What a Week
The image this week is a record of what happened.
Norma and I had set off on February 26th for our annual trip to our place in Florida, excited to also have this year be the chance to go to the Turks and Caicos again. We took our time driving down to the condo just north of Vero Beach, as members of our family have been doing for over 70 years. We had a great visit with our daughter and her family, my parents, a nephew and his family and my brother and sister in law. All very casual, relaxing and fun.
We arrived in Florida and began doing what we normally do there – buying local fruit and vegetables at Jong’s, fishing, swimming and golfing. The weather was super, highs into the 80’s and even low 90’s. Our friends were there to welcome us, and we even had a wine and cheese “welcome” in our condo for the 3 other tenants in the quad-plex.
A week later, on a Wednesday, the Canadian Government issued a warning about international travel. It became obvious that the Turks and Caicos trip was not wise, and so we cancelled the flight and our reservations. We were sad, but staying in Florida wouldn’t be that bad, we told ourselves.
Friday morning, we went to the Art Under The Oaks art show in Vero Beach. The lack of crowds meant we could really chat with some of the exhibitors, but I did feel sorry for them as there weren’t many buyers around. We had a great lunch at one of our favourite spots right on the beach, and then went shopping a bit. As Norma was trying on a new bathing suit, I got a message from the Canadian Government that they were thinking about closing the border, they were issuing travel advice that Canadians should not travel at all, and that all Canadians should come home as quickly as possible.
We went back to the condo and spent the afternoon packing and cleaning, and doing the myriad little things to get the condo ready so we could leave in the morning. We spoke to the neighbours and online to our friends back home, and we were assured this was the best thing to do.
As the sun was rising on Saturday, we left Pelican Pointe. The image shows the total miles for the trip, but doesn’t record how that was done. It is almost exactly 2100 miles each way from Port Maitland to our family spot in Florida, and we had of course made some detours on the way down to visit family.
The way back was done in a way we’d never done before – we drove the entire distance in 4 days! Norma doesn’t like to drive in the US, so this was essentially me driving during all the daylight hours, with her navigating, aided by Samantha our GPS. We had a good window for weather, and had dry roads for most of the trip back.
Coming across the border in New Brunswick, we both felt a bit relieved to be back in Canada, even though we were to be self-isolated at home for the next 2 weeks. I write this from home, on Day 2 of the isolation, necessary to protect both ourselves and others – although neither of us shows signs of having caught the coronavirus.
It’s an amazing thing to see how people react when they are threatened and to see the differences in how Governments approach things. In Virginia we ate lunch at a Waffle House (and my brother is right – they are good!) which was obviously a local hangout, filled with people on break or just socializing. In New Brunswick two days later we ate lunch at a restaurant that had the bathrooms open, but the seating area roped off, and takeout was the only option for dining!
My hope is that Covid-19 can be contained and that all these measures will make a difference. As Canadians we all need to work together to limit the spread. We owe it to both ourselves and to our fellow citizens to do all we can to make that happen.
Norma and I will enjoy our two week mandated rest at home – I’ve got images to play with and we have gardens to plan and prepare. With that, and lots of walks, and supportive friends who will bring us some basic groceries we’ll be fine, hopefully.
Be kind. Help others.
Go outside and marvel at the world around us.
And be thankful for this amazing place we call home!