When crowds didn’t make us nervous.
If life were normal
we would have taken a bunch of exotic trips in 2020 and 2021. We would’ve seen the fjords in Norway, enjoyed the Hebrides and Shetland, probably visited London for the umpteenth time. We would’ve been to Maui a few times and also been to our new second home in western New York a few more times.
If life were normal
we would be hugging our friends and family. We’re still not doing much of that. I would’ve had a big party celebrating my milestone birthday. And I’d be in physical therapy for this thing on my right side that won’t go away.
Since life isn’t normal,
here’s what we are doing at our house:
Once or twice a week we have our closest friends over for a meal on our patio. We cook, they bring a dish and we maintain Covid protocols.
When we can, we mask up and go to a farmer’s market we like . It’s small and we get there almost before it opens when hardly anyone else is around. We know the farmer stands we like and we shop them efficiently. We are there and gone in 10 minutes.
A few times a month or so, we have sushi at an isolated outdoor restaurant patio. We go super-early so no one else is on the patio. Sushi and beer all by ourselves in the sunshine at 4pm is more fun than you’d think. Because it’s relaxing. No worries since we are the sole patrons at that hour.
Thanks to unvaccinated ignoramuses, this Covid thing could be with us a very long time. We’re fully vaccinated and boosted, but still, we do not want to get sick, especially since my husband has comorbidities. So with that in mind, we decided to expand our patio significantly. It’s always been too small for dining outdoors, and now it’s large enough to host a (small) dance party. If ever we can.
We also put in a retractable awning, since we get the afternoon sun in a big way every day. Lots of sun here. The shade will help cool that side of the house this summer, saving some energy at a time when we really need to be cutting back power needs.
And we are looking for a fire table for our seating area. And a dining set.
California life is pretty outdoorsy anyway, and the weather is cooperative most of the year, so we know we’ll get a lot of use out of the new patio. And as a bonus, we removed quite a bit of grass– maybe 50% of our irrigation needs have disappeared. This is a good thing, given the strain on water resources here right now.
I’m not sure we would’ve done this if Covid hadn’t forced us to amp up patio entertaining. But once we made the decision to age in place in our California home, (and visit our second home in our hometown of Rochester, NY), it just made sense to invest in these upgrades.
Our suitcases used to be always packed and ready to go. This was, no question, a lifestyle change for us. But, we’re certainly not suffering. Like so many Americans, we are making the best of the situation. And starting to inch out a bit, planning big travel for next year.
How about you, what are you doing to help keep connected during this strange period of time?