The beginnings of normalcy

It’s been a week of doing things that we haven’t done since March 2020, and stuff is starting to gain some semblance of normalcy again. It’s nice.

Last Thursday, we had a Verizon technician in the house to replace the FIOS box in the basement. It was the first repair person we’ve had in the house since… before last March.

This past weekend, we went on a tour of garden centers with Silja to buy flowers. This included our first time riding in someone else’s car for the first time since last March.

On Sunday, we made our first impromptu “we need one or two things from the store” run to Aldi without planning beforehand or lugging a wagon to cart everything home for the first time since last March.

On Monday, Max came over for Rock Band. It was our first time having someone inside our house unmasked (and first time having someone inside period other than to quickly pee) since last March. It was also our first time eating food with someone inside our house since last March.

On Tuesday, there was voting, which happened (at least for one of us) in person. It’s our first time not voting by mail-in ballot since last March.

Today I went to a scheduled doctor’s appointment (eye doctor, in this case) for the first time since last March. (I’d had a couple other doctor visits during quarantine, but they were all for specific issues that were bothering me.)

Today we also ate at a restaurant for the first time since last March. In this case, it was People’s Indian buffet, and we sat outside, but was also just nice to do this seemingly normal thing and not be freaking out about it.

Here’s hoping variants don’t make the world go to shit again, although I’m still rather bitter about the CDC being so stupid and making things a million times more dangerous again with their new mask guidance.

Life, Cabin, People, and thou

life‘s photo journal and stats have been updated. Given the lack of a trip in the past four months, we are of course the lowest photo count since 2002 with 300 photos, and the fourth lowest count for a four month period ever. It’s also the first period without Keith pictures since since 2009, which also makes sense because we’ve been meeting everyone virtually. We’re still about 400 photos off from the next 25k photos that would trigger another photo stats dump (including May photos so far), but I’m actually hopeful we’ll hit that in the next 4 months, because…

We’ve started the first stages of seeing people again. Rock band is scheduled in just over a week with the fully-vaccinated Max, and we’re looking at hosting a (very) small (and still outdoor) Memorial Day gathering with friends we know are vaccinated. Now that we’re two weeks after the second dose, I’ve also felt a serious sense of relief (or at least lack of anxiety) about going into buildings again — we’ve been to the bakery twice for donuts, I didn’t feel weird being in a fairly crowded car rental building, there was a Costco trip that felt fine to me, and we’re going to start going into the grocery store again. We’ll see if that sense keeps up given the ever-increasing threat of variants, but after a year of worrying, it’s really nice to be able to start letting down my guard a bit.

Speaking of doing things… we went on a trip to a cabin again, booked as a covid-safe vacation before we had any idea of when vaccination would be a thing. Whereas the last trip was to Blue Knob, this time we went to Cook Forest, and stayed at MacBeth’s Cabins right on the Clarion river. (And there are 200 photos from this trip alone, so the next four month period already has 2/3 the photo count of the previous four months.)


I must be getting old and curmudgeonly or something, because the biggest thing I was looking forward to was the lack of internet and cell service, and the cabin absolutely did not disappoint in that regard. I got to spend a week lounging around, reading and relaxing, without any of the modern obligationsdisruptions getting in the way. (Incidentally, the lack of internet might also be why I like cruise ships.)

Compared to the last cabin, this one was much better situated, but also less “nice”: the kitchen was smaller, the bathroom was less nice, and the heating and cooling situation was questionable, with a gas space heater (that said “do not use in bedrooms or bathrooms” on the side) between the beds. Still, it was definitely nice enough to return, especially with how great its location (and the hiking around it) was. Even if normal trips become a thing again later this year (or next year), a cabin feels like it’ll always be a good choice.