My husband and I own a spiffy travel trailer I nicknamed LoulaBelle. Since the Pandemic started in March, we’ve only taken her out once, and that was relatively close by to a park in Bastrop, Texas. Otherwise we check on her periodically, make sure she’s still there, not leaking anything, and letting her feel less abandoned. We’ve had some great adventures with her.
Last September we were supposed to take another Viking River cruise in France. Of course the Pandemic put the kibosh on that. We hunger to travel yet are toeing the line by staying home and not straying further than grocery pickup or the gas station. The relief when we pull out of the driveway is palpable. I feel like that pig with the pinwheels in the insurance commercial and want to go wheeeeeee all the way to H-E-B. Only the threat of defrosting food keeps us from going AWOL. Things got so intense last Fall we went house hunting and had an offer accepted in a little town east of here, where our church is situated. Lucky for us that the sellers were greedy and unconcerned with major safety issues. So we stayed put, literally, and had a house that literally weathered the massive snow storm that rocked Texas. Weathered it well.
Back to the real world. We double our facemasks when we go out, listening to Dr. Fauci, and hoping to make it to our Covid-19 vaccination appointments without getting sick with it. It seems we’re just marking time until this horrific thing is over. Life on hold at our age is not a pretty prospect. Yet here we are.
I look longingly at our pictures to Bordeaux in 2018, the river views, views from medieval towns, of lazy orange cats watching a marketplace square with tourists walking by, of dinners on board with non Pasteurized French cheeses that must be the true food of the gods, of wines, port, and other delicious libations. Of lovely little shops with windows filled with whimsical chocolate mice and other creatures. An arcade in Bordeaux lined with tiny shops, including one with hats. I came away with three from there.
For now I celebrate our being well. Of being able to stay home. Of my children safe where they live in the West and East. Of my father-in-law and my husband’s extended family safe.
The snows melted here, the sun’s shining like it’s already spring. My flower bulbs survived the snow and ice and are perkily raising their leaves up in supplication to the azure sky. I think my new trees and the contents of my mini greenhouse are dead, but we can deal with that later.
And yet. Like others my brain is filled with a fog of the weather and Pandemics making. The other day it grew so foggy I missed a wonderful Zoom Sisters In Crime chapter’s short story workshop. I watched helplessly while lips moved and the presentation moved on. The solution came too late, and it was ridiculously easy, and my fault completely. Oh well. Hopefully there will be plenty of Zoom workshops, of visiting with friends and church. Of FaceTime and awkward video of people smushing into the camera’s view.
Our wanderlust is banked like fire for the night, for the future. For now it’s enough to dream, plan, and cocoon.
My day, so far, is laundry, boiling water, fixing meals, and listening to the wind. Our area of Texas is just a few days past a hundred year record breaking amount of snow, ice, as well as water, heat, and food deprivation.
My husband and I are incredibly lucky. No burst pipes or destruction in our house. We lost heat and electricity for a day. Just a day. Again, we were lucky.
Today we got the all clear to stop boiling water, and the okay to begin washing over a week’s worth of dirty laundry. There’s a certain Zen flavor to washing clothing, but I despise folding and putting away the cleaned things. It’s as if my brain’s done once the stuff comes out of the dryer. Luckily my husband picks up the slack and sees it through.
Between loads I sit facing the big windows of my den, relishing the fresh air blowing in, the sound it makes bouncing down the hill outside. An old faded watering can hanging on a shepherd’s crook is free of the one foot plus icicle it wore last week. It swings and gently bounces in the wind.
I pray for my friends and neighbors who lost loved ones last week to cold or Covid-19. I pray for those grieving for the 500,000 dead from this Pandemic. So much loss. So much grief. May God comfort them, and may our leaders guide us out of the wilderness.