Last weekend, for the second time this month, we got away from home. And it was such a needed break. We went to the Upper Valley, a slice of New Hampshire and Vermont near where we used to live in Quechee. It was like being in a different world with so much nature around us, so many fewer cases of Covid and such a treat to visit with close friends.
It was a reminder of how necessary it is to see friends in person rather on video calls. We met these friends when we were in our 20s before we had kids and then when Hannah was a baby. We initially bonded over shared experiences spending countless hours at barbecues, soccer games, and the local pub as young adults do. The friendships deepened as we realized our core values and personalities were so compatible. Despite having moved away 11 years ago, these are some of our closest friends. Living 2 hours away from close friends is hard, but these weekends have been a reminder that getting together is more than worth the effort.
Because we were with one other family, outdoors and in a place with very few cases, we were able to socialize without masks. We normally live our lives outside the home with a mask on (or at the ready to put on) and this felt like a real vacation. We were the first non-family guests to have a meal at these houses (again, outdoors and from a bit of distance) and it was as special for them to be able to host as it was for us (although they had to do more work). There really is something gained when you can share a meal with friends.
Besides seeing other humans, one of the things we’ve missed this summer is swimming. The town pool is closed; the beaches are crowded and distant; we have not made an effort to get to local ponds. So with the exception of two beach days, our swimming has been limited to our trips North. So we took advantage of beautiful weather and abundant swimming options over the weekends. Floating in a river or jumping into a swimming hole is such a special summer-time experience that we don’t do enough and it was great to get a chance to allow the girls to enjoy time in the water. We want them to grow up knowing that while swimming pools are great, there is no comparison for natural swimming, especially in such a beautiful location.
Things that went well this week:
- Caroline and her friends organized and performed a puppy wedding with Daisy “marrying” Peanut, the dog of a friend of hers. The ceremony included dresses (for girls and Daisy), exchanging of rings (which were then attached to the dogs’ collars), decorations in the yard, and an officiated ceremony
- The weather was hot but not as oppressive as last week and the girls spent a lot of time outside
- Sports are back in my life with the Premier League finishing (Champions League starts in a couple weeks!) and the NBA starting back up
Things that did not go well:
- The cases and deaths in the US continue to increase in horrendous numbers with 4.5+ cases and 150,000 deaths and no end in sight; even case numbers in Massachusetts are inching up
- Both Jeanne and I have been spending way too much time at our desks working
- Still no news on school plans for the fall, it’s looking like the hybrid plan is not feasible
Random happy find from the web:
- A Greek student was stuck at his university in Scotland so he rode his bike 2000 miles over 6 weeks and made it home
Homesick Student Cycles From Scotland to Greece During the Pandemic
Cute puppy photo of the day: