Someday, 2020 will make sense. As the year draws to a close, there are a few pre-pandemic “lasts” to remember.
Last movie at a movie theater: “1917” on Feb. 2 — Glad I saw it in a theater on a big screen. At the theater I often go to, there is rarely a big crowd for the movies I want to see (and by then “1917” had been out for a while).
Last meal in a restaurant: Le Colonne Restaurant at the Hilton Hotel at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport on March 11 — The food was fine — I can’t remember what we had, but tables had been spread apart for social distancing, and there were diners at only about four other tables. We were only there to be sure to get our morning flight out of Rome, leaving the country early as more and more flights were being canceled, including our flights out of Genoa.
Last workout at the gym: Feb. 29 — I did some warmups and cooldowns, with a 5K run on the indoor track in between at a time of 33 minutes and 22 seconds
Last day working in person at the office: Tuesday, March 3.
We rescued Vesta when she was 7 years old in 2009. She never liked having her photograph taken (she often ducked her head or walked away when a camera came out), so this is a rare portrait of her sitting calmly. We named her Vesta, the Roman goddess of hearth, home and family, for she was the warm center of our home life. Though we most often called her “Vesta,” and we didn’t correct people when they called her “Vespa,” we also called her “Vester,” “Vestela,” “Vesta-girl,” “Wag-a-muffin,” “Good girl,” “Little One,” “Wagster,” and many more. And though these words can’t say enough, she was a good dog, a close companion, and loving friend.
This is Vesta. She is a dog. Despite what Google says about her.
I recently uploaded some photos to Google Photo Backup. One thing it does is automatically group images with similar content and then label them things like “Food” or “Flowers” or “Beaches.” There’s even a “Dogs” one, which features plenty of photos of my dog. And then today I discovered a new one, also featuring my dog. Here it is:
When I was a little kid, this book seemed to be more my older brothers’ speed. It was longer. It was more complex, and it had a sense of danger about it that I didn’t truly understand as a young reader. When I finally did read the book, I thought it was really cool. I felt like I accomplished something, and I couldn’t understand what had made me apprehensive about reading it in the first place.
I got to write a little bit about ZZ, our family dog who died a few years ago and whose ashes we have saved. The article is called “A human need to say farewell to pets,” and is more about readers’ comments on the web about a funeral home planning to offer pet funerals and cremations than about my dog. But it was nice to see his photo in the paper. You can see a video about ZZ here.
Anyway, ZZ died a few months shy of his 19th birthday, about six months after the photo of him was taken.
I’ve just been thinking about the little guy today and missing him.