Normal times or is it?

My maternal grandfather who died so many years ago.

Our area is moving into “normal times” or as close as we can get. Our restrictions are expiring and our infection rate is low. Everything is different though. It won’t be like it was. Some places closed permanently (that’s my gym and many restaurants) and others are different. People have changed. We’ve seen a different side of people that may or may not be to our liking. Conspiracy theorists came out of the woodwork for another round.

Routines were upended and for many there is no hope of seeing them again. Stuff happens and people change. While grateful, I still occasionally mourn “the old days.” I wish I would have treasured them more but I am treasuring my new “now.”

I had to scramble for a new way to exercise; a new way to buy groceries; and a more accessible veterinarian for cats who prefer to get sick on holidays, weekends and during pandemics. I am grateful I didn’t have to struggle with my health.

Trips to the doctor were complicated. On one occasion I was instructed to park in the lot and call in to say I was there. I ended up in a queue for 15 minutes (which made me late for the appointment). I waited in hot cars in 90 degree weather and cold cars when I froze my butt off. Bathrooms were closed and locked which is deadly for anyone with IBS.

We didn’t see friends and relatives. Zoom was the rage at the beginning but we quickly tired of its shortcomings. It wasn’t like being in person. Nothing is.

This week we will see our granddaughters for the first time in two years. They have gone from 13 to 15 years old so the change will be huge. They are most likely taller than me and ready to drive a car. Yikes!

Fingers are crossed that we will have our family reunion this year. After a year of distancing, will we be afraid to hug or touch?

My grandfather died in the flu epidemic of 1918. My mother was about five. I recently found out that “the kids” had it too so maybe she had it. She never talked about it except to say that my grandfather died around Armistice Day (November 11) which signaled the end of the war. All the bells were ringing in celebration. My grandfather kept asking his family to turn them off. That’s all she ever said about it. Sure wish I would have asked her more.

All we can do is embrace the new, mourn the past and be grateful we made it through. Oh yes, and hope there is no resurge when people do stupid things as people do.

54 thoughts on “Normal times or is it?

  1. May have to adapt, but we will survive. (Pets more than did their duty?)
    We ate out indoors the first time this week. No longer are there check points at the big hospital complex hallways ( although in med buildings you do have to wear masks and only 4 in elevator. Reasonable as so many have med conditions already or are in treatment and cannot get vaccines because of that).
    Onward with smiles (Please lots of smiles…people seem so angry. Especially drivers – that’s what we are noticing) Slowly people seem to be relaxing a bit with fewer hunched shoulders and scurrying.
    Must be the visits with grandchildren and family?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you, Kate, how it won’t be like it was. I like how you say ‘I am treasuring my new now.’ Wonderful to see your granddaughters. 1 1/2 years in teen years is significant. My parents also did not talk about their past. Sad. I am sooooo with you on the ‘stupid things’ category.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sorry I didn’t ask my mom more questions. She never invited it. Her dad died when she was young. There were no social programs to help families without the wage earner back then so she started working at 13. She always said the best years of her life were after she married my dad.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband and I went to Costco this morning and, for the first time out, observed a lot of customers without masks (we wore ours). I’ve come to look at masks as a curtesy to others. We are fully vaccinated but we know that there are those who can’t get vaccinated because of underlying health conditions. It’s probably not fair of me but I couldn’t help but think less of those who went maskless. Again, probably not fair, but I felt that they were making a statement – political or otherwise. I stayed clear of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You really captured the sentiment of how so many of feel with this one, Kate. Except for the vet visits, your last year was pretty much like mine (and all of ours). I’m currently sitting with a calendar open and Google Maps up on my computer trying to plan a road trip to see family next month. I guess if we’re going back into a restaurants again, we can get out on the road and see family safely. I hope so anyway. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

    • We’ve had drama in our family but not lately. Some people drifted off and everyone was better for that. Most of the time it takes splitting out to regain some level of harmony. Not a fan of the “walking on eggshells” stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It was a grim milestone yesterday at 600,000 deaths and now this resurge is a terrifying thought even with the two shots under my belt. I hope people are not reckless with the newfound freedom as we slowly get back to a second new normal. Have fun with the not-so-little ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I listened to one of the experts yesterday and he said that the vaccines are good for the new, more dangerous variant as long as you have had both shots. A single shot is not (except for the Johnson one). I’m being cautious but I can’t go through another year of high anxiety. Fortunately the entire family has been vaccinated so I’m feeling safe. In our state deaths and infection rates have come down faster then they went up but we are also near 70% vaccination. I may not feel so safe if I lived in another place.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s good to know … I had both Moderna shots. Our governor just lifted all restrictions to begin June 22nd. It was supposed to be July 1st, so not sure why she did this a week earlier. We are only 44% vaccinated (with two shots) and 50% vaccinated with one shot. You should be okay if everyone is vaccinated – no worries and just enjoy yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. With regard to this new world we live in, it is pretty much like a roller coaster. Require a mask, don’t require one, stand 6′ away, don’t stand 6′ away, be nice to people, don’t be nice to people. I went to the doctor today, and the chairs were outside so that is where I sat. I wear my mask inside places or if I’m outside with people I don’t know. We’ve seen family and friends recently, enjoyed the visit, but there were no hugs. I miss them, but I understand. Everyone has their own thoughts and feeling, I get it. It’s just easier to be safe and not be sorry down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It doesn’t feel like normal. I just start to get comfortable and another variant starts to show up here in crazy Florida. We are trying to do things that make us feel like normal but then we go back to a countdown to make sure we didn’t get covid germs. We are just flying by the seat of our pants and trying to adjust to change… changes because of covid and changes that still pop up with the house. The house has a personality and every week we discover new things that affect the house or us living in it. It’s a sometimes fun, sometimes weird, sometimes surprising but always interesting ride these days!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This post brought back memories of SARS and H1N1 of not so long ago. One good thing that came out of that was handshakes was eliminated. I didn’t mind that at all. But we need to see a doctor in person!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t wear a mask as often but always have one with me, just in case it is required or I feel I need it.
    Wonderful that you will see your granddaughters. Two years is a long time in teen years. They will have changed a good bit and yet still be the girls you know. Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The ‘newness’ of adapting to current conditions is definitely interesting. How fun to have your growing-up granddaughters visiting. My family got together for mom’s memorial over the weekend and I was blown away at all the changes of the various grands, nieces and nephews. It was a great get-together that I shall savor for a long while. You’re right, if the panDAMNic has done anything, it has taught us to savor the time when we didn’t have to wear masks or worry about if it’s safe to hug our families.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes, these past 15 months have changed those of us who’ve paid attention. Many businesses have closed around here so I’m kind of wondering what I’m going to find when I finally get back out into a more interactive lifestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Good post Kate, and so very true. We have seen a side of people that warmed our hearts, and in others wanted to ring their necks for their selfishness and stupidity. Our little community on the estate has embraced everyone. We have new people who acknowledge us in passing, especially if they have a dog, and we have lost a lot of old timers, and some not so old this past eighteen months.
    As far as I know, none of the deaths were covid related, but saying goodbye to loved ones proved difficult and in some cases non existent because of restrictions. Times have changed, and things will never be as it was, though perhaps in some instances that could be seen as a blessing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • We will embrace the the changes (at least the smart ones will) and go on with life. It’s ok to mourn the old. I miss my walking partner that I complained talked too much. Life lesson for sure. Now I’d love to have her talk my ear off.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. The past year has taught us a lot of lessons about what is important, what is not … and who to avoid. Once upon a time (hard to believe it was only a year ago), I was naive enough to believe that this pandemic would make the world a kinder, gentler place. HA! It seems to have just fuelled the crazies.

    I’m looking forward to the company of friends and family I haven’t seen in way too long. I’m looking forward to shopping in a (non-grocery) store again. New shoes would be nice 😉
    … but I don’t think I’m going to give up my mask any time soon. I suspect it may be my new normal.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Even as the restrictions ease, my worry is about those who refuse to get vaccinated. It would be fine if they were the only ones then at risk (here’s your Darwin Award!), but they put us all at risk of viral mutations. The more people COVID infects, the more chances it has to mutate into a variant that is more deadly, more transmissible, and more vaccine/ treatment resistant.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Gosh you said it all……….so many of us have these thoughts – with “familial twists”. I kind of wonder if we will ever really be free of the occasional “call of the mask” – you know – being in a crowd and feeling vulnerable so pulling out THE mask from a pocket or purse. I feel like we’re definitely on the upward swing but new normal will take some getting used to. I’m seeing my sister next week for the first time since all this began. I know we will hug and I know we need to. I feel like the future is brighter but not QUITE “cloud free”. We do the best we can though don’t we. Enjoy the reunion with the grandkids – holding our loved ones close again will feel EVER so good.

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My mother was born in 1918 and my grandmother caught flu shortly after. Luckily she survived but my mother was sent to her grandmothers for six weeks or so while she recovered. Things are not back to normal here yet. We have masks for another month until they can get everyone vaccinated. It is going to take the children along time to catch up at school. Exams were cancelled this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It is nice to have many things feel a bit more normal, but it is still hard to know or feel right about decisions in places like stores…mask or not? Mostly not, but yes in some places. Getting more comfortable with a lack of clarity.

    Liked by 1 person

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