May 9, 2020

Meet Me at Joe's?

Just the other day, Tim and I joked about how nice it would be to walk to Joe's Inn for breakfast — and it was in that moment I realized just how quickly our "normal" can change.

Back in early March we'd decided to keep our annual trip to Mexico amidst the growing speculation of the virus. It was Etta's first plane ride, first time in a pool, eating crackers — it felt like our own little bubble of relaxation and fun in tandem with fears of the unknown as daily news updates started to escalate. Mid-week when sports were cancelled and travel restrictions announced, we were ready to be home and plan for what was in store ahead. I vividly remember it was the first time I'd experienced vocal disapproval on my parenting decisions from strangers, when allowing Etta to crawl on the carpeted airport floor to blow off energy after being limited to sitting still in our laps for the duration of the plane ride. Now a good 8 weeks into staying at home, it's almost surreal thinking back on that trip and how quickly we've evolved into a new normal.

Due to the nature of working from home, Tim and I have both been able to keep up a sense of normalcy, for which we are grateful. And, only a few months after winterizing the river house we decided to slowly open it back up ahead of schedule as way to change up the scenery from week to week while hunkered down as a family unit. Over the last month we've happily discovered Etta's joy for wagon rides, and that the Easter Bunny knows his way around the Rappahannock River. In fact, it was the week before Easter that she took her very first steps on the tile floor in the kitchen there.

It will be our second year with this little retreat and we're excited for what this season holds. In terms of projects, we've made a few simpler updates indoors like changing out light fixtures, bringing in new furniture and addressing the outstanding plumbing issues leftover from last year's purchase. Outside, we've learned the exterior benefits from an annual power washing (hello, airborne algae!), window washing and general landscape clean-up to officially call it "open for the season." Down the road, there are endless ideas for projects and improvements we'd like to make. This year we're gonna continue to take it slow as we learn the house and each-other in it.

In our bubble of safety, Tim misses sports; I'm pining for a pedicure. Sometimes to pass the time, we like to ask one another questions like, "what are the first 3 restaurants you want to go to when we can go out again?" or "which park will we take Etta to first?" We know we are lucky, and from this side of the quarantine, we hope you're keeping safe and well too.

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