I just watched a show about polar bears on one of those animal channels, and I realized for the first time that we have a lot in common with these beasts of the Northland. The show featured a mother polar bear sticking her head out of her den to get the lay of the land. She returned to the comfort of her den minutes later, and each day more of her body emerged until she departed the den completely and walked around her neighborhood.

After I got my two shots of the vaccine, I too gingerly ventured forth from my house, and when my bride got her two shots plus two weeks, we also checked out our neighborhood. Whereas the polar bear had hibernated for only several months, we had hibernated for well over a year. The most significant difference between me and the polar bear is she lost a lot of weight during her hibernation, and I certainly did not.

At first my bride and I only got together with our adult children who had also been vaccinated. Words do not do justice to how I felt hugging my daughter after not seeing her for almost 15 months. Zooming is a very distant second to actually being with the people we love. 

Over time we have expanded our outreach to friends who have been vaccinated. How exhilarating it is to have breakfast with the guys on Saturday mornings, or for me and my bride to break bread with good friends whom we haven’t seen in so long. 

We continue to be careful. We only dine outdoors and wear masks whenever it makes sense, but being with friends helps us to forget this past horrible no good year.

This gradual return to normalcy has had a dramatic impact on my savings. For most of the past year I spent little money on dining out or anything else for that matter.  Each month I would pay my credit card bill, but there was not much to pay. I checked my most recent credit card bill, and my getting out of hibernation has been so costly that I decided to buy Visa stock.

Spring has sprung so I hope you are all getting out of hibernation. Let’s enjoy our new found freedom!

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