Last March we all found ourselves living a new reality…our lives were about to change drastically. Many of us were shut indoors during a mandatory lockdown only venturing out for the essentials. I remember having such “cabin fever” that I would get in the car and start driving around the city amazed at how little traffic was on the road. The quiet was deafening. Worst of all was not seeing friends and family and wondering how we would get through this…the unknown.
Once Spring rolled around, bringing warmer temperatures, I was desperate to get in the garden. I remember being excited to see people outdoors and striking up conversations with neighbours about how they were managing and making sure everyone was staying healthy. We were neighbourly before but never got to know our neighbours other than a wave or a quick, polite conversation over the hedge. One day while commiserating with a neighbour I suggested that we could all sit out on the city sidewalk in front of our houses (on both sides of the street) with a glass of wine and have a block party “happy hour”. She formulated a better plan and organized the first “Wine Wednesday” on their driveway. Everyone brought their own wine and chairs, sitting far enough apart to be safe. Happy hour was set between 5:30 and 6:30…it became our social life!
There was a HUGE bonus that came from the first impromptu gathering…I found out that my neighbours were good people, interesting and fun. With ages ranging from the early ’50s to the ’70s, everyone on different career paths (or retired), there is never a dull moment. Initially, we were “politically correct”, but as the months have gone by, conversations have become so much more…from very intellectual at one end of the spectrum to very silly on the other. We were becoming a “Covid” family…
We have all committed to continuing our “Wine Wednesdays” throughout the winter. My neighbour has a large covered patio, complete with patio heaters and propane fire pits. With warm clothes, overhead heat and fire at our feet, we can comfortably enjoy our weekly tradition even as the mercury plummets.
I have long said that we should embrace winter in my city…we either have snow or cold temperatures for at least 5 months of the year!
With this in mind, I’ve started dreaming of having a covered patio similar to the one pictured in this photo. I’d prefer a glass roof but love the fireplace…something else to think about…
…not to mention the opportunity to decorate another room!
I hope you are all finding something to occupy your mind, creatively and emotionally over the coming months. It could be a long winter!