In the spirit of bringing in the New Year during these unusual times, I couldn't think of a better way than to ask you what you have gained from having lived through this year of challenges. For me, I remember years ago realizing that just the act of walking somewhere would give me the opportunity to see and notice things I wouldn’t see if I was driving in my car.  In a similar way, 2020 slowed everything down so much and gave me the opportunity to truly see; take stock in what is really important, and connect in helpful ways with others in our community.  Here are some of your words of wisdom as 2020 truly becomes hindsight.


"For me 2020 was a year of adjusting, building, connecting, growing, reflection, resiliency & strength and I am so happy & proud to be part of our amazing community which offered up SO many happy little moments and exhibited such generosity and love."

Kimberly Ramsey 

The Toy Room 


"Doing everything you can to help others is the best way to survive a crisis."

Matt Knickerbocker

First Selectman

Bethel, CT


"For me, this year really brought to light just how out of balance we all were living - myself included. Having the chance to stop and reassess has been a gift to my patients and my community. We have been given a new appreciation for this little town and the support it provides."

Laura Shahinian Kara M.S. L.Ac

Kara Acupuncture & Wellness 


"Being able to spend time with my children on a different level, being a fly on the wall during their schooling which I’ve wanted for so long, getting in touch with my inner self, leaving a dead end job where I was not able to be as artistic or creative as I am today and being my own boss doing hair which I love so much in my hometown."

Gennifer Dietz

Britnay Shears Hair Design

(FB Gennifer w/a G)


"I was so blessed to meet and photograph families in Bethel this year.  We captured the joy and happiness despite the struggles of 2020. Thank you for all the support of my photography at Kellie-O-Photography."

Kellie O'Brien



"The best part of 2020 was seeing how resilient, creative and kind people can be despite having a dumpster fire of a year!"

Wendy Cahill

Molten Java


“Do everything with a good heart and expect nothing in return and you will never be disappointed."

Audrey Stejskal


"While this year has been a troubling, challenging, and difficult year for everyone, I still feel lucky and blessed. In 2020 I started my new business, New Sun Rising, LLC through which I have had some amazing experiences since its beginnings in July. I have met some great people and have had some great digital and remote opportunities in the age of quarantine and social distancing. I appreciate our close knit community of Bethel, and am grateful to be surrounded by such kind and generous people, especially during a year like 2020."

Michaela J. Lawlor

New Sun Rising, LLC


"Community is what got us through 2020! My wish is that the sense of love, friendship, brother/sisterhood that we gained during the hard times just continues to grow! Bethel is lucky to have such wonderful citizens such as Genée West, Nicky Zooks and the Bethel Sharks."

Susan Winters

Publisher of hello, Bethel


"People’s unbelievable generosity to rally around a purpose. The go-fund-me that made it possible to get a wheelchair accessible van. I am truly humbled."

Mike Tamburino 


“Hope is the Thing with Feathers that Perches in the Soul and Sings the Tune Without the Words and Never Stops At All” Emily Dickinson 

Patti Polk

Patricia's Presents


"2020 was an ugly year but when life gives you lemons, you cut the lemon open and squeeze it in 2020's eyes! Then you find the silver lining around the black cloud. For me, my silver lining was the joy I found in making new lifelong friends and being part of a community that really came together to support one another in ways we haven't seen in a long time. My hope is that this is a trend of kindness and caring that continues for years to come."

Genée West

Support Local Bethel, CT


"Besides getting more family time and slowing down our lifestyle so that we weren’t exhausted every week, this year has given me an opportunity to explore all the amazing restaurants and shops we have in town. The outpouring of support for our local economy through the various Facebook groups has been amazing to witness. And the recommendations from our fellow Bethelites have allowed me to try some new places that I hadn’t previously gone into in the past 12 years. Our town truly has almost everything you could need, want, or eat."

Aileen Hollander


This New Year is the time to give thanks to people who matter most. For us at Bethel Grapevine, it's our community of followers, readers, and subscribers. Thank you for all you do to make our community thrive!

All my best to you and yours,

Hannah Lipman

Managing Editor

Bethel Grapevine

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