Sorry, we’re closed

By Kris Ferrazza | Jun 30, 2020

Once we’re on the other side of coronavirus, I hope I don’t go overboard.

When it comes to fun, I have lived a low-key sort of “carpe diem” existence. I choose to seize the day even when perhaps I shouldn’t. They say life is the sum of all your choices, and until this year, mine has been well-fed, slathered in sunscreen and grinning from ear to ear.

There have been many days when I’ve announced to my daughter that we absolutely had to stay home and clean the house “no matter what,” only to have someone invite us to the beach. In minutes, our lunch was packed and my car was headed down the road in a cloud of dust.

Whenever the opportunity presented itself to have a little fun, whether it was to join friends for dinner, hit the shopping mall, or take a vacation, my answer was almost always yes.

Sometimes we probably shouldn’t have gone. Often our schedule was packed, we were low on funds and everyone had way too much work to do. But nine times out of 10, we’d go anyway. Why? Because I’m just a girl who can’t say no. And my husband knows where I go, he goes, amigos.

So now, after three solid months at home, I have no regrets. Absolutely zero.

I do not apologize for a single dinner out or shopping spree with my daughter. Gone is any flash of guilt I ever felt for splurging on long weekends in fancy hotels or overpriced tickets to see performers I love. These memories, especially now, are priceless.

For 30 years, we threw crazy, elaborate parties for birthdays, Halloween and Cinco de Mayo. Friends would thank us at the end of the night and then ask why in the world we did it. Surely it had to be expensive and a ton of work. Were we nuts? At the time I wasn’t really sure why we were doing it. But I guess we knew the clock was running and we had to find fun where we could. So we did.

I collected animals like they were going out of style. How much is too much when it comes to pets? I don’t know. So I bought collie puppies, took in stray cats, raised chickens, and then adopted a pony and two donkeys. It was a fun little three-ring circus, and we loved them all. Our life was filled up to the brim. Never a dull moment. No regrets.

For three decades we ran ourselves ragged visiting museums, amusement parks and sports stadiums. There were zoos, aquariums, casinos, ski mountains and beaches. Big cities and tiny villages. Flights and cruises. Buses and trains. Taxis and subways.

We traveled like we were running for our lives. Initially we went because we were young and childless and why not? Then we went because we were planning a child and wanted to have fun before we were tied down with a baby. Then we realized we could take that baby with us, so we went anyway. As she got older, we wanted to experience things as a family before she grew up and left us, so we did. And now? We go nowhere.

What I’d give for an old-fashioned road trip argument with my husband right about now.

For 12 long weeks we have stared at the walls. The house is generally quiet. We are being careful. No playdates. No sleepovers. No dinner parties. We’re not taking any chances. We’re closed.

The memories of all those good times are sustaining us through the bad. To keep ourselves entertained, we have been plotting a comeback. Yes, we are planning a victory tour. Who knows if it will ever come to fruition, but it’s fun to think about while we social distance. It’s a new bucket list for our family post-coronavirus, and it will include something for everyone.

There will be a trip to Galaxy’s Edge for my Star Wars-loving teen. She has chosen to live in a galaxy far, far away during these troubled times, and who can blame her. So once the coast is clear, we will venture back to Orlando to the “happiest place on earth.” Until then, she will wield her lightsaber here at home and harness The Force to stay positive and resist The Dark Side.

My husband, as expected, will choose to visit some type of sports Hall of Fame, which is fine. It will be low-key, affordable and there will be a lot of burger joints along the way. What can I say? The heart wants what it wants.

And me? I am dreaming of Hawaii. Maybe Scotland. A return to Paris. Another visit to Tuscany. Definitely Capri. I can feel the breeze, smell the lemons and feel the sun on my face. It’s a beautiful dream. See what I meant about being afraid I might go overboard?

This is how we fill our days now, imagining a future where we can fly without fear, wander and explore, maskless and carefree. There will be gelato and pizza, Mickey waffles and cowboy burgers. It’s so close, we can almost taste it.

If nothing else, this pandemic and quarantine have made us realize we need to make the most of the time we have together. My daughter starts high school in the fall. With just four short years until college, we need to kick things into gear.

But until then, we will save our money, replay the mental highlight reel of all we’ve done, and look forward to what’s to come. (Mainly, gelato.)

And the beat goes on.

Kris Ferrazza is a former reporter, assistant editor, copy editor and columnist with the Courier newspapers. She lives in Waldoboro.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jun 30, 2020 22:30

"If nothing else, this pandemic and quarantine have made us realize we need to make the most of the time we have together."

Just maybe that was all it was meant to accomplish. :)



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