Getting Together after Two Years

Yesterday was a big, big day for Clif, Dee, and me. After two years of not seeing our youngest daughter Shannon and our son-in-law Mike, we got together with them at their new apartment in Massachusetts. Previously, they lived in North Carolina, a very long way from Maine. But in November, they moved to Massachusetts, only two and a half hours from our home. We are overjoyed that they are back in New England, where we can have regular visits with them.

Because Covid is still raging in the U.S., we decided we should take extra precautions. Masks for inside, but what to do about lunch? Mike and Shannon came up with a solution—a propane heater for their small sheltered patio. (Who is that strange masked woman in the corner?)

The propane heater was an experiment, with none of us too sure exactly how it would work on a chilly forty-degree day. Readers, I am pleased to report that the heater worked beautifully. All of us, even those who like it hot, felt comfortable for the few hours we stayed outside. When Clif went to the car for something, he said he could feel the difference as soon as he left the patio.

“This is just like a little cafΓ©,” Dee noted, adding that these propane heaters are common in outside eating areas in New York City.

The cafΓ©’s bean soup tasted especially good on a chilly day.

Another treat was seeing Shannon and Mike’s two dogs, Holly and Somara. Although it’s been years since we’ve seen them, they remembered us and gave us enthusiastic greetings.

Here is Miss Holly.

And here is Miss Somara.

A final bonus was seeing this tree next to Mike and Shannon’s apartment. I had never seen a tree like this before, and I was fascinated by the peeling bark and the color. I did a little Internet research, and I think it’s a paperbark maple, originally a native of China. If anyone knows differently, please let me know.

Although we have Zoomed with Shannon and Mike many times over the past two years, there is nothing like chatting in person. What a grand time we had talking about books, movies, television shows, and various other things.

Late afternoon, we left reluctantly. But with Shannon and Mike so close to Maine, we will soon be seeing them again. And as long as the weather isn’t too cold, we can eat outside at Shannon and Mike’s cafΓ©, with the propane heater providing plenty of warmth.

 

79 thoughts on “Getting Together after Two Years”

  1. This is my ‘feel good’ post for the day. Wow – the whole family getting together AND you can do it again and again. I love it! I have a friend who has one of those propane heaters, and they like it too. I am so happy for all of you, you can probably see me smiling, well, maybe not because I’ve got my mask on too. πŸ™‚

  2. It was beyond fantastic seeing you all yesterday! Two years is way too long to not see each other – damn COVID!! Our cafe is open to you whenever you want to come down!! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ’•πŸ’•

  3. Definitely a cause for celebration. It is hard not seeing your kids after so long a time. My Californian son I haven’t seen since Mar.’19. Too long! So I have some idea of how happy your Mother-Heart was to see them again. πŸ™‚ ❀

  4. As much as we miss Michael and Shannon, we’re glad you could all get together finally. Not sure but that tree might be a river birch, we see them here in Asheville.

  5. Laurie this is wonderful news, living far from your children is very hard, and with Covid everything is unpredictable ….so much better to be closer. It’s a bonus to see the dogs, … they never forget..πŸ’•πŸ’• Our kids are great at keeping us on track with new movies, books and streaming services too..

  6. OMYWORD! Yes. So happy for you all. What a long haul it’s been for all of you. yay!

  7. Oh my! I am so happy to read this post, Laurie! Reunions are far and few between so this is very exciting!

    It is also brilliant news that they are much closer and easier to visit!

  8. A delightful piece to read upon waking this morning – so uplifting and joyful to know that you have managed to meet in person as a family AT LAST!

  9. What a wonderful visit in the little “cafe .” Those heaters are very popular here because southern Californians like to eat outside year round and these are so good at taking the nip from the winter air.
    I am so happy for your family get together and that this can be an easy reoccurance! Some one I know lives where it is colder than here and has individual electric blankets for outdoor visits during this ongoing pandemic.

  10. What a wonderful treat to see them again! And to know they are now near enough to visit fairly regularly. That propane heater is a brilliant idea.

  11. A welcome feel-good post for me too. I’m so glad to see you’re back together after such a long time. I am a bit baffled that the mask manufacturers and the hospitality trade have not got together to come up with a pub mask, with a valve you can attach a straw to. You could imagine them party style with ‘Cheers!’ on.

  12. It’s wonderful that you had the chance to be together at last, and even better that more and more frequent visits will be possible in the future. Two-and-a-half hours is a doable distance, even for a day trip. I hope you soon are able to gather without even a thought of the Demon Virus! I will say that the propane heater intrigued me. I’ve never seen such a thing: probably reasonable, given our quite different climates.

    1. That propane heater really did the trick! Who knows how long we will have to use it? In the North East, Covid is raging. Someday the numbers will go down. Until then…

  13. So lovely you could meet up at last Laurie and that Shannon and Mike live so much closer now – here’s to many more happy get-togethers to come! πŸ’œ

  14. How wonderful, Laurie. Im so glad you were able to get together and hope there’s a lot more of that in your future. And I love the little outdoor cafe! Those heaters work great, don’t they? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  15. What a thrill, Laurie! So glad you were able to help make this visit happen! As someone who hasn’t seen her only sister in two years, I can relate to how happy an occasion this must’ve been — go you!!

  16. What a wonderful post, Laurie! I know you’re thrilled to have them closer. So great Dee was there to enjoy the visit, too. I’m smiling and feeling a warm glow for you all. xo

  17. Pretty sure that’s a river birch. We have a lot in Mass. I am so happy that you were able to be together in person. We ate outdoors all last winter, but once everyone in the family was vaccinated, we began to eat indoors. Not in restaurants, though, because there is sure to be someone there not vaccinated.

  18. Oh, how wonderful and exciting to have the family together again!! You must be so excited to have them close by for regular visits and enjoying that fabulous patio dining!!πŸ™‚

  19. How wonderful, Laurie! And how creative of you all to make the visit both enjoyable and as safe as possible. I can only imagine your joy at being together again πŸ’œ

  20. I am so happy for you! And I’m glad you experienced the joys of outdoor winter dining. Here in Virginia (admittedly, 25 degrees is “cold” here), we enjoyed heat lamps and fire pits all last winter, with food — like the yummy chili — to go with it. New delights. Thanks for sharing your happiness with us.

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