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The other day our daughter came by to visit. We haven’t seen her since Christmas. She’d had a particularly difficult day and wanted to see us. Since it was fairly warm and pleasant, and COVID-19 news says outside meetings are safer than indoors, we said we could sit in the driveway and chat, since our patio furniture was still covered up.

Just as they arrived my husband and I were going out to measure some flower beds for raised planters so I wouldn’t have to bend over to plant vegetables. When we’d finished measuring we came back to the driveway and began talking about where to sit, since we’d realized the patio wall, which had been built at seating height, and one metal bench nearby were available as seating. Our daughter and son-in-law decided they would prefer to sit in their cushioned car seats and finish the take-out meal they’d bought on the way over.

Her dad, with a big grin, stood very far away from their car, whipped out his long, metal tape measure, and started adjusting the distance between us and the car. His grin got bigger as our laughter got louder. When he got to a 6–foot distance from the car door, our daughter burst into uncontrollable giggles. It felt good to hear her laugh, since I knew the morning hours had been especially trying for her. Her dad thought he’d get a snicker from her, but was pleased his antics gave her so much happiness.

Then she took a picture, which she turned into a meme.

Before you ask, our driveway isn’t as steep as the photo. She angled the camera. However, the driveway does have quite a slant to it. I do have to be careful not to propel myself too quickly from a seated position, lest I hurtle down the drive, but it’s not as precipitous as the picture makes it appear.

We sat in the driveway talking for about an hour and a half. Neighbors walked in their family groups, calling out greetings. Children biked up and down the street. The people across the way lit their fire pit, filling the air with a summer wood -grill scent. At some point in the conversation, we remembered it was my sister-in-law’s birthday. I pulled out my cell phone, dialed her up, and we sang “Happy Birthday.

It was rather strange singing full volume, in the driveway, to someone on the east coast, but it was definitely a memorable moment. We missed our normal family Christmas last year with the birthday girl. We missed Easter with our daughter and son-in-law and our best friends, and we’ll probably miss our traditional gatherings for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and future birthday celebrations this year because of COVID-19. But our COVID-19 driveway family visit lifted our spirits.

Our daughter posted the story and meme on her Facebook page with this note: “Remember that while we can’t do it all, we can always do something. And we never know just what that something might mean to someone else… it could end up being their everything.”

I’m not sure I’d want to make driveway family visits a new tradition, but I must admit it was good seeing my daughter and son-in-law. We talk or text nearly every day, but it’s not the same thing as a face-to-face visit.

Now, if we could only hug again, it would be cause for a true celebration.

What about you? In what new ways are you keeping in touch with family?

Speaking of family—check out Catherine’s award-winning comedy, with a touch of drama, A Groom for Mama.

A Groom for Mama

By Catherine Castle

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.


Available at Amazon. Barnes and Noble


About the Author:

Multi-award winning author Catherine Castle loves writing. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Follow her on Twitter @AuthorCCastle, FB or her blog.