I love April
I've always loved this month. This April feels so much lighter and brighter, than the April a year ago.
Since we were vaccinated in March, the world suddenly seems safer. But Don and I are still easing into this world. We spent some time at the cabin. Isolating by choice, is a good thing.
On the day before my birthday, I met up with two friends for a picnic. It's been way over a year since Christy, Shari and I have been together.
We wore our masks when we greeted and hugged. Then off came the masks! We've all been vaccinated. It's amazing to suddenly be together and not worry about safety. Our picnic lasted for hours!
A year ago, I chose a birthday picnic. Even though we brought our own chairs to the park, I remember feeling guilty or stressed. Were we supposed to be staying home? Was it okay to even be in a park?
This year, Don and I had a glorious courtyard lunch at Brennan's, in Houston. What a great way to celebrate my birthday and being vaccinated.
This was our first TX dine-out experience, in 13 months. I was giddy! Or maybe it was the 25-cent martini and Cosmo! You have to love a Friday lunch gimmick like that!
Just like last year, the best part of my birthday, was Zoom. It felt wonderful to see the faces and hear the voices, of our CA & OR kids! But this year, there was an extra Zoom voice! Baby Charlie made adorable squeals and coos!
A week after my birthday, I celebrated by visiting my hairdresser! What s treat to see some of that straggly, discolored hair disappear. It was still frustrating, having to communicate through masks. But the post vaccine world seems so much more relaxed. Masks seems less bothersome!
I hate having no family in town, with holidays. But Don and I still put out the goofy china and threw some jellybeans on the table.
In person is better, but pictures and FaceTime helps! Baby Charlotte made some comical faces on Easter!
Trailer Park Oscars
We didn't celebrate the Academy Awards with champagne this year. We dressed down and had popcorn and Cheetos.
Don and I had only seen one movie, (Nomadland) so we let that be our theme. We wore some of the bling that we recently purchased in Quartzsite, Arizona. Since that curious little trailer town was featured in the film, we cheered on the town and movie, with Topo Chico Hard Seltzer.
Simple celebrating, is something we learned to do well, during the pandemic months.
We had some pretty days in April and some good walks.
We started walking this route during the pandemic. No need to stop that habit ritual.
Don and I spent a lot of time this month, doing yard repair. So much was damaged and killed during the TX freeze in February.
Don put the chainsaw to work on our Oleanders and I've chopped away at the Sago Palms. Then we had a nice surprise at the end of the month!
I never knew that new Sago fronds were so sweet and curly and soft!, Cheers to yard surprises in April! Yay for getting a little closer to normal!
The most memorable happening of this month, had to do with getting vaccinated. Don and I finally got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, when we returned to Texas.
But it wasn't just that Don and I got the vaccine. It was that our kids also ended up getting their first doses as well. After a year of worry, things are lifting.
We began March with chilly weather in Portland. Don and I spent a lot of cozy time with this little one.
Scott had to jump through a few hoops to make this visit from Sacramento. Flying didn't seem like a wise idea, with the pandemic.
Quarantining, Covid testing, juggling work and a long drive both ways! Scott's face looks like he thought it was worth it!
It took forever, but we finally saw signs of spring.
We made good use of the sun a few times. Little Charlie had her first visit to Laurel Hurst Park.
One afternoon, we were able to get the last reservations at the zoo. With one way paths and limited guests, the visit felt very safe. Even with masks on, it was easy to forget the pandemic!
Hardest Part of the Month
The hardest part of March, was saying good-bye to Charlie and her parents.
These are some of the photos that Heidi and Jamie sent in the 2 weeks after we left. Photos and FaceTime helps!
After a year of being isolated and planning cautious visits with our kids, we opened up to more family. After leaving Portland, Don and I spent the night at Jennifer and Kate's.
It was St. Patrick's Day, so we had beer...
And we feasted on Corned Beef and Cabbage... inside with no masks! Both are vaccinated. This is such a new world!
Jennifer and Kate have been grandmothers for over 2 years, but we haven't been able to meet Remy. Before we left Portland, I was able to take advantage of nice weather and drive to WA for an outdoor visit. What a cutie! I can't wait for Remy and Charlie to meet!
Sacramento with "The Kids"
Before the long drive back to Texas, we spent 3 nights in Sac, with Scott and Chali.
We picnicked on the first day of spring. We tiki-ed in the evening, with flowered shirts.
We took a little day trip to the (now somewhat touristy) town of Folsom.
We did lots of walking and little photo posing.
We also squeezed in a little winery visit, which seemed downright decadent after a year of isolating and steering clear of restaurants.
Not only that, we had one more family meet-up.
Our nephew and his family drove up from the Bay Area and we had our first visit in 2 years. It seems mind-boggling after a year of extreme caution. But again, we took advantage good weather for outside visiting.
The Long Drive
Eventually, Don and I were on the road for Texas.
After nearly 3 months of Oregon winter, we traveled through California and Arizona, New Mexico and finally, we reached Texas in time for Bluebonnets!
The Texas Freeze
We pulled up to our cabin on March 25. The Big Texas Freeze of February did a number on our palms and our pipes. We discovered a leak, but chose to save that repair for another time. We headed to a nearby historic hotel and forgot about it... isolated porch, wine...
The next day, we found more busted pipes in our Sugar Land house. Luckily there was minimal damage and we focused on the good news... of getting vaccine appointments.
Ending the Month
There's so much to be grateful for this month. We spent so much of March, with family! Getting a vaccine at the end of a good month, was the the icing on the cake.
We had lots of house issues. (2 days of plumbing repair and a broken washing machine, dead bushes and palms) But we were more excited about celebrating the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel!
March ZOOM Celebration
On March 28, we Zoomed with the kids.
We toasted to the amazing news that we had all had at least one vaccine shot in the month of March.
March 26, 2020
Later, I realized that almost exactly a year ago, Don and I had our first Zoom ever. It was a tiki-themed Zoom with the kids... an attempt to distract from pandemic worries.
What an odd reminder! 12 months ago, we had no idea that we would be celebrating vaccines in a year... or that there would be a baby named Charlotte, added to our group. What a year this has been!
I will always remember March '21, as the month when the fog began to lift!