It feels as if we are entering a time of in-between times. I have a sermon to write for Palm/Passion Sunday. Maybe that’s what I will write about: the in-between times.
This week is my spring break and the kids’ first week of 2 weeks. Computerguy took Monday off and we went to the beach. It felt completely ordinary and totally extraordinary. I’ve been going to the beach during Spring Break as long as I have lived in California. I have never seen a Southern California beach so uncrowded. There were people here and there, more closer to the pier, but once we put our things down, we had our entire stretch of beach to ourselves. It was a little surreal, like this other world of the Pandemic still exists in pockets even as daily things (grocery stores, gas stations) seem to be as bustling as ever.
The peace of the ocean came over me as I watched the waves and the birds. We never go to the beach as much as I long to; I get too caught up thinking about traffic and crowds and sand everywhere. I need to remember how much it is worth all of that to just be at the beach. The kids had a ball. They got all the way in and played in the waves and the surf. And then they froze.
We finished the day by finding a deli for a late lunch. We were going to get our sandwiches take out and eat in the car or go back to the beach for a picnic, but the place had a lovely little patio that was completely empty, so we decided to eat there which meant I could order a beer with my sandwich. It’s a funny little thing. I don’t much buy beer to drink at home, but I love to get a beer from a tap when I go out for a casual meal. We hadn’t eaten a meal on the premises of a restaurant in over a year. So we sat on the patio and ate our delicious sandwiches (and tomato soup for the boy) and I drank my beer and slowly people came in, but everyone was cautious and finding tables as far from others as possible (and they were already widely spread out). Without being a big deal, it felt really good.
We started heading home and decided to stop for ice cream. It was delicious. Then we drove home. We hit some traffic, but it wasn’t too bad. And so. A really nice day.
We dusted off the bike rack and took our bikes to the beach, but we never got to them, so I left them on the car and on Wednesday the kids and I took them to a riding trail. It was a really nice trail along the train route more or less (Pacific Electric Trail). I enjoyed just riding the trail more than the kids did, though. The girl wants “to ride to some place,” not just ride to ride. I may check it out again some afternoon on my own.
On the way to the bike trail, we got the call that the girl had been accepted into the high school program we were hoping for. It was kind of fun, taking the call on the car’s bluetooth with her sitting right next to me. The trail was fairly close to the school, so we drove by on the way home, and then drove from there to the boy’s new school (for which I have formally pre-enrolled him) which is close to our house. They… look like schools. If all goes as it seems to be going, we will have a Hawk and a Cougar this fall.
Finally, yesterday the kids and I picked my mom up and went out for ice cream. For her first outing in a year without having to quarantine for 14 days after, I think my mom would have liked to do a little more (go shopping), but our time was limited and I wanted the kids to come. It was nice. And again, it felt like an in-between sort of moment. We picked her up, got ice-cream, but had to sit outside. Then it got cold and we ended up sitting in the car. The nice thing is, I can take her shopping next week. And starting next week, I will be able to go in to the building, up to her room. And we’ll be able to bring her to church on Easter. And then we can do something the next week and the next. And maybe even the week after that. This makes me glad. The hardest part of the year for me was that we had brought my mom to San Bernardino, but we couldn’t actually do anything with her. Now we can.
So we make our way through. We’re not back to anything, but we are on to what’s next. We’ll see how it goes.