11/13/2020: Booked local dog-friendly hotel room for in-laws and their pups. “TG at picnic table in park”, I said when I called my MIL for TG plans approval, which she gave. “Same at Christmas!” I said, screaming now. “All holiday risks solved! TG for hotels and their sanitary measures! OMG!”

I had to lie down. Husband and son brought gifts.

Then, suddenly: 11/14/2020: Scrolled Twitter, watched Maddow.

OMEFHAFMH, I whispered.

My 80-year-old MIL can do headstands. But–spry, not spry, headstands or senior aerobics–what is the point of squatting in sagebrush to pee on your way to see loved ones if you’re simply driving 2+ hours into deadly contagion?

Fortunately my MIL is not only spry, but ratiocinationally inclined. So when my husband and I canceled TG, my MIL confessed that she and Popups had been thinking along those lines, too–hesitant to tell us for fear of disappointing us.

Once all was cancelled, I lamented: We could’ve watched Jumanji2!”

“Next time,” my MIL said, a woman who’s voice over the phone carries a chronically nascent smile. It’s one of her most comforting traits.

Next time

Yours in keeping family and friends as safe as possible this encroaching holiday season,


About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI.
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