Pandemic Albums: Smiling through all of the darkness

Looking back at the last two years through pictures

My family and I playing four square on the beach in Maine.

Zoe Manousos, Assistant Sports Editor

Thinking back to March of 2020, I remember living a relatively simple life. However, with all of the madness going on in the world and everyone stuck in their houses, my family found ways to have a good time despite being trapped in isolation. 

I have a total of four sisters ranging in age from 16 (me, the youngest) to 22, which made living the pandemic life pretty fun. After watching what felt like every TV show and movie ever created, we started thinking of different things to do. We decided to think back to our elementary school days and we came up with the idea of four square. 

For about five months we played four square every single day. We would bring a speaker out and we’d draw the squares with chalk in my driveway. We would play until the sunset just laughing and trying to have fun while being isolated at home. 

Once summer finally rolled around the corner, my family left for our annual trip to York Beach in Maine. We introduced four square to our whole extended family and we played all together on the beach with the squares drawn in the sand. I have cousins around my age that played, but my adult-aged cousins, aunts and uncles all played together. It reminded me of the early pandemic days and all of the fun I had.  

I am at my happiest point when I am with my sisters. During the scary isolation period at the start of the pandemic, we were always there for each other. We would often take drives and go watch the sunset with the music blasting on full volume. 

Besides my sisters, my two dogs, Hali, a yellow lab, and Pi, a black lab, have helped my family get through this pandemic. They instantly boost my mood just by snuggling with me on the couch or when we would all go on long walks in the woods early on in the pandemic.  

Earlier this fall, when the COVID-19 cases were down, I went to my cousin’s wedding in Denver, Colorado. It was one of the bigger events I have attended since the start of the pandemic. I was only gone for a weekend, but I was so happy to be traveling again. It was one of those moments I will remember forever. My whole extended family reunited together after almost two years apart, but it felt like no time had passed. That was one time when life finally felt “normal” again. 

After everything that has happened these past two years, I’ve learned one important lesson: cherish the people and the times that make you happy. The simple things like sisters, four square, dogs and family can bring so much joy. There’s been a lot of negativity and scary things that have happened these past couple of years, but it has helped me to realize I should never take advantage of a time when I am smiling.