that an oxymoron

A year in review. In the same theme as my summary from previous years. Here we go. This is for my own records you can read or not.

Guest nights – We had the same number of guest nights as last year. This includes the nights when our friends took care of the house in March when we went to Mexico. We were very fortunate that our children were able to work from home and isolate before extended visits with us. Our granddaughter was here 22 nights and one son was here nineteen. Our daughter was here fourteen nights and another son eight. Normally our children would have other places to spend their vacations and, although we missed having our friends visit, we kinda didn’t hate the unexpected extended time with our adult children. I could call it a covid benefit.

Off Island – We were off island for nine days in total. Eight for the trip to Mexico which was supposed to be a fourteen day trip to Mexico which was supposed to be a twenty one day trip to Asia. Then we needed one night enroute to pick up the puppy. There were no Cardiologist visits to Vancouver. They were all held over the phone. Last year we were off island for sixteen nights. Fewer requirements to leave the island this year? Again, a covid benefit?

Health – We had plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of E’s heart transplant in Singapore. We rebooked the celebration to a dinner in Mexico followed the next week with a family dinner in Vancouver. As it turned out we spent it alone on the island, quietly, and with great respect to the donor family. Our collective health continues to be excellent due, in no small part, to the safety this isolated island provides us. That same isolation also provides us a mental health cushion from the pandemic reality. A Covid benefit?

The Garden – The garden was a great success. Tons of tomatoes, peas, carrots, and pumpkins. I am enthused to plant even more vegies this year. We had fewer apples this year and no plums. We need to do better pruning next month. Fall canning provided a wide variety of food for the pantry. The antipasto is incredible. I would definitely do it again and next time try to grow vegies specifically for the recipe. Maybe in 2022.

The three hundred daffodil bulbs I planted last fall gave us a great spring garden. I want to grow more herbs on the deck and maybe more roses. A recommitment to growing more of our own food has prompted a renewed need for a greenhouse. A Covid benefit?

Population – We have increased our family by one dog. She has the same mother as our other dog and he has welcomed her with unexpected enthusiasm. Was feeling the need for an additional puppy a Covid benefit?

Water – We are full, full, full. For the first time ever. We have 7000 gallons up top, 1000 gallons in the garden, 350 gallons under the deck and 30 in the hot water tank. Baths are a welcome addition to our daily routine. I am currently lobbying for more tanks up top. Seems to me that if someone (E) eventually wants a hot tub he should be more agreeable to increasing our storage capacity.

Wildlife – No herring spawn this year. We had an incredible experience with a humpback whale who seemed to take up residence in front of our house during the spring. We had never really seen one here before. His daily visits lasted for weeks. Perhaps his comfort in our local waters was a result of the reduction in boat traffic across the closed border. Visiting humpback whales, a Covid benefit?

So far E isn’t able to take any of the approved vaccines so I can’t imagine our time spent here being much different for a good long while. I anticipate the year ahead to be very similar to the last one. We have a nice routine going on and, if anything, we are more prepared than we were last March. We will spend our time watching for whales, building a greenhouse, and growing lots of our own food. If anything, the benefit of the Covid pandemic response restrictions has been a reminder of how truly lucky we are to be living here together in these times. Covid benefit: is

that an oxymoron?

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