Saying Good-Bye During Pandemic ?
We moved ‘back home’ to Seattle in May 2019. After 30 years on the east coast, I needed to be here to help my mother. It all worked out. (A story for another time.)
We enjoyed nine (9) amazing months in downtown Seattle, pinching ourselves everyday, as we walked by the Space Needle to go to the grocery store or down to the waterfront: We live here!
We rode the metro buses. We explored. We rode the ferries. We shopped at Pike Place market. We visited Mt. Rainier.
We enjoyed lots of time with extended family, here in the Seattle area: from Friday night BBQs to Sunday brunches to huge family gatherings for birthdays, a June 2019 graduation, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
Hubs & I started a year of international travel, for work, in Berlin, Germany – October 2019. We were looking forward to visiting Spain, France, Asia, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, Nevada for conferences, baby! All scheduled for 2020.
Hubs actually made it to Las Vegas in April 2019, for his first annual conference. He stayed in a high-roller suite! He called me from this den of luxury while I was alone in our nearly-empty townhouse in Atlanta, managing the cross-country move, camping on a twin mattress on the floor in a sea of boxes. But I digress…
Our last trip was in early March 2020, to San Francisco for a long weekend, to meet our Navy Son’s lovely girlfriend (now fiancée!) for the first time in person. That was, of course, the last time we got to see and hug our oldest kid, in person.
We came home to PANDEMIC!!! It was a total shutdown in Seattle. We couldn’t imagine, at the time, how much it would change everything, for everybody. Forever.
And here we are, one year and one month later, 57 days from vacating our fabulous condo in downtown Seattle… moving into a 40’ RV. Full-time. A whole new reality.
We went up to the RV (at our storage facility) yesterday, to spend some time on maintenance, planning, and organizing a very small space for full-time living & working. (I managed to find room to take a dozen books with me: 12 books!)
While we were there, Hubs’ brother & our sister-in-law stopped by for a Saturday night hangout, which was fun. Just talking. All of us in our masks.
The year before, we would have been at their house, with the whole gang, drinking and BBQing and laughing… or out and about downtown, at one of our favorite restaurants or neighborhood bars… most of those places have shutdown for good.
We sat in the living room area of the RV and talked and laughed and enjoyed the time together. But we didn’t take our masks off. We didn’t drink. We didn’t eat, not even ubiquitous appetizers you would of course have on hand (even in the RV): no veggies or fruit, no chips & salsa, no dinner prep.
We’re all looking forward to getting the vaccine in the next couple of weeks, as Washington State opens eligibility up to everyone 16 & over. We’re all in our 50s— too “young” and (relatively) healthy to qualify for the lottery so far. No immunity. No free donuts from Krispy Kreme. We’re trying to be patient and wait our turn.
We’re hoping we all have the shots in the next 57 days, before we leave out on our Big RV Adventure. To get together for real. For a June 2021 graduation. For July birthdays. For a couple more Friday night hangouts and Sunday brunches before we go.
I cried all the way home.
This is the hard part.