Glowing foliage, Covid tests and quarantine.

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Watching the ducks at Anson B Nixon park
Our last hike before Mike got sick. Red Clay Creek State Park in Delaware, on a surprisingly warm day.
a short, easy hike with friends

This fall has been a wild roller coaster. Beautiful and glowing outside but inside the house we’ve had quite a go of illnesses and general disruption. I spent September feeling inexplicably dreadful with what turned out to be Lyme disease, then November brought a moderate but still *very* unpleasant case of the dreaded Covid for Mike (only Mike! Luckily the rest of us were spared from illness, but very much affected by sustaining two separate quarantines at home and generally worrying a lot) and then (probably due to all that worrying), a stupid case of shingles for me. The kids have been home from school for three weeks and it will be a full month before they’re both back at school again. Just one more week to go, hopefully? I feel like we’re so lucky to even *have* the option of sending them to school in this crazy pandemic time, and I know that strict quarantines are totally necessary to keep their schools open, but I REALLY miss having a couple hours of quiet and work time each day. Hopefully I’ll look back on this later and think “if we got through that, we can manage anything!” And of course I know we are so, so lucky that we and all of our family and friends are all alive and we’ll be healthy again soon, we are all housed and fed (sometimes with takeout!) and we have each other’s love to sustain us.

Anyway, we had a beautiful hike this morning to celebrate the end of our total home lockdown, we are still being veeeerrryy cautious and won’t be going inside places, but it’s exciting to venture out beyond our back yard for the first time in three weeks! We went to Jenkins Arboretum in Devon, PA and saw lots of wintry rhododendrons and azaleas and one hardy specimen (on a sunny slope) still had a few beautiful pinky purple blossoms left! I hope we’ll get to come back here again in the spring to see the landscape filled with leaves and flowers.

Morning hike at Jenkins Arboretum. Photo by Hattie.

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