Too fast … the summer is flying by far too quickly. And yet, we’re doing so few of our usual summer activities. I feel like a spectator, sort of sitting off on the sidelines of [normally] my favorite season of the year.
Spring passed in a blur of dismal distraction. I was too focused on the growing pandemic to more than vaguely notice melting snow, greening trees and warming temperatures. For months, like so many others, my only jaunts outdoors were, for the most part, walking dogs up and down my driveway.
I’ve found, when you don’t have other people to talk to, you can have long, meaningful discussions with your dogs. Beware if they start talking back though …
In spite of the pandemic; in mid May, I finally came to the conclusion that there had to be more to my life than sitting at home. A balance of risk verses enrichment must be achieved – or what is the purpose?
I really do want to avoid catching the coronavirus, not simply because it’s potentially fatal at my age, but because of the myriad of ongoing health issues this illness seems prone to leaving its recovered victims to cope with.
There is so much I still want to do with my life, and time was already getting short before this. Adding more health issues to those I already have dragging at me would likely put paid to my more ambitious plans.
Then again, the [necessary] restrictions to traveling we have in place at this point may stretch out long enough that I’ll have to set my dreams aside anyway. I hope not.
My years long goal of traveling leisurely through Canada in my Winnebago, followed by extended visits with my two sons (one in Wisconsin, the other in Oregon), my four grandchildren and my great-grandchildren … well, to say it’s just “on hold” may be optimistic.
We are well into summer now, with wildflowers blooming in abundant radiance along roads, rivers and mountainsides. The birch trees outside my window shiver with bright apple-green leaves against a brilliant blue sky. A balmy summer breeze caresses my cheeks as it wafts in one window and out another. Why do I feel trapped?
Grateful for the benefits of living on a 15-acre section of land in Alaska – I don’t need to cover my face with a mask most of the day (unless I go out). I have a fenced one-acre pasture where my dogs can romp (although it’s getting more overgrown by the year with no goats or sheep to keep it clipped back – soon, it’s going to be “a fenced forest”).
I have enough space; driveway, shop yard and pathways, to take my pups for fairly long walks without running into other people. I have nature at my doorstep – so much beauty around me.
On the other hand; I find I NEED other people. I feel lucky that I’ve been able to continue, albeit mostly outdoors, getting together with my close group of K9 Nose Work and Barn Hunt friends. I just wish I could touch or hug them.
Our weekly team dog sports practices are about the only social outlets I have right now. Lots of social distancing and masks (when we want to stand close enough to actually talk), but it’s a wonderful outlet after months of only texting and Facebook..
The desire to reach out and touch someone is likely only going to intensify as we head into our first real Covid winter in a few short months. I am not looking forward to this next winter, always a time of relative isolation – this winter is going to prove challenging beyond belief.
I want my life back. I want it back now so I can continue moving forward while I’m still able. I console myself with the belief that the little things I do for others, from organizing sport practices to giving bigger tips to take-out deliverers, to sending “thinking of you cards” to family – will somehow brighten their day – and thus brighten mine.
I also have my RV, and although I’m constrained to only traveling within Alaska (I know … I shouldn’t complain – it’s Alaska!), it does allow me to venture fairly safely beyond the confines of home.
And yet, for the most part, I remain to a large extent sidelined by caution. Who would have dreamed that one of my most accessible hooks by the door in my RV would be dedicated to face masks?
I am beyond grateful for the RV. As long as I stock up on food (usually via online ordering and car pick-up), wear disposable gloves at gas stations (removing and safely disposing of them before I get back in the rig – and then washing my hands with soap and water anyway), mask up and socially distance if I need to enter a business … I feel nearly as safe as I do at home. Not totally, but close enough.
It’s like I take my clean, sanitized home with me. I park far from other campers and have little to no interaction. Luckily, I sort of lean that direction naturally when it comes to strangers, so it’s not a hardship to maintain distance.
But still … I’m alone. Well, almost alone. 😉
My last trip, eight days of mostly peace and solitude (and lots of driving) did wonders for my general state of mind and certainly helped me de stress … but didn’t solve the problem of needing to be with people. I doubt I said a handful of sentences beyond necessary campground registration the whole time.
It was also over a week ago! It’s time for wheels to roll, a new vista is waiting to be seen, a new camping spot awaits discovery. 🎵🎶 And I’ll do it MY wayyyy!🎶🎵.
Hmm … According to the weather forecast, I should be humming 🎵🎶 “Singing in the rain” 🎵🎶. I do not care. Ack. Let it rain.
I promise … something cheerful next time.