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  • Alexa Kingaard

EVERYONE HAS A STORY - Week Ten

HAWAII – WEEK #10

May 2nd -May 8th

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

I feel like I’ve been going through withdrawal the last nine weeks. I have been so protected, nothing but neighborhood walks and a couple of beach and hiking excursions. My niece and nephew have not allowed me to venture into stores for food, sundries, or supplies since the second week in March. This week I was allowed to go to Costco!


I knew things had changed, that masks and social distancing were mandatory, but it was a sad and shocking difference that greeted me as I lined up in the midst of hundreds of other senior citizens forty-five minutes before the store opened. I felt like we were a weary group of pioneers, awaiting our turn to join a wagon train to start a new life out west. No one was impatient, they were all probably more accustomed to the new routine than I was, but there was a mass calm, heads down, into the cell phones, not many conversing with one another. The chatter I had always witnessed was silenced. I wondered if it might have something to do with the fact that you couldn’t see faces. It was a sea of masks and eyes, eerie - a scene from a Twilight Zone episode came to mind. How different will we be in the next year without being able to search a face, see a smile, react to a physical emotion? At home it’s different, of course, but the landscape stretched around the corner with faceless humans and I found it difficult to find a reason to celebrate that I was now allowed to enter the shopping world. Once I made it through the doors, I realized that gone was the “fun factory” that was once Costco. I had a mission to complete.


I am a great believer in pursuing that which brings you joy, and like millions of others, most of those favorite activities are no longer a part of our everyday world. I loved getting new outdoor cushions every year for the front porch from Home Goods; darting into a local coffee shop for a coffee to-go while running errands; hosting holiday celebrations for family and friends; filling the house with people on weekends; meeting my daughter for lunch; walking the sea wall, both for exercise and to simply mingle with the tourists; grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s; taking short vacations to just about anywhere; scheduling book signings at local coffee houses or book festival…and the list goes on.


Now, we all have an unprecedented amount of free time on our hands, and I would like to believe that I am ingenious enough to figure out how to fill those hours with new things that bring me joy. The old habits that have disappeared have begun to trouble me, they were all so ordinary and routine, not necessarily taken for granted, but I never thought that these simple pleasures would be ripped out from under me almost overnight. But now – time to build the raised garden beds I’ve been thinking about for the last five years, find a charity to which I can contribute remotely, learn to continue friendships from a safe distance, and wait for that day a vaccine is created and we can all move about more freely once again.


For every tragedy that has befallen the human race, there is always a rebound. Whether it be from natural disasters, like the Midwest Dust Bowl Drought in the 1930’s, the Irish Potato Famine in the mid-1800s’s, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes capable of wiping out entire cities in hours, or man-made situations that were the catalysts for war, stock market crashes, and political unrest, there is always a re-set button. Somehow, humanity finds a way to move past the horror and misfortune that has claimed their generation. Our planet will survive this demoralizing, crippling, situation as well, and the human spirt will eventually take hold and a new, perhaps better, mankind will emerge. Will I be around to see the full impact this part of World History writes? I hope so, but it’s not a given. What I do know – what I feel – is that it WILL be history, eventually.

Be well and stay safe, one and all!

UPSIDE

  1. I now have 30,000 words written for my third novel, MIRACLE

  2. The little one and I watch episodes of the Golden Girls together, every day. It’s lovely to see how she recognizes the older generation and the problems they encounter, like being widowed and looking for a job when you’re older. She’s a wise little girl, and loves that she lives with a real-life Golden Girl.

  3. I’ve walked hundreds of miles since I’ve been in quarantine, both daily and on recent hikes. I feel strong and fit, able to face whatever the unknown has in store for me in the near and distant future.



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