Hello, Old Friend

I cannot recall the last time I opened the app for this little blog I faithfully loved and nourished to the point where it had a life on its own so perhaps I’ll start at the beginning.

It has been twelve years since my husband R retired from the Navy in which time he has unsuccessfully worked retail but successfully earned his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. He enjoys painting when the creative bug burrows in the depths of his imagination but less so since the virus hit, that deadly and complex virus that has managed to touch every corner of humanity.

His pursuit of the college degree was not without struggle and struggle he did. He drove and sailed, pardon the pun but he really did use the ferry, and walked a couple dozen hours a week to San Francisco and then spent several dozen more on homework. I’m so very proud of him as he pushed himself far more than he ever thought he could. Even when he thought he wanted to quit, he didn’t. The stubborn ones are always more stubborn than they care to admit.

Living with someone who has PTSD and high anxiety is not as difficult as one would think if it weren’t for these two factors:

1. He’s always managed to hide these things very well, almost to the point where I forget he has them and

2. As you recall, I suffer from bipolar disorder so summarizing Alice in Wonderland, “We’re all mad here.”

I am grateful to mention that our immediate families do not have the virus but several family members have been seriously ill, including our oldest. Cross your fingers that we either have had it without knowing and without becoming ill or that we never catch this damn virus at all.

I’m not sure if you remember our oldest son who used to dress in mini dress blues just like his father. He is now a senior in high school. Just like that.

It wasn’t that long ago when it was just the two of us wandering around Augusta, Georgia. I can’t think of any two who would stick out more in that little old town. It was such a culture shock to live there having spent my entire life in California. I miss being there– no, I miss the newness of it all. Seeing the south as the movies and tv shows portray it with its cuisine, greenery, tiny flying and/or crawling creatures, all with a side of uncomfortable race relations. Southern charm and hospitality are real and so are the stares from not fitting in.

But I digress.

The boy won’t be finishing his last year of K-12 schooling in the classroom but virtually as with rest of the world. I am not as upset as I thought I’d be from not seeing him at his graduation. I suppose I’ve learned to take my cues from my children. What is that saying? “You’re only as happy as your saddest child.” Which, if you think about it, is hilarious but not if you think about too long because the truth hurts and bruises far longer than we want to acknowledge. No, he is not bothered in the least. In fact, he’s trying to find a job. Ah, good luck in this economy.

My family has taken to gardening, a hobby that I did not seeing coming at all. You see, my husband has always been a conspiracy theorist. He has not reached the point of living as a hermit in the mountains somewhere to which I honestly don’t mind if he wanted to one day retire. I have made it crystal clear though that he should send me postcards once he gets there as I have no intention of leaving suburbia, family, friends, buying groceries, my career.

He has always talked about needing to survive off the land in case of a zombie apocalypse. Did he say actually say “zombie”? I cannot recall but he definitely wanted to put what small piles of dirt that add up to a backyard to good use so he and the kids are gardening now with a lot of input from my mother who is doing well also, thank you for asking. She grows a marvelous garden every year and wants to help them yet doesn’t want to impose yet it’s okay for her to tell me everything I’m doing wrong. Don’t worry, if you have met her or me or watched Fresh Off the Boat, you’ll find that this is all done with love. And yes, I’m pretty sure she likes my husband more than me.

My husband, who I thought would be a wreck during this time, actually is not. He’s taken the role of Protector and Scavenger quite seriously in that he insists on being the one that gets exposed to the elements and going to the grocery stores mostly on his own. The girls have been sheltered in all of this and I’m hearing from friends and family who are essential retail that people are becoming rude and at times violent.

This is only month one of less or no money for most families all over the world. This is only month one of not going to work, not going to school, cutting out luxuries like beauty services, dining out. This is only month one of sheltering in place.

This is only month one of restaurants and small businesses of losing money. This is month one of families who were previously struggling to pay bills will feel the struggle exponentially. This is month one of wondering every aspect of this virus: origin, history, related viruses, inoculation, testing, reinfection, cases, deaths, cities, countries, borders, and lies.

In a matter of weeks, we have had so many freedoms that we took for granted taken away all in the name of public safety. Remember we said it was okay for us not to have privacy to stop terrorism? If we have nothing to hide, it shouldn’t matter who knows about our personal business, right? We cannot fly with extreme, mandated measures. We cannot cross borders. We cannot worship as we choose. We cannot gather to fight against a common cause. We cannot convene about matters that are important to us, not in groups larger than 10, that is. We cannot visit the ones who need us the most. We cannot connect with those outside our household with a simple touch. No hugs. No pats on the shoulder. No handshakes. No. None. Nothing. We cannot infect each other if we cannot see each other, if we cannot touch each other, if we cannot even make eye contact with each other. This is only month one.

This is only month one.

Who’s the conspiracy theorist now?

Yes, this is only month one. May God have mercy on us all.

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