I went to visit my Grandma in West Virginia after a long interruption to protect her from possible exposure to Covid-19. We spoke on the phone and she genuinely wanted to see me. My Uncle Rodney, who is her primary caregiver, was agreeable with me visiting. He told me no hugs or kisses, and to wear a mask. That was fine with me.
I did my own contact tracing in terms of asking, “Who all has been over there?” It was touching to hear my Grandmother say, “We don’t know what a visitor is anymore.” What would have been the 91st Smoot Family Reunion during the second weekend in August left a void of visitors in the Smoot Avenue hollow.
My Uncle and I were discussing the 2020 election. To make a long story short, it turned out they voted early for the primary, but not the general election. I went online to show him how my mail in ballot was received in Kentucky. No updates were found for him or my Grandma. The Boone County Courthouse was open for early voting. My 96-year-old Grandma was eager to cast her vote.
Being the photo person that I am, I had to capture this precious moment. A gentleman saw me taking selfies and what not. He asked if I wanted a photo together. Next, I asked one of the poll workers if I could take a photo of my Grandma being assisted by my Uncle.
Before we got home, I composed an email to the writer of the Coal Valley News, Phil Perry. The news spread like wildfire. Phil made a Facebook post that was shared on the Smoot Family Reunion page. A few days later, this is what my Grandma woke up to:
This absolutely made her day. Knowing that she exercised her right to vote, and to have the moment captured in the local newspaper was the cherry on top.
Another reward was being in the garden to reap the last crops of the season. I brought home a bag of bell peppers, collard, turnip, and kale greens.
Sometimes, it’s worth the risk! I am happy to say that everyone is safe and doing well.