Virginia Visit February 2021

Virginia Visit February 2021

Since Yessa and I are headed to Virginia next week to celebrate Spring Break with our family up there, it feels like a good time to write about our last visit.

(And now as I write this, since we’ve been in Virginia for 5 days, it REALLY seems like a good time to complete this post about our last visit.)

We spent 9 days laughing, playing, and planning with our crew up there in February 2021. We took Mocha along so she had play time, too.

As good karma would have it we threaded the needle on heading north after they had snow in Virginia and before ice and snow hit Nashville.

Kate waiting patiently for us to arrive.

Buds had to keep the chickens alive in extreme cold while I was away, which meant he was taking them water every couple hours because the water would freeze so quickly.

If chickens don’t have access to water, they won’t eat. And if they don’t eat, their metabolism drops, and then they die. (The process is more involved than that, but that is what my fear was telling me would happen.)

This is how things looked at home:

We did get to enjoy some snow while we were in Virginia, too.

And now a cacophony of Kodak moments.

The memories that jump out at me for crying-tears-of-laughter moments were Bets finding writing from the beginning of the pandemic and reading us her entries. She insisted on telling us “It’s not a journal! It’s not a diary!” It was a series of letters to her future self.

Her generosity of spirit in sharing her honest feelings from the younger self, while acknowledging the humor of the angst and drama and huge, overwhelming emotions she had written about made it loving and hilarious and insightful all rolled together.

We (including Bets) enjoyed the waves of laughter that would come over us as she shared paragraph after paragraph, emotion after emotion.

I love the younger Betty and I love the Betty that laughed and read her writing to us, and I will love the future Betty, too.

The girls reminded us of the joy of “my lips are stuck” faces.

Kel and Paula had a chance to go out for some outings on their own and one of their evenings out the girls built a fort and spent time watching videos of all of them together as little ones.

Another crying with laughter with moment I never want to forget was when we were all gathered around the dining room table.

The girls were explaining the nuances of “Sims”, a game they have known and loved for years. (For the uninitiated, you create families and design homes and communities.) I often have questions about this game because of how the girls use it to interact with it and each other (They will be chatting online while they are working on it when they aren’t together.)

I hadn’t realized that the Sims characters could die. The girls were telling us the various ways they could die, and it turns out too much “Woo hoo” is one of the ways they die.

And then Yessa says in a totally matter of fact, deadpan voice, “That normally happens with the Seniors. Mostly men.”

We’d been laughing all along at their descriptions and memories, but when we learned that, I had to lay my head down on the table and laugh until I couldn’t breathe.

Also at the iconic dining room table were many games, including teaching the girls to play Double Solitaire. Best college friend Saffy and I would spend many, many hours sitting on the floor of a dorm room playing “just one more game, then we’ll study” solitaire of this kind.

Yessa painted some beautiful water colors as gifts for the girls.

There was also lots of “Just Dance,” many walks and talks, and Yessa and I had an outing just the two of us where we enjoyed the sheets of ice sliding off picnic tables.

One afternoon Bets and Yessa helped Paula with the work she’s doing for a local non-profit: Food For Neighbors Red Bag Program. There’s a great write up about the work here.

And always there are the dogs:

It was a lovely visit.

The picture recreation shows some of the ways the legs have grown longer and stronger and our spirits more deeply intertwined.

As is always the case, the days flew by and too soon Yessa, Mocha, and I were loaded in the van for the trip home.

The full album of photos and videos may be viewed here.