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Social distance party

My husband’s birthday and Mother’s Day landed on the same weekend this year. With the options for our typical celebrations not available this year, I decided to get creative. We arranged a social distance “party” with both my side of the family and Tim’s family.

On Saturday, I invited my parents, uncle, my siblings and their spouses to our house for a social distance picnic in our driveway/garage. We had less than 10 people (as long as you don’t count babies) and each group had a designated area at a safe distance. Everyone brought something for the potluck, including Tim’s favorite, strawberry shortcake.

It was fun to be able to do something special for Tim. I worried it was going to be too chilly to pull it off but Saturday’s weather cooperated. My sister brought her bags boards. It seemed like an appropriate game. We could remain more than 6 feet apart, use plenty of hand sanitizer between tosses and do our best not to touch our faces. It was fun.

The party was able to do more than just celebrate Tim’s birthday. We also celebrated my sister’s husband Justin. He had a birthday in April, and we weren’t able to gather for him. We had a Zoom chat, but that’s just not the same. So we were able to give Justin his gift and make sure he felt the love, as well.

I also had a gift for my mom, to be sure to wish her a happy Mother’s Day in person. Family gatherings like this have been hard to arrange during the pandemic so we made the most of it while we could.

On Sunday, Tim and I loaded our son up in the car and traveled to his parent’s house. It wasn’t a formal gathering like we had the day before, but it was nice to see his parents and sister.

They hadn’t seen Lincoln since the end of February. He has changed so much. They still didn’t hold him, even though they wanted to. Their jobs keep them on the road and crossing state lines. They wanted to be as cautious as possible.

I stayed in the backseat of our SUV and held Lincoln so they could see him. He put on a show for grandpa and grandma Pratt, showing off his bouncing and jabbering skills. It was a short visit but I was so glad it all worked out. I knew Tim was missing seeing his folks and even though this wasn’t how we normally spend time together, it was nice to get to see them anyway we could.

Tim was thrilled about his birthday gift. He has been wanting a Pit Boss wood pellet grill/smoker. His family all pitched in and got him the one he wanted, along with three bags of pellets to get us started.

We took advantage of the weather Tuesday night and got the grill put together. It seemed really complicated as Tim took pieces out of the box, but it turned out to be pretty straight forward. We worked as quickly as we could, but we still ran out of daylight and were forced to order pizza instead of trying the grill out for the first time. With rain in the forecast for both Wednesday and Thursday, we are hoping to get a good day over the weekend to give it a try.

This social distancing stuff is unusual but I’m glad we have been able to arrange some gatherings to make this time a little more bearable. I can’t wait to host Tim’s family for a big barbecue at our house with the new grill.

Contact Pam Pratt at

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