June 2021

Ladybug on day lily

Tomorrow I’m driving to Ohio to visit my Mom, whom I haven’t seen since September, 2019, right after my Dad passed away. This trip to see my Mom is the last in a series of post-vaccine “first agains.” Now that I’ve seen friends in-person for the first time again, eaten inside restaurants for the first time again, gone to the Museum of Fine Arts, shopped at Trader Joes, and gone to a movie for the first time again, it’s time for me to go to Ohio to see my Mom again.

My pandemic lockdown officially started on March 13, 2020, when I’d planned to fly to Ohio to spend part of my Spring Break helping my Mom move out of a nursing home where she had been recovering from hip replacement surgery. Because of the pandemic, I cancelled that flight, and one of my sisters helped my Mom move home right before her nursing home went on lockdown.

For the past more-than-a-year, my Mom has been living on her own, and I’ve spoken with her only via phone, as she doesn’t have email, much less Zoom. My Mom doesn’t travel, so my summer visits to Ohio were an annual tradition in the Before Times. Now that we’re settling into the new normal-ish of these Vaccinated Times, taking a long drive to see my Mom feels like a rite of passage: a chance to come full circle by finally taking the trip I couldn’t take before.


This morning I sorted through the photos I’d taken while walking at Mount Auburn Cemetery with Leslee several weeks ago, along with the photos I’d taken at Arnold Arboretum with J the weekend after that. Already these outings seem like forever ago: that’s why I almost compulsively take photos, to remember what I’d otherwise forget.

Halcyon Lake, with Mary Baker Eddy monument

Before this morning, it had been a long while since I’d downloaded photos from an actual camera instead of taking and sharing photos with my phone. I’d forgotten the satisfaction of seeing (and editing) photos on my laptop screen versus the tiny window of a smartphone. I’d forgotten, too, how fun it is to click through a folder of photos, picking and editing the ones I like and deleting the rest.

Skulking Great Blue Heron

It’s a kind of creativity that went almost completely dormant during the pandemic, when I was taking fewer pictures (due to fewer outings) and doing everything in my power to avoid yet more screen time.


But now as we emerge from our pandemic isolation, I want to resurrect old habits. When you take pictures, you get to relive and revisit experiences that were enjoyable the first time and provide additional delights at second, third, and even fourth sight.