Image: Nancy Davison
“I gotta go,” Nancy said at the zoom coffee hour after church. “I got a hot date in an hour and a half.”
The hot date was lunch with me, at Norma’s Restaurant.
Before the pandemic Nancy and I went to Norma’s after church almost every Sunday. Norma’s is a friendly place; they know us there.
Fifteen months ago, we would have been peeling off choir robes, chatting with friends, daring ourselves to eat muffins and cookies, then leave coffee hour by twelve, always issuing an open invitation for anyone who wanted to join us.
Covid changed everything. Norma’s closed. Everyone stayed home, worried we would get sick. We refused invitations for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It just wasn’t safe.
Then, on Advent I, I watched the first of the Pfizer vaccine being loaded onto trucks. Tears rolled down my face. We still had a way to go, but I could see the end of this long tunnel.
And then, vaccinated, it was safe to reenter the world. Still socially distanced, still wearing masks. It was winter, too cold to be safely outdoors. Who, at my age, wanted to chance it?
I chose to stay home. I was cautious. Why risk my health –and my family’s– when we were almost to the finish line?
Friends began to say, “Chance it. Go.” And, I did. Lunch with one of my oldest friends, dinner inside a restaurant with Jim. Hugging an old, vaccinated friend. And lunch at Norma’s with Nancy. And today, my equally cautious children sat outside together for a meal at York Beach Brewing. It is the first time in a year they have met for a meal in a restaurant, and only the second time they’ve all been together –at our home.
So it wasn’t a hot date Nancy had in mind. It was a smart date. At a place where everyone knows our names, what we like in our coffee, or might choose to eat.
I suspect this is how it will be when St George’s opens. Slowly. Cautiously. Carefully. Faithfully.
– Barbara Kautz
April 18, 2021