I miss the days when having a Corona meant squeezing a lime wedge into the bottle and toasting to health and happiness.

That scenario likely would have unfolded on my back deck Sunday. Normally, we would have attended Palm Sunday Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Cape May in the morning and grabbed a few strands of palm to replace the ones that have been hanging in our house since last year. Instead, our son and daughter-in-law dropped some on our front step that they picked up from outside their church in Middle Township.

Breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House on Beach Drive - yes, it's Beach Drive and not Beach Avenue for anyone who's lived here for more than 30 years - would have been next. Karen and I eat there every Sunday morning, save for the six weeks or so in the winter when it's closed.

It's our way of thanking the O'Hara family for the way they've treated our son, Kyle, who started working there at age 15 and continued for the next 10 summers. And even though Kyle is now a 34-year-old successful attorney with a wife and two sons, he's been known to help out in the kitchen on occasion, serenading the servers with off-key country songs while making chocolate chip pancakes - my personal favorite - and omelets.

Once in a while, we get to eat with a celebrity. Two years ago, Oprah Winfrey and her beau, former Middle Township High School 1,000-point scorer Steadman Graham, sat in an adjacent booth. Actress/comedian Tina Fey is a frequent patron during her annual summer vacation to Cape May.

Uncle Bill's was closed on Sunday. Karen stepped up and made French Toast. There wasn't a celebrity in sight unless you count the episode of Jonathan and Drew Scott, otherwise known as the "Property Brothers," that was airing on HGTV.

Given the sunny, warm weather, there's a good chance I might have joined buddy Tom Shagren for 18 holes at Cape May National. I recently broke 80 for the first time in at least two years a couple weeks ago and would have loved to take another crack at it. Or at least try to to take Shag's dollar in our ongoing putting contest.

But Cape May National was closed on Sunday, along with the other courses in the state, though I still don't understand that line of thinking. As long as you're not riding in a cart and maintaining a six-foot distance from others, I don't see the harm in being outside and enjoying 18 holes.

Instead, I found myself in my backyard with a pitching wedge and half dozen Titleists. Karen suggested I chip them into one of the miniature soccer nets we bought for when Hampton (4) and Graham (almost 2) come to visit.

"But it's more fun to hit them over the hedges into our neighbors yard," I said. "And besides, I didn't come all the way out here to lay up."

I only broke one window. Which was OK because it wasn't one of ours.
The situation really hit home today.

Our daughter Ashley turned 37. Normally, birthdays in our family are celebrated with lively parties featuring good food, the retelling of legendary stories, an amazing cake baked by our daughter-in-law, kids running around on a sugar high, a few beers, glasses of wine and the traditional shots of tequila.

That's not happening this year. Ashley's cake was dropped off at the front step. Hampton and Graham sang Happy Birthday in a video.

Barring a sudden change, my birthday on April 19 will likely follow the same pattern. That key lime cheesecake just won't taste the same without the grandkids around. I'll probably be the only one having a tequila shot.

Maybe I'll also have a Corona.

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