By Lisa Schwartz
Are you sick and tired of winter, of being stuck indoors, nowhere to go, no physical contact, no family and friend gatherings? If so, we recommend our new social phenomenon called “driveway drinking,” started serendipitously with a surprise knock on our front door from good friend and Ethical Culture member Sue Kirschenbaum and her partner, Shu.
Sue and Shu had been cross-country skiing and were bundled up for the cold. We, on the other hand, were lounging around the house in our sweats, walking in circles, bumping into each other to get in our daily Fitbit steps, our latest boring obsession during these Covid winter days! A visit from friends was a welcomed surprise! We chatted a few minutes at the door until Sue said, “Want to come out for a while?” Hmmm! In pre-Covid/pre-snow-covered deck times we would have met indoors or on our back deck with outdoor heater, enjoying a glass of wine or two or three! Longing for in-person social contact, I eagerly said, “Sure, we’ll sit in the driveway.” Ron had a look of “Are you nuts?” But, starved for camaraderie, we quickly bundled up, got chairs out of the garage, and sat masked, socially distanced and covered head to toe in a small patch of cleared driveway. After some time, wine and snacks were needed, so there we were, happily freezing, drinking, and snacking in the driveway.
A week later, Susan Lesh and David Bland, hearty souls that they are, stopped by in 15-degree wind-chill temps with Sue’s homemade killer Bailey’s Irish cream and other goodies in hand as they waddled into our driveway literally covered head to toe. A Facebook friend said they looked like refugees from the Witness Protection Program! What fun! Passersby stopped to chat in what reminded us of the “old days,” when people sat on front porches and casually met with their neighbors, albeit in more friendly weather!
One of the lessons Covid has taught us is just how very important community and social interaction are. Zoom has been wonderful, but nothing replaces in-person contact. We are all longing for it. So, if you have warm clothing, a hearty soul, and want to join us for “driveway drinking” (and snacking), give a call!
Lisa Schwartz is a longtime member of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County.