned down 66 percent, dining out down 43 percent, ferries down 74 percent, groceries up 11 percent, and travel down 58 percent. 

Those are significant lifestyle changes for us and I suspect mirror the changes you have seen in your lives. So far this year the big change is that we got the vaccination!

You may have noted that the IRS has delayed the due date for your taxes. That means the AARP Tax Aide service previously scheduled to end on April 15 has now been extended to May 17. The service is available at the Port Townsend Community Center, (360-302-1867), the Tri-Area Community Center, (360-390-4014), and the Quilcene Community Center, 360-302-6064. Call soon since many folks who tried to avail themselves of help earlier were closed out because all the available appointments had been scheduled. 

And yes, on the subject of BJ, she is the woman who tolerated your humble columnist for the past 53 years as of yesterday. There is still hope for her. 

Love a curmudgeon, enjoy March Madness and have a great week! 

(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident. And armed with the latest financials from last year’s spending on personal clothing, he’s of a right mind to get a pair of new socks. Maybe those “miracle” ones, as seen on TV. Reach Ned at


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