Road-Trip Recovery

We spent the weekend recovering from our recent 1,200-mile road trip to visit Jon’s family in Illinois, which included replenishing our supplies and checking for wear and tear on Cloud 9. The exceptionally warm weather was ideal for enjoying gentle breezes through open windows and spending an entire evening at a crackling campfire under starlit skies.

As we prepared to leave on Friday, Jon made a last-minute trip to the grocery story, where he encountered some long-time neighbors. They chatted for a few minutes, and Jon acknowledged that one casualty of the pandemic was losing the art of engaging in small talk. “I’ve been in one, long conversation with Cliff ever since March 18, 2020,” he said. “There’s a definite beginning to the conversation, but no clear end.” Think about that for a moment.

One highlight of our weekend was viewing the “Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra Family Christmas Special,” originally broadcast on December 21, 1967. Sinatra and Martin were joined by their respective families to perform more than a dozen holiday classics. As special treats, Frank and Dean sang a medley of their most beloved songs while essentially running in place, and Nancy Sinatra performed a delightfully bizarre holiday version of “These Boots Were Made for Walking.” The episode, which had not been seen in its entirety since its original broadcast, was nostalgic, kitschy, and fun.

We also used the weekend to begin adjusting to our “new normal,” as Jon prepares to head back to campus for his new job. An end to one long conversation? Perhaps.

Jon will become the inaugural Communications Coordinator for the Department of Internal Medicine, starting on December 13. His new department is three times the size of the Department of Radiology, where he has worked for the past seven years and, at least initially, he will be officing on campus. That means we’ll need to return from our weekend camp-outs on Sunday nights rather than on Monday afternoons.

As part of the transition, Cliff started Sunday supper at Cloud 9, assembling an authentic Hungarian goulash in the crockpot (for later consumption at home) even before starting our traditional Sunday brunch. We still managed to fit in our typical pursuits of reading The New York Times, enjoying breakfast cocktails, checking for updates to our ancestry investigations, and napping.