Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Circling, and Coming Full Circle


Strawberry Irish Cream Milkshake, cool off with a refreshing adult beverage, perfect for parties, cookouts, or after any hot summer day. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cocktail

I lost a year, and in the process regained a day.
I feel like I'm owed a year. Thirteen months to be exact. From the end of March 2020 through April 28, 2021, Covid induced couch potato style seclusion was my norm. 

I don't want to sound insensitive. I know how many people died during that time. I personally know people who got sick. Really, really sick. What I did was a choice, an informed decision, a minor sacrifice in the scheme of things.

Fortunately, I'm someone who can find things to amuse myself (like this blog) at home, I'm not one of those people who have to be going somewhere every minute. I'm not saying it was easy, there were many times I wanted to go do something, felt caged when I remembered I couldn't, and why. Being in a denier state made it so much more difficult because being out meant being in jeopardy. It also made it easier, there was no decision to be made, my personal environment and my state's politics meant if I wanted to be safe, I had to be proactive. Being proactive meant that I, and my immediate family, mostly had to shelter in place.

But one of the results is that I feel as though I lost a year of my life. Everything, almost everything, has been in a holding pattern. Like an airplane circling the airport waiting for a safe time to land, I feel as though I'd been circling my own life, waiting for a safe time to reengage. 

Circling, and Coming Full Circle (a year lost, but a day regained) | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #life

Today is the first day of June. I love this month. The weather is comfortable, the trees have greened, my flowers are blooming, and I can spend time outdoors. 

But last June first? What was I doing then? Was I appreciating the change in weather? Spending time outdoors? I don't know. I really don't. From the middle of March 2020 until April 28th, there are few days that stand out. In 13 months, I can barely remember many that mattered, actually had an identity of their own. I read, I wrote, I cooked and I baked. I watched what little sports I could find that interested me, found out through binge watching why everyone was talking about Schitt's Creek, talked and texted and PMd, watched and then avoided the news. Pretty much every day. Each running into the next. Mimicking each other in a profoundly monotonous way.

Until April 28th. 

There are dates we all remember, and April 28th was always one for me. After suffering from and fighting through infertility, my first IVF resulted in a pregnancy. My due date was April 28th. Although I lost that pregnancy, the date has stayed with me all of these years. Initially about hope, April 28th had come to signify loss. 

This year, however, April 28th came full circle, shoving loss aside to once again make space for hope. It was on that day that I hit my personal optimal immunity. I was 2 weeks past my second Covid vaccination and I was free. On April 28th. I went out and spent the day doing what in my past life would have been normal mundane errands, chores actually. But this year, on this day, they were a gift, a first tangible manifestation of hope.

On that day, I took the list that had been growing over the last 13 months, of items I hadn't been able to shop for, off of my kitchen desk and tackled it with vigor. I went from store to store, not a sprint but a marathon. I did still mask and social distance, but I also looked and I inspected and I chose and I bought.

I admit, in the spirit of full disclosure, that the majority of the list was alcohol, but don't judge, it'd been a long hard year. I had been able to get most staples, even alcohol like beer and wine in my weekly grocery order, but specialty liqueurs like Limoncello, Chambord, Grand Marnier, Bailey's Strawberries and Cream, those had been languishing on my shopping list for a long time.

Strawberry Irish Cream Milkshake, cool off with a refreshing adult beverage, perfect for parties, cookouts, or after any hot summer day. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cocktail
Strawberry Irish Cream Milkshake
Yes, I feel as though I lost a year. No matter how I view that stretch of time, I won't get it back, none of us will, of course. Those days will forever be, for the most part, a long, continuous, monotonous, emotionally challenging, stressful) blur.
But there is also this: 

Although I don't remember June 1st last year, can't specifically remember most days over the last year, I will remember today. Like coming out of a dark cave after an extended hibernation, everything old became new again. And I appreciate it all, these everyday days with no special meaning, no previous significance. I appreciate what I can do today, even the errands, even the chores, even the uninteresting, uneventful routine. 

There is comfort in the mundane, and there is solace in the return to it. 

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Strawberry Irish Cream Milkshake         


Printable Recipe

8 oz strawberries
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 cup Strawberries and Cream Liqueur
1/4 cup Irish Cream Liqueur
1 cup vanilla caramel swirl ice cream (can substitute, vanilla, coffee, or strawberry ice cream)
2 TBSP honey
OPT: whipped cream, strawberries, and/or caramel sauce to garnish
*Hull and chop the strawberries, mix with the sugar and set aside for 1/2 hour.
*Pour both liqueurs into a blender. Add the strawberries and their juices. Blend until smooth.
*Add the ice cream and honey to the blender. Blend again, until incorporated.
*OPT: to serve, garnish with whipped cream, strawberries, and/or caramel sauce.


  1. Space for hope...we all hope so, because there is one big pent up population out there and I saw some of it just visiting a college town an hour from me yesterday. The crowds! The joy! The lack of parking.... Life can be strange, the way it works, that a formerly sad anniversary in your life can be the same date as such a hopeful thing years later (being fully vaccinated against something we never could have imagined). Your recipe sounds so good. I'd have to make it without the alcohol, but I know it would still be good. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. Yes, I do hope those of us going out there more freely are being surrounded by others who've been vaccinated. The vaccination only protects us to a point, we still need others to do their part.

  2. We live to live. We love to love. We eat to live. And we hang in there, because we have no choice. Happy June.

  3. Only half of me is vaccinated. Still waiting for the other half. ;) But feeling more hopeful and energized.
    I have felt the same way. Caught in a slowly-turning tide that kept me from ever reaching the exit. But I feel that, during all this time, I have slowly been growing underground. I've learned things I'd never have learned any other way. I've done things I never thought I could do. Now that the sun is out and the exit is near, I feel...excited. For the first time in 13 months. Here's to my 'April 28th'. It will be glorious!

    1. Yes, can't wait to hear that you're fully vaccinated too. Although I have to admit that I'm still taking quite a few precautions.

  4. My family are against me getting the vaccine now, they want me to wait

    1. I hope you decide to protect yourself, but whatever you decide, I hope you stay safe.

  5. My experience is the opposite, as someone who had to keep working so my elderly clients could stay home and stay safe. My days are a blur, they are just plain busy!

    1. I know you kept both working and volunteering. I'm glad you were able to stay safe.


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