Colbert. Gable. Timeless. Dialogue. Chemistry. Capra. Enjoyable. Fun. Oscars. Yes.
It’s 6:31AM. I’m awake.
In these days of no certain schedule, we try to keep busy, to keep our own schedule. But sometimes we go to bed earlier than normal, or maybe we don’t and I just wake up because my brain never shuts off. It whispers to me, we are not safe.
Weston is alseep now, moved from being next to me in the bed to being next to me on the chair. He can’t get comfy. He’s trying. Soon, when he does, he’ll be snoring. This is a dogs life. This world we’re living in is a dogs world. He doesn’t know anything about the big bad. He just wants a comfortable place to sleep awhile.
K is working a bit this week. She wasn’t supposed to. Was actually supposed to be off all week. We were supposed to be driving back from California this week. We came home early. It was a whirlwind trip, and scary. “Did you touch that?” “Use hand sanitizer.” “Did anyone get close to you when you went in?” “A woman was coughing really bad in the stall next to me in the bathroom.” And on and on… We were not safe.
K’s working because her company, who off-shores some work to India just got word India is shutting down. India is trying to contain the big bad with drastic measures. The work will not get done. Now some people on her team are training to do some of the data entry. Her comment… this is one of the reasons we should not be off-shoring. She is proud of her team. Knows they will rock this new challenge. Many of them were data entry people when she hired them years and years ago. It’s an ever changing world right now. Everyone is trying to adapt.
We’re counting down the days until we’ve been home two weeks. It’s been 8 days today. It seems like an important marker somehow. As if when we reach it we can release a breath and say, OK, we’re safe now. But we aren’t safe now.
We put a bear in our window, it’s bear hunt time. We clean the house, look for chores. We order a lot of groceries, trying out different methods. We want to feel safe. We wave at neighbors across the street, across the fence. We ride bikes and don’t get close to anyone. Don’t get close. It’s not safe.
Sitting here right now, listening to K’s work call, Weston sleeping between my legs, drinking a cup of coffee, sound of the dishwasher running in the kitchen, looking out the window, things seem normal. Spring is here. The trees and bushes are budding out, the daffodils are up and blooming, the sun is out. Things seem normal. They are not normal I remind myself. They are not normal at all. We are still not safe.
We try to focus on moments of laughter and beauty. Those moments happen often. Like when we made a lip sync video and danced. We made ourselves laugh so hard. We keep watching it. It cracks us up. We feel the sun and look at the flowers and get a kick out of our dogs, not to mention tons of love from our dogs. We try. We want to forget, just for a moment or two, that we are not safe.
We watch the concerts of friends and singers we like, take virtual tours of museums, listen to music, try yoga, read enough of the news to know what’s going on but not too much, not too much.
We were separated for 10 days when the shit was really hitting the fan. When we were still on the West Coast. K in California with her parents, me in Oregon and Washington and Oregon again with my Mom. It was tough to be away from her, and then tough to leave my Mom. I flew one direction, but rented a car to get back to her. Seemed safer than flying again. 10 days is a long time when you’re in the middle of something like this. I got back to California and we left that same day to head to Illinois and home. We hadn’t planned to, but then who could plan for all of this? The authorities were going to shut down the bay area and we wanted to get out while we could. It was a whirlwind. It felt like an escape. It felt like a movie. To be honest, everything still feels like a movie.
I need another cup of coffee now. It’s 7:53.
I check the weather.
I try to think of some task or chore I can do right now. This post is winding down. The distraction is winding down. And the whisper starts to sneak it’s way in again… we are not safe.
We are not safe.
I’m going to go empty the dishwasher, have some cereal. Take vitamins that help boost immunity. Everyone is probably taking those kinds of vitamins now. First though, I will wash my hands. Wash my hands for 20 seconds.
We are not safe.
Here’s the thing… I’ve done this before. This isn’t my first rodeo. I know all about social distancing, quarantine, and sheltering in place.
In 2010 I came down with a case of Leukemia. Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia to be exact. From the moment I arrived at the oncology unit I was on lock-down. No person with even the slightest possibility of a cold could come in my room. Even people who had been around someone who might have had a cold couldn’t come near me. There were strict protocols for everything. People wore masks to see me (except Karen, who was with me all the time and not sick so she was cleared to be in there without one). I couldn’t eat any fresh fruits or vegetables (there could be dirt microbes my body could not fight off). I couldn’t get flowers or plants delivered to me. I couldn’t really let people touch me. Everyone wore gloves around me if they were going to touch me. There were signs on my door to warn people.
When I went home, after that first month in the hospital, I had similar protocols. No plants in the house, no fresh fruits or vegetables in the house, no visitors with colds or who had been around anyone with a cold. I had to wear a mask when I went in to get my blood-work done. I wasn’t supposed to touch anything. I was socially distanced and isolated.
This went on very strictly for four months. Four months people. The entire time I was going through the hardcore Chemo protocol. Every month after that first one (when I was in the entire month) I would go back into the hospital for a week-long stay to get the chemo over the course of several days depending on what round I was on. When my numbers started to come up after each round I was released home, but on the same strict protocols. No people, no plants, no going out without a mask.
I missed my first grandson’s birth. I was supposed to be there. I couldn’t travel. Everyone pitched in. My Mom came and stayed with me that fourth month so Karen could go and be there when Sebastian was born. Sacrifices were made.
After those first four months, when I finally got the miraculous all-clear and could take the deep breath I hadn’t been able to for months, I was still not really in the clear. I had two years of consolidation rounds (milder rounds of low dose chemotherapy for patients who appear to be in remission). I was on varying rounds of three different medications. Those medications, though not nearly as strong, effected my immune system a bit, my energy level a lot, and there were still rules. The rules weren’t as strict, but rules just the same.
Here’s the thing, I know this, what we’re doing right now. I’ve done it. I did it to keep myself alive, and those around me did it to keep me alive. The people that loved me had no problem wearing masks around me, if necessary, or staying away if required. As I said, I was on lock-down. Quarantine. Isolated. Distanced. I missed a lot, but… I lived. People sacrificed for me, but… I lived.
If I could do that for four months and beyond, and if the people in my life could do it for me for four months and beyond, then we can do it now. We can buck up and damn well do it. Not just for ourselves, but for everyone in our circle, in our communities, in our country, and the world.
Let’s help each other. Let’s take the bull by the horns and do this thing. Let’s rodeo!
Adventure. Cast. Danger. Weather. Courage. Effects. Fun. Climb. Butterflies. Yes.
Strange. Drugs. Trippy. Fonda. Hopper. Choppy. Music. Tragic. Style. No.
Stylish. Gritty. Hackman. Porkpie. Smugglers. True. Pace. Chases. Relentless. Yes.
Jealousy. DeNiro. Fighting. Sad. Angry. Bloody. Abusive. Miserable. Relentless. No.
Overdone. Silly. Serious. Conspiracy. Leigh. Sinatra. Brainwashing. Sad. Lansbury. No.