the corona chronicles, day 36: vacation dreaming

You know the saying “Be careful what you wish for”? Well, I’m regretting my wish for warmer weather right about now. After several weeks of cool, gray skies and rain, with a couple sunny days sprinkled in, the weather has taken a turn for the worse. Yes, worse. It’s now hot, hot, hot. The dry air is kicking up my allergies, and, at 91 degrees, it’s too uncomfortable to enjoy being outside. So inside I huddle still, but now, not under a cozy blanket.vacay

The plus side of the summerlike weather is it reminds me of vacation time. It’s around this part of the spring that I am itching for the outdoors, for adventure, for a vacation. By now in any other year I’d have booked a hotel room or an airbnb or two, planned our drive or chosen our flights.

I’d have investigated every potential place to visit at our destination or along the way—national parks, public gardens, coffee shops, brewpubs, museums, lakes, mountains, even cemeteries. I’d have discovered what the local cuisine is like, and I’d have researched restaurants for where to partake in the most delicious crab, pizza, or, if heading to Boston, cannoli (it’s Mike’s).cannoli

I’d have compared this hotel to that to find the one with the best prices, the best views, the best location, and the best amenities and that gives the best discounts. (Free breakfast and parking don’t hurt, either.) I’d have researched rental vehicles and compared compacts to minivans through Costco, AAA, or our insurance company.

I’d have searched online and placed orders for any clothing or accessories we’d need, from swimsuits to SD cards for the camera. I’d have surveyed our mismatched luggage to see what condition we brought it all home in on the last trip.

I’d have checked my list of vacation duties to give to whichever of our adult kids would be watching the house and pets, crossing off pets and plants that are no longer with us and adding instructions on feeding and watering the ones that still are.

I’d have sticky-noted my Moon Travel Guide with sights, restaurants, and places we would want to explore. I’d have checked out and pored over library books, too, and compared notes.

But this year is the year of the novel coronavirus pandemic, making it a year like no other. I and the family will stay home this summer—fall and winter too—and do our part to not make the virus spread.

It won’t be as fun as in years past, of course, and I’ll be a sticky, wet, irritated mess if I have to spend months of 91-degree days in my non-air-conditioned house, but that’s a small price to pay for not getting an illness that has already killed 100 in my county alone. This year, we won’t live the adventure of our lifetimes, but with a little luck and the proper precautions, we’ll still have memories to recall in years to come.

will we be living with our kids forever? the possibilities of multigenerational living

The morning paper has a story of a San Diego, California, couple who sold their three-story home in a very nice part of town to move into their rental apartment building along with their grown kids and their children. As a mom of four in that same very-high-rent, high-cost-of-living area of the country, where two-bedroom apartments currently rent for over $2,000 a month on average and where buying an average-priced home means needing a $120,000 down payment (!) and an annual income of nearly $105,000, I am intrigued by this idea.

fam

Unlike the couple featured in the story, however, I don’t have a handy apartment building to set everyone up in. I do, however, have a house and a small yard, and I’m starting to consider the possibilities. A tiny house, for one, stationed in a corner of the backyard could become home to a single adult or a couple. Even a large camper might do.

We also have one bedroom on the first floor whose wall was removed by a former owner that could be put back into use as a bedroom. It’s directly next to a full bath. A little engineering of walls could make this a cozy section of the house for one or two people.

Add to that a two-car garage that possibly, with a little insulation and the installation of plumbing fixtures and more electric, could become a comfy 500-square-foot dwelling with its own entrance. People do stuff like this to open up airbnbs all the time. Why not make your home a complex for the family, especially if the possibility of your kids every buying diminishes by the year? It sickens me to think that cumulatively, my three kids who are out on their own fork over nearly $3,000 in rent every month. That’s money they could be pocketing and possibly saving up for a home of their own one day. Of course, if this idea of mine ever came to fruition, I’d charge the kids for rent, but it wouldn’t amount to an annual outlay of $36,000, that’s for damn sure.

The matriarch and patriarch of the Haven family featured in the article are in their seventies and eighties, so while they currently enjoy their separate apartment in the building, they know that one day, if needed, they won’t have far to look for help from family. That, to me, is a big bonus too. Sure, I want my kids to have their independence and the feeling of accomplishment of living on their own, but I’m a little selfish too in wanting them close by.