Quarantimes Week 25: The Lucky Ones

September 4th, 2020

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This has been a pretty low-key summer in terms of events. Pandemic and all. So I was pretty excited when the Retreat Farm announced they were sponsoring an event called Music Under the Stars. With Brattleboro Music Center, they threw a drive-in live pops orchestra concert at the Harris Hill Ski Jump, our local party spot with an awesome outdoor PA system. The deal was, each family would get a parking spot in the field with a patch of green next to it for setting up blankets, chairs, and a picnic. Really quite lovely! 

I was very excited for the one single music event of the summer and signed up way in advance. I tried to give my social-averse husband a lot of lead time to wrap his mind around going. Still, the afternoon came, and right on cue, he started expressing extreme anxiety about taking the kids to any public event. I am always the blithe cheerleader in these situations and he is always the party pooper / voice of reason, depending on at which point we are applying the label.

That afternoon, I was super busy trying to write a very dry paper and did not have it in me to rally my entire family into the car by the time we needed to leave to get there without rushing: precisely 4pm. I hate rushing. So I was surprised when Jon came into my “home office” at 4:15 and said they were ready to go. I scrambled to put down my work and get dressed and tie together all the loose ends — like hoodies for the kids and a picnic blanket and water to drink and ordering a pizza to pick up along the way. 

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We  did manage to get there. It was just as I envisioned, except the rules around social distancing meant we really needed to (and wanted to) stay close to our car and away from others. Thus ensued several hours of trying to corral my kids as they sprinted off in opposite directions and crawled in and out through the car sunroof squealing and honking the horn. 

At one point, they found a prodigal burr bush and made us all jewelry.

This was very sweet until we all became absolutely itchy. I had an emergency change of clothes for the girls, but not myself and Jon, so we had to simply tolerate the histamine reaction for the duration. 

Eventually, we were able to distract the girls with “natural fruit chews” (let’s just admit this is candy) and playing tic tac toe on the back of the empty pizza box.  

It was the longest 90 minutes of my life. I did not hear one minute of music. In the days since I’ve learned that a whole host of friends were also there, and I wish I could say that made me feel a spirit of camaraderie, but honestly, it made me sad.

This may all seem like the whines of a privileged white girl in Vermont, and indeed it is. I am keenly aware that my darkest complaints these days pale in comparison to what many other people are going through in this country. I consider us “the lucky ones.”

We are the lucky ones who even have the option of socially distanced live music events in the countryside. We are the lucky ones going back to school in person, at least for now. We are the lucky ones who can afford to send our kids to a private Montessori school in the first place. We are the lucky ones who have a yard, and a garden, and woods, and a family to lean into. 

I pay reverence to this truth every day. And then I sneeze and have a panic attack.

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What I’m reading: 

A chilling and beautiful opinion piece by my good friend, the writer Rebecca Pacheco, on why you must vote: WE THE PEOPLE RUN THIS DEMOCRACY

For anyone who doesn’t fully grasp what institutional racism is all about, this New York Times article spells out a very clear example of how decisions that were made nearly a hundred years ago still impact people of color today.

This McSweeney’s piece is supposed to be funny but it’s actually a deadly accurate description of my children right now: HOW TO DE-FERALIZE YOUR CHILDREN FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL

My badass Virgo self got the first copy of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and I read it in three sittings, inspired to add it to my longlist of favorite books I keep on my website. Check it out.

What I’m listening to:

Slowly making my way through Nice White Parents. I am up to episode #3. I mean, it’s kind of painful.

What I’m eating:

The girls and I discovered The Pooh Cook Book on our shelf and made some delicious oat “biscuits” out of it (they were cookies, but not too sweet). I love a surprise cookbook!

What I’m working on:

Some really great projects, including a Get Out the Vote campaign for a non-profit client, some customer stories about life science pioneers in the COVID days, and a lot of mind bending content about data.


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One Response to “Quarantimes Week 25: The Lucky Ones”

  1. Great sentiments. Great photos.

    Thanks once again!


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