Side note: I used to HATE curbside grocery pick-up, primarily because it didn't allow me to shop the sales the way I could while walking down the aisles of the store. I may have finally figured out an online shopping system that works, however, and now I don't know if I'll ever go back!
After three or four weeks, my friends Jenn and Mandi and I decided we could safely socialize - us and our girls - if we parked rear ends together in the driveway, opened our trunks, and stayed in the back of our vehicles. After a couple more weeks, and after talking through how much and what kind of risk we were all planning and willing to take as individuals, parents, and families, we decided to create our own quarantine bubble.
We also decided we were safer outside, so we chose swimming at Jenn's as our activity of choice. And so for the next however many weeks, we spent three or four hours a day, three to five times a week, in her backyard. The kids swam and snacked while the moms periodically floated on our own rafts but mostly sat at the patio table - facing the pool to see the kids - talking and laughing and worrying and planning and drinking iced coffee, sparkling water, and on Fridays, a little Prosecco.
Creating this quarantine bubble saved us. After existing for weeks with very little socialization outside of our own immediate families, everyone was desperate for a change in scenery and interaction with friends. I credit our bubble with keeping the kids - and me - (relatively) mentally healthy, and I would not have wanted to weather the last 25 weeks of life without these these two women and our outdoor sanctuary.
Now that school has started, we no longer have time on the weekdays for the kids to swim and the moms to sit at the patio table. But we can fondly remember the countless hours we spent in the pool and on the patio, thanks to my favorite quarantine gift (and one of my favorite gifts ever): a watercolor painting of our view from the patio chairs, painted by Jenn herself.
When the passage of time makes the days and weeks and months of quarantine and pandemic life a distant memory, we won't forget this view.
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