Has Spring Really Sprung?

We have all been working from home for several weeks now and the days have a certain “Groundhog Day” feel to them as far as being quite similar (over and over and over). When I look back it is strange how quickly we got from “there” to here.

Even in the abbreviated Spring Training season I was able to get out to see the Dbacks three times in the first two weeks of games…that seems like a very long time ago. My oldest son and I had planned a trip to Las Vegas for the first two days of NCAA college basketball tournament…we thought better of our trip and cancelled the week before we were to go and shortly after all of the games were cancelled anyway. Debbie and our two youngest boys were scheduled to go to visit our daughter who was studying abroad in Leeds, England—they were going to spend a couple of days in London as well…all plans were scrapped the day before they were to leave.

Getting Abrie home from the UK proved quite emotionally stressful. As this episode began, we were trying to be calm and not panic and were listening to what the school administrators were telling us. On Wednesday, the information we got both from her school here (Kansas) and from University of Leeds was that things were going along as usual…there had been no COVID-19 cases in the area and classes were going on as scheduled. By Friday morning (3/13), my cousins in London were adamant that Debbie and the boys not come as panic was setting in (grocery shelves were bare) but we were told that school would continue until the planned spring break (last day of classes 3/27). Later on Friday the school said most classes would be moving online but all foreign students were expected to stay. Saturday we were told that a full US travel ban could be forthcoming and all students who are able to leave should leave (somewhat) immediately. Abrie packed up all of her stuff that she could and was on a plane Monday morning to London and after a two hour layover was on a direct flight to Phoenix, arriving 30 minutes before the travel ban was in effect. So rather than spending her spring break month gallivanting around Europe she is home here with the rest of us. After a two week self-quarantine she feels great and never showed any symptoms. We are all following the social distancing recommendations at our house.

We have been cooking together, playing games, watching movies and TV shows together and apart (I have not succumbed to watching Tiger King but several in our house have) and our dog, Maggie (an almost 10-yr old labradoodle) has never enjoyed so many walks in her life…she has even turned me down a couple of times. The high school boys are keeping up with their online classes and the college kids are doing so as well (although one still has her extended break). We are supporting our local restaurants a couple of times per week with takeout…we highly recommend La Torretta (Italian) at the southwest corner of Scottsdale and Bell/Frank Lloyd Wright (La Torretta - ask for Darius).

Debbie and I were talking last night how our calendar that at one time seemed so full now has absolutely nothing on it but Family Zoom calls, happy hour Zoom calls with friends and the occasional organized birthday Zoom call. Without college basketball’s tournament, The Master’s, opening day throughout Major League Baseball and the winding down of the NBA and NHL seasons just before playoffs the world seems strange indeed. However, it is nice to slow down and enjoy having all our kids at home as we approach full-on empty nesting within the next 16 months.

The best thing I have seen online is John Krasinski’s Some Good News clips (they come out weekly)…we all can use some good news!

I hope you all are staying healthy and safe…we will someday look back on this time in amazement!

–Gary Weiss, May 2020