Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Easter 2019 , 2020

15th April 2020

A bit of a Ramble

Life looks very different today than it did this time last year.

In April 2019 we visited my grandson in Brosely in Shropshire, wild camping for two nights in a car park near where they live and spending one night safely parked up in a campsite with static gipsy caravans and tent pods.
Mr McCarthy, the big, burly manager,  told us the site  didn't take camper vans. I had dragged him away from his dinner, some of which, probably bolognese, still stained his chin.
"Please," I looked him in the eyes, "we just need somewhere safe to park up."
 I offered him  £15 -  a little less than the going rate - and said we'd  be off  early in the morning. He looked us up and down, making me aware of my need for a change of clothes and a good hair wash. He  obviously  felt sorry for us and  let us pull up on some hard standing near the toilet block, a welcome bonus for  us. We filled up the water tank,  had hot showers and brought some hot water back to the camper to give it a bit of a clean. We had the best night sleep we'd had for weeks.
What a relief, especially after Ryan had informed us that wild camping was definitely illegal in their area. Apparently there are more than enough sites to accommodate campers.
The three days we had with them were punctuated with some special moments.
Walking with them all  in the woods, running with great grandchildren, Rose and Robin , hiding behind trees,making dens round same trees with sticks that we'd all collected,  feeding the ducks by the river - never mind that we were getting wet in the drizzle and  going to a cafe in Ironbridge.

                         Ironbridge, Shropshire, England.

 I was able to catch up with both my grandson and my lovely granddaughter in law ( if that is, indeed, a thing). We chatted away, sharing many stories of mum moments and life's ups and downs, we laughed as we realised that not much changes between the generations.
We ate with them, went to Church ( Palm Sunday) with them and when it was time to go I hugged them tight, with an ache in my chest, gulping back tears that wanted to burst through my defenses. It made it even more difficult when little Rose didn't want to say goodbye to us either. I knew it would be another year or more before we would see them again.
The trip to Brosely was the homeward leg of a much longer journey. Before that we'd been to Northumberland to visit my cousin who had cancer. It was more than twenty years since I'd last made my way to Wooler. I'd forgotten how beautiful and peaceful it was. And the sheep , everywhere!
We even made  it to Edinburgh for a night, camping just outside the city and  to Lowfell near Newcastle, where my aunt lives.  I caught up with some cousins and some of their children. Why do I always leave it so long?
But the next stop after Shropshire was  Oxford to spend a few days with my daughter and her gorgeous family. With the camper, our bedroom,  parked on their drive, we enjoy another few days of family stories, wild games and always fun. My soul was  rejuvenated being  around the buzz of youth.There is a full house, with eight children still at home and also my daughter's mother in law living with them.Image may contain: 13 people, including Ryan Stevens, Emma Stevens and Daniella Solis, people smiling

They showed us plans for the new house they were getting with a new granny annex which will make life much easier.
We left them in good spirits and headed home on the Wednesday to  make choir practice for the Easter services, which were to start with The Mass of the Lord's Supper the next evening.
I love the Easter Triduum - Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday- it's the culmination of the whole year's liturgy.The joy is almost tangible.  And it was a great pleasure to have our grandaughter, Elouise, a keen singer, join the choir for all the services.

This year, 2020, we haven't been out, haven't seen any family except the two children living with us,  haven't been to celebrate Easter in our Church, although we've been joining online mass which has been something.
And at the moment, we are not even going for a walk, having had some Covid 19 symptoms. We have to stay in,  isolate ourselves.
Although there were only going to be four of us together for Easter, I bought a leg of lamb. I would rather have not had meat , but  my son and daughter wanted to do a traditional lunch and as things are difficult enough...I mean, Peter has just had an operation and then an infection, and has been quite poorly.
 I wanted to create a special time for us together.
Now, what do they sat about making plans?
On Friday I started coughing ( well, that's when I noticed) and my chest was sore.
What to do?
 Shall I just keep quiet and not tell them ? The next day It's obvious I'm not well so I have to tell them.
What to do?
I decide , after checking best advice to self isolate in the small bedroom. I feel guilty. After all, I'm still needed to nurse my husband, aren't I?
That's when my daughter stepped in and took over.
On the Sunday, Easter Day, they brought me dinner in my room and I didn't much care what it was or how they'd cooked it, which, for me, a control freak in my own kitchen,  was telling.
This was a very different day to 2019 when we spent the day with my daughter in Whitstable, with her husband , her six children and her husbands family. Their other grandma organized  an egg hunt, the sun shone, the dinner was a banquet, which fed more than twenty people.

The world is very different today.

But there is a wonderful life that we are hopefully edging back to.


Please feel free to comment with advice and critique.