Looking Back at 2021 – Part 1

A year ago at this time, we were all hoping that 2021 would be better than the majority of 2020 was. We were looking forward to Covid vaccines, getting back to going out to bars and restaurants, and seeing loved ones! So, in retrospect, how was it? Let’s take a look.

January started out as it always does, with my birthday on January 2nd. This year, Susie and I celebrated my 71st trip around the sun with a much quieter celebration than my 70th had been, but we had hope for the future! It wasn’t long before we were both eligible for the Covid vaccine in New Jersey, and we made it our daily job to get appointments. Everyday we signed onto the app, and looked all over the state for appointments. With a little work, and a lot of patience, we both got an appointment for our first shots, me on Thursday, January 21st in Rio Grande, and Susie one week later on the 28th in Glassboro!

In February we continued to do take-out and take all precautions when we went shopping, and then on the 19th for me, and the 25th for Susie, we got Moderna shot #2! We were on our way!

First Night Back

Exactly two weeks after Susie got her second shot, on March 11th, for the first time since just before we went to Florida the end of January 2020, we ate inside at Angelo’s Restaurant in Atlantic City! We called this our “Coming Out Day” as we were now both fully vaccinated and could return to our regular Thursday hangout spot! Then on March 24th, we again were back inside at Charlie’s! It wasn’t our usual Tuesday night at the back bar with our friend Sue, but since the back bar still wasn’t open, it was the second best thing! We may have been back inside, but things were still strange at our favorite spots. No drinking or eating at the bar, masks and strict separation guides, but it was progress! March also saw the start of our kitchen renovations, with the installation of new quartz counters and a marble fireplace surround. The green was going away at 854 Pennlyn!

April was a banner month for us, as on the first weekend of the month, we journeyed to North Carolina to see our son and daughter-in-law, and our Grandkids for the first time since the end of January 2020! Over a year without seeing your Grandkids and being able to hug them when they are 6 and under is a long time for Grandparents! We continued our weekly visits to Charlie’s and Angelo’s, and also had a wonderful visit from our daughter Krissi and her husband Mike, for the first time since a very socially distanced visit in late August of 2020! Then towards the end of the month, we were again in North Carolina for a joint birthday party for our Granddaughter Layla (7) and her baby sister Annabelle (2)! Yes, life was returning to normal!!

The Birthday Girls

Just to prove that life was in fact coming back, after we left Billy and Lori’s, we didn’t head north, but rather south to visit our son Kenny and his husband Chris in Florida and see their new apartment in downtown St. Petersburg! It was a quick trip, spending 3 days in St. Petersburg, and then one in our beloved Indian Rocks Beach before heading north again! This time, we did something we hadn’t done when we ran home from Florida in March of 2020…we stopped in Darien, Georgia to once again enjoy the best fried shrimp we’ve ever had at B&J’s Steak and Seafood!

May saw us back on Long Island for the first time in over a year, as we took care of some Doctor visits, and then spent some great time with our dear friends Pat and Steve Grosskopf! From there we were off to New Rochelle and spending a night with Krissi and Mike at their new condo that we’d yet to see! Now we’d seen all our kids, our grandkids and checked out everything that was new in their lives! Life was getting more and more on track! Of course, May in our household would not be complete without celebrating the birthday of my beloved on May 28th! Susie claims that that birthday would be the last one she would celebrate, but I don’t know about that!!

June saw the island come alive, as many of our summer visitors arrived, ready to have summer fun in a place we are lucky enough to call home 365 days of the year! June also saw us refinancing our mortgage at an incredible 2.65% for a shorter term than we had left on the original! Incredible when you think that, when we’d bought our Mineola home in 1986, we’d started with a 13 3/4% loan!! On the 13th of the month, our son Bill flew up to Philly from Wake Forest, North Carolina with his two oldest kids, 7 year old Layla and 5 year old Henry. Within a couple of hours, Dad was back on a plane headed home, and Layla and Henry were in the car with Grandma and Grandpa heading to Ocean City! For the next 5 days, we got to spoil our Grandkids, and expose them to Ocean City, exactly like their Dad and Aunt and Uncle had been, way back in the 80s! We tried to do all the things we remembered doing with our kids, so our days were spent on the beach and boardwalk, playing mini golf, eating Hose Pizza (AKA Manco & Manco Pizza), picking out taffy at Shrivers, trying everything at the 34th street playground, enjoying the rides at Wonderland, and of course, all the beach activities like digging holes, flying kites and frolicking in the water. It was a great 5 days, but wait, there’s more!!

The end of their visit coincided with Father’s day weekend, and Susie and I loaded the car with Layla, Henry and all their new purchases, and headed down to Billy and Lori’s Lake House in Gaston, North Carolina. Coming via plane were our daughter Krissi and husband Mike, and son Kenny and his husband Chris! It was a huge D’Elia/Mikowicz/Fox Family Reunion/Father’s Day Weekend on the lake, and it couldn’t have been better! Yes, the world was starting to feel normal, and here Susie and I were with our three kids, their chosen partners, and our three beautiful Grandkids!

And that’s how the first 6 months of 2021 went for the D’Elias of Ocean City. Check back tomorrow to find out how we faired during the last six months of 2021!

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