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What We’ll Keep

Amidst the binging and home educating and working and blissfully gorgeous weekend of gardening and biking and a socially distanced firepit with friends who brought their own chairs and beverages and s’mores fixings, we are all doing somewhere between a little bit and a lot of the around-the-house projects we never seem to find the time to tackle. The kids closets. Dusting the ceiling fans. Cleaning out the garage. Photo books of recent and not-so-recent trips.

The photos are both beautiful reminders of what was, and a terrifying road map. One of my favorite pics: me and my best friends from college, on a crowded Nashville street. When will the vibrancy of cities come back? Another favorite: my sister and me on a train between Vienna and Budapest. When will we go back to train travel, to public transportation, to the trips we’ve saved for and planned for for years? Another: my happy sun-kissed kids, high above Rehoboth Beach on the Paratrooper at Funland. We broke it to the kids as gently as possible that this might be a summer without skeeball.

None of us are okay.

And yet, we *are* okay. We are safe and healthy at home. Our family is safe and healthy in their well-stocked homes throughout the mid-Atlantic. The fear and grief is so different for families that don’t live in the reality that we do - and each day we are aware of it and grateful for it.

Gratitude helps. It reminds us to appreciate what we’ll keep from this quarantime - like recipes we have perfected, the slower lifestyle that has given us back family dinners, the photos we are taking now, like my new favorite: my family, masked and slightly nervous, on our way to the garden store to choose the plants that will nourish our bodies (basil) and souls (geraniums) over the next few weeks, as we wait for what lies ahead.

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