A Year of Meeting Up

It was Linda’s idea. Because she’s smart that way, and thoughtful, and also a woman of action. She invited Ann to meet daily at 4:00 for coffee and a chat. When I became available, I was invited too.

At that time, early Covid pandemic days, Linda was in a pod of 2, I was in a pod of 3 and Ann was a pod of herself.

Our three houses are in a row. We hopped the fence or walked round the alley. We met on Ann’s stone patio (chairs 6+ feet apart) or Linda’s raised deck (chairs 6+ feet apart) or when it was rainy on my covered porch (chairs 6+ feet apart.) We dressed in all our layers, sat on pads, and sometimes brought a blanket to put over our knees. On really cold days Linda might wear her long mink coat she snagged at a church white elephant sale. Ann might wear a knit hat on top of a baseball cap on top of a hoodie. We knew where the angle of the sun would be and wore sunglasses as needed. Sometimes we brought our own coffee or water or tea and maybe a snack, but often not. The point was just to get out, see each other, and talk.

Through all the seasons last March to now, often seven days a week, we talked. About the pandemic, politics, history, literature, children, neighbors, our pasts, our families, food… what else? What else is there? We talked about everything.

I learned that everyone but me had been in the cafeteria in the White House. I learned that Ann used to spend money on hot cars and beautiful clothes. Linda had adventures- wouldn’t you love to know. I saw my neighbors in a different, wider light.

We talked about racial justice and moments of awakening. Ann realizing that, even though she was once a radical as a high school history teacher, now realizes she was often teaching falsehoods. Linda realizing that her strong ideals of patriotism were for a flawed country she now sees in quite a different light.

Yesterday we recognized it was time for a change. Among us we have 5 vaccine shots. It’s a new normal, and we can see more people. We decided to cut back our “coffees” to only twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays.

So I can see it’s a gradual end to an era. Let’s say, “good riddance” to this time of extreme isolation and limitations. But I remember to say “thank you” to my good friends Linda and Ann.

6 thoughts on “A Year of Meeting Up

  1. I love this. Friends find a way to connect, although Covid did make us find creative ways, for sure. For me, it was my fire pit crew. Four of us who’ve been gathering around our fire pits no matter how cold it is – that’s what layers are for!


  2. The last year is all about what got us through. I am so glad you are seeing your horizons open up and at the same time, glad you are holding on to the good of what got you through.


  3. Oh, how lucky to have neighbors like that, to weather the pandemic. My favorite neighbor moved away just before lockdown, and I miss her terribly, those kinds of talks where one can be frank and thoughtful and remorseful in a safe place. I’m glad it’s what pulled you through. My go-to was long solo drives on the backroads of Central Texas during the summer months.


  4. I thought this would have sadder ending. It’s sad when our lives change and our daily connections with people we love change too. I have a friend I used to speak to every day, but then I moved and it was a long distance, and then our kids were growing and busy. Now we make the most of some FaceTime a few times a year, and some face-to-face time every couple of years. I hope you are all able to keep up with your twice-weekly visits.


  5. As I got to the end of your slice, I am a little bit sad to know that your daily talks will be reduced to just 2x a weeek. Learning of your daily Covid ritual read like a Silver Lining story, a chance to interact and know these ladies like never before. These talks felt so real but then at the end of the story, it seems that “real” life is ready to occur again. I ended your piece feeling conflicted. Thanks for sharing such a rich covid piece. It is sticking with me.


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