Tracy Goldizen mug

Last week was a nice break from reality. I took a few days off work, as my family has been begging me to do for months now.

It was hard to do, though, with COVID-19 striking and all the coverage that entailed. Following developments with the school district kept me busy at work as well, as closures, return to learn and the superintendent search left no shortage of angles to cover.

But last week provided a good opportunity. I was between the print and distribution process on one of our magazines, the Ottumwa Life that comes out this weekend, and had not yet started on our next magazine, the annual Senior Resources Guide. I took it.

I spent my mornings sleeping in and eating a leisurely breakfast with a nice cup of coffee. Colin and I would cuddle up on the couch for a bit of TV and a board or card game, then it was time to work out and get some chores done.

I took some time for some self-care, too, something that’s highly touted with the exercise programs I follow. I had a hair appointment and decided to treat myself to a mani-pedi as well. It’s so nice to take time like that for myself once in a while.

We also got caught up on some appointments. The boys both went in for their annual checkups, and even the dog wasn’t spared. He got brought in for some booster shots and a toenail clipping.

Thursday, if you asked Colin, was the highlight. He’s been begging me ever since it opened for the summer to go to The Beach. Thursday was the day. We invited one of his friends along, and off we went. Colin and his friend did about everything there is to do there — except hitting the kiddie area. They went down about every slide, hit the wave pool and tackled the obstacle course inside. I went with them to about everything, except the speed slide. I put my feet in, looked down and self-preservation sunk in. Instead, I went down the curly slide.

I also spent part of the week in the kitchen, trying a couple new recipes and preparing a recently discovered meatloaf recipe. I doubled it and froze one loaf, and Colin actually didn’t mind the new cheesy cauliflower recipe I tried out. The homemade, “healthier” General Tso chicken was a big hit as well.

The past few days back have been a game of catchup. I had a couple hundred emails to go through — my coworkers had been checking them, but there was still a lot to go through anyway.

It’s also been time to hit the Senior Resources Guide. I’ve spent time this week brainstorming story ideas and finding directions to go with them. It’s definitely a new challenge this year in the era of COVID-19.

One note on the Ottumwa Life coming out this weekend: While working on the story of Centerville’s Pancake Day, our writer had been told the pageant would be held even if the rest of the event was canceled. We got word last week that both were canceled, but the magazine had already been sent out for printing and had yet to be delivered for distribution. However, the history of the event in the story is still very interesting, and my mom, a native of Centerville, always spoke fondly of it.

Recommended for you