Sunday a year ago

One of the upsides of keeping a time log is that I can look back on past days to see what I was doing a year ago. I remember that it was a doozy of a day, logistically, though it’s also poignant to think how different life is now vs. then. This is very clear on my logs.

A year ago, I woke in a tent in World’s End State Park, where I was camping with my then-9-year-old son. I read in the tent for half an hour (Susan Orlean’s The Library Book), listening to the rain. It always rains on Cub Scout camping trips, and this was no exception, though we did better because I finally bought us both rain pants.

After a fashion, I woke my son, and we took down our tent. We had to leave early because of the doozy of a day. We drove to McDonald’s and ate breakfast (in the restaurant!) and then traveled all the way down I-476, listening to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. We got home to find that my husband had not actually made it to the Broad Street race he was supposed to run — the one logistical issue of the day. (I’d hired a sitter!) I ran my mile to keep my running streak, showered, oversaw some playdate logistics, then packed and drove out to New Jersey.

There, I sang with my choir in an afternoon performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony. There was a lot of sitting because the choir doesn’t sing until the last movement, but we did sing loud and strong at the end. Then it was quick back into my car to head to 30th street station. I made a 6 p.m. train, and worked on the train while on the way to New York City. There, I took the subway to my downtown hotel, checked in, and went to meet several people who were also attending the same conference. It is something to start the day in a tent in the Pennsylvania wilderness, and end in Manhattan, with a stop for Mahler in between.

This Sunday a year later there are no Cub Scout camping trips. No Broad Street race with thousands of other runners. No choir practices or performances with many hundreds of people in a concert hall. I’m not taking trains anywhere, let alone to New York City, or subways to conferences, most of which have been canceled for months.

Other things have changed too. I’m spending much of this Sunday a year on caring for my four month old baby. It was a few days after that long Sunday that I felt the familiar symptoms, and began to suspect that kid #5 was on his way.

And so, life continues, with all its changes. Time keeps passing. But thanks to the time log, I can call up these memories of a year ago. I can remember that rain, and its sound on the tent, my McDonald’s coffee (and sausage biscuit with egg!), the heat of the stage lights, and falling asleep, after much journeying, looking out on the city lights.

Photo: Blooming a year ago too, though I didn’t know about portrait mode on my phone then.

One thought on “Sunday a year ago

  1. Thank you for sharing this story – I have one of those “one line a day for five years” journals. I’m on year 3 now, and it’s so fascinating to look back at what happened last year or the year before ‘on this day’. One challenge I’ve been having during quarantine is finding something to write about – that’s another reason this kind of journal is so helpful, because it reminds me to make sure that each day stands out. Thanks again!

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