It’s been 113 days in relative quarantine. We’ve taken a few baby steps out into the world, but have remained extremely cautious. I’ve written about it plenty of times in this blog…it feels like everyone has their own idea about the pace to normalcy and what exactly is normalcy in this particular moment.

No doubt, we are all tired of COVID and tired of isolation and limitations it has put on our lives. That being said, I am definitely in the camp of people who hate that stuff a lot less than I hate the idea of getting sick, seeing my family get sick, or worse.

But the fact is that the virus will be here for a while, and we have to learn how to navigate this new reality as safely as possible. To be clear, this does not mean I think we shrug and just accept it, leading life as it was before. I think what it means is finding safe ways to do do some of the things we used to do…not all…and protect ourselves as best as humanly possible.

It is with all that preamble that I reach the point of saying that we are about to take a larger step. We have been discussing it it for a few weeks, and we’ve decided to pack up the car and take a road trip to Wisconsin to see family.

This was a year that was supposed to be filled with fun family trips, and all that has changed. We cancelled a trip to Hawaii in March, when the shutdown first began. My brother and sister-in-law to be had to postpone the wedding they had planned for May. And my sister and brother-in-law had to cancel a big family trip to Tennessee to celebrate their anniversary, which is something all of us had been looking forward to for almost two years.

Everyone has faced challenges, crushing disappointment and worse this year. It’s been tough, and while we are playing it safe, a few weeks ago we began to wonder if we should try to make a trip to see the Wisconsin Schneiders.

My niece, Ashley, is one of many young people who had to deal with the disappointment of seeing her senior year of high school transform into something unrecognizable. She couldn’t have the same kind of graduation that most of us got to have. She is having an outdoor party later this week, so we thought this might be the time to take a careful, if big, step and make the trek from Colorado to Wisconsin to support her and offer our congratulations in person.

Anyone who has been reading this, or who has ever spoken to me for more than five minutes probably knows I am a nervous nellie, so I have at times had hesitations about making the trip. I’ve been monitoring infection rates on interactive maps and at least things have remained steady, both in the counties where we live  and where we are going.

We checked out the hotels we need to stay at on the journey, and asked about their cleaning protocols. We are staying with family who are taking similar precautions, and we will most definitely be making liberal uses of our masks and washing hands a lot. We take nothing lightly, but we do think it’s important to see family, especially in times like these.

So onward we will go. The packing process began on Monday night.

Stay tuned, the Schneider Quarantine is hitting the road. I suppose it’s like any 1970s or 1980s sitcom. After a few seasons, when the storyline got stale, they would take the characters on a trip somewhere. The Brady Bunch went to Hawaii and to a ghost town. Laverne and Shirley went to Los Angeles. The castaways on Gilligan’s Island…well, they stayed on Gilligan’s Island.

After 113 episodes, maybe the Ps and Qs blog needs a little shaking up, too. By old time sitcom rules, you either take a trip or you introduce another cute kid. So we’ll be taking a trip.

More to come as preparations begin. Right now I have to find another suitcase to fill with disinfectant and hand sanitizer.