Firsts

“Are we ready?”

“Yup.  Let me just grab the keys.”

“We’re taking the convertible, right?”

“Oh, right!  Good idea!”

And off we went.  As we pulled into the parking lot, a high school student (with a mask, of course) scanned our ticket.  As we pulled ahead into the lot, a group of students with flashlights (and masks) showed us to our spot, carefully parked between cars so we could  all see what was ahead of us.

The night was clear.  The half moon was a bright orange in the blueish-black sky.  A cool breeze blew across and cooled us down on a hot summer night.  The girls perched themselves up on the top of the back seats.

The speaker came on.  “Tune your radios to AM 1640, and get ready for the show to begin!” boomed a voice across the fields and parking lot. And then, across the big screen, came the movie of the night; Jurassic Park.

My first drive-in movie, and the perfect ending to a summer day.

 

 

The Power of the Written Word

Today is my father’s 90th birthday. 90 years on this planet, 60 of them as my amazing dad. I decided to craft a piece of writing for a present. I wanted it to be special. I wanted it to be both a reflection on all that he has done in his life and a thank you for the father and friend he has been to me.

I started more than a month ago. I rehearsed, I drafted, I gathered feedback (mostly from my daughter, a writer), revised, started over, and went through the writing process many times.

This morning, dad opened his present and called me. He was sobbing. He told me through tears (He is not really a man who cries easily.) how touched he was by the piece. He told me how it moved him. He told me how lucky he felt to be my dad.

I’m the lucky one!

A Few Things I Want to Hold On To

I want this pandemic to be over.  

I want to go back to a time when I don’t have to put on a mask the minute I see someone coming toward me on my walk.

I want to hug my father and my grandchildren and my family and my friends.

I want to go out to a restaurant to eat.

I want to return to a school filled with children and not worry about staying six feet away.

I want this pandemic to be over.

But there are a few things I want to hang on to when this all ends.

I want to hold on to the incredible relationship I have developed with my adult children while they have been quarantined at home.

I want to keep trying out new recipes.

I want to take time to watch the birds, work in the gardens, and read and write.

I want to tackle the Sunday NY Times Crossword with my daughters across the week.

I don’t want to blow dry my hair (I haven’t done it for months and my hair looks OK.)

I don’t want to wear makeup (I didn’t wear much anyway, but still.)

I don’t want to iron my clothes (They look just fine with a few wrinkles!)

I want this pandemic to be over,

but I hope I can hold fast to some of the important lessons I’ve learned and habits I have developed.

 

Walking Together

Walking has become a daily family event during the pandemic.  Since March, when our adult daughters came home from New York to quarantine with us in CT, we have been walking together.  We have different walks for different kinds of days and different kind of purposes. We have sunny day walks, quick walks, exercise walks, relaxing walks, and even get away walks.  Here are a few of our favorites:

The Neighborhood:  One of our favorite walks, and a walk we can take even when we have just a short time before dinner or between activities is a loop around the neighborhood.  We park at a church lot, stroll along the sidewalks, past a park, through an apple orchard – complete with community garden (our favorite part of the walk), across a bridge over a frog pond, and back along the sidewalk.  If we have extra time, we loop though our community park which includes another pond and some beautiful trails.

Twin Brooks:  We live in a town filled with parks.  One of our favorites for walking is Twin Brooks.  We walk around a big pond (The pond used to include a beach where we took the girls when they were young, but the geese have decided that they should have a beach and swimming hole in town, so we have kindly given it over to them.), and then, depending on the day, we walk either along the paved paths or up and over one of the trails through the woods.

The Trail:  The trail is a walk for hot days as it is completely shaded and runs along a river.  The top trail is a railroad bed and is great for an easy stroll.  The problem these days is that it is often crowded with bikers, runners, and other walkers, and with the pandemic still a threat, it feels a bit less safe that some other walks. So….we have moved to the other side of the river to a trail that runs right alongside the water, offering nice opportunities for wading (for the humans and the dog).  One day we will wear our bathing suits and go for a swim in one of the nice swimming holes. We meet very few people on this side of the river as we walk over the rocks and through the pine woods.

The Shore: When the weather is beautiful, we are drawn to the shore.  We head to a nearby town, park along the seawall and walk.  We spend our time admiring the beautiful homes on the water, the gorgeous flowers on everyone’s lawn, and we just breath in the fresh salty air and realize how lucky we are.

Special Walks: Some days we decide we are going to venture out and discover some new places to walk. We have gone to Lyndhurst on the Hudson River, The grounds of The Glass House in New Canaan, a trail along a river and through the town in Milford, and many more.

Walking has become another constant during this time of unrest and uncertainty.  A routine that we all (including the dog) can count on and look forward to each day.  At breakfast, the conversation always includes the question, “So where shall we walk today?”  We check the weather, the temperature, the day’s activities, and we plan the walk of the day.  Now, where shall we head today?