I don’t collect things like I may have in the past. I prefer to travel light now. The few things I hang on to are family photos and a few special greeting cards or letters. If you have a lot of stuff it adds to the clutter in your house and in your mind.
The name of the wind that blows off the Sahara to Africa and the Mediterranean. It seems we don’t have a name for the wind that blows through the Coachella Valley or at least I haven’t heard one yet. It is not always warm and dry. Today the wind was cooler. It can start up in the afternoon and blow all night. I hear it whistling through the cracks of my house. It makes the garage door rattle, like something trying to get in. But I like it anyway. I remember a past July, in the height of the summer heat, it felt like an open oven. Since I moved here some people ask if I like the desert. They tell me it gets very hot in the summer as if they are letting me in on a secret. My answer is yes, I really like it. I think it is beautiful.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘roc.’ Featured image of desert near Palm Desert taken by me while at Desert X.
The first day of May 2021. This year has been a blur like the last one. Still feeling untethered with the days passing by. We are quietly hoping we will continue to pull out of the pandemic here in California. Disneyland is open. I am taking yoga classes in person with a mask on. Oregon is having a surge in cases and closing down again. Oregon is one of our border states so that makes me nervous. Their governor says they are in a race against the variants with vaccinations. We still need to be careful here. Let’s not rock the boat.
Looks like we have started Summer here already. No more Spring weather for us. We will be staying close to 100 degrees F for the next 2 weeks. Glad we have good AC. Maybe the heat will dissipate again before June, but many years I remember hot Mays turned into hot all the way through until the Fall. At least I feel I can go outside in 100 degree weather. Yesterday was 107.
I have been writing about my re-emergence into the world. In the past couple of weeks I have made those long put off appointments for a haircut, routine medical tests, and started taking some live in-person exercise classes. We are still taking precautions in California like mask wearing and social distancing. Each foray into the world has been a learning experience in increasing my comfort level around people again. There has been visibly more activity in our neighborhood. I see more people on foot or driving around. It seems like there are more repairmen trucks parked in front of neighbor’s residences.
One thing missing from view when I have been outside is my friend The Roadrunner. I was thinking this could be due to all the increased human activity scaring him away or he/she was injured or killed.
I have gotten in the habit of taking my cell phone with me every time I go on a walk so I can take photos. I always keep an eye out for The Roadrunner. As I mentioned, I haven’t seen him, until today. I was on my way to the mailbox and he was crossing the road near there. I was so excited to see him I said it out loud, ‘I’m so glad to see you.’ We stood still observing each other. I did not have confidence to point my cell camera and get a good photo for fear of spooking him. He ran over to a palm and disappeared. I gave the palm a wide birth so as not to startle him or have him charge me. The palm was next to the mailbox and there was a wall behind it so I am pretty sure he was in there somewhere. He did not come out and I did not want to go in after him. Next time I will try for the photo even if I am shooting blind.
Thinking about all the places where the pandemic is surging. Sending thoughts and wishes for strength and healing. Let this terrible time be over.
First thought that popped into my head with the prompt word was ‘bangers and mash.’ I have never eaten that but remember it from an old movie. Don’t even know if the British still eat it. I like mashed potatoes but not sure about beef sausage, which one recipe called for. I have eaten chicken and pork sausage here. I’m getting hungry now. My brother-in-law brought us a bunch of ripe avocados. We will probably mash them up and make guacamole.
I am still on the look out for our neighborhood roadrunner. I have had several sightings. One day he/she appeared on 2 different streets while I was walking. I thought either we have more than one, or it can move pretty fast. Thinking about how it got from one place to another I noticed it could have cut through the golf course that some houses back up to. Then I spotted it close by and tried to get a photo. I did not have time to focus on my cell phone. But I did watch it jump/fly up about five feet to the top of a gate and wall. So roadrunners can run, jump, and fly. I guess that’s how they show up in so many different parts of the neighborhood. I hope I will get some good photos of one in the future. The photos I took this week were a mash up.
I blew up one of my attempted photos of the roadrunner and I did capture him but it’s a bit blurry. Will keep working on getting a good photo.
What a difference a year makes, 8760 little hours…An old song popped into my head with today’s prompt. You might say, ‘What difference does it make.’ I would answer ‘ it has made a big difference and you have to be brain dead not to notice that.’ It feels like the year has not ended but become a kind of mega year, a year plus. We are still in the middle of the plague in many places. But you know that don’t you, if you read or watch any of the news, and you don’t like me bringing it up again. You want me to talk happy talk. Get on a different subject. I can’t let it go yet because it has not let go yet. So I still write about it. So there.
I consider myself pretty lucky in that I did not get sick, I can shelter in a nice place, my husband, kids and grandson did not get it, I have enough money, not rich but enough, we have had our vaccines. It has come close to me though. I lost a brother and the older brother and sister-in-law caught it. My older brother survived but does have after effects. I did not want to take him for granted before and now even more so.
We start to consider how our lives will be different here as restrictions are to be lifted on June 15. Health officials are still very concerned that we are at risk from the variants. But we start to allow ourselves to think about the new normal. A glimpse of light peaking over the horizon. David L. Ulin wrote a post in the LA Times ‘Not quite ready to reopen.’ He discusses the changes in his life brought on by the pandemic may become permanent. ‘As I receive more messages about reconnecting, I want to think about how I choose to spend my time. Among the benefits of lockdown is how it strips away obligatory get-togethers. This meeting or that cup of coffee, the dinner I had no desire to attend. I want to reemerge on my terms, to preserve the smallness, the intimacy, of my pandemic isolation. I want to preserve the space I’ve created for myself. A simpler life, if I can keep it that way…I want to move at my own pace, to be conscious about how and when I reintegrate.’
I too feel that I have not missed a lot of what I have given up. I have thought about what my life will be like going forward. I feel the need to create something new, something different.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘difference.’
My beginning sentence is a take off on old song lyrics from ‘What a difference a day makes,’ by Maria Grever. Below version shared on YouTube by phalenopsis1.
I spotted our neighborhood roadrunner the other day. At least I think it is the same bird. It was running furtively at the front of the houses on a nearby street. It must have a nest around here. I wondered what was drawing it to our residential neighborhood. I looked up what roadrunners eat. They eat insects, reptiles, small mammals, and even other birds. We do have a golf course with ponds and I am pretty sure there would be birds, insects, and lizards there. Here are some recordings of the different sounds and calls from All About Birds (Cornell Lab of Ornithology). They have quite a repertoire. This website said they do make a ‘meep, meep’ sound when running away from danger.
Our neighborhood friend has been quiet so far.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is ‘run.’ Featured image of Roadrunner by National Park Service Death Valley. I haven’t been able to get my own photo of our roadrunner. I would have to be ‘Quick Draw McGraw’ with my cell phone to catch it.
California! Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. Whoops, wrong state. But we do get a lot of wind in the Coachella Valley. It has to do with low pressure drawing in the air from areas of higher pressure through the San Gorgonio Pass. That’s why we see a lot of wind turbines dotting the landscape coming into the valley too.
It get’s going in the afternoon right into the night and can really howl, an eerie effect at night. It doesn’t happen every night, but when it does I want to cozy up with a good mystery book.
The coffee is ready. Come on in and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I might ask you how your life has been over the past year. We are passing through an anniversary of sorts. It has been a year since we first heard we were in a pandemic.
The year of the pandemic started officially on March 11, 2020 with the declaration from the World Health Organization. For me it has felt like a year of unreality. The shock and fear in the beginning. On March 19 Governor Newson announced the lockdown of California. The first lock down which was to last until April 21 in LA. I remember thinking how will we get through it, a 1 month lock down. Little did I know it would extend into a year plus. The memory of our first trips to the grocery stores. We went in the early hours of the morning designated for older people and found long lines at one of our regular markets so decided to try another instead. The disorientation of walking into a store with many shelves, milk and meat cases empty. The hasty decisions about what to buy out of what was left. I quickly learned how to order online groceries and at first there were shortages with that as well. It seems like ages ago when we couldn’t get paper towels, toilet paper, or disinfectants. I remember hunting for those items everywhere. There were worse things to come. The loss of my younger brother to COVID. I remember visits with my grandson at a distance on our front patio. Dental visits postponed indefinitely. Doctors visits done remotely. A very frightening visit to the ER where we waited for almost 2 hours in masks. My husband hospitalized with a non-COVID illness. Eventually we all felt safe to visit with our grandson inside our house. We were our own little pod. My daughter was living with us for several months, so at least I was able to be with her regularly too. So grateful that my husband, children, and grandson have made it through. I have become accustomed to living my life inside my house. I am an introvert so this is not completely uncomfortable, but it will take some getting used to being out in public places again. Like shopping in a market, going to get my hair cut, or going to a movie theatre. I wonder if I have developed a mild case of ‘cave syndrome’, ( a term coined by Dr. Bregman, a psychiatrist), where I fear going out of my house. During the pandemic my hair got very long and I took to wearing it in a single braid down my back. My daughter said I looked like Willie Nelson and gave me my COVID haircut. She did a good job. I haven’t had my hair professionally cut for the whole year. My husband has an appointment for a haircut at the end of this month. He will wear a mask but I still feel nervous about it. He did go to have a couple of haircuts when the barber was allowed to be open. I know I will adjust to going into shops, the dentist, and doctor eventually. It will feel very strange in the beginning.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Featured image ‘Good Morning Coffee’ by Daniel Go on Flickr.com
Also sharing this post with Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, hosted by Linda G Hill. Linda who asked if we would be comfortable sharing our experience of the pandemic year. I have shared my experiences throughout the year as you know if you have been following my blog. I wanted to do a post on the One Year Anniversary of the pandemic and Natalie and Linda were thinking on the same theme.
Do I butter you up with a cheery post. I know on which side my bread is buttered, she thought. Since making a big move to a new house, I have been eating a lot of peanut butter sandwiches or peanut butter stuffed pretzels because it is easy to grab when I am busy with other stuff around here. I like peanut butter, creamy peanut butter, crunchy peanut butter too. 🙂
And finding all the nooks and crannies in which to stuff carefully place all our belongings. This often requires the use of our folding step ladder to reach the high places.
I did have good news this past week. My older brother came home from the hospital and I was able to speak with him briefly. It was so good to hear his voice. I told him he is a tough guy because he came through it. Feel the need to keep even closer touch with him.
Many of us are getting our COVID shot series completed just in time for the attack of the mutant variants.
We have our own California variant. Although, I just read an article that said the UK variant is expected to dominate in the US. We could have battle of the variants.