Welcome back to SOLO AT SIXTY!
Well hello y’all! It’s been awhile. A month, to be exact. Last blog found me at the beach, and this one is no different. I did go home for a couple of weeks, but as long as I am working from home, I’d rather work from the beach. Even found a printer in the back of a closet that had never been taken out of the box. Luckily, my tech-savvy younger daughter was here with me and helped me set it up. Turns out it is the older model of the one I have at home. Makes working from here a little easier!
Don’t know about y’all, but this “new normal” has worn out its welcome with me. I have pretty much kept to myself. I want my life back. I want to stop wearing masks and gloves whenever I go out. I want to hug people (thank God I can hug my kids!). I want to see my momma in person, not through a glass or on Facetime. I want to feel safe going back to work, to church, shopping. I am not sure we will ever get back to where we were, but I hope we get close. On the upside, there have been some good things to come out of this pandemic. We have all been forced to take a step back and slow down. Me? I have been getting about 3 weeks to the gallon on gas! My travel has decreased, my 6 am cycle classes are non-existent, I have been staying up later and sleeping in a bit. Have only eaten out once, and have been cooking again. Down here, I get fresh fish for the week, cut into individual servings, and freeze what I am not cooking that night. Also ventured out to the local Farmer’s market yesterday. So cooking it is.
“May the shells on the beach remind you that treasures arrive every day in the form of simple things.”
I was down here for 3 weeks in May – my longest time ever! Lots of rest, seashells (like I need any more!), fresh seafood, books, and beach. Family came and went. My Charlotte kids were here the first weekend. We socially distanced ourselves together on the beach and when I looked “down our line,” I pleasantly saw that all four of us were reading. The beach is the perfect place to read a good book and where I do most of my reading. We had a lot of fun together. Did not go to Frank’s or to Murrells Inlet for dinner. Played it safe and instead I got fresh, local shrimp, and we ate on my porch. Perfect weather. Played some fun, crazy games until 1 am. Yes, there was some alcohol involved! Hated to say goodbye to my kids, but so thankful for the time with them.
Had a mid-week visit from a friend who was staying at a NC beach. Spent the afternoon catching up and giving her a golf-cart tour of Surfside Beach. Next time I will head to her beach. And I have continued with our Saturday night high school zoom calls, even from the beach! So much fun to catch up with “old” friends… each week someone new pops on!
My younger daughter came back Memorial Day weekend along with my nephew and his family. They had been cooped up inside for weeks – NC had many rainy days, no preschool, no social activities. They needed a break and what better place than the beach with Aunt Les! We haven’t been down here on Memorial Day weekend in years, and have never participated in the Memorial Day Golf Cart Parade…. until this year! We decked out my golf cart with red, white, and blue streamers, flags, and pinwheels. My great nephew (Jack) loved every minute of being in the parade waving at all the parade watchers. Ok, I have to admit, I did too! (As did my daughter and my nephew!) Had no idea what it was going to be like, nor that there would be about 100 golf carts parading down Ocean Boulevard with residents and vacationers lining the street waving and cheering us on. We even had one lady tell us our cart was the best! Have to give credit to my younger daughter and my nephew’s wife, the creative family members. It was a blast and a hoot y’all! Who knew?!?! Thankfully, sweet Izzie woke up from her nap in time to wave to us as we rolled by.
“The best things in life happen unexpectedly. The best stories begin with “…and all of a sudden.” The best adventures were never planned as they turned out to be. Free yourself from expectations. The best will come from and when you least expect it.”
With Jack and Izzie visiting, I got to spend some very special quality time with them. Could not love these kids any more if they were my own grandkids! Jack introduced me to Henry Hugglemonster and the adventures of Bluey, (a Blue Heeler puppy – Australian Cattle Dog) and his family. Oh and Fancy Nancy, which I loved! We read lots of books, played on the beach building sand castles and searching for treasures (shells), and went to see all the turtles in the lake near my house. AND one night we all played JENGA (including my older sister and brother-in-law), a game in which 3 ½ year old Jack is a MASTER! He calmly pulled out blocks (successfully) that made us all hold our breath! Loved every minute of being with this sweet family, but I admit, I went to bed early each night to rest up!
“B.E.A.C.H. Best Escape Anyone Can Have!”
After my nephew’s family left, my older sister and I ventured out to Frank’s for dinner. I had made the reservation 2 weeks earlier, once they opened for limited dining. And it was well worth it. Our first time eating dinner INSIDE of a restaurant in over 2 months. First real semblance of normalcy in this crazy pandemic-world full of limitations. We did not wear masks (we were eating and drinking after all), but we felt safe. And happy!
“There is beauty in each and every storm we walk through in life… you just have to look for it.” Heather Stillufsen
It was very hard to leave the beach back in May, especially since my younger daughter had come back with some of her friends, but it was time for month-end at work, and part of that is easier to accomplish in the office. My first time physically back in the office in 2 months. I even took a couple of cycle classes we were offering outside under a big tent. Before I left to come back to the beach, the governor finally moved VA to Phase 2, allowing gyms to open at 30%. So many thankful members and team members! And many who are waiting a bit to come back. We are all uncertain of these times.
“The secret of CHANGE is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates
But here I am, back in my happy place (big benefit of the pandemic!). And even though the weather has not been the best this week, with scattered rain and cold (72 degrees) weather, it has been heavenly. My younger daughter was here again and we binge-watched Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias! Weather is improving daily, with the forecast for HOT and SUNNY this weekend. AND I am thrilled to be down here on my favorite day of the year (besides my birthday!) – summer solstice, the official first day of summer, Saturday, June 20th. The longest day of the year! And I’ll be celebrating it with my sisters… Holcomb Sister Weekend 2020!
“Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.” Margaret Mead
I cannot end without acknowledging all the pain, unrest, and protests that have taken over our world lately. Never has there been a more important time for introspection. What brought it home to me was a post from one of my friends, who is white, with very sweet children who are black. She said she had to have “the talk” with her son. No, not the sex talk, “the don’t run, don’t reach for your phone, look them in the eyes and speak. We just need you to make it home talk.” He’s just a kid. Stop and think about that. Let it sink in. Here are a couple of articles that affected me this week. I hope you will take the time to read them.
So while some of us are returning to a bit of normalcy in our lives, maybe we need to embrace a new normal. Just IMAGINE what our world could be… “Imagine all the people living life in peace”… (John Lennon). Take some time for introspection. And remember, don’t wait, because none of us is promised tomorrow.
PS – Did you know that your noontime shadow on the day of the solstice will be your shortest noontime shadow all year?! Yep, and I’ll be out there enjoying mine!