We have a new family member. Julie and Harold found each other through a rescue. He is adorable and loving and smart. Julie decided to name him after my father, a man she adored. The fact that they came together is based on spontaneous behaviors of everyone involved. Erik, Ellen, Isaac, and Ari will meet him first as they join Julie for Thanksgiving. We will, no doubt, Zoom.
We are a dog family.
I was invited to have lunch with Ari and Isaac at their home while Mommy and Daddy were away. Isaac sent me an email that morning suggesting a time and checking out the menu. I said both were fine. When I arrived, Isaac said he was prepping. He was cutting vegetables to mix with scrambled eggs. Ari took the bread I had brought and sliced it. He placed it in the toaster oven and, once toasted, added butter and warmed it a bit more. We took 45 minutes to eat and we talked. Then we went to clean up and Ari told me he would do the dishes and I did not need to help. I did clean the stove. Isaac emptied the dishwasher. Trash was collected from around the house and taken to the bins outside. Ari played piano for me. Isaac shared some school projects, and then we played Boggle. I was there for 2½ hours.
Yes, this is a record for me to stay somewhere. Can you guess why?
My pepper mill broke. My blood pressure kit malfunctioned. My vacuum cleaner stopped working. My electric toothbrush stopped charging. One of the three blinds in my living room stopped retracting.
You see what I mean.
It started with the pandemic. Sheltered in place. Schools closed. Virtual work and school. Then events occurred that prompted national demonstrations and protests about racial injustice. Then the wildfires. Air quality changed, sometimes leading to people not leaving their homes. Then the temps soared over 90. Then the presidential election wound up. Then Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. Then the president contracted the virus.
Feeling anything yet?
During the pandemic, I had made a lemon Bundt cake, anticipating when we would finally be able to celebrate Isaac and Ari’s summer birthdays. It freezes well When I had everyone over for Carrie and Erik’s birthday, I suggested also celebrating the boys’ birthdays. I thought I would use the cake. Then Ellen asked if she could bring the traditional cake that is made for Erik’s birthday. I agreed.
The lemon cake remains. Party anyone?
This is not a common feeling for me. However, my driver’s license is up for renewal and I have to take the written test. Four college degrees and I am worried about taking this test. No, I have never failed. Anxiety is not always rational. Then I heard the DMV is passing on tests because they don’t want people touching the computers. I decided to go asap, hoping this is still in effect.
Anticipating relaxation. And, yes, I have studied.
I always have Carrie and Erik over for their birthdays. This year I have added Isaac and Ari because we did not get to celebrate their birthdays in person due to the pandemic. I have made the cake. Easy. Planning lunch is more complicated because we are still meeting outdoors. It is more complicated bringing everything outside and we do not have tables to sit out.
It is the thought that counts.
I have adapted to the pandemic. Therapy by phone. Or, meeting people in my backyard sitting six feet apart and wearing masks. Then we had the wildfires. And the smoke. Every day began by checking the air quality color. There was a long period of red and purple. All clients were now by phone. No walking in the morning.
With the pandemic, the gym closed. I started walking a mile every morning. I took a mask and put it on if I was around anyone. Then the fires started as a result of lightning storms. Fortunately, none of the fires were nearby. And then I was told the smoke had come to my city. I am unable to smell, thus I was oblivious. I began to wear my N95 masks which I got last year during the fires. Then I was told it was not wise to walk if the air quality rate was too high.
There is more to check on each morning.
The family came over to celebrate the October birthdays. We were still in the backyard because of the pandemic. We decided to discuss how we would celebrate Thanksgiving since it is usually at my home in the dining room. The image of 13 people sitting in the backyard and serving all the food was Impractical. Ellen suggested we each make our usual contribution and then drive around delivering the food to everyone. Julie has already said she is not coming up for the holiday.
I believe I will be having a salad for the holiday.