We’ve been home bound since early March. Approaching three months. It’s been an amazing time. And although states have begun to “open up” there is a spike in infections and some return to lock down. Social distancing, masks, and hand washing could continue for months. Being retired our lives have changed but no where as drastically as for the millions of unemployed, those in poverty, homeless, in nursing homes. Their conditions and stories are tragic, frightening.
The national political divide is increasingly disturbing. I want to turn off the news but feel obligated to stay somewhat informed and aware of what’s happening. The Trump administration’s response from my perspective has been inadequate and at times ridiculous. I sometimes try to pull back and not be so critical but then Trump will do or say something that I find absurd. His behavior and decisions are consistently driven by his vision of re-election in November. I’ll avoid the specifics.
Our lifestyle change does make us appreciate the basics. It was a chilly wet spring, so building a fire in the wood stove Continued to be a treat, not just in February and March but as late as May. When it’s warm and the sun shine I totally enjoy my walks on the canal. Just sitting on the deck, the back yard or front porch is a delight. The chirping birds and budding trees. It’s not easy but I am trying to keep up with the garden. There are more greens from seed than we can eat. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are growing big. I was hoping Paul who cuts the grass would weed the back garden. He did and I sowed cucumber, bean and squash seed.
Mornings until about one when we have lunch (lots of garden salads now) are devoted to the daily routines, laundry, cleaning up a bit, walking, minor projects, sometimes cooking. In the afternoon I read, several books each month. I’ve blogged some but not all weeks. I do find writing, if only for myself, a release. Anxiety and minor depression has been limited, usually associated with the news or my feeling of helplessness. I don’t like to be out of control. I have read that it’s on the rise.
Coronavirus news this past month was outpaced by the protests, rioting and looting in cities across the country over the death of Floyd George in Minneapolis. The protests started there but spread rapidly. Philadelphia was a battleground of personal interest. I remember the aftermath of the King assassination here. The current pattern seemed to be that peaceful protests in the afternoon and early evening turn violent later when there were been curfews and strong police action. There were suspicions that the right or left wing (Trump accused Antifa) was responsible for the violence. We may never know? So much of this recalls the 1960s and early 1970s when one tragedy, crisis, frightening and saddening event followed another. The protests seemed to be youth, in some cities Whites (even more) and Blacks. Combine outrage against police brutality, our long history of racism. the lock down, unemployment, poverty and hunger and our current nightly news hasn’t been much of a surprise. Trump’s response to the protests became increasingly militant. Enough said.
Its sometimes hard to believe it’s July. Retired for six years. Some have been better than others. It’s hard to predict what lies ahead. Jenny decided to keep the Cape Cod reservations. If things seem totally safe maybe we will go but as of now that doesn’t seem a strong possibility. This may be the first year we spend the total summer in Yardley. There is plenty of cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of stuff that we need to do. We can take day trips, enjoy sitting on the deck and yard. I do need to break from the current routine. The beauty of summer has always been the break with routine. I’m thinking but don’t have a good plan yet. As Thoreau wrote, “How deep the ruts of tradition and conformity.”
I’ll try to get out of the rut and find that mix of tradition and change, the old and new, familiar and unfamiliar, that has characterized my better days, best summers and most exciting trips. A bit of serendipity never hurt.