Long Hard Ride

“Long Hard Ride” is one of my favorite songs by the Marshall Tucker Band.  I thought it was appropriate for today’s post.

We recently got word that our office-return data has been pushed to early 2021.  That’s another six months (at least) of being at home.  This drives all sorts of feelings.  We’ve been extremely lucky in that our daycare has stayed open, so our boys have some semblance of normalcy.  However, during the workweek, Mrs. RCS and I piddle around the house like old people.  Work has been extremely busy for both of us, but it’s a really weird dynamic doing everything at home.

Looking into the abyss, I’m really focused on filling up my late-Summer, Fall, and early-Winter as much as I can.  Our boys are one and three, so some of the adventures will include them, and some will be just Mrs. RCS and me.  We’re lucky in that we can send them to Camp Grandparents for the (long) weekend, and they have a BLAST.  I’m the type of person that likes to have events on the calendar to look forward to.  Whether it’s a trip to the Atlanta Zoo on a Saturday morning or a vacation to the coast, my brain does well when I know I have things to do.

Here are a few options that we are looking to lock in:

The Pearl.  This would be a kid-free long weekend, probably in the mid-September timeframe.  It’s an easy drive down to Rosemary Beach from Atlanta, and the facilities at The Pearl are top-shelf.  Some long days on the beach and at the (kids only) pool would be a welcomed disconnect.  I’ll probably squeeze in a fishing trip one morning depending on what’s biting.  I’m sure Mrs. RCS would love to sleep in.

Highlands.  This could be a with-kids vacation, or maybe without.  There’s something peaceful about the mountains.  My intent with this trip would be to pack it all up and carry it with us.  Food, etc.  We’d just rent a house, hang out and cook out all weekend.  I’d probably go see my buddy Ben and Brookings and maybe see if we could get some trout to bite one morning…

Rio Piedra.  I’m scheduled to go down with Mrs. RCS in October.  This is just a one-nighter, but I’m really looking forward to seeing the facilities and experiencing one of their quail hunts.

We’re still noodling over a couple more.  I’d love to hear some drive-able options in the comments.

(Not my basement)

I also need to do some next-level purging from the house.  We’ve been good about cleaning out closets, but now we need to move on to storage.  The attic, the basement, and the garage need some work.  Purging is a liberating feeling.   I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to get rid of all this stuff, but I’d really love to get it all cleaned out.  I’m not going to wax poetic about ‘want’ vs. ‘need’, but that is a major factor for me when I purge.

I’ve also started thinking a lot about how I want to come out on the other side of this lockdown.  Mrs. RCS and I talk a lot about this.  We feel like we’ve become closer.  We’re spending a lot of time together, while still respecting each other’s space while we work.  We try to do lunch dates and enjoy a glass of wine (or two) after the kids go down.  We’ve stopped watching the news, which has been good for our mental health.  We’re reading a little more and eating well.  Pool time, playgrounds, and long walks with the kids.  By this point, I think it’s pretty obvious that normal structure will be altered forever, so we’re focusing on positioning ourselves to be in the best place possible to react to what that ‘new normal’ looks like.

A little bit of a long-winded post, but I wanted to catch up with all of you.  How’s everyone doing?  What are you and your family doing to cope?

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8 Comments

  1. B. Scott Robinson
    07/29/2020 / 8:24 AM

    You are correct in thinking that going back to a January 2020 “normal” is simply never going to happen…ever.

    In Feb/early March we took two back to back trips, the first to Costa Rica to visit friends, and the second to the Republic of Georgia/Tbilisi for a work-play combo. Those trips now feel like something from another era…like watching the film Casablanca in black and white.

    As you mentioned, putting things in the calendar is a good mental health exercise. Balancing smart distancing practice with metal health needs is a must. Hiding in the house is bad for the soul; running around like nothing is going on with a real and dangerous big bad wolf pandemic outside the front door is not a wise course if one wishes for a continued long term physical presence on the planet.

    We are off to Pursell Farm for some social distanced R&R/shooting at the Orvis facility today. In November, we are scheduled to drive to Vermont to visit with college friends. December is Blackberry Farm for Christmas. Next year has some shooting at Primland in the spring followed by a private small boat cruise in the Caribbean with friends and our UK coast to coast walk back in the books for May/June. Some bird hunting within drive time of Atlanta will be sprinkled in for seasoning Autumn 2020-Winter 2021.

    Hopefully some, or all, of the above will come to fruition, but till then we will simply keep holding on, taking one day, and one POTUS tweet at a time, as the good Lord sees fit to provide.

    Cheers,

    BSR

  2. Brad Wesley
    07/29/2020 / 9:36 AM

    The dog days of summer seem even longer and hotter this year after realizing things won’t be getting back to normal anytime soon, if ever. We got up to Asheville for one night last month but between COVID and the civil unrest quite a bit was closed and it left much to be desired.

    Luckily we do have a big trip down to Rosemary with extended family planned at the end of August. Just booked my trip with Shallow Water Expeditions (thanks for the rec) yesterday. We love the panhandle so really looking forward to that whole week.

    Amidst everything else we’ll probably be making a big move in the next few months. At least baseball is back…

  3. HL
    07/29/2020 / 9:58 AM

    My family and business could be labeled as more fortunate than others around the world- as COVID has not affected work or health for anyone I am even remotely close with. I want the future to be bright for my two young sons, and the only thing I’ll say is the way its being handled is not for the economic long-haul or for the younger generations.

    Still lots of work, glad my daycare is still open, still coming to my office, still fishing and riding in the boat, still working out. The loss of after-hour cocktails at a local watering hole and possibly no tailgating are the worst of it.

    Best possible thing is for people to listen to the CDC, unfortunately follow the horrible suggested guidelines so we can have football in the SEC.

  4. PDB
    07/29/2020 / 12:13 PM

    My office is supposed to start heading back in after Labor Day, but from what I hear that’s going to be extended as well. I just got back from a week on Kiawah and the post-vacation letdown is even worse in the Covid-verse. So, we’ve made a couple of camping reservations here in PA over the fall. It’s dawned on me that I’ve lived here most of my life, but almost all of my vacations are out of state, so I am very much looking forward to explaining my home state and waking up on a few crisp, fall mornings out in nature.

    I definitely get RCS’s point about things really clicking with the Mrs. Tomorrow is our 14th wedding anniversary and despite this being the weirdest of years, I feel like we’re stronger than ever. Some things I try to work into the day to day include:

    -I get up early (6:00 or so) and head into my office to catch up, answer e-mails, set up my day, etc. But, I always make time around 8:00 or so for a sit down breakfast with the family. It’s never formal…today it was coffee and granola, but it’s really nice for the 5 of us to come together for a meal to start the day.
    -Between the end of the dinner and bedtime, I try to take my kids over to the swim club for an hour or so to get them out of the house a bit…or better yet, some days, I handle clean up and bedtime and get my wife some much needed downtime.
    -Friday afternoon happy hour on the deck has become a much loved ritual.

    Cheers.

  5. Stephen
    07/29/2020 / 7:43 PM

    My office and the wife’s is closed rest of the year. We are fortunate to have jobs in financial services and legal that afford us to work from home indefinitely.

    We just move to Florida from Dallas right before the pandemic, so we never got to meet to many folks other than co-workers who now only exist on a zoom or Skype call. Easy to social distance when you have no friends.

    Nonetheless we persevere. I observe Mass online and jog down to the beach most mornings, so I can’t really complain. Even bought a new linen suit from J. Press recently that I wore to dinner, much to the surprise of my wife, for a great meal she cooked at the house.

    This stuff is hard, no doubt. I know we all want it to be over so badly, but we have to be patient and be smart. Best of luck to everyone,

  6. Will
    07/29/2020 / 11:24 PM

    I work in a job that can only be done hands on with person to person contact. I feel very safe with PPE and also feel blessed to have an excuse for lots of personal interaction. That being said, conversations range from those full of hope and happiness to those which are bitter and grave. This year has been a discipline of hiding cynicism and shining a light to others.
    I have a grave concern that so many things I hold dear are eroding and the fabric of gentile interaction and productivity will have to be reinvented. Down inside I know that you can survive and even move ahead through a crisis by being malleable, but I’m stubborn.
    I have more concern about the future of our nation and founding principles than the threat of the disease. I’m not overly into political discussion, especially the daily squabble- but it feels like the tide is turning on the big picture of living the American dream as we know it in context of current events.
    In regards to lifestyle, we are blessed. Daily life is a pleasure with my wife and children and we stay entertained. The kids are learning- I would argue better than when they were in school. We are just lost about how to prepare them for a future that is so hard to predict.and seems so counter to what we know and understand. We’ve tried to center on nurturing core values and faith. In the end- those are inalienable and fixed through any circumstance. It’s all we can do.

  7. LJS
    07/30/2020 / 1:03 PM

    We have been very fortunate as a family to avoid any health or financial problems, and have shared RCS’s experience of growing closer to family through tough times.

    Better Half and I are both working from home through Labor Day at least, and we’ve got a pretty good balance down. She’s said how she can be more productive without all those “drop-ins” that break up flow in the office. For my part, in a business that depends on relationships, I feel like I’m spending down that capital without building new bonds, but for now business is growing and the pace is non-stop.

    A long weekend here and there at the Lake and a week in the NC mountains over the 4th have been much-needed to reconnect with family and remember that there will be life on the other side of this. I’m glad my boys – 5 and 2 – are at the age where they experience this time as more opportunities to be with Mom and Dad, and each other..

    3 things that have been very helpful for my mental state: consistent exercise, dedicated personal time with Better Half, and reading books that aren’t about the news or the virus. Those are good practices no matter what, and I hope to come out on the other side having put myself in a groove with each of those habits.

    Glad to have this site, too, RCS – keep it up!

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