2020 was definitely an interesting year. We started the year in Pensacola, FL and ended it in Coventry, RI. Lots happened in between!
Not exactly sure when it started, but I really began to enjoy alternating walking with short spurts of running. I have never really been a physically active person, so this was HUGE for me. With the help of fitness apps on my phone, I started tracking steps taken each day. Samson enjoyed many long walks, and always perked right up when I said, “Ready?” – he knew it was time to run for a bit!
When we moved from Pensacola to Jacksonville mid-January, my friend Betty and I started walking together quite often. Betty really helped me find a comfortable walk/run pattern. (Thanks, Betty!) In mid-February, we participated in the Mud Girl run at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center – what a blast! I really surprised myself completing all the obstacles and the run.
Another highlight in February was Paul’s return from his final deployment. Dave, Samson, Audrey, and I drove up to Norfolk, VA to spend some time with him the beginning of March. I guess COVID had become somewhat of a thing around this time, because I was armed with Lysol spray and Clorox wipes in an attempt to keep us safe in the hotel rooms we overnighted in. But I don’t really think we really knew much at this point. Nothing really had changed in Jacksonville yet – we still had potlucks end of February and there was the much enjoyed Travel expo on base a couple of days after we returned from our visit with Paul.
In April we started to experience some changes due to COVID restrictions. We were only able to pay for our campsite a week at a time, and no new campers were allowed in – a common situation at military campgrounds. Our upcoming reservations at Fort Story in VA were cancelled. Many states closed their state parks to camping also. Was a very nerve wracking time for those of us full time RVers – how long would they allow us to stay where we were and would we be able to get to our next destination? We had no idea if the campground we spend 5 months at in RI would even open! Even many folks who were part time campers and had homes to go to were getting worried about how they would get home, where they would be able to stop, get fuel and food, etc. This continued for a bit over a month. Sadly, COVID restrictions also meant we could not gather to celebrate the life of my stepfather, Ken, after his passing on April 15th.
Early May – we finally got word that Camp Westwood would open to seasonal residents (campers had to have fully functioning bathrooms and kitchens.) After much discussion, we decided it would be less stressful to make a quick(er) trip to RI than it would be to stay week to week at Osprey Cove, not knowing whether/when they might decide to totally close the campground. A 4 day whirlwind trip to RI soon followed. There was no contact with anyone! Check ins were done remotely, no facilities were open. And, of course, we had the added excitement of a blowout on while on I-84 in New York!
What a relief to finally settle into our site at Camp Westwood! We enjoyed the mostly quiet days and nights visiting with our camping friends, as well as Matt, Laura, and Emma. Paul arrived towards the end of July, settling into a campsite across the way from ours. Samson was so very happy to be back with Paul!! We enjoyed our time with Paul, too. We got to (quietly) celebrate Paul’s retirement from the Navy and lived through 2 heatwaves to bring July to a close.
August brought the big news of the year: we decided to park the camper and move into an apartment in Rhode Island. Sadly, Audrey crossed that Rainbow Bridge shortly before our move.
We still haven’t received the reclining loveseat we ordered in August. And Dave is still holding off on ankle surgery until the loveseat is delivered. But we both still think the move into this apartment was a good move.
It’s sad that our entire family is once again living in Rhode Island, but we can’t spend (much) time together physically because of COVID-19. We all spent Thanksgiving in our respective homes, exchanged Christmas gifts in Matt & Laura’s garage on a rainy Christmas afternoon, wearing masks and trying to remain socially distant. New Years Eve and Day did not find us together either.
Last weekend we did spend a couple of hours in Paul’s backyard – Dave and Paul watching a football game as we sat, socially distanced, around the fire pit.
Laura and I have started walking the track at the high school again – masks and socially distant, of course! This is such good news for me!! I have been trying to ignore hip pain since last Spring, the pain got so bad I stopped walking and running in July. Finally saw an orthopedic doc and was told I have bursitis. Physical therapy worked wonders and I have now been released with instructions to start walking 1 mile at a time (adding a little more weekly, if no pain) and continue my exercises. If I take it slowly, I should be back to walk/run pattern before too long. Hoping my clothes fit a bit more comfortably very soon too!
It dawned on me yesterday morning, though, that Paul had been off from work for 2 weeks, and had pretty much been isolated (except for necessary shopping) SO we all decided this was the safest time we’d see in months to come. Also, Laura gets tested at work twice a week and has been testing negative every time. SO, the 4 of us gathered at Paul’s for supper and games yesterday! (Matt and Emma had other plans.) It was so damn nice to be together – live and in person! (And Paul made some delicious ribs for supper.) Now we look forward to more times to gather outdoors, socially distanced, wearing masks. God willing, we’ll be back at Camp Westwood in 133 days!
Dave and I wish you a happy, healthy 2021!