Year End… or a year beginning?

artwork by Jeff Jones

As I sit in the laundry room/office of our perfect house, which became very small during the pandemic, listening to our son Cooper participating in remote learning I could take this years wrap up in so many directions. But I will spare you my musings and stick to more facts (and if you believe that, you do not know me)

I decided to put this “holiday letter” on the computer for a few reasons. First off, not everyone wants to read about our families journey so why waste the paper & secondly I removed myself from all forms of social media last November (passively… I still have the accounts, I just NEVER check them) so this is a chance to have Doreen share my thoughts for Facebook friends we have in common.

Dear Friends,
A little shy of a year ago we closed ourselves into the safety of our own, but during that time life has, not surprisingly, gone on.
Doreen launched herself into her final year at the Graduate School of Social Work at Rutgers University. Between remote learning and screwy internship options she briefly considered postponing but this is a calling and she had to answer the call. Come May of 2021 the world of Social Work may never be the same once Doreen hits it!
School has been tricky for all the learners in the house, no surprise there. Cooper has been the only kid with mostly in person learning due to the school being able to maintain 3 students per classroom and strict Covid protocol.
Olivia got her first “real boyfriend” just in time to be Rapunzeled away by Covid-19, but he spends most hours after school with us via FaceTime. It’s a remarkable study in human behavior watching teenagers mating rituals over video chat. They completely ignore one another for hours on end and then you’ll here the odd “babe” or “sweetheart”. I’m not going to claim to understand. Olivia did occasionally go off to the park this summer to “meet up” with her beau, I don’t even want to know.
Ruby has been devoted to voluntary isolation in her bedroom. It seems to perfectly align with her disenchantment at being in quarantine with Cooper and Olivia. She did manage to enjoy a week in St. Louis this summer with cousins and a pool in Uncle Mike and Aunt Mary’s back yard. We maybe had to tell her that they all were tested prior to our arrival. Sorry if that was super spreader of us, but desperate times call for desperate measures to get Ruby out of her room. (please note: thankfully no cases of covid were born from our time with family this summer).
I started off the year going on the road Stage Managing for Mandy Patinkin and Producer/friend Staci Levine in January and early February after The Illusionist, Magic of The Holiday’s closed. It has been a minute since I have toured, but taking care of Mandy’s show was a real treat. I was in St Louis with my Mom and my brother Lance when lock down began. My siblings and I were at the early stages of trying to manage long term care for our mom who’s memory has been smashed and get our brother Lance settled as he was dealing with his own health issues. I returned to New Jersey for April & May and then things went from bad to worse in St. Louis. Our brother Lance; protector of lofty dreams, possessor generous spirit, a gay knight, a man of irreverent humor and mad devotion passed away the morning of June 11th. A few of us were with him for the final hours of his journey; playing music, telling stories, singing, laughing and of course crying. I miss him more and more by the day, but I know I was lucky to have him as my big brother and a huge influence on who I am today. With Lance’s passing I spent much of the summer helping my family clean out my mom’s house and be as close as possible to my mom, my St. Louis sibs and lots of Zoom with our brother Jeff in Phoenix.
We are all certainly looking forward to the new year. 2021 has a nice ring to it. I for one have spent the fall getting fat, out of shape & uninspired so I can have some heavy hitting resolutions come January 1st… I mean, I realize that’s not how you are supposed to set resolutions but what the hell. Doreen and I are very excited about the New year and the decency and inspiration coming to a certain famous house very soon.

Since I cannot be reached on the social platforms please feel free to be in touch via: jpjones314@mac.com or 917-797-2618. Doreen can be reached on FaceBook or at doreenchila@me.com or 917-747-9359.

Me and Coop this summer

Doreen with Norman the Cat & Stella our mini dog!
Olivia with Uncle Mike and Aunt Maria
Ruby in her natural habitat… her bed!

4 thoughts on “Year End… or a year beginning?

  1. The year has been a rough one, but being able to spend so much time with you and your family, dear sister, has made it special for this girl. Love you.

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