Lodge Life: Pandemic Week 24

Oofta – it’s been a busy couple weeks over here and I’m a week overdue on this post! Things are heating up with school preparation and planning to move back to Seattle, plus we’ve been busy having fun with Grammy and Papa.

We were blindsided by some big news from Ben’s school. After being so confident they were going to be able to hold classes in person at 100%, they reneged. I had all the feels about the change of plans. While I wasn’t terribly surprised, it caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting it. And it’s just so sad. It’s so sad.

The picture is a little dramatic, but I’ve seen those big, sad tears several times recently in conversations about how much he misses his friends. It’s super sad, but it’s real and I wanted to capture that moment, as it highlights one of the hardest parts of the pandemic for my sweet 4-year old. Real life, right here.

Anyway, just as we were settling into the idea of remote learning, the school did a little switcheroo and threw a new option in the mix. Now, beginning the second week of school, Ben will be going to school in person.

Typically his “grade” would be divided into two classrooms. With the pandemic, it’s now divided into three cohorts. For this trial period of on-campus learning, each cohort will be cut in half, so he’ll have 4 or 5 other kiddos in his little cluster. Each cluster will go to school on-campus for one hour every day of the week to start. They’re hoping to increase to two hours after a week or two, then re-evaluate at the end of September.

We’re still learning what this all means and what Ben’s schedule and cluster looks like. I know I’m not alone in feeling like my head might spin off of my body from the chaos and uncertainty that is 2020.

Late last week Alex and I made the drive over the mountain pass back to our home of ten years to get it ready for us to move back into. I hadn’t been home in five and a half months.

Both Alex and I were a little nervous about how I’d feel upon returning to our house in Seattle. Let’s be real – it’s a small house with a not-so-ideal layout for having a family or entertaining. After living at The Lodge I’ve become quite accustomed to an amazingly open layout, a master suite and a deck and yard that I can see from the kitchen. I have zero of those luxuries in Seattle.

Upon returning home I felt a sense of peace. Our little home in Seattle is just that – our little home. It’s our home. And we belong there. And I’ll be hard pressed to ever sell it. That said, I’ll happily jump on board with a major renovation, which has been something Alex and I have toyed with for the last four years. I think it’s time to take the plunge and put our dreams for this house in motion. More to come on that note.

Our time in Seattle was lovely. We both absolutely adore our charming neighborhood. It was winter when we left, so I was marveling at everyone’s lush gardens and how much has changed, but how much stayed the same. It was less challenging than I expected to deal with physical distancing and mask-wearing while out for a walk. Everyone was wearing a mask out and about, so that was refreshing to see.

Back in the mountains and our 24th week, we did all the things from taking a trip to the blueberry farm to hiking, hiking and more hiking.

Hannah fell in love with a cat at the blueberry farm. Girl loves animals!

I had the most amazing running adventure with my friend Joanna when we ran another half marathon together.

We ran along the Little Wenatchee River, an incredible area I had never explored. It was so serene and secluded. Running with Joanna has undoubtedly been a highlight of the pandemic for me. Joanna is SO BRAVE and adventurous and I just follow right along with my bear bell jingling on my hip.

During our run we found a little swimming hole, which I took the gang to the following weekend. The water was frigid and flowing, the flies were biting and it was so, so, so beautiful.

Alex took Donna and Stan up on a hike along the ridge that looks down over the river and our valley, including our house. It’s a very steep hike but they were able to walk out our sliding doors and head out on foot, which I think is pretty cool. Hannah and I even saw them standing up there.

What a dream it is to have this natural beauty surrounding us. The more and more into our time here the more we realize just how special these mountains are. It is really hard to believe our time out here is winding down.