A Long Winter, Covid-Style

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It is April, 2021 now and we are coming out of this long pandemic hibernation. As I look back on the past 13 months, I can see how our lives shifted and turned. At first, in Spring 2020, there was the fear and caution, but a hope that this pandemic would be halted swiftly. By summer, we realized that wasn’t going to happen. Thankfully, summer meant outdoors and a slight resemblance to normal life. I was so focused on healing from the spinal fractures and surgery that sometimes I didn’t really feel the impact of Covid-19 then.

Summer became fall, and fall became winter, bringing covid surges across the country. By October, we recognized that the next 6 months would not be normal at all. There would be no family holiday gatherings, no get-togethers with friends unless it was outdoors in freezing temperatures. Take-out and delivery had replaced restaurant trips.  Masks were always on when we left the house, if we left the house. Groceries were ordered online and picked-up at the curb.  ZOOM and Facetime were less than adequate substitutions for social interaction. Amazon deliveries became routine and much too frequent (ordering things online became a new past time.) Somehow we did it; and although there were sometimes tears and an underlying sadness, we managed to find humor and laughter to comfort us.

When Zoom and FaceTime “visits” were not enough to quench the thirst for friends, we would try an outdoor gathering. A COLD walk at Hammonassett Beach with friends, masked and bundled. In case you can’t recognize anyone, that is me with Patrice and MJ, hiding beneath our down coats, hats, and masks.
A week before Christmas we had a bountiful snow fall, which helped to lift our spirits in spite of what was going to be an atypical holiday. (Yes, snow during the holidays does lift my spirits. I love it!)
Christmas Eve was reasonably warm, although we were still surrounded by the mounds of snow. Our New York City crew (Ryan, Kerri, Caleb and Cecily) drove here to capture a little bit of some family holiday time for the day. Not the same as past years, but certainly better than nothing. Yes, we all stayed outdoors.
Then Steph, Adam, and Addison, the CT crew, FaceTimed with us. This is their 2020 version of a family photo with the grandparents.
Zoom Christmas with my sisters, Mother, sons , duaghter-in-laws and grandchildren.
The grandchildren in Delaware – Aaron holding Liam, Alivia and Ella. WE haven’t been able to see them for a very long time. 😢

Thank goodness we like each other and have a good solid marriage. Living together on a boat for extended times is good preparation for this level of constant closeness. Our house is small, but bigger than the boat! We kept ourselves busy. I focused on weaving, walking, reading, baking, cooking …..repeat. We binged through NETFLIX and PRIME series and movies. Have you watched Below Deck??? A yachting “reality” show that is absolutely ridiculous fun to watch.

Al found and watched more sailing/boating vlogs on YouTube than I thought could possibly exist. Is everyone out there recording every moment of their life? And sharing to the world? I will admit that I even watch a few of them. Living vicariously, as they say.

I bought this mug for Al before the covid pandemic. How prophetic it would become, especially #3 and #4.

Can you guess what Al kept busy during the winter??? BOAT PROJECTS!! How could there be any more projects for Kindred Spirit, you ask? She is a boat which means there is always another project around the corner or right in your face. He averaged 1-2 trips to Kindred Spirit per week plus many, many hours in the basement working at home on his projects and a few projects for other boating friends. A little space is good for a couple.

April has brought spring weather and new beginnings. We have both been fully vaccinated, as have our children and their spouses. We are cautiously hoping that the worst is behind us and that we can resume something close to normal life. We must have faith that everything will be ok. That said, we still have our reservations about many activities. We are not comfortable with indoor dining, bars, movies, or any place that has a crowd, however small. But with warmer weather and more people vaccinated, we are truly looking forward to spending time with our family and friends, and boating season!

The very best, the very, very best thing now is that we can see our family in person again.

Three cousins, Caleb, Addison, and Cecily finally see each other for an Easter Egg Hunt at our house. It was sooooo good to see them running around outside together again.
We made a road trip to PA to visit my mother and sisters. Get vaccinated, people! We need to hug each other again.

Enough of covid. You are all living through it too, so what else can be said? It is time for me to gather whatever photos exist to document some of Al’s assorted “winter watsonizing.” Some projects were a bit of a surprise. Stay tuned!

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