Today I don’t want to write about the pandemic — how it is raging in this country with almost as many new cases here as in the next four countries combined, how it is now more dangerous to go to the store in Texas than in Bangladesh, or how the administration has given up trying to do anything about it and too many people still think it is a liberal hoax. I don’t want to write about the deep and cynical corruption of the top layer of our government while the career government workers strive to keep their faith in a system designed to serve the people. I don’t want to write about the assault on the rule of law by those very people who have sworn to uphold it. I don’t want to write about the destruction of our home planet, the trauma of caged children, the brutality by too many people and too many systems, of the millions of unemployed or the millions facing eviction at the end of summer.
Instead, I want to write about the small, insignificant day-to-day of my life and the lives of those around me even though I know that I write from a place of privilege — privileged by my European heritage in America, privileged by having enough money to live on (for now), privileged by my good health (so far), privileged to live in a state that is managing the virus pretty well (with an infection rate less than a quarter of Florida’s). I write from a place of relative safety.
When Andrea and I were first together, we shared the cooking. But it soon became evident how very limited was my repertoire and how much I struggled to do even that. Andrea took over the cooking and I took over the scullery duties. I still make breakfast, but Andrea manages the other meals.
Several years ago she put us on the blood-type diet. Both of us are type O, and that means, essentially, no dairy, no wheat, no potato, no corn, and no pork. Soon, we both felt better and each of us lost ten pounds without even trying. Gradually, though, as with most diets, we got less and less strict about it. And with more limited choices during the shutdown, we abandoned it altogether. Now Andrea has put us back on that diet, and we both are feeling better.
We had another business meeting, this time in Andrea’s brother’s backyard. It was productive, helpful, and fun. We got quite a bit done. It was good to work together after these months of isolation.
A friend has invited us to spend a week with him at his lakeshore cabin. We’re delighted, and ordinarily we would jump at the opportunity — to spend the time at the lake and with him — but with covid, we don’t know if we will. It’s probably safe, but neither of us wants to get the virus or unwittingly give it to someone else. Even if it didn’t kill us, it just sounds like a terrible thing to go through, and some people have long-term, lingering effects. And even here in Oregon cases are increasing — 22% last week (Florida increased 38%, and Idaho next door increased 43% in a week, but 22% is still a lot). At this point we’re not sure we’ll go, despite how much we’d like to.
People ask us if we have travel plans for the summer. For us, just going 30 miles away has become a big deal, with advanced planning and a certain amount of worrying. And of course most countries in the world are closed to US visitors until we as a country can get a handle on the pandemic. And there’s little sign that will happen anytime soon. But I don’t want to write about that today.
It is finally summer here. This is a beautiful part of the world.
My 7 year-old grandson is taking a programming course. I’m delighted he’s interested, and I’m delighted there are courses designed to engage kids that young. He’s learned how to make a virtual head of broccoli blow up. I’m jealous. I never learned how to do that.
I’ve begun working on my book again — a memoir that is the basis of a movie that was filmed here last year. I have what I think is a good lead to an editor for the book (thanks Liz!) and am hopeful for it once again. And after an interruption, work on the movie is going forward. It’s all hopeful, and hope has been hard to find these past months.
I wish you are able, too, to find hope.