Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Third Quarter

It is the last week in October.  In a normal year, I would be buying candy and we would be getting ready for the trick or treaters to come to our door next weekend.  Jack loves seeing the kids, and he always ask them if they have a trick for him, perhaps a joke or a song or a dance to share.  The little ones act shy and he reassures them that they can think about it and bring us their 'trick' on Halloween next year.  Everyone gets candy, of course, no matter how they respond.  But the older ones often surprise me by being excited to have a willing audience, and we have heard jokes and songs, been treated to dances and even a trumpet solo.  This year, of course, we are not encouraging visitors because of the pandemic, and since our front porch is still broken up, it is just as well.  Jack and I have both called the local contractors several times, and so far no one has given us so much as an estimate, so the future of our repair is looking bleak.

We had a rude surprise early this morning when I went to wash my hands and discovered that we had no water.  It was early enough that I really wanted to go back to bed, but instead ran around the house checking all the faucets and making sure we had electricity.  Finally I called the water department and learned that there was a water main break around the corner.  With no shower and no workable bathrooms I found that I also had no hint of a good mood, so my plans to go out and do errands ended right there.  Instead, I sewed some masks and spent more than my usual too-much-time on my computer.  But I did reflect on how lucky we are to have and expect clean, running water when so much of the world has no such expectation.   It bothered me that I couldn't properly wash my hands for over eight hours; what must it by like to live where hand washing is a rare luxury.

Speaking of luxuries, I bought a small table this week from an artists' website, Society6, where Emily Rainsford Ryan, a bloggy friend and Irish artist, has posted her paintings.  The art is available on all sorts of items, from tote bags to masks to furniture, and I chose a little table that will be used for our coffee in the screen room when it gets warm again.  Until then, we will use it in the living room, where we seem to have a constant need for a moveable surface for our laptops.  It is just the touch of whimsey my soul needed this week.

The weather has again been damp and cold.  Birds are crowding the feeders, an endless line of them, constantly in motion.  Blue jays land in numbers on the deck to eat the bits of acorn that the squirrels drop from the trees.  I am mindful that a robin died from the cold last year, sitting on her nest of eggs.  The nature center said that she may have frozen but, just as likely, may simply have not taken in sufficient calories during the day to make it through the cold night.  So now that temperatures are most often in the 30's we are keeping the feeders filled.  The squirrels are in a tizzy, twitching their tails at one another, and coming up to our window to seemingly shake their little fists at us.  One of the errands that had to get done this week was a trip to the feed store so that we can stock up on corn and other grains and seed for our greedy little friends.  Winter is certainly coming.  In  preparation, I had both of our fireplaces checked and cleaned; the gas fireplace looks so much more cheerful now that it has been given some proper attention.  The previous owners neglected it badly and it has taken until now to find someone who was able to come and bring it back up to a good condition.  I was already spending a lot of time in front of the fire, on these chilly days I  settle in front of the fire with coffee and my laptop and sometimes wonder whether I will ever get up.

My musings often seem to take a dark turn these days, maybe they always did.  I was trying to imagine what 'normal life' would be like once the pandemic is under control by way of a vaccine or otherwise.  My Old Normal involved picking up my grandchildren from school a time or two each week, and then spending a little time at their house with them. often merely as a backdrop while they did homework, and sometimes making them dinner. I sometimes drove them to their lessons, and sometimes took them to dinner.   But Joseph, my oldest, starts drivers' training next week, and the pandemic is far from over.  That means that my window of time where they need me for transportation and, therefore, where I am able to move seamlessly into small areas of their lives, is almost closed.  My son sent me a photo of Joseph this week, to show me the new coat he bought.  All I saw in the picture was that he is suddenly more man than boy.  They are growing older and getting even more busy, and while I am delighted about that, I am also sad about the time with them that I have lost.


1 comment:

Barbara said...

The table is so cute, and your fire looks so cozy. We are on a well here, and so if we lose our power, we also lose our water. I think losing water is the greater inconvenience. If you can’t flush a toilet, you’re kind of in trouble. We’ve resorted to buckets of water from the hot tub on occasion, but not many, fortunately. I think we’re all on pins and needles waiting to see what will happen with the election. I’m at least as worried about what will happen once a winner is declared, regardless of who wins.