Sunday Stills: Looking Back at 2021

One of my favorite times to scroll through the photos on my phone is at the end of each year. I find that it’s a great way to remind myself of things that I’ve done, the fun I’ve had, and what I’ve accomplished (and, if taking a lot of pictures is an accomplishment, I’m a rockstar) over the past year.

For this week’s Sunday Stills theme, Rear-View Mirror, I chose one picture from each month in 2021 to remember what brought me joy – and there was a lot – during this very strange year.


Our first vaccinations! It felt monumental… like we were really, really going to beat this thing.  


Despite some activities being curtailed, we still enjoyed getting out to explore our beautiful city.


Less actual grocery shopping and more experimentation with kit meals shipped to our home.


Good times and interesting conversations when friends Kathy (SMART Living 365) and her husband Thom came for a visit.


Our blueberries begin to ripen.


More good times and interesting conversations when we visited Kathy and Thom at their mountain get-a-way.


Sunflowers and bees with pollen booties… is there anything better?


We crossed the Canadian border the first day it opened. A month of blogger buddy meet-ups, hiking, and experiencing the beauty of Vancouver Island commenced.  


After our stay on the Island, we ferried over to the city of Vancouver for more exploration and fun.


Our local Dia de los Muertos celebration. Maybe not as elaborate as in Oaxaca, but very colorful and no plane trip required.


Fall sunsets are glorious.


A trip to the Zoo to see my favorite birds.

Author: Janis @

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

69 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Looking Back at 2021”

  1. So great to see your fun post of your favorite images that tell your 2021 story, Janis! I recognized the fountain at Balboa Park. We had hoped to be there this week but travel conditions thwarted that attempt–maybe this spring! I like how you arranged your post as well. I was so happy when you all got to visit Canada and see everyone in person. My step-daughter is stuck in Toronto now having tested positive for covid despite being fully vaxxed! When oh when will this thing be done? I always admire your spirit for adventure and fab photos, and wish you loads more for 2022! On my way to vote!

    1. I’m sorry that you decided not to travel to our fair city but I can certainly understand your hesitancy (but, if you had come, you would have been greeted by some awesome weather). I’m sorry about your step-daughter. I think, eventually, we’ll all get Covid… I’m just trying to put it off long enough that the symptoms won’t be quite so worrisome… we are getting there.

      1. There was no room in the inn what with my daughter’s home in Emerald Hills being remodeled. We are planning to drive…No place to stay in Sacramento either, and too much snow between here and Shasta. I enjoy the winter wonderland but winters in SD are always warm!!

  2. “Pollen booties” — love that. And the photo of blueberries reminded me again of how lovely they are as they ripen and change colors.

  3. I like how you did each quarter of the year then the photos. It’s good that you got to travel to Canada. BC is so lovely! I did vote for your badge – really, I liked it the best.

  4. Voted! Loved seeing you and Paul in real life last summer, and having some fun experiences together!
    Hope you come back soon…and here’s to a happy, healthy 2022!


  5. I loved reading your 2021 overview, Janis. You sure know how to summarize! 🙂 And, I enjoyed the way you put the photos together as well. I bet your trip to Vancouver Island was the highlight of last year. I felt lots of joy and gratitude in your post as you glimpsed back on its most memorable moments.

    You must have heaps of photos on you phone after a year! I usually take my photos off my camera and devices every few weeks. I wouldn’t be able to deal with them all at the end of the year – the number would be in the thousands!

    1. I have way too many pictures on my phone and I need to spend the time transferring them to my computer. VI was definitely the highlight of our year. I’m so happy we made the decision to go… we actually felt much safer in Canada than we did in the US.

      1. Interestingly, one of the things I did on this trip while isolating in our Airbnb was go through my zillions of phone photos and delete, delete, delete! It was very satisfying. 📷

  6. That was a fun recap of your year! I remember so many of your images from 2021. I voted, and best of luck to you in the badge contest. Happy New Year to you and yours, Janis!

  7. Janis, thanks for the quick review. I love seeing all of the colors as I scroll down. And, don’t you love long picnic tables that filled with friends? Keith

  8. I really enjoyed your photos, Janis, and think it is so valuable to take the time to look back and find the bright spots in the year. You give a good reminder that not everything has been difficult. It’s easy to focus on the what didn’t go well, and you’ve provided a wonderful alternative look. 🙂

  9. I love how you were able to pick 12 pictures to tell the story of the year. I met a professional photo-organizer (yeah, didn’t know that was a real job either) and she said you should be able to tell any story in 12 pictures…. even the story of your life. I am really going to try and take more pictures this year!

    1. How interesting… I’m not sure how I could do that for my whole life. It was fun and a bit challenging to pick which photo to use for each month… then I decided to choose the one that brought me the most smiles, then and now. And, yes, take more pictures!

  10. Whew – good thing I got caught up here tonight so I could get in my vote just under the wire. Shelley’s photo was chosen as a banner for “Stream of Consciousness Saturday” a year ago. An early happy birthday to you Janis … I liked all these photos and you’d not have known it was a pandemic year given the smiles on everyone’s faces, well excluding your masked face during your first COVID jab.

      1. I was ecstatic too and when I got the booster, it was the day after it was allowed for my age group – no hesitation here! Have a good one Janis!

  11. You made the best of a challenging year! You did a great job of picking moments for each month. I especially love the bee photo – that was a fun moment of serendipity! I bet Dan is glad he’s not able to vote, whoa – what a challenge, all the badges are great, and so unique too! Yours is so colorful, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

      1. Aw, I’m like you, sometimes I have to enlarge or crop a photo to see the extra special touches captured. You did a great job!
        I just checked out the Thursday Door Badge challenge results. Congrats on coming in 2nd! 🥰💕🤗😍

  12. You had me at blueberries, are you sharing some of those photos? In all the years we’ve had blueberry bushes, all together, they’ve yielded less than a bucket. If you have any wisdom to share there… 🙂

  13. I like your photos. They suggest a life lived well, in spite of the pandemic. I went to Dan’s and voted… for you obviously. Love your design so it wasn’t difficult.

  14. You really did have a wonderful year, even with the challenges of the continuing pandemic. And your favorite bird is my favorite bird. 🙂 Happy birthday tomorrow! May this year bring all good things to you, including more delightful adventures!

    1. Flamingos are so wonderful! I think Mother Nature was feeling especially whimsical the day she designed them. Have you heard of Flamingo Bob? If not, google him… you’ll fall in love with him and his buddy Odette. Thanks for the b-day wishes!

  15. Hi Janis, I am too late to vote on the badges – but I did like your idea with the blue. I also liked Manja’s and all had some interesting aspects. I am curious to see which one was selected

    and your year in review was fun to see.
    I remembered when you met with the friends at the mountain get away and a few other ones – so that bought a smile.
    I also like how you used little slideshows to not have one long scroll (good idea)
    Happy New Year

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