2020 Summed Up in a Single Photo: The Winners!

Update: Despite my best-efforts, Stubs, the rat has followed me into the New Year. In the year of the rat, I have been tortured by a rat. But hey the Chinese New Year isn’t over until February 12th so perhaps his days are numbered.

But again, it isn’t about Stubs. It’s about the great photos we got trying to sum up 2020 in a single image (may we never mention the year again after this)

After announcing the contest on Facebook, we had approximately 47 entries with six standouts that became the finalists.

Yesterday, the finalists were voted on. Here are the results as well as a little history about the photo and why the entrant thought it represented 2020 so well.

#6 Brandon Toomey with what he describes as a photo with “Peak 2020 Energy.” His tale was not very complicated. He saw the graduation tassel and face mask both hanging from a rearview mirror at Costco in June and the juxtaposition of the two things grabbed him enough to snap a photo.

Says Brandon, “I have no idea who it was or anything else about it, other than that moment.” It is a very poignant image of what some of our Seniors went through this year.

Photo credit: Brandon Toomey

#5 Next is Debby Monfet Maher and her photo “We walk in Darkness.”

When asked how the photo relates to 2020 she said, “The darkness on the trail, reminded me of how we all feel during 2020. The light represents that glimmer of hope that 2021, will hopefully bring.”

The photo was taken just before the summit, at Garfield Ledges, North Bend. (End of Middle Fork Road.)

Photo Credit: Debbie Monfet Maher

#4 & #3 A tie between Luvlee Darlin and Patty Todd Johnson

Luvlee’s photo of the “2020 Gingerbread  House” was from a last-minute idea after her 5-year-old son Johann reminded her that she forgot to make a gingerbread house with him.

Not wanting to let him down, she figured out a way they could craft one together. She came up with the white claw box because it was a perfect size, and she and her husband found a taste for the claw during the first shutdown.

Says Darlin, “That sparked the “2020” idea, so I ran with it. Who could forget the toilet paper madness we all faced in the first half of the year! It had to have a snowy roof made of plush TP😉 I needed the decorative candy part, so I searched the cupboards and found old Halloween candy… Halloween was so different this year I found it quite fitting. We chose to trick or treat this year and found very few folks giving out candy, but those who did had it on loaded tables in baggies. I wanted the kids to have some normalcy, and I appreciated that. It was a simple way, to sum up, our 2020 in the form of a last-minute mom fail!”

Photo Credit: Luvlee Darlin

Patty Todd Johnson’s photo of her mother, “Ethel Todd at 102,” is particularly touching. Todd was a Red Oak resident in North Bend until she fell and broke her hip on Christmas morning of 2018. 

After having surgery, she moved into an adult family home in Bellevue. She sets goals to have something to look forward to. She really wanted to vote for Joe Biden and see him inaugurated on her 102nd birthday, January 20th. 

Says Johnson, “I haven’t been able to hug her since last March, and I am really hoping she lives long enough for both of us to get the vaccine so we can hug again.  She was born Jan 20, 1919, during the last pandemic.”

We all hope so too Patty!

Photo Credit: Patty Todd Johnson

#2 Terry Boyle’s photo of her “Two Daughters at Christmas in 2020” started with a tradition of sending out Christmas cards with photos of her 2 daughters.

Says Boyle, “In previous years, I’ve had some scenic location picked out, or would use a collection of cards from some of our bigger road trips across the country. I had no idea and no plan this year, so I decided to do a quick card that was as chaotic and unplanned as this year has been.”

So instead of pretty Christmas lights or decorations, they put toilet paper and face masks as ornaments in a tree, threw supersized candy canes in another tree, and sat on toilet paper packages. There was Lysol, hand sanitizer, and 💩 emoji Christmas lights hanging around the sign.

They also put out Isabel’s Graduation sign with the #allinthistogether, which was huge when they found out the kids weren’t going back to finish their Senior year or getting traditional graduation. For them, the photo captured a lot of the chaos, craziness, and emotion of the year 2020.  The cards were even sent out too late to get to most, if not all, of the people on our list by Christmas after Terry sprained her ankle the day after taking the photos.  It all just seemed to keep fitting in with the theme of 2020. 

Photo Credit: Terry Boyle

The WINNER of the photo contest and a gift card for the Riverbend Café is Cari Lingwood and her photo of her “Grandparents at the Window.”

When I told Cari her win was pretty much a landslide she noted “He’s (her Grandfather) so adorable people are powerless to resist.” The story behind the photo is they were just getting her grandparents settled into a care home in Sammamish from their lifelong home in Normandy Park when the shutdown happened.

Her Grandma has Alzheimer’s and it was to the point where it wasn’t feasible for her to stay at home anymore. Her grandpa made the difficult choice to also leave home in Normandy Park to stay with her. Says Lingwood, “His family lived on the same property his entire life so as you can imagine it was a tough move for all.”

They were doing what they could to make light of the situation and keep everyone’s spirits up. At the time of that photo they were making a joke about it being like a jail house visit in the movies where the people on the phones inevitably put their hands up to the glass and have “the moment.”

Even though the photo was a joke, in the end, it touched many people and was the clear winner.

Photo Credit: Cari Lngwood

Thanks to everyone who participated; it was fun to see all the photos! Don’t forget to visit the Riverbend Cafe, which in part sponsored the contest and could use everyone’s help to survive this latest shut down.

[The Riverbend Café is located just off exit 32 eastbound at 14303 436th Ave SE. in North Bend. Their phone number is (425) 888-6600.]

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  • Great pictures – and props to the Riverbend Cafe for sponsoring this contest!

  • Living Snoqualmie