If this was anything approaching a normal year (how I chuckle when I write that) this weekend would be the ninth annual chocolate and wine tasting party.

I’ve commented to my sweetie more than once this week about how I would be normally (there’s that word again) getting ready for it.

Going to some specialty stores for chocolate. Figuring out the wines I wanted to serve. Buying fancy cheeses. Sweet talking my friend into supplying his homemade bread again. Etc.

It makes me sad that I can’t have my annual party. I was sad in August when we couldn’t have the BBQ either. We’re hoping that this August, we’ll be able to. And while I might be hopeful, I’m still wary.

The good news is that the small cities around me are back into phase two openings. Restaurants are now able to open to 25% capacity.

One of the local coffee shops actually qualifies as a restaurant, because they serve a full menu of small bites, along with wine and champaign. (One of my favorite memories is from last September, when a group of mothers all met early in the day and started sharing pitchers of mimosas, because their kids were all now back at school.)

This place has excellent air circulation. Though it’s a one story building, and everything’s on the ground floor, the ceiling actually rises up to the second story. Huge volume of air. Plus, they keep the back door that leads to the kitchen open all the time.

There aren’t as many chairs there. BUT. I got to go there, order a glass of wine on a Friday afternoon, and used their internet to do a lot of the publishing and heavy lifting that I needed to do.

OMG it was heavenly.

As I was driving back home, I felt as though my “office” had finally reopened. I’ve been going to the library, and sitting in the parking lot there to access the internet. It was fine during the summer. I brought a camp chair and sat out front of my truck.

But it’s winter, now. Cold and rainy. Sitting in my truck, wrapped in blankets, hasn’t been my favorite. I’ve still done it.

I’m SO looking forward to the library being actually open again. I went and checked…there isn’t really a timeline for when they’ll be able to open yet. *sigh* I’m hoping that it’ll be sometime in April, but I might be being optimistic about that.

The biggest problem with sitting in the parking lot is that I can’t work as long as I’d like to. My timing is based on my bladder. Being able to go to a coffee shop and use their restroom so I could keep working…Honestly. It was so nice.

But I keep thinking about this “lost” year. I’ve done stuff. I’ve kept moving ahead. But so much of what I would consider “extra” stuff just vanished from my calendar.

I’ve been just as busy. In some ways, a hell of a lot more busy. I’m talking with people on the phone at least once a week still. Many weeks, it’s more like two or three days. I don’t know if I’ll continue with that once I can go and see people again. I may. I may not.

All I’m trying to say is that I feel as though I’m still trying to come back from that “lost” year. Still struggling to figure out what I need to pick up again, what I’m leaving behind.

How about you? Was it a lost year for you as well?

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