Sheltering in a Place Apart

Little did we know on March 22 that we would spend the next eight weeks sheltering in place at Hampshire amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Jon began working from home on March 18, and will likely continue doing so until at least June. We’ve limited out outings to shopping for essentials, and then only Cliff goes…

Splendid Isolation

For most of the 19th century, Great Britain engaged in a diplomatic practice that came to be called “splendid isolation.” The nearly century-long policy was characterized by a refusal to enter into permanent alliances or commitments with other European nations, effectively leaving Britain without any friends. The policy ended with the 1904 Entente Cordiale and…

Social Distancing At Its Best

With much of the nation struggling to figure out what we’ve got on our Purell-soaked hands, we headed to Cedar Hill State Park, which proclaimed itself “a premier social distancing environment.” To be sure, the COVID-19 outbreak has profoundly affected daily life: no public gatherings, no Broadway shows, no trips to Disneyland, no March Madness,…

Truth and Consequences

The conversation about COVID-19 — a new strain of coronavirus disease that has quickly spread to 89 countries around the globe — continues to dominate every encounter, even those between strangers at camp. While there is cause for concern, it’s also important to keep the outbreak in perspective. The 1918 flu pandemic killed 675,000 Americans…

So Shines a Good Deed

As we prepared our Date Night dinner, Josh Groban’s version of “Pure Imagination” started playing on our Amazon music station, bringing to mind “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” the movie for which it was written. Cliff said, “we must see it again,” and Jon agreed, saying “let’s watch it tonight!” And so, despite having…

Right Neighborly

The weekend found us returning to Cedar Hill State Park, this time to a site near the water’s edge. After enjoying a tenderloin steak grilled to perfection along with roasted potatoes, charred asparagus, and sauteed mushrooms and onions, we settled into a viewing of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” The 2019 biographical drama, starring…

Presidents’ Day Weekend

When Jon was a young boy growing up in Illinois, the state observed two individual presidential holidays in February: Lincoln’s Birthday, on February 12, and Washington’s Birthday, on February 22. Beginning in the 1960s, efforts were made to join the two days as a way of giving equal recognition to two of America‚Äôs most famous…

A Cosmic Camp-Out

We knew we were in for a treat this weekend, with the Snow Moon at its zenith on Saturday night. But we weren’t prepared for the celestial show that awaited us. On Friday and Saturday, we witnessed spectacular sunsets and moonrises, as well as moonsets and sunrises — all from our new favorite perch overlooking…

Welcome Relief

The weekend weather forecast was almost unbelievable: clear skies and daytime temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s. Even though we had taken Cloud 9 to A&P Vintage Trailer Works for our washer/dryer repair last weekend, we were determined to go camping this weekend, if we could get the Airstream back in time. A…

Reflections on MLK Day

Once again, MLK Day found us camping out, but due to unforeseen circumstances. We had planned to take Cloud 9 in to the repair shop for a dryer fix, but that had to be postponed until next weekend. And we thought we would have to take Maya in to the vet each day for a…