This is a very belated “Christmas” post, in that it’s now January and our tree has already been composted—unlike many tree hauling folks, we don’t have to bike our tree anywhere but to our home, because San Francisco offers curbside composting for trees. But despite another unwelcome year of pandemic, it’s over a decade now of picking up our tree by bicycle: Year 11, baby, a palindrome.
Bike-related news is that we sold the Bullitt, which our kids had definitely outgrown—our son, at age 16 and over 6 feet tall, is now the tallest person in our family—to another family with younger children earlier in 2021. For the first time in several years, we brought our tree home on a longtail, our Tern GSD. The GSD, alas, has gotten a lot less use than we anticipated when we bought it to take our daughter to school near Matt’s office downtown.
We’ve all been vaccinated, with our daughter just squeaking into eligibility, a few weeks before vaccines were approved for ages 12+. We thought that that promised more time out in the world; that only sorta kinda happened. We went to Los Angeles in July, just in time for mask mandates to return because of rapidly increasing case counts. Since then, well, we’ve been boosted. We realized that our vacations are probably going to involve visiting parks for the foreseeable future—in the second half of the year we visited both North Cascades National Park and Yosemite. Unlike last year, both kids are back to in-person school and glad to be there. I’m still teaching remotely, Matt’s still working remotely.
When I return to in-person work, it will be at my new office, a few blocks straight uphill from home, and as a result, a walking commute. When Matt returns to in-person work, it will be in Oakland; his new office is right above a BART stop. Our daughter, once vaccinated, started taking Muni on her own to school with her friends who live nearby; she has no further interest in riding on the back of the bike. The only person in our family potentially taking a bike for daily commuting in the foreseeable future will be our son, who is expected to graduate from high school in June and wants a bike he can ride to college next fall. He volunteered this, which I found unexpected after he gave up bicycles for Muni when he started middle school. Go figure!
And as always, there’s more pandemic. Our cloth masks are long gone, replaced by KN95s and KF94s; at work, N95s and face shields are now required for people who still go to campus. San Francisco is handling (another) surge pretty well by national standards, but everyone is exhausted (me too, and my kids are old enough now mostly take care of themselves; I know it’s much worse for people with younger children). Outside of the pandemic, we also had a generally terrible year. I won’t say things can’t get worse, because of course they can. But I hope they get better.