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Quarantine: Stories from the Road

 

Stan and his family had spent four weeks at home, locked in place. Sheltering in, to stay safe and healthy. Trips only to the grocery store, and those were far and few now with intermittent grocery deliveries. The kids had homework, his wife worked almost her normal hours at home as when she commuted to her workplace. He found himself for the first time in his life, unemployed. When he repeated this to himself, it was as if he was hearing someone else's voice saying these words. For the first time, since his post college days, he had free time on his hands and had no idea what to do with it.

Remembering a conversation he had with a long time friend last summer, where he shared about taking a trip to a campground in the mountains; his whole family bike riding on these amazing trails out there and having an amazing time. Light bulb moment! Though his kids had bikes, he and his wife didn’t, so he immediately went online, with a sense of purpose and excitement. Ordering two beach cruisers, and some upgrades for his kids bikes, he clicked the checkout button. He got to work on a plan to surprise his family with the new and improved bikes and a plan to get out of the house on a regular basis as a family. Reprieve from their boring, humdrum new lives.

Needless to say keeping this newly hatched plan a secret was quite the challenge with everyone at home and on alert. Stan, monitored the delivery schedule every morning first thing and every night before going to bed, waiting to see the out for delivery line light up with color. He researched routes they could take that would be safe for the whole family, and went out to drive them. Investigating which roads had bike lanes and which didn’t. He was really going for it, why not? He needed something to do.

A week went by and he was finally rewarded. The past week had to be the longest week in history. The bikes were out for delivery. The whole day he had sweaty palms and nervously sat by the front window glancing out ready to pounce on the delivery person. At one point his wife gave him a concerned look and asked him if he was okay. He persisted, trying to “be normal” only leaving for quick bathroom breaks. The whole day had gone by and his attention and hopes were waning. Post dinner madness was in full bloom, the kids helping to put dishes in the washer, which was always an ordeal that distracted them due to the bickering and sheer lack of cooperation, his wife had disappeared to the bathroom or somewhere at the back of the house. With his heightened senses and expectant nerves, he heard an engine out front. Quickly he moved to the front door, impressing himself with his stealth. He opened it quietly to see the delivery person releasing the second bike box.

At last, his wait was over. Two large boxes were delivered along with the “upgrades” for his kids bikes. Now the real work would begin.. hatching his genius plan. 

To be continued...


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