I was cleaning out my iPhone the other day and came across a few photos that hadn’t been deleted.
They were from last year. The first week of March, 2020. Today is the first day of March 2021.
And let us hope the winter coating can be stored away in a few weeks!
On that first weekend of March last year, we decided to spend the (click this link for last year’s blog post about our) weekend in Manhattan.
Hard to believe this was taken a year ago and even more difficult to believe we are entering year two of the pandemic!
We stayed at the Marriott in Midtown and before arriving at the hotel, we drove to Nyack to visit my husband’s grandfather’s grave. A lifelong Parisien, he moved here due to work obligations and passed away due to a heart attack. He was living in an old house in Nyack and was buried in the town.
We stapped first to have a little visit with Bonaparte’s grandfather!
It’s a bittersweet sentiment for my Frenchman because his entire family is in France so it gives a connection here.
But more about the weekend.
We heard about this “virus” but really hadn’t known the seriousness of it. Yet.
What we did notice was traffic was eerily light. And lighter traffic is always a good thing but this was different. And it was more noticeable as we approached the City.
And once in the city, we were astounded that traffic remained so light. I mean there was no traffic at all. Under normal circumstances driving in the City, I’m usually cursing every five seconds and flipping the bird every 15. On that day, I remained unsarcastically angelic!
This was the heaviest traffic we encountered–in Times Square it was rather eerie!
And when we arrived at the hotel we were greeted as though we were royalty. In fact, Marriott upgraded us into a rather large suite. Little did we know it was because a great number of travelers opted out of staying at the hotel!
We had great views in this corner of the suite. And a year later, the hotel closed. It’s so sad.
After unpacking and headed out and about for an afternoon walk, we didn’t notice a smaller number of people. That area of the city is usually pretty crowded and the locals were going about their normal weekend errands and whatever it is they needed to do. We had a lovely dinner at Le Relais de Venise Entrecôte and the restaurant held a good crowd. It was business as usual.
We had a lovely dinner here–it’s actually our “usual” place in The City. And I”m happy to announce it has remained opened a year later!
And despite some of the normalcy, we had a hunch that something was about to happen.
The next day, we left the city and arrived at the Holland Tunnel in record time. No one was on the road. We exited a metropolis that had morphed into a virtual ghost town.
We had never witnessed such empty city streets. It wasn’t a sign of good things to come.
It was not until the next day that I realized the severity of this virus. We were now experiencing a true pandemic.
The office I work in was now under a lockdown of sorts. Staff was now ordered to work from home. I was one of three people who volunteered to come into the office. (For me, it was a dream—not having to be with most co-workers was a delight)
Only I wasn’t sorry. I was delighted! It was so productive!
And thus, life changed. Restaurants closed. Malls and stores closed. People were now ordered to wear masks. There was no cure for this mysterious illness but we all knew it was bad. Very bad.
And last March, I had no idea that I would still be wearing a mask during the November voting process!
In the beginning, for me, it was a pleasure to drive to work with no traffic. It was even more of a pleasure to work in an empty office. I mean, it’s a beautiful thing to not have to deal with the office gossips or the slackers or the moles who spy on everyone while spending less time on their daily duties.
A year later, I think back on the empty office. There is now a handfulof people working onsite but we keep a very safe distance!
After all, how long would this pleasure of being alone last? A few weeks? A month at the most? Oh boy, were we all in for a rude awakening! Weeks turned into months and those months turned into a year. A year later, I’m not as delightfully giddy as a was during the onset of this pandemic.
I must say that I DO miss my friends! A lot!
A year later, I miss people (except most co-workers) who are my friends. I miss random conversations with strangers while we are waiting in line at a store or elsewhere. I miss seeing young parents with their babies and telling them how cute their baby is.
Suffice it to say, I even miss standing on lines like this to see a movie!
I miss going out. I’ve been a semi-prisoner in my home for one year now. No contact with family. Sure, I did get to visit Oona and Sam twice and I got to spend time with my new grandson Owen. And Roman came to visit. But Jake is still out in L.A.
Thank God I have memories of my visit to Ohio to see my new grandson!
But there were no trips to Long Island to see my sister. Our trips to France, two of them cancelled with a possible third in the queue of cancellation. For 2021 No weddings. No barbeques. No random restaurant meals. No wedding showers. No baby showers. No birthday parties. No nothing except one trip to the beach last summer.
Something tells me we won’t be hanging here in Antibes this coming summer.
And please—do not even broach the subject of Zoom events because it is simply not the same as being in a room with real human touch.
Zoom isn’t cutting it for me.
As we enter into Year Two of this pandemic, I honestly don’t have much hope for 2021. Montgomery County here in Pennsylvania is a joke—an absolute joke with the handling of the vaccines. Smokers and obese individuals are receiving their vaccination before soon-to-be-66-year-old me along with peers of my age group.
Smoking? You’ll get your vaccine first!
Masking it has become the new normal. Caution has taken over our lives. Hand sanitizer is the new eau de toilette. Take out and curbside pickup is the substitute for dining out. Amazon is now the Mall of America.
I haven’t purchased any perfume in a year but I’ve got a steady supply of this!
A year ago, I was delighted to be away from people. A year later, I long for the company of people (except most co-workers). I daydream of arriving home from the office and having my husband suggest heading to downtown Phoenixville for a bite to eat rather than the typical weeknight dinner at home.
I want to return to France. I want to be on a TSA line that is so long that I’m cursing up a storm and my patience is tested. I want to be bitchy to overly-aggressive sales assistants but want to be kind to the nice ones.
That’s right. I want my naughty mouth to get working on a long TSA line!
I want the opportunity to mull over an invite. I want to go shopping to purchase a gift for someone special and wrap it and adorn it with ribbon and embellishments.
Ahhh. Christmas. 2019? I long to make pretty wrappings again!
I don’t want a daily count of the deaths. I want this goddamned pandemic to end.
2020 was the year that wasn’t. I felt as though an entire year of life was wasted and it won’t come back. And as I age, time is of the essence. Hopefully 2021 will see a return to life as it were. And I’m not alone. It seems that the year mark has thrown many over that mountain of patience and hope.
This is how a feel about last year.
This first day of March marks entering into the second year of COVID-19 but, this first day of March also gives an awakening that Spring is just around the corner. As the air begins to change from frigid to cooler and the days get longer our spirits will start to bloom. And as the Crayola-Spring Green crayon color appears as a sprinkling of buds on the trees, and the grass turns from stiff blades and becomes, once again, barefoot soft, our hearts will also soften.
I want real-life Spring Green back…
And next month, it’ll look like this–it’s be welcomed and we’ll be a bit happier and sunnier!
It’s been tough. We all feel it. But let’s look forward to spring and the warmer weather.
We can do this! Think happy thoughts!
How have you been coping with the realization that it’s been a year? I think it’s good to talk about this so you know that you are not alone!