EVERYONE HAS A STORY - Week Eight
April 18 – April 24
WHAT I WOULDN’T DO FOR A STARBUCK’s
Even Facebook has quieted down. Seems like folks are tiring of posting pictures of sunsets, their pets, and mid-afternoon snacks while waiting for life to return to normal, or semi-normal. The news is creating a divided nation, like we weren’t already, when this is the time we should all be working together to listen to the health experts, and follow the guidelines of the governors who are doing their damnest to protect us. Even if it is not perfect, and we will have 20/20 hindsight when we have been given the “all clear,” I believe we have to understand that even when we go back to work, our world will not be the same as it was three months ago. It’s not gonna happen, but hopefully, the level playing field these last months have created - the realization that money cannot outrun the virus, and that we are all susceptible to this invisible enemy - will reduce the adulation of people who don’t deserve our praise, money will not be our god, and lack of it will not define our humanity.
Sunday morning I woke early, as usual, before the sun came up. It makes for a long day, but I enjoy the solitude before the rest of the household comes to life. From the moment I opened my eyes, I was overcome with a sense of melancholy. I read the COVID Update from the New York Times, and felt even worse. Then I started scrolling through my photos, taken last summer, winter, fall, and a couple years back. Who would have thought that these occasions where we simply visited and enjoyed each others’ company would become distant memories and the phrase, “Do you have any plans this summer,” would be stricken from our conversations? FaceTime and phone calls are not replacements for hugs and kisses, and I wonder when and if I will ever see my children or siblings again. Talking to each other is great, but there is nothing quite like that cup of coffee at a favorite coffee shop, a light lunch on an outdoor patio across from the beach, or a Happy Hour at an over-crowded pub on Friday afternoon. I don’t miss extravagance, which was never really a part of my everyday life, but the little things, when $20 in your wallet begets a thousand dollars worth of joy just by being around people you care about. Yes, definitely a melancholy mood…it will lift…I just need a day or two to get it out of my system.
And then… a text from my niece. She and my nephew had found a hiking trail miraculously open to the public, but their little one didn’t want to join. So I stayed behind with her, watched her lounge in the wading pool playing with Barbies, striking mermaid poses, and splashing around until she tired of the activity. The text said, “Want Starbucks?”
Did I want Starbucks??? Yes! I’m easy to please, and even though I already had my afternoon coffee, I couldn’t resist a tall Pike Place, with a splash of half & half, and a straw…please. I think I’m the only person I know who drinks hot coffee from a straw. Minutes later, they waltzed through the back door, my niece’s face – crestfallen. She set three drinks on the counter. “I dropped your coffee…it’s all over the garage floor…I’m so sorry.” I wasn’t mad, of course, this was perfect, because now I knew there was a drive-through Starbucks I might be able to visit every once in awhile. Suddenly, the melancholy mood lifted.
I try to walk at least tree miles a day, sometimes solo, other times with the whole family. When I am alone, I contemplate the big picture and what my destiny might be. I’ve given up trying to make choices because of the unpredictable nature of this virus and the lack of hard facts needed to come to an intelligent conclusion. The decision making process, at least for me, left the building weeks ago. This new life that I am confronted with, and confounded by, is slow to unfold a plan. But like all the citizens of the world, I am practicing the art of being patient, and I cling to the hope that this will not last beyond what our human natures, economic consequence, or ability to survive can endure.
In the meantime, I was surprised one afternoon when my nephew came home early from work and asked if I wanted to go for a ride!!!! He didn’t have to ask twice. We piled into the truck and drove down the coast a bit to an area where many locals call home. It was my first time out of our neighborhood in over a month! I took pictures from a moving truck, through the windshield, and was able to capture the glory of that afternoon. If you didn’t know better, you would think I was a well-traveled tourist, visiting all the islands at my leisure. No one would ever suspect, looking at these photos, that we were in the middle of a never-before-seen situation that was changing our world forever.
My son created the most beautiful blog layout for my website. He doesn’t have to work so hard for me, yet he always does.
I love family dinners, and what I will miss the most when I return home.
There’s no turning back now…my niece and nephew have to allow me to go to a drive-through Starbucks, even if they must chaperone me to make sure I wipe everything down first.