March 10, 2020 has been on my mind a lot lately. It was the last somewhat-normal day …my sister Karen took the day off to see Emma with me at the theater. We brought clorox wipes to clean our seats (I remember that the theater was pretty empty for a 2 o’clock show and no one else looked remotely concerned about needing to clorox anything). We loved the movie (I also remember listening to the first ever Novel Pairings podcast on the treadmill that morning; Chelsey and Sara talked about Emma!) … and afterwards shared a glass of wine at a bar across from the theater. We asked the bartender if he was noticing any changes because of the “virus” and he said not really.
I’ve written about this day here before because I love that I spent my last somewhat-normal day doing something fun with my sister. That was the last time for so many things. and the beginning of a year I never could’ve imagined.
So when I saw Laura Tremaine’s prompt for today’s 10 Things on the 10th (Instagram link) – “Because it’s on everyone’s mind this week, we’re going with the most obvious prompt….10 Thoughts for ONE YEAR in a Pandemic” I decided to join in*
- I noted in my journal that things turned a corner in about 18 hours on Thursday, March 12. I had a somewhat socially distanced (no one hugged, we didn’t cozy up on the sofa, we ate from a shared tray of snacks) bookclub meeting in my neighborhood that evening and the next morning four of us showed up for small group at church. We each sat at our own table and agreed this would be our last (in-person) meeting “for a while”; I stopped by the church office on my way out to let them know we wouldn’t be meeting … by the end of the day, church was closed. kids weren’t going to school. grocery shopping was eerie (and toilet paper and all the cleaning supplies were gone).
- Staying home shouldn’t have been a huge adjustment for us because we’re both retired. but we “did” things. Marc didn’t play golf (or even visit the driving range) for months. I didn’t knit in real life with another person until Memorial Day when I visited my sister on her screened porch.
- I signed up for a personal Zoom account (unlimited meetings for unlimited time) in March. I figured the money I wasn’t spending at Starbucks more than paid for it. The connections I’ve kept (knitting and church) and made (Sunday mornings with a few ladies who I “met” through this blog) have been priceless. My knitting and church groups have both expanded to include folks who aren’t local and the Sunday morning group is all non-local. I expect those connections to continue … and I am not sorry I might be driving my car less.
- Marc started doing all the grocery shopping. It was an adjustment for me giving up that control over the menus and the impulse purchases, and now it works great. Also, I do not mind that hour or so to myself each week. and we’ve both gotten better about the Shopping List as a Real Thing.
- Curbside pickup is awesome. I hope stores continue this post-COVID. I have paid extra for the convenience (ahem, Total Wine three days before Christmas?! yep, I paid!) and I’m pretty sure the money I save not strolling the aisles (looking at you Target) would more than pay for it going forward.
- We bubbled with Katie and her family in May and hosted ten sessions of Marmie & Poppa camp over the summer. The boys arrived on Monday morning and got picked up Tuesday afternoon. We will always treasure that time we got to spend with the boys … ages 3 and 5 … it was truly magical.
- Our other daughter was in England. locked down. in a flat by herself. She braved everything to come for 10 days in September. I will never forget the feeling of hugging her in the airport, knowing that was the first human touch she’d had in months. and then sitting on the sofa that evening … the first time she’d seen anyone in real life without a mask on since March. (she also came for Christmas and I had similar feelings. and now she’ll be living with us for a bit three weeks from tomorrow. and I am so very grateful).
- I started playing tennis again. Katie picked it back up over the summer and I’m sure I never would’ve started without that push. I’m a little sad I didn’t start right away, but so glad I finally did. I’m playing my first ALTA (Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association … it’s big here) match – in maybe 18 years? – tomorrow morning. I’m nervous excited. and loving the connections I’m making with the other players on my team. (and not only because most of them are older than I am and have already been vaccinated 😉 )
- Olive & June. I’ve been on the “get dressed and put on a little makeup” train forever … and this year I finally embraced the at home manicure. Kendra @thelazygenius sold me on their system and it’s the best. I also have their pedicure system … and I haven’t tried it … yet. gosh. I wish I’d had a “starter pedi”.
- We did it. a pandemic YEAR. Georgia announced 55+ are eligible starting next week and we’ve pre-registered for vaccines. Like I wrote last week, I’m still having a hard time imagining what life might look like in another three months. and I just need to be ok with that.
…and it’s also been A YEAR where friends (and family of friends) passed away (made harder because we couldn’t gather to mourn); children started school, graduated, moved away for college (and then moved back home); we celebrated birthdays and anniversaries; grieved losses; read books, knitted sweaters (and started again to knit socks), tried new recipes, ran to the lake, walked the trail at the park, checked in with friends, wrote blog posts, took photos. and lived.
*of course the actual “joining” is supposed to be on Instagram, but I’m way more comfortable with this platform … and a real keyboard. seriously, I cannot figure out how folks share so much text – so perfectly formatted – on the little tiny phone screen. is there an app that makes it easier?