Life Thoughts During These Quiet Days

Observations from the field (but not the one that just had the manure spread in it)

Sparked by The Solitary Cook:

Yesterday (Monday April 6, 2020, Day Something-or-other of the Trump Pandemic) Deb had a chiropractor appointment. Was it a vital medical appointment? No, but the thing about routine appointments is that by keeping them routinely you hope to avoid making ones that are emergency. Because let’s face it, the ER is a place you do NOT want to be these days.

Her chiropractor’s office is not far from where she used to work.¹ Made sense when she started seeing him, and being able to scoot over right after work (or scoot over, get attended to, scoot back, depending on what sort of FUBAR day she was having) made sense. Now it’s a fair drive.² But! Once there, we’re also most of the way to the cemetary where Deb’s parents are buried. Traditionally, we leave Easter flowers³ on the grave; this year, obviously, that wasn’t going to happen. But since we’re basically mostly there anyway…

Deb called a local mom & pop nursery we like. Not only were they open, they had over-the-phone ordering with pull-in-and-pickup service; no human contact!⁴ Awesome, we ordered hyacinths (in Mom’s favorite color). We swing by, we pick up our order⁵, we’re on our way. We get Deb checked out at the doctor (she goes in wearing her mask, I stay in the car) and head to the cemetery, where we leave flowers and stones.

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Several years ago, we started leaving small stones behind when we visited. Amazingly, most are still there. (All photos by author.)

The cemetery was quiet, not surprisingly. Deb spotted eagles flying overhead, enjoying the thermals; that prompted a “Wouldn’t Mom have loved that?” observation. (She would have, if you’re curious.)

It was a wonderful spring day driving there and back. All the fruit trees are in flower (we passed several orchards) and other trees, such as willows, are greening up nicely. Being a rural area, spring is also the time to fertilize the fields, and we don’t mean chemical compounds from big-agra, we mean cow poop, folks! But Deb pointed out if we could smell it, we must not have COVID-19. (A bright-side looker, my wife, she is.)

We got home and had a surprise when we walked around our neighborhood (crossing the street to avoid contact when other walkers approached) — we found our ducks!

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Do we know for sure that this is the same pair who graced our backyard? No. But we can make up the story we like. And really, how many ducks wander into a neighborhood with no ponds, check out backyards, and then two blocks away find the local marsh/wetlands that’s barely visible from the air?

Might have been our ducks. We’ll just say they’re our ducks, okay? So, happy ending, we hope.

And then, this morning, we found we have snakes. Which we knew, but now we know where.

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The snake burrow (lair? den?) is about the middle of the photo on the right. Sometimes they pop up out of the rocks (see photo on left for Gary and one of her kids) or from the evergreen ground cover just above.

Morale-wise, we’re doing okay. Pretty much. Deb misses being in physical contact with her family, especially the upcoming fifth birthday party with our grandniece. My anxiety episodes are coming back more often, but with the Trump Pandemic in progress, the Trump Market Collapse on track to hammer our retirement investments (at least in the short term), and the Trump Recession looking like it could be perilous to family and friends, I think I’m entitled to the occasional moments of an invisible hand squeezing my chest, thank you. (And did I mention all the state liquor stores are closed? While local distilleries have switched over to hand sanitizer. 😭)

Oh, and Deb makes us get dressed like grown-ups. Every. Day.

Best wishes and hugs to you, dear Cook, giver of good advice⁶ and sympathizer of past hard times. We hope your daughter can come north soon and your son and his wife have success. Stay safe and stay well. 💚

¹Yes, at some point she’ll find someone closer, perhaps even in our county. Maybe after All This Is Over?

²I’ve been retired a little over three months, and already I’m amazed we used to make this drive. Every. Single. Day.

³Actually, strictly speaking, post-Easter flowers, because we’d get them at discount when roadside flower vendors put them on sale after Easter. (How are roadside vendors doing in your neck of the woods? Yeah, same here. Usually this time of year you couldn’t stick your hand out the passenger-side car window without it coming back with a fistful of Easter lilies, driving along any secondary road. Deb would roll down her window at stoplights so she could breath in the scent of lilies and hyacinths. This year… <sigh> The point is, no after-Easter sales.)

⁴Which amazed me, until I remembered the last time we were there, they “rang up” our sale on an iPad running Square. Mom & pop, meet the 21st Century… oh, you already know each other, never mind.

⁵On the honor system. Not surprising around here; when I moved to this area many years ago, I was astounded to find small roadside stands with produce, prices, and a money bucket where you were expected to leave the proper amount and make your own change as needed.

⁶Your suggestion, Cook, toasting the oat bran muffin bread? TOTALLY ROCKS! It’s like the entire slice is either crust or warm, gooey insides. Like muffins right our of the oven, but flat and with butter. Awesome.

Written by

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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