Parting Shot: Departure Lounge | January 2021 | COVID-19 Stories | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Parting Shot: Departure Lounge | January 2021

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Jennifer May and family in the Newark Airport terminal, on their move to Canada. - PHOTO BY CHRIS METZE
  • Photo by Chris Metze
  • Jennifer May and family in the Newark Airport terminal, on their move to Canada.

We moved from a place we loved to a place we also love and told very few people we were leaving. There were no goodbye parties. Chris didn't fire up the pizza oven he built one last time. He didn't smoke Applestone chickens in the smoker for guests from across town, Mt. Tremper, Montreal, and Brooklyn. We didn't take all the kids biking and picnicking at Wilson's State Park. I didn't roam through Woodstock and say goodbye to James at the Golden Notebook. I did make one last sandwich order at Provisions, but I didn't say goodbye to Emily. Eve offered to cook for us in her backyard, but the packing took too long; we had more stuff than we had estimated, and we were too tired, so we didn't do that, either. Chris called some friends and gave away art and sculptures. Abby arrived an hour after Chris emailed her, and I did get to say goodbye to her, outside, on the driveway. I sent a goodbye message to my friend Paul. I would have seen him at the Woodstock Farmers' Market, but since I didn't go all season, that didn't happen, either. We didn't visit New York City one last time before it would be so far away. Four weekends in a row, I set out a table beside our driveway with a sign: "Free Vintage and Modern: Plates, Platters, Glassware." I sat in my kitchen photo studio and watched the cars stop and people load up with the props I had collected over the years. I will now grow tomatoes, instead of photograph them. We bought goggles and masks for the airplane. We got our Canadian paperwork in order. Sight unseen, we found a place to live. And then we flew west.

Photographer Jennifer May moved to the Hudson Valley in 1998. In late October, she moved back to her native Canada with her family.

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