Our backyard is vast and full of color. Every crunchy step and the sound of my dog dashing through Mother Nature’s dead ends not only reminds me that I should clean up some leaves soon, but that we have officially reached Autumn. The mornings have been chilly and alive with winter’s warning, the afternoons breezy and cool, and the evenings invite you into the quickened darkness to explore under the light of the moon.
With each season comes a transformation and a new beginning. Some of you may have noticed that Gays in the Life has a new look, for example! My wheels are always turning when it comes to my projects and personal goals. What I’ve learned so much in recent years, though, is that it’s important to take time to appreciate, reflect, and harvest the wins.
Don’t give me that eyebrow! I do work in a corporate setting, so excuse the buzzword and phrase.
We will always celebrate our wins on this blog. So grab your favorite fall drink and let’s get into what we’ve been up to behind the scenes in COVIDiana.
Cabin in the Woods
There’s nothing we love more than a quick cabin getaway. I was deeply saddened when COVID hit back in March 2020. We were a week away from purchasing plane tickets to Alaska to visit family and I knew deep down that this trip would be canceled. COVID-19 is as temporary as the American people will allow it to be – which isn’t very temporary at all – so I know I’ll get to see my people when things are safer down the road. I found myself in a depression for a few weeks thereafter as I consumed news and watched COVID infection numbers grow. All of that mixed with civil unrest in the country and world had me feeling all sorts of ways, and filled with energy I didn’t know how to expel.
Renting a cabin for a long weekend, in an area not too far from home, is an inexpensive way to escape the noise of the city. It’s also a great way to disconnect and just be. To be with yourself and to be with your thoughts. I needed to be with my little family, off the grid, to reset and find some light in what felt like a ravenous black hole. Living in Indianapolis, we like to stay in Brown County, Indiana when we can. It’s just about an hour south of our home, and super close to our Alma Mater.
We landed in the Nashville, Indiana area of Brown County some weeks back.The cabins are usually very quaint and have no wi-fi. I hear some of you screaming at that last part, but no wi-fi and pretty natural settings are the perfect recipe for pure enjoyment and ease. We enjoyed some much needed alone time and even met up with a couple of our best friends who happened to be in the area that same weekend. We were safe, socially-distanced, and were just geeked to be hanging out with familiar faces in a space that wasn’t our backyard. Back at our cabin we enjoyed digging through the few terrible DVDs available to watch, some time in the hot tub, and exploring the grounds with our fierce guard dog, Reynold.
We’ve been in our new house for a year already!
I cannot believe a year in the new house has flown by this quickly. Little did we know last fall what we were in for with the arrival of Miss Rona, but boy are we glad we sold the condo and moved when we did. We owned the condo, but owning a full ass home with a massive yard has been an adventure in itself.
Within the first week of us living here, we discovered water in the basement, and that led to a very hefty bill. We discovered that the giant willow tree in our front yard was causing more trouble than it was worth, so we also had that removed on top of paying for a new sewer line. Note to home buyers in old neighborhoods: Get the sewer scope inspection. A few hundred dollars spent could save you thousands in the end.
While replacing a sewer line five days into living in our new home was a tough lesson, I’m so thankful for our realtor and that we were able to take care of the issue. Since quarantine, we’ve been busy with house projects. We’ve had the floors upstairs refinished, and all but two spaces in the house have been painted to our liking. We don’t have any more major projects planned, as we want to be mindful and prepared for any curveballs COVID may bring. Thankfully, both of us have been able to maintain our jobs remotely. We don’t take that for granted.
We’ve only seen a few people total in our backyard since COVID has been thriving in these streets. It’s amazing to live on a popular trail and in a neighborhood where we can ride our bikes, not only for a workout, but to stop at the store for a couple things. S has been going on multiple rides a day, and I love my walks. Reynold, the dog, is loving his backyard and squirrel hunting. He’s going to be real busy when his little brother, Eddy, joins in on the fun. Until things calm down, we’re happy to enjoy endless fires on property that’s ours; and gorgeous to boot.
Fall 2020 has presented a solid harvest for us.
Not only have we been able to survive and be healthy during a global pandemic, we’ve also managed to maintain our sanity (for the most part). I’m counting that as THE win with the way 2020 has been treating all of us. I’m happy to report that our house is doing just fine. When we decided to sell our condo – after having lived there for almost six years – we vowed to not wait six years before we made changes to our new home. Those projects that you’re always talking about doing, instead of actually doing them, have a way of sneaking up and biting you in the butt! Having all but two spaces painted in our new home is most definitely winning status, and you can’t tell me otherwise (lol). AND! We’ve had no sewer issues since the giant willow tree’s removal.
(Our upstairs space, before and after)
With all the pain, hurt, and harm that exists in the world, I’m just happy to have survived 2020 up to this point. I’d like you all to take a moment, here, and think about what has gone well for you this year. Hear me out. There has been so much out of our control when it comes to 2020, but have there been any small victories you’ve experienced personally or as a family or unit? Looking for the good through what feels like an endless sentence of doom and gloom is pure exhaustion. Celebrating those wins and personal victories keeps your spirit fueled and gives you the hope you need to push forward. As annoying as a little exercise like this may seem as you read this, don’t knock it until you try it.
Sadly, COVID-19 is still on the up and up in America. For me and my little family, that basically means we’ll be seeing no one for the holidays unless we’re able to stay warm and have outside visits. Outside of some family not taking the virus very seriously, we’ve managed to stay out of any silly arguments and confrontations regarding the severity of our country’s current state.
It would be so nice to step out and enjoy the things we usually do around the holidays, with friends and family, but we can’t move forward like Coronavirus isn’t a thing, and to do so would be extremely irresponsible. We’ll be making tasty holiday dinners and celebrating safely and from a distance at home. We haven’t hopped on Zoom or Houseparty with people in awhile, so we may plan some virtual happy hours to get things lit for the holiday season.
Let’s not forget about the arrival of our second pup! There goes my sleep for the next few months (lol). Eddy will definitely keep us on our toes as we get him adjusted to his new home and big brother Reynold. That will be more than enough entertainment in itself this season. Cold weather means plenty of warm and cozy puppy playtime for our household.
Please stay safe, everyone. Things will only get tougher the more people continue to undermine COVID-19 in America. Be happy, be healthy, and use common sense.