Dining in Oregon
It's been nearly a year of pandemic dining. We've cooked at home and done carryouts and enjoyed some DoorDash! We've only had one patio dining adventure, back in August. It hasn't been hard.
But it's suddenly more complicated. We've been in our Oregon Airbnb for over 2 weeks now. No restaurant temptations, since inside dining isn't allowed. Our riskiest food adventure was picking up food at the Happy Valley Station Food Carts. Masks were required. No excuses, since there was a vending machine for masks!
Eating "At Home"
Don and I have been ordering curbside groceries. We're being extra safe as we wait the arrival of our grand baby. But it's not easy cooking those groceries.
This is getting old. We have a tiny fridge and a microwave. We brought a crockpot and are becoming experts.
Heidi and Jamie have a new house and a new kitchen. We'll be able to cook for them at their house, soon. But I don't want to be the first to splatter their new cooktop.
Last night, we asked the BnB owners if we could use the outdoor kitchen, right outside our door. They live upstairs so we could have invited them... if we weren't in the midst of a pandemic.
Wow. The salmon was tasty and the twinkling lights were fun. The cold drizzle didn't even bother us!
Don't Miss Shopping
I haven't missed malls and shopping in the past year. I'm not a big shopper. But we've been in Portland for nearly 3 weeks. We're in an ill equipped Airbnb and we are helping with Heidi & Jamie, with new house & new baby prep. It's hard not running in stores. But today, we went "shopping".
Don decided we should give the parents-to-be our old car. That meant we needed to shop for a new car. We wore masks and so did this nice guy. But we're not used to being around anyone! It felt odd. What about that 6-foot rule?
We asked to test drive this Subaru, by ourselves. "Our daughter is having a baby in a week." I added, as if I needed an excuse.
We opened the windows and turned on the seat warmers. We ended up buying. It was odd not to shake hands. The last time Don and I shook hands was when we bought a couch, just before quarantine, in March 2020. I remember cringing and saying "Oops! We're not supposed to be shaking hands are we?"
Some people have purchased cars online, during Covid and had them delivered. We weren't as cautious as that. But, never have we bought a car so quickly and efficiently.
I don't love shopping, but I actually do love this car!
All pregnancies come with challenges. Heidi's has been extra tricky.
There's the pandemic thing. There's the fact that Heidi and Jamie moved from TX to OR, far away from family and friends. And there's the local move, (5 days ago) from temp housing to new house. Baby comes in a couple weeks!
It Takes a Village... or a Few Villages
Even though Heidi said a baby shower was impossible, family and friends pitched in. We can't do a Zoom Shower. We're not in a home. There's nowhere to mail gifts.
But Sis-in-law-Chali, organized. She sent invites and coordinated with others. Aunt Jane mailed decorations and gift wrap, from NY. Aunt Kate and Aunt Jenni offered their address in OR, for mailed packages... and then wrapped as gifts arrived! Don and I made pandemic-safe stops, on our way from TX to OR, to collect. Confusing, but fun!
Yesterday, was the shower. Heidi and I took this photo with the camera timer, about 30 minutes before the Zoom gathering.
Don and Jamie were off on a secret errand and I had a little alone time with Heidi. It was a nice moment, after days of scrambling to help them move in.
Jamie and Don completed their curbside pickup! They arrived with a sweet cake, that Chali pre-ordered from a Portland bakery. So many helpers!
The house was still full of boxes and Heidi's swollen feet were in slippers, but no worries. We were ready for the virtual party, with its limited visuals!
Let the Zoom Begin
With a laptop resting on a wrapped box, the Family Zoom began. What a treat to have a party, without cleaning a whole house or preparing food.
It was fun to see the faces of Heidi's family on the computer screen. Close family and dear family friends, in NY, LA, ID, TX, IL, OK and CA, smiled from their couches... except for one, who chose to Zoom from her peaceful car. (tip for future mother)
For a moment I thanked this ugly pandemic for allowing us to all be together. I'm not sure if there was such a thing as a Zoom Shower, before 2020. Without technology, there is no way all these people could have been together to support Heidi.
I felt lucky to be there in person, as I handed gifts and listened to the sweet voices. I jumped next to Heidi at the end, when we all shared a few words of wisdom... "Accept help... Keep your humor... Sing to the baby..."
Gifts & Support
What a treat to suddenly see clothes and essential for this little baby. Heidi and Jamie have purchased little, while anticipating their move. They've been in limbo with housing, since this pregnancy began.
The gifts were wonderful, but the support was also needed. I can't imagine 9 months of isolated pregnancy. I remember the fun I had when I was pregnant with Heidi. Lunch and advice with friends. Shopping with my mom and even grandmother. So simple and old fashioned, in 1986.
Following the Family Zoom, Heidi had a second hour, Zooming with old friends.
As I handed packages to Heidi, I listened to enthused friends, offering their own advice. I loved seeing the gifts that young friends and mothers had to offer. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls! I love it! I think all babies born during a pandemic will be born with a little extra spunk and resiliance!
Practical and Fun
As I dashed back and forth with gifts, I snapped a few pics and I listened.
I heard oo-ing and awwing, over the cute stuff. I heard helpful tips, for using the important stuff. Then, everyone wanted to see the tummy.
Heidi showed her tummy. Jamie showed off the cake... which sadly couldn't be shared virtually. (It was yummy later)
There were also requests to see Josie, the furry character who has been the baby since long before these two were married. One friend suggested using Josie to practice "swaddling".
I wouldn't wish a pandemic on anyone's pregnancy. It's been extra stressful. Jamie won't meet the doctor until the birth. Heidi will have to wear a mask throughout her labor. I can't imagine.
But, after nearly a year of dealing with a pandemic, we have all learned to adapt. Covid-19 has taught people to find creative ways to be together. This sweet shower was one example. Thanks so much to Chali and Jane, Jennifer and Kate... and all those sweet Zoom Faces! XOXO
No Vaccines for Us
We're watching less news. Yay. But we're trying to peek at vaccine updates.
No telling when Don and I will get ours. We're far from our home where many of our friends are beginning to get theirs. Less chance of us getting vaccinated in Oregon..
On Facebook I see many, posting photos of getting vaccines. It's good to see. But I'm also seeing disturbing announcements. "We lost my brother to Covid last night." And there's a lot that's not being posted, about whole families that have suffered Covid, after holiday gatherings. These aren't friends of friends anymore. These are people I know now. We have to just keep on staying safe.
Our BnB in Clackamas, is near many parks. We need to make better use of our off time and explore.
It's been cold, but we've seen more sun than expected.
It's nice to be in the fresh air, away from people. Although we have seen a few others on these trails. Luckily, the hikers we've seen, have all worn masks. I guess people who get out and enjoy nature, are the kinds of people who want to keep the world and its people, around a little longer.
Cheers for scenes like this! Mount Hood, viewed from Scouters Nature Park!
We're in this Airbnb for 6 weeks, to help Heidi & Jamie move and prep for baby. They're working and they don't need us 24/7. We have a lot of time on our own and that's okay. But, I feel guilty not helping more.
Luckily we packed books and games and puzzles and snacks for our stay. And when the weather is sunny, I can read outside. And, there's nearby hiking. No complaints.
Helping These 2
I wish we could be of more help to Heidi and Jamie. This is them on Friday. Now this wonderful space, has furniture and lots of boxes.
Heidi's feet are swollen from enthused unpacking. Don and I have helped, with carrying and moving things, but we can't make their decisions. It's been 23 years since I moved. I forget how many tiny and huge decisions there are.
Cook for the Kids
A good mother would cook meals and fill their fridge. But our Airbnb has only a microwave and a blender. We brought the crockpot from TX. I cooked cauliflower and broth for 8 hours. Then I needed to blend it, before adding broccoli. The bathroom was the only place to plug in the blender. My blasts probably perplexed the owners, above. Complicated soup!
If these weren't pandemic times, we'd meet them at a nice restaurant or casually pick up a meals. All this safe quarantining was easier, when there was less going on.
Today, Don and I offered to chauffeur Heidi to her ob/gyn appointment in Portland. I remember my mom going with me to one of my appointments. But Mom didn't have to sit in the car. And I didn't have to put on 2 masks before going into the building. These are odd times.
I was glad Heidi took us up on the offer. Don and I relaxed in the car and watched the sidewalk traffic. We're not used to observing pandemic city life. The world is just carrying on... in masks. Good. We sat and wondered if the baby will come early. Will Jamie be able to be with Heidi the whole time? Covid restrictions change constantly.
It was nice to have the 30 minute drive, after Heidi was done. (In the past we've only gotten quick text updates.) Today we learned the baby might be closer to 2 weeks than 3. And Heidi needs to rest those swollen feet... There's nowhere in the new house to raise her feet!
We drove Heidi back to the new house. She had a work call at 1:30. We told her we'd drop her off and take care of the ottoman emergency. We attempted a curbside pick up at Target, but no luck. We went in!
After months of avoiding inside visits to anything, Don and I walked into Target and grabbed an ottoman. It seemed so sinful, so daring, so exciting! I wanted to grab a million other things. (We need so much at our temp Airbnb!) But we just grabbed the furniture and some Benadryl, that Heidi's doc recommended for sleep.
All this "helping" would be a lot easier if we'd been in our own house with all our stuff. Our Helping Adventures are so minimal, but still satisfying!
It's the day after the Inauguration. Trump is not in the news. No Twitter. No spotlight. All feels calm.
But this morning a spotted this on my newsfeed. Ugh. We are just outside Portland now. I hate hearing this.
But today I only focus on happy news. This is the best!
Last night we chuckled with our kids about Bernie at the Inauguration. Scott mentioned his mittens and how he looked like he was dressed to make a stop at the Post Office.
Scott wasn't the only one amused. Twitter was going to town,
I'm not on Twitter, but my social media was starting to get flooded. It's no longer a family joke, when the old-timer friends on Facebook are posting Bernie.
But I couldn't be happier! I could look at these all day. I think a young teacher made those mittens and I don't think she's taking orders.
Happy New Year! I feel like 2021 just began!
Early on West Coast!
I happened to wake at 4:30 this morning, in our Airbnb. I was tempted to turn on the TV, since everything happening in D.C., is 3 hours later. But the owners live above us, I slept a couple hours.
I lowered the volume at 6:30 and studied the images from bed.
Totally missed the Trump's departure. They are really gone from the White House, now. They chose not to attend the inauguration. Melania did not give Jill a tour.
It's so weird not to be in our own home. We tiptoed around and made coffee. I didn't know 2 weeks ago, that many women would be wearing pearls today, or I would have packed mine. What a fun way to support our new Vice President. I wore slippers instead.
Don and I took our coffee and a box of biscotti to the Theatre Room. Our Airbnb is missing a lot of things, but it does have a media room. How odd to celebrate Biden's Inauguration with just the 2 of us, in this crazy Hollywood Room.
We were cozy and warm as we watched the colorful coats arrive!
Cold in D.C., but sunny. Then clouds and about 3 snow flurries. Then sun!
We watched the arrival of many, walking through this special space. I've "visited" Statuary Hall with my TV, throughout the pandemic. I watched guests arrive for RBG's service in September. I cringed at angry mobs invading, on January 6. This is where the post-inauguration lunch would have been, if there'd been no pandemic.
Today, we watched the arrival of the Pences. I appreciate that the VP attended. Was Trump already on the golf course in Mar-a-lago? Or was he peeking at his TV?
Our New Vice President
It was so exciting to watch history being made, in our cozy theatre seats. This is our Vice President. The first woman vice president! A woman of color.
What a relief to see this day, finally unfolding.
So Long Ago
The Obamas arrived and I couldn't help but remember.
I remember watching the inauguration with my mother, in 2009. My mother had Alzheimer's but she was giddy watching the celebration. "It will be so nice to see children in the White House again!"
Don and I wanted to cheer when we saw the Bidens. I hate being quiet in someone else's home. I wanted to cheer and whoop! We've waited so long. But, I have no clue about our neighbors. There's a pandemic, so we haven't met face to face. I didn't hear booing from above.
It sad to think about how much this special day has been altered. No Inauguration Balls and no gigantic crowds. I'm glad the Biden's have experienced some of this before. They are clearly fine without the festive hoopla. There's way too much to focus on from here on out. But it's still sad.
We'll always remember this odd inauguration, with expressions hidden by masks.
But there was no hiding this smile!
It was nice seeing these 3 former presidents greeting each other. This stolen image shows no character, but on TV, their body language looked warm and upbeat and gracious.
I wish President Carter could have made a Zoom appearance.
I'm sure many had unkind things to say about Lady Gaga's clothes and J-Lo's shout out in Spanish. Some were probably confused to see Garth in his cowboy hat, celebrating with this liberal crowd.
But I loved it all. Don and I didn't shout out, but for a moment I attempted to sing softly. Garth asked the crowd to sing along, for the last verse of Amazing Grace.
We needed a box of Kleenex when J-Lo sang, "This Land is Your Land". (Don shared his napkin) This is the song I sang in grade school, but I never listened to the words.
I wondered for a moment if Jennifer Lopez would add the version I discovered a few years ago. (Woody Guthrie had some words against D. Trump's dad, in the 1950's) But she moved gracefully into "America", instead.
Young poet laureate, Amanda Gorman stole the show with her poetry.
Such power in her gentle voice. She spoke like a prayer or a song. I read the words later and was even more moved.
What I'll Remember
The day continued, but we had to break away by noon. We're in OR to help our pregnant daughter and son-in-law with their move.
But I'll always remember this funny dark room and our blankets and coffee. I'll remember the huge feeling of relief after Kamala Harris and Joe Biden were finally, finally sworn in!
Today is Tuesday, the day before the Inauguration. I so hope all goes well.
All Wednesdays of 2021, have been full of tension...at the Capitol and everywhere.
The first Wednesday of 2021 will never be forgotten.
On Jan. 6, Don and I followed the horrifying news, with texts from family and friends. We were on the first day of our road trip, from TX to OR. We saw these images later, on the hotel TV.
A week ago, the House gathered in the same space that was invaded a week before.
Representatives who feared for their lives in this very room, gathered again. Trump was impeached for the second time.
January 20, 2021
Tomorrow, the Inauguration will happen, under tight security at the Capitol.
25,000 National Guard Troops will be on duty. Every State Capitol has been prepared for protests or violence.
Transfer of Power
Very early tomorrow, the Trumps will leave the White House and head to Mar-A-Lago. They will not welcome the Bidens to the White House. The last president who refused to attend his successors' inauguration, was Johnson in 1869.
If Trump had conceded and shown support, we could all feel less worried. We don't need Trump's angry supporters causing more problems tomorrow.
This memory is a refreshing reminder! The Bush daughters welcomed the Obama daughters in 2009! This is an example of how "kids" can help with a smooth transfer of power.
But all seems calm tonight. So far.
200k flags cover the National Mall, representing people who cannot attend the Inauguration.
Tonight there are 400 lights illuminating the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
Each light honors 1,000 Americans, who have died of Covid-19. Tomorrow morning there will be a memorial service before Inauguration.
I think tomorrow will be a good Wednesday.
MLK Day 2021
We need to remember Dr. King today, more than any other year. But, there's so much happening in the news, the day isn't getting the needed spotlight.
Today, I posted this memory, on Facebook. I remember the fun of watching this happy family reunion in 2016. We visited D.C. that summer and oh how clueless I was about what was ahead in the next 4.5 years.
Social Media Posts
I can't go out and volunteer today, for obvious reasons. I miss volunteering with my senior groups and the kids at the shelter. Especially on MLK Day. I love sharing MLK Day with others,
So I shared on Instagram. I shared this collage of photos, from visits to Mobile and Montgomery and St. Augustine, Florida... peaceful feet.
Then I read FB posts. So many shared Dr. King quotes. I was pleased. Then I was bothered, as I over analyzed the quotes and the people who posted. It's too easy to share quotes. I wish we could all get out there and do some kind of service... one special thing.
Then I read that Biden was out volunteering, today. It's 2 days before the Inauguration!
If President-elect Biden found time, I should have done something! What's my excuse? Even Trump had an excuse. He was too busy, preparing pardons. He only has 2 days left in office.
Today Don and I drove to the Airbnb where Heidi and Jamie have been living with their cat. Most of there stuff is in storage, but there was still tons to move to the new house.
Josie watched us from the window, while we carried loads up and down the stairs. Street parking and lively sidewalks made things tricky. The upper floor apartment was also vacating on the same day, which meant everyone needed to wear masks the whole time. Pandemic moving strategies.
Nice to leave the city stress and head off to the suburbs!
It's quieter in Happy Valley, but masks are still needed.
Yay for new houses and driveways! Jamie and Heidi talked outside with the builder rep.
More masks were needed in the house, when the realtor stopped by.
So sweet... flowers and cake and a baby gift.
Heidi and Don lounged in their masks while the cable guy was doing his thing.
Aunt Jennifer and Aunt Kate came by the next day, to unload the baby shower gifts that have come to their home. (They offered their mailing address during this transition time)
All these special moments... with masks.
I wish we could ease up with all this caution, but we are close to 400,000 deaths.
My dad finally got his vaccine today in Missouri! I'm so glad! He said he feels fine and his voice sounded so happy.
Two days ago, Don and I reached our home away from home, in Clackamas, OR. We're renting the basement "apt", of a family home for 6 weeks. What were we thinking?
I felt my age when we made 10 trips to unload the car... with bigger loads than this first photo! Quite a hike for a couple of oldsters. There were 30 steps up and down, to reach the rear entrance.
I felt like a giddy teen when I saw the entrance to the Theatre Room. So funny that our Airbnb has this.
Then I felt like a pouty teen when I saw the House Rules. Quiet time after 9. No guests. What?
When I saw the kitchen area, I felt like a college student in my new dorm. We learned the hot plate could only be used outside. (smoke issues) The tiny sink could barely hold a plate. The mini freezer needed defrosting.
However, there actually is an outdoor kitchen. Again, this is an odd arrangement and not so good for all the rainy days. We'll see.
Don and I are used to adapting. It's like camping or staying at quirky hotels. Making it work is the fun challenge. But I am having the hardest time learning how to be quiet, after months of very loud quarantining. With owners above, I feel like we need to whisper and tiptoe.
But we came to Portland to help Heidi and Jamie move and to welcome their new baby in Feb! We saw them on Tuesday for the first time. We are merging our quarantine bubbles for a couple months. On Tuesday they came to our BnB. No guests? Oh well. We had carryout dinner and happily got caught up. We did not whisper and we were not quiet. How can you be quiet when you feel your granddaughter kick!
I hope we can stay here 6 weeks without being kicked out.
We made it to Oregon and I'm actually thrilled. Our travels have felt very safe. We don't see this kind of scenery from our car windows, in Texas!
But, we missed being in Texas today, when Don got a phone call from his doctor's office. They were inviting him to come in that day, for the vaccine! What!? We're thousands of miles away and won't be home for many weeks. This is a bad time to be away from Texas... one of the few states that seems to be moving on vaccinations.
But we ignored that missed opportunity. We were able to make a stop in Eugene and see Jennifer and Kate! It's been way over a year! We were cautious and wore masks for hugging.
It was a wonderful stop on our way to Portland, We were fed homemade pea soup and freshly baked sourdough bread, And we looked at all the stuff they've been dealing with for weeks.
Jennifer and Kate have been receiving baby shower packages for weeks at their home. It's been a complicated mess having our daughter, pregnant and far away during a pandemic. But so many have helped from afar. Too many presents is not a bad problem.
So Much Help
I'm actually stunned at all the family pitching in to help, with Heidi's isolated pregnancy. Heidi's aunt in NY, sent decorations and gift wrap. Heidi's sis-in-law has been coordinating the virtual event from CA.
Kate and Jennifer have used their address in Eugene, since Heidi and Jamie are between houses in Portland. When I attempted to thank Kate for wrapping all the gifts, she assured me that this baby shower has been the best distraction ever, from the depressing news these days. Chali said the same thing as she showed me pictures of colorful cake options on her computer.
This is an awful time to be pregnant, in a place far away from family and friends. But how connected and happily distracted we've all been by this happy focus!
Traveling during a pandemic is worrisome. But we learned how to make it safe, last August. Now, we're traveling at the most deeply troubling time in U.S. history, since 9/11... while the Covid still rages. I'm glad we're driving.
Two days ago, I woke at 5 in our hotel and turned on the news. The day before, the Capitol was breached. Only a few hours before I woke, Congress officially certified Biden's victory.
Thinking on the Road
On that Wednesday morning, we were on the road before sunrise, headed for Arizona... brains swimming with all that took place less than 24 hours ago. So many questions.
How has our country reached this point? Why was there so little security at the Capitol? Why didn't Trump speak out right away, against the attack? Why hasn't he spoken at all to Pence or shown concern for those who died? Will they invoke the 25th amendment? How safe will our country be on Inauguration Day?
Also, there's still a pandemic in our world.
We're traveling like we did in August. Picnics instead of restaurants. Lots of spray sanitizer, for restrooms and hotels. It's less stressful. More masks in Jan, than Aug.
The scenery was refreshing when we hit southern California. The southern route helped us avoid risky winter weather. It also took us right through L.A., which is ahout the worst place in the country to be right now, after the post holiday surge of infections.
I had to force myself to stop thinking about all the what-ifs. I've read reports of overflowing hospitals in Los Angeles. Patients lined up outside, while workers find bed space... No car accident in L.A. please!
But we made it to our family oasis in Sacramento and all worries melted away.
Scott and Chali have stayed extra isolated in their safe bubble, waiting for our visit. They kept their tree up, so we could feel festive. We saw our silly grand-dog, Lola!
We had 2 heavenly days together. Don helped with a roof project and I helped Chali with some virtual shower planning... for her sis-in-law, Heidi.
We went on walks and ordered food delivery and drove around Sacramento. It's still a pandemic gathering, but we enjoyed each other!
We did talk about the current mess in D.C., We all need to vent and worry together. But we kept it to a minimum. Mostly we enjoyed this brief visit and planned for the excitement ahead in coming months.
I'm so grateful that we've all stayed healthy.
On the Road
It's been less than a week since I griped on this blog. On Jan. 1, I vowed to stop my obsessive daily posts. But today, I need to rant.
The day actually started well. We left our cabin, in a car jammed with 2 months worth of stuff. So excited to see our kids out west! I spotted a sweet church in Mason. We stopped in London, TX so I could mail a letter to my dad. All felt good.
After lots of logistical planning, we were on our way. The scenery was drab but my thoughts were nice. Our grand baby is due next month...we'll be seeing CA kids soon... then OR fam... 2021 is going to be better!
I stared out the windows and let the signs amuse me.
I chuckled at the sassy message, to drivers in Texas. I rolled my eyes at numerous Trump signs, proudly displayed near ranch entrances. Then, I grinned as we passed the exit for Warnock Road. Warnock! Hours earlier we had learned, the election runoff results in Georgia. Reverand Raphael Warnock, became the first black senator in Georgia.
Counting Votes at the Capitol
By noon, we were out near Ozona, Texas with spotty cell service. I was able to pull up NPR's live coverage of congress, counting the Electoral College votes.
I had no idea what was just about to unfold, at the Capitol.
Pence, then Biden...
I squinted at my phone and watched Pence preside over this extra stressful process... due to numerous objections. The vice president looked anxious. (Trump has not been pleased, since his VP essentially denied his demand to help overturn the results of the 2020 election.) The comments below the video were flying, along with emojis. My eyes grew weary after a while.
But I ended up being glued to that cell phone for hours, when I learned about the horrifying happenings at the Capitol. After hours of texting, I returned to NPR Live and saw President-elect Biden addressing the nation. "...our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we've seen in modern times,"
Calm Before the Storm
Earlier in the morning, it had felt so peaceful driving along in the middle of Nowhere-Texas. I'd been texting with friends about the surprising election results in Georgia. We joked about the tedious coverage of the vote count. Suddenly, Shari texted, "The Capitol is on lockdown! Protesters are breaking down police barricades... scaling walls, tear gas..."
I scrambled to find news on my phone. Were these pro-Trump protesters? They were in the building? The news was happening so fast, I couldn't get updated info on my phone. But, all our friends and family are at home, during these pandemic days... near TVs. So we got nonstop text reports.
The Rally Before the Storm
I barely took note earlier, when I heard that Trump was expecting to have one more rally in D.C. this morning. No surprise that he would make one last attempt, before Congress gathered at the Capitol. But when I heard what he told thousands of supporters, it suddenly made sense what happened later.
"We will never concede... We will stop the steal...You will never take back our country with weakness..." He made it clear he was furious with Pence, He encouraged the crowd to walk with him to the Capitol to overturn Biden's victory. Trump of course did not march. He returned to the White House and watched his supporters storm the Capitol on TV.
Don and I finally reached our hotel in New Mexico and turned on the TV. It was close to the 6 pm in D.C. Crowds still filled the streets, despite a 6 pm curfew. Eventually the live coverage paused, to share images and footage of what had unfolded, hours earlier.
How could this be our country? Angry crowds... many in MAGA hats, carrying confederate flags and Trump flags... scaling walls and breaking windows.. spraying tear gas... ransacking.. looting... occupying offices. Congress and staff rushing to safety... hiding under furniture... putting on gas masks... Chaos!
We ate dinner in our room and tried to absorb what had happened on this day, that had started well.
I felt anxious just watching the news in a quiet hotel room. How did it feel to be inside the building, when the mob's voices and shouts were heard? Confusion and panic. How may thought they might actually be killed? Was it like a plane going down, with people texting families? I can't imagine the horror. Yet, after hours of enduring the terrorizing invasion, Congress returned to their jobs, to finish counting votes.
Words of Comfort?
I'm ready to go to bed and try to sleep. It's hardly fair that I will sleep safely, while lawmakers work through the night, in a space filled with broken glass and violent memories.
It's even less fair, that the president has been safely tucked into the White House for hours... tweeting his helpful words.
But no more tweeting for Trump, now. Evidently he's been cut off.
First Day of 2021!
I woke at 7 on New Year's Day, fretting about all I needed to do. It looked cold and wintery out the window. A good day to finish putting away Christmas decor and packing for our trip.
Before I started, I read a Happy New Year text from my brother who lives in New Orleans. It's fun to know that we all are waking up to a new year, wherever we are!
My brother shared an amusing photo, revealing some sidewalk litter from the night before. No beads, no confetti. Just a discarded Buc-ees face mask. NYE 2020!
Boxing up Xmas
I headed upstairs to box up decorations. My phone lit up while I worked away. More people are wishing "Happy New Year!" this year, than ever before!
I stopped to text with a good friend and learned that her family dealt with Covid (as in very sick) over the holidays. For so long it has only been friends of friends. Now the pandemic is everywhere! Vaccinations are in our future, but not soon enough.
Back to Work
I put the phone aside and went to work on mugs. Why so many for 2 people? Because I love having options during these pandemic times!
While I wrapped up the mugs, I thought about our trip ahead. In 3 days we'll head west to help our daughter and husband move and prepare for their baby. How can we make this trip safer than safe?
I finally got all the Xmas boxes into the guest room closet. Then I suddenly remembered I have a box under the guest room bed...
I've been meaning to get to these old clothes! It was the best interruption, thinking about when baby Heidi wore these, years ago! Will Heidi and Jamie even want these for their baby girl? I don't know, but I'm going to wash them just in case.
After a fun distraction with baby clothes, I got a text from another friend and learned she'd received the vaccine! I was thrilled for her! She's been one of the most cautious and concerned people I know.
But I'm also confused. My friend isn't a frontline worker and she's younger than me. She heard about a local center with vaccines and simply made an appointment online. We texted back and forth and then I got back to work. My mind is boggled with how this whole distribution thing is going to work out. Different states with different plans. And it's extra complicated, since Don and I will be leaving our state, soon. Oh man.
Then it was time to do a little more packing. How do you pack for 2 months? We've never been gone more than a month. Since we'll be quarantining for a while, I figured I will need a few books.
How to decide? I got all these wonderful books for Christmas!
I stopped and studied the cover of "The Human Comedy", That reminded me that I hadn't called my dad yet. (I gave Dad the very same book for Christmas)
Our daily phone chat was a nice distraction. We talked about the book and and the author. Dad remembers reading short stories by William Saroyan in the Saturday Evening Post, when he was a kid.
As we talked, I had an idea. I asked Dad, "Do you know what we did on New Year's Eve in 1967?" He of course didn't. I dug quickly and found my diary from 5th grade.
I haven't heard my dad laugh that hard in a while. I started reading about our 1967 celebration with the Betts family. Then I jumped around to different dates. My writing was awful, but Dad and I could visualize every silly thing I wrote about... we stopped at Krispy Kreme after church... David made me laugh so hard, I spit out my milk all over the table... it was a rainy day, so Dad put a big carpet in the garage so all the kids could play...
It was much more fun reading my lame diary, than talking about vaccines and being on lockdown.
My day was full of stops and starts. At 5:30, Don and I sat down to have a glass of wine. Then we both looked out the window and the sky distracted us!
We left the comfy couch and headed out to see the first sunset of 2021! It was a beauty.
So the new year has begun and I will slow down with these ridiculous daily blog posts. I'm going to stop documenting every single day. I'm going to enjoy a sunset or two without interrupting the moment, with my camera!
That's it for now!
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast cancer and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. Only this time, it was affecting more than me. I ranted for a year, until I got my vaccine in March 2021.
Coronary Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was Don who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!