Monday, August 29, 2022

What an August ...

... and it's not over yet!

We began the month in Bloomington, Indiana for a family reunion to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. We planned a ten-day visit and enjoyed most of it exploring Bloomington and Lake Monroe, doing watercolors on the Indiana University campus, and visiting with relatives.

It was lovely until day nine when we were awakened with the news that one of the cousins had tested positive for COVID-19. Within a few hours and a flurry of texts, we learned that many others in the group, some already enroute home, also tested positive.

My husband, Tom, our daughter, Erin, and our grandson, Jack were staying together in a small rental house. Using the tests I’d thrown into my bag at the last minute, we tested. Three positives. Only my husband was still negative.

In a flurry of decision-making, we cancelled our flights, extended our car rental, packed our belongings, and began a four-day cross-country trek home to Seattle. So much beautiful country we drove through without a single sight-seeing stop!

Jack was a little trooper. Can you imagine four days strapped into a kid’s car seat? At least the big people could squirm around a bit for comfort. After long days of continuous driving and three nights in roadside motels, getting home felt like checking into a 5-star hotel. That evening, Tom tested positive.

Fortunately, none of us were horribly ill. The fatigue lingers, but it is manageable. I am so glad that not only the three adults (and everyone at the reunion) were fully vaccinated, but that even two-year-old Jack had already received two of the three injections in the recently approved protocol for young children.

Two weeks later, we were on the road again. This time for less than four hours to Cape Disappointment State Park at the mouth of the Columbia River. Erin had booked the reservation to coincide with the International Kite Festival in Long Beach, and fortunately, our son-in-law, Elliot, was able to join us on this trip. It was such a joy to watch all the amazing kites, but even more so to watch Jack learning to fly his own. It was more like walking a dog than standing or sitting in one spot like the pros, but the adorable factor made up for any deficiency in skill.

Home again it’s time to settle into a routine of writing and drawing, cycling and watching Jack a day or two each week. And just maybe we’ll finish this summer’s home improvement project – a backyard patio to replace the hazelnut shell surface, I enjoyed for years. It seems I was alone in that appreciation, but I'll admit the new brick surface will be lovely!

What about you? How have you spent this August? What have you planned for the remaining month of summer?