Time has been nothing short of an illusion in 2020, often feeling like it dragged on for an eternity when all the days- each very similar to the one before it in this age of quarantines and lockdowns- seemed to blend together into one continuous loop. As the end of the year gets closer and closer, a lot of people- particularly on social media- have been posting reminders of things that happened over the Spring/Summer, but given the pandemic- it feels like they could have easily happened in 2017 or 2018.
Example- remember the height of the “Tiger King” phenomenon? It feels like forever ago- when the reality was it only happened this past March/April. And when you realize that- it can easily trigger a headache. Believe me, I experienced it firsthand.
So November coming to an end and what is shaping up to be a busy December already here and ready to go has been a bit of a shock, really. While I’m excited for the holidays- as unconventional as they may be this year- I have to tip my hat to this past month because it had a good amount of fun, memorable (and much-needed) moments.
I had started November across the country in Las Vegas and San Diego as I finished up a trip to the West Coast to pay my respects to my best friend and spend some time with her family. Although I then had to begin a mandatory two-week quarantine upon my return to New England, I used the time alone to keep busy, resume working from home and share my usual recipes and “OOTD/Outfit of The Day” posts until I was cleared to be able to return to my community- albeit masked and socially distancing.
Shortly after, I was able to enjoy an outdoor and spaced apart cookout with my immediate family– some of whom I hadn’t seen since February, as well as spending time with my dear friend Troy, who had returned to New England from the West Coast for a surprise visit for his birthday while simultaneously taking care of some work-related things. I also hadn’t seen him since February- and being able to have some pizza, beer and catch up was a feeling of normalcy I hadn’t experienced in so long.
November also saw me connecting with my amazing and talented neighbor, Dan- a photojournalist- for an outdoor and socially distanced photo shoot in a beautiful and secluded part of Sunderland, Massachusetts. I’ll be sharing some more photos from the set a little later on this week, but you can see a few shots from the first part of the series HERE.
I explored a famous (and potentially haunted) landmark in Coronado, visited an equally famous-but-underwhelming landmark in Plymouth, and shared one of my favorite local bakeries in the Pioneer Valley who have saved me SO much time and work around the holidays for two years in a row now!
And finally, while we all knew Thanksgiving was going to be very different and unlike anything we’d ever experienced before- my mom managed to pull off a safe one by utilizing the same methods she’d implemented in her outdoor and distanced cookout to guarantee that myself, my siblings, my sister-in-law and my niece would all be fed without putting ourselves or each other in harm’s way. It was unique, sure- but it was also fun in a strange and unexpected way.
So what do I have planned for December- apart from a lot of online shopping, gift wrapping and time at the post office sending out presents to friends and family? I’ve got some more local and festive spots around my community to share, some seasonal recipes that make even the most busy of days feel a little more jolly- and a couple of my favorite holiday dresses I like to wear around this time of year to show off.
I’ve also got some fun end-of-the-year stuff to wrap up 2020 as nicely as I can- given that this year was pretty much a mess, after all.
But until then- here’s to November and the final days of Fall!