I’m enormously privileged, as far as COVID-19 and quarantine goes. I already worked from home, so the only thing that changed was the presence of my family, and granted a three year old and a six year old entering first grade that needs teaching all while attempting to work is no cakewalk, all things considered, it’s fine. My wife is still working as well, remotely every other week, so things move along.
That’s not to say I’m not struggling, depressed, and concerned both with the mundane ‘Is my kid ever going to learn to write and is it even safe to have her back at school in any capacity?’ and the more abstract ‘Is this the dying gasp of the United States?’. Beer helps, and I’m not even going to pretend I’m waiting for 5 o’clock. That’s an arbitrary time. Our lives here were just ramping up to the chaos that is typical of a family in a suburban town–basketball, ballet, gymnastics, school, after-school events, etc. Extended family is not that close, but close enough to make a day of it on the weekends, which we frequently did. Now doing anything but staying home requires specific and focused planning.
Suddenly, there’s time. It’s weird, because cooped up kids and teaching and working is like having no time, but you also have all the time. Yes, there are a billion things to get done, but it’s pretty easy to get any one of them done when you decide to. Throw in a load of laundry, feed the sourdough starter, vacuum, feed the kombucha, do a load of laundry, bottle the homebrew, pick up the rapidly growing pile of toys, have a beer on the deck staring at the trees…
Ahh, yes, having a beer on the deck staring at the trees. This is when I’m happiest. Maybe the kids are running around, going down the slide, fake-planting Pink-a-Bloom flowers from the PInkilicious book/tv series, or playing in the sandbox, or maybe it’s just me. One day in early spring when we had the windows open and the kids were just watching TV on the other side of the screen, it was just me and the wife, two beers, and the cool spring air.
Maybe I would’ve found more time working from home, I’d only been doing that for four months when everyone else started doing it, but the normal hectic schedule of finishing work, getting kids from school/daycare, figuring out dinner and/or if there was gymnastics or ballet or something in the evening, then getting the kids through bedtime routines and into bed and asleep and then finishing any other chores, mostly cleaning up after the whirlwind, before climbing into bed myself didn’t leave much time for beers on the deck.
Mostly I’ve been drinking various beers from local breweries that I’ve been buying pretty much exclusively. I bought some beer styles that’ll last all summer, but definitely picked up some IPAs, NE IPAs and other styles that are better consumed fresh along the way. Not necessarily looking for anything super intense while I’m in my happy place, just a tasty beer that is a good companion. I’ve even started drinking it from the can, something I rarely did before. One less glass to wash, and sometimes even the can doesn’t come in, it just sits in a bucket outside until that bucket is full.
This is a good beer. This is a comfortable backyard. The trees are tall, and there are birds flying around and chipmunks zipping around the rock wall. Even in the heat of summer, there are enough trees that by evening the worst heat is gone, and if I’m lucky there’s a breeze to keep away the bugs. For a few moments, it’s soothing and relaxing. Then someone asks me to push them on the swings, and I get up. That’s a less relaxing happiness, but I can push with one hand and drink my beer with the other. The world outside is scary right now, but here under the trees, things might be alright.
Ceetar can be found on Twitter and Untappd where he’s salivating over Oktoberfests and how many he’s going to drink outside this fall. Can his backyard fit a small fire pit? You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.