Despite the challenges of living with a global pandemic, I’ve had a very good summer.
I love summer. I love spring a little bit more — it’s not as hot, and trees and flowers jumping to life brings me joy. But summer is a close second. Yet most years I feel like the summer passes me by without me enjoying it as much as I wanted.
Not this summer. I got to ride my bike a lot! I’ve loved to ride my bike since I was a boy. Dad bought me my first bike, a well-used Schwinn, when I was seven. I was unathletic, clumsy. But I took to riding that bike like I was born to do it. I’ve loved to ride ever since. Career and family make it hard to find time for the bike. But this summer, working from home has let me take plenty of lunchtime rides. It’s been terrific.
I also got to take some of my meetings on the deck in the sunshine. On the hottest days I opened the deck umbrella to get a little shade. Sure, I can hear the trucks on I-65, which is about 600 feet away. I look forward to the day we don’t live near the highway anymore. Other than that, it was lovely to get that change of scenery in my workday whenever I wanted it.
Early in the pandemic we allowed no contact with friends and family. We were all in on helping to flatten the curve. But when we could see that the pandemic wasn’t going away, we knew we couldn’t keep up full quarantine for the long haul. For our mental health, we would need to see our friends and family.
Repairing and restaining our unsightly deck had been on our list for this year even before the pandemic. But during the pandemic, the restored deck has allowed us to have friends and, especially, family over. We’ve had some lovely times out there, mosquito bites notwithstanding.
I’m always a little sad on Labor Day because it means summer is ending. Cooler weather will soon be here and summertime activities like bike rides and deck evenings will become less frequent and then end. As this summer fades away, however, for once in my adult life I feel like I made the most of it. I hope that sustains me through the winter. The cold and the pandemic will make it so much harder to be out in the world.