Randy and Katy Smelser

Americans living in Germany but citizens of heaven

In the Corona Era - Travel


November: The trip to the States went by very fast. We were thankful we made it to the USA. It was a small window of opportunity and may not have another chance in a long time.
After a couple of days in a hotel taking walks outside and making sure we were not carrying any unwanted viruses with us, we went to see my mom. She and her husband had moved to memory care for his sake. While we were, at first, not sure if we would be allowed to see them, in the end we got to visit 4 times. We stayed at their house and worked at sorting and clearing. It was a start.

We then flew and drove to Katy’s mom. The whole family got together for a memorial service for Katy’s father, Bob VanLew, who had passed in June. There were a couple of things we could do for Harriet and spending time with her and Katy’s side of the family was super.
We then flew home with a 9 hour layover in Amsterdam because all flights from Amsterdam to Hannover but one are no longer flying. While we were in the Amsterdam Airport my brother wrote that he had Corona. It had been nine days since we had seen him. At the Washington D.C. airport we were asked if we had been in contact with anyone who had Corona. If we had known about my brother a few hours earlier we would not have been allowed to fly. After Washington no one asked us about it. When he contacted us he had just got the results and we should have been home by the original tickets.

When we got home we went into quarantine until we could take the Corona test, get the results and get an okay from the county health office. So we did things in the house and in the yard while we waited. After 10 days we were released and then it was back to “normal”.


October: We fly on the 8th. Things seem to change a couple of times a week. We will have some days of quarantine and take a test, then off to my mother. She just moved into assisted living for her hubby’s sake. The whole VanLew family will be gathering for a memorial service for Katy’s dad who passed in June. Then back to Germany and 5 days quarantine and test or is it 14 days without a test or 10 days no test allowed. Well, it depends on the day.


September: Corona keeps us on our toes. Everything is in flex. We are trying to make plans for a trip to the USA in October to visit our mothers and brothers. A memorial service is being planned for Katy’s father, Bob VanLew. It will be good for the whole family to have closure. My mom will be moving into care for/with her husband, Charles. We had flights but one was cancelled only 3 days after we got our tickets.


June: The last couple of days Katy and I have been looking at possibilities for a trip to the States. Flights are few and take over nights in airports if leaving from Hanover Airport and they do not fly anywhere near East Tenn. Then there is still the quarantine of two weeks when you fly into the States. Of course coming back here it is the same all over again with no flights or bad connections and quarantine. What would have been a possibility 4 months ago is now out of the question.

We started looking when we heard that Katy's father was going put into the hospital and then hospice. He died a few days later and even if we had flown the minute he went into the hospital we would not have gotten out of quarantine in time. There will be a memorial when we can travel again.