I still remember, in February, hearing more about the virus;
by late February I knew it was coming.
I was seeing what was happening in Germany via Wednesday Chef on Instagram
(LW is such a help!) and by February 27, we did our first stock up of things,
before everyone here panicked and emptied the shelves.
All I remember of March was fear of not getting grocery delivery.
Later, once I got a recurring grocery delivery slot for once/week,
my anxiety slowly lessened.
I remember the first time I was in my local church; I think it was after Pascha;
but I am not sure; but we went with HUGE social distancing in place to confession
for the first time since lockdown; I remember feeling emotionally shocked,
and very near tears. How could we have been kept from everyone, from church,
from liturgy, from Holy Communion?!
Then, slowly, towards Pentecost, we went to liturgy for the first time.
And slowly, a little more. And then, thankfully, things really started opening up
again and we were going to church regularly; we still have; it still feels like a miracle.
But I can see, also, how tired we are.
Even today, I had to go back in the house because I forgot my headband with buttons to put
my mask elastics on (helps save my ears, I am sensitive to sinus pressure) ...
so many times I ask my Husband, as we are leaving for church,
'do you have your mask?'
and this week I wore a face shield for the first time; I double mask more.
I figured out that I like the masks with a good nose piece to help my glasses not steam up.
I even got a pretty mask for Christmas, white with beautiful flowers.
I remember the first times I was in church wearing a mask and how
stressed I felt, how uncomfortable.
I figured out in summer to wear cotton masks and use a hand-held old fashion fan
to help with the feeling of 'hot air' ...
We started having coffee hour outside and I was thrilled and if it is outside, I am
still very thrilled.
In August we started doing routine medical stuff (dentist, eye doctor, physicals) and
I was finally back in NYC after missing it,
after feeling such grief for it, such sadness for the NYC that was being
so desolated; so many people have left NYC (and other cities it seems)
a huge flight to more rural areas; and it is the people with better jobs,
with money, who are leaving; what will happen to NYC now?
One of the many casualties was my favourite NYC diner, Ridgeway Dinner on 6th Ave.
It's gone. It's up for rent. I think of the men who worked there, for years.
What happened to them? Are they OK?
I started going whenever I could to Tea and Sympathy in NYC in hopes that
my business would help them stay afloat and to enjoy being there of course.
I went back to my library and was so so happy to be there.
I found some beautiful dishes at TJ Maxx and Marshalls (small cake stand
and 3 trays of various sizes). I got tons of masala burgers from Trader Joes.
Hugely, we went to Michigan in later August to mid-September.
We saw family.
I remember how strange it felt to see my parents and be in their house
and not wear a mask.
Everything became flipped upside down.
Now it is socially acceptable, esp here in NJ/NYC to wear masks
as a sign of respecting the other person.
Even when I suddenly imagine being somewhere I missed, I
always picture myself wearing a mask.
Everything, upside down.
For us, in many ways, the unbloggable of a few years ago was a
harder time for us; we are in a more secure place as we ride out this
pandemic; and yeah, the survivor guilt of being one whose Husband
still has a good job when so many have lost their jobs,
it's real. I just live and breath it pretty much every day.
But I also have had moments that were so good.
Like having people over for meals; doing Christmas last week
for Photini. Being at church and being in the Christmas joy of the services.
I've had a lot of loss of community and of people moving away.
And now people, long time friends of mine, are leaving IG and I am bereft.
So lots of loss.
Lots of everything upside down.
No Christmas with family this year; no birthday with family this year;
not knowing the future in ways I never knew I would not know.
Yet. Hope. Christ.
Yet we have hope, we have Christ.
May Christ bless you dear blog friends, dear readers, many unknown
(thanks to some for saying hi on my birthday!)
May Christ bless us and save us!
PS: my January Christmas baking is DONE, as you see in pictures!