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Monday, May 24, 2021

2021-05-24 Partial return to "Normal"

 2020 and 2021 were years like no other.  The girls had school only on occasion as the governor of Michigan tried to figure out how to keep her constituents safe.  

Carrie and the girls came down for Christmas, arriving Christmas Day.  Roman's daughter was glad for the company, too.  She and Carrie have always been close.
It was good to have family around, even if the time was too short.

Most of the days the girls were here they spent outdoors trying to get a tan, or even a burn, before returning to Michigan.
All too soon they were on a plane to return to the reality of COVID-locked Michigan.
As a class officer, Abby had privileges.  Here she is reading and discussing a book with her class.

This was a class officers' visit to a local church.

Abby is with her basketball team.

Late in April there was a snowstorm back home. and Andy built a snowman for those of us still in Florida.

This was how best friends had to interact.  Abby and Samantha hadn't seen each other for weeks, both having school online, only.  



Graduation from St. Pius has always been a big affair...class trip, torch & ribbon ceremony, Confirmation, graduation and the "all night" party.  This year there was none of it.  The students rode in cars past a line of teachers saying good bye.
As we were leaving Florida, the state troopers were funneling all of the cars coming INTO the state through a welcome center.  They were ordering all out-of-state people to quarantine for two weeks.  We wondered how they were enforcing that order.

Finally, Abby's school figured out how to have as sort-of-graduation, with only 2 people attending for each graduate and live streaming the evening on You-Tube.  Abby gave the invocation and Gabby was official photographer.
Meanwhile, this was how Gabby had to dress for work at the local Dairy Queen.
Our "outings" were confined to backyard barbecues with our kids.
Gabby now was working at a veterinary hospital and loving finally getting into her chosen field of study in college.  
Gabby is still pursuing her other chosen field of Photography.  She invited the football team and parents to a special photo-shoot.  She will be shooting the games again this year...if there ARE any.

The class of 2020 missed classes, sports, and dances.  Even the 2020 Prom and graduation ceremony were cancelled.

2021 was even worse!

June 5 - 2020 - New Ground

2020 started with Carrie and the girls flying down for 4 days, January 1 through 4.


It is June 5 and we are still in Florida.  We have never been here later than early May so this "Rainy Season" is new to us.  Looks like SOME rain everyday for the last week and another week into the future.

This is the first Mother's Day I have ever missed: as a daughter, mother or grandmother.  Carrie and the girls sent me a beautiful bouquet of roses.  We are going out to eat once I get home.  I hear the flowerboxes on the front porch in Michigan are planted (as a surprise but someone blabbed).  The daughter here in Florida came over and made us a nice meal.
Not many birds to photograph but this Anhinga, drying himself off, cooperated.


Not much to take photos of since we are homebound due to the COVID-19 virus.  Luckily we have some nice blooms in our hedge.
Tiffany and Carrie

Taken by Gabby

Taken by Gabby

Gabby

Abby

Gabby's kitten

These are just a few altered photos using a program called PAINNT.

Gabby has become quite the photographer.  2018 she took photos at the football games and, since her dad was one of the coaches no one stopped her from being on the field.  2019 her dad moved to coaching at another high school but she was still more than welcome on the field.  The cheerleaders and the "mosh pit" demanded to be included in photos.  She also took some for Gabriel Richard high school and the JV teams.  She also took portraits and graduation photos of some friends and families.  To say "Grandma" is proud of her accomplishments is an understatement.  Many of her photos appear in the 2019-2020 high school yearbook.


After weeks and weeks of isolation in the house Abby's friend's mother drove her over for a visit in the fresh air keeping social distancing.  Tough for two girls who have been inseparable for most of their school years.

For Abby's birthday in April, it was a gloomy day UNTIL late PM she was called out of the house as her sister led a parade of her friends and classmates past her house, many with gifts and cards.  They had been successful in keeping it all a secret and she was, indeed, surprised.


This was Abby's "Senior" year at St. Pius school (Grade 8).  She was Captain of Volleyball and Basketball teams as well as Class President.  She and her classmates have looked forward to this year since Kindergarten.  There was to have been the 4-day class trip to Nashville, Confirmation Ceremony, Torch and Ribbon Ceremony, Graduation, and to top it off, a huge all-night party catered and arranged by the parents.  From there the classmates scatter to other schools for 9th grade.  Most will never see each other again.  Well, NONE OF IT HAPPENED.  Thanks to the COVID-19 shutdown all schools were closed in Michigan (and many other states).


This was the official graduation, greeting the teachers from their cars keeping social distancing.

Each graduating student had signs for their front yards   Still not exactly making up for the lockdown.

As things loosen up a little the local Gibraltar Dairy Queen opened the pick-up window, only.  Gabby had already been employed there before everything was shut down due to the virus.  This was how she had to report for work.
And so it goes.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

April 4, 2020 - Returning from Long Absence

What do you do when you are isolated from family and friends?  Find an old blog and update it.

In former years the whole family would visit for Spring Break 10 days but no flying right now.  They were here for a couple 4 days after New Years Eve and that was it for this year.  The daughter who lives a few minutes away here in Florida was here quite a bit with her sister and nieces.


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This is my 3rd week seeing almost no one.  Several of his friends stopped by that first week but no more.  Daughter who lives nearby was coming over often to feed us but even she is staying away.  A few cars go by in the morning, mostly workers in Laurel Reserve.  One motorcycle goes by every day.


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Since then the Corona Virus has dominated our new reality.  The girls couldn't come back for Spring Break.  Younger son and his girlfriend didn't come for their usual visit.  Dear friends who were planning on a visit cancelled.  Even his neighbor-buddies are distancing themselves.  So here we sit entertaining ourselves.

We tried a distance meet yesterday...daughters Carrie (MI) and Katie (NJ), granddaughter Gabby (MI) and me (FL).  Granddaughter Abby (MI) came on her mother's feed and my son, Andy (MI) made a brief appearance.  Video chats help.

I tried a drawing challenge.
That didn't go so well.

I tried an Isolation Photography Challenge but I was so restricted to our yard and house that I couldn't do some of the challenges.








I started an Isolation Coloring challenge but got bored

Then I tried a Isolation Photographic Art challenge using the program PAINNT and I may do a bit more with that.



I will check back tomorrow.  Keep safe everyone.

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Gabby Faye
Michigan, United States
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