We’re an insular family living in an insular place.

During the past few months on Peaks Island, it’s been easy to forget we’re in the midst of a pandemic. Living on a dead-end dirt road, we haven’t been exposed to the daily sights of masks or near-empty cityscapes. During our walks in the woods, we rarely encounter other people or any reminders of worldwide change.

Nonetheless, it has been a difficult era.

From late March to early June, I worked part time at the paper, and stayed home four days a week with my sons, ages 12 and 7, to shepherd them through their remote learning, feed them, stay on top of the dishes and try to keep the house relatively tidy.

I’m not sure I succeeded. The kids did well on their report cards, but I languished in other areas, resorting too often to Campbell’s soup and cereal, and ceding ground to the thrice-daily battle with the dishwasher.

I also missed out at work. Whereas my colleagues were busy documenting the strange new world, I was often reading about it in the paper instead of witnessing it firsthand.

Beginning in March, my wife and I were ships in the night. Aside from evenings, we were apart. When she was working, I was home. When she was home for the weekend, I was working. We are best friends and spending more than two months without each other’s company on weekends was simply depressing.

In late May, I took a weekend off so the whole family could be together. On one of those days, we walked the perimeter of Peaks Island, where we live – a jaunt that is partly documented here.

During this walk, sweet Arlo, 7, commented, “We have not spent time together as a family in a long time.”

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