Certainly Uncertain

I had kinda decided I was done with this blog. Even made a print book of it, pretty cool.

But I felt a need to write here, for what more uncertain time are we in but now? Covid 19 has changed everything. Remote working for many, stores and restaurants closed except for pick up, many people without paychecks… and no one really knows what will happen next, in spite of the government making moves to “open up the country.”

I feel at loose ends, because I took today off.  I’d really like to go to the beach, get my feet wet, feel the wildness of it. But it is an hour and a half drive, each way, and no guarantee that I could find a beach that is open. So, instead, I have been lounging around in bed with coffee and computer, listening to the birds through the open window.

I am feeling the loneliness of this time. Many people are posting about the trials of working at home and having to care for and/or homeschool their children simultaneously. I know that’s hard, and the thought of it sounds pretty exhausting. But it is also hard to be in long distance relationships, not only with your children and grandchildren, but also with your husband. I’m very thankful for the technology that allows us to see and speak with each other face to face. But it is no substitute for physical presence.

Five weeks ago, I got my hair cut. A week later the hair salons were ordered to close. My husband, 200 miles away, not so fortunate. He is getting pretty shaggy. My coworkers who get their nails done consistently are all au natural. Conversations focus around those type of trials and tribulations. It is the small things that are easier to discuss. Harder to talk about are the people who are dying, and the businesses that will not bounce back.

This year’s high school seniors missed out on prom, and graduation ceremonies are postponed or cancelled. The Class of 2020 will have a different sort of story to tell their children. College students have gone home to study online, and parents are wondering if they will get reimbursed for dorm costs, and some colleges plan to continue with online study only – a wave of the future? Some remote workers will never return to work in an office.

The new normal isn’t just coming, it is here. Some of it will look like the old normal. But this is the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, the ushering in of unity with diversity. The old ways will fall away, they always do, in spite of resistance and the abundance of conspiracy theories. There is often great suffering when great change is happening.

There is a new industry that I expect will be around for a while – Fashion Face Masks. We will see people wearing masks for a very long time. And I, for one, will never shake hands again.

 

Remembering my grandparents

As I held and rocked one of the twins (9 month old boys!) today, I started feeling such strong love and emotion. These grandbabies, and my 3 year old granddaughter, are so very precious to me.

It brought back memories of my own grandparents, and what they did to have a relationship with us. It was back in the 60’s and 70’s and they lived 2000 miles away – no internet, no cell phones, no social media.

I was born in California, near San Francisco. My father’s parents lived about 40 miles away, in Sonoma, where he was raised. From what I gather, they were very involved with their three granddaughters. I was the middle sister, and when we were five, two, and six months old, my father’s company transferred him to Houston, Texas. This was in 1959. They packed us all up and drove us all that way. I imagine my older sister and I in the back seat, loose, and my mother holding the baby. Glad we all survived.

Anyway, looking at it from the grandparent’s view, it must have been pretty difficult. But it seems that they made the best of it.

Every summer we would meet them somewhere between here and there for a great camping vacation. The most memorable one for me was somewhere in Arizona, where we camped for a month and my father broke his leg.

When I was about 12, my parents went to Europe and Grandma Mae and Grandpa Howard, as we called them, and their dog Mike, came and stayed with us for 6 weeks! When I think about that- wow, I’m impressed! They would have been in their early sixties, and took on us girls plus my then 4-year-old brother. I’m sure we drove them up the wall, but I have only good memories of that time. Except for having to eat boiled squash.  I am exhausted after 2 days with my granddaughter, so no doubt they were VERY happy to see my parents. I remember going to the airport to meet them. Good times.

Long distance phone calls weren’t cheap, but I think they called us about every month or so, and I remember the excitement of knowing that Grandma and Grandpa were on the phone. We’d take our turns on the extension in my parents bedroom and talk for maybe two minutes apiece. I have no idea what we talked about, but the memory of sitting on my parents’ bed talking to Grandma brings a sweet thrill of love to my heart.

They’d always send us presents for our birthdays and for Christmas. I still have a book they sent for my sixth birthday, Happiness is a Warm Puppy, with characters from the comic strip Peanuts. I treasure it now simply because it brings warm memories of my grandma.

They would come and visit us occasionally, too, in between camping trips. I think they did a lot of traveling around the country after Grandpa retired, and they pulled a travel trailer behind their car. At least once they parked it in our driveway and stayed awhile.

This picture was probably taken around the time of the trip to Europe. That’s me in the hideous blue glasses.

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Now that I’m a grandparent, I get it. It’s quite possible that I may experience long distance grandparenting in the future, and I know it will be much easier for me to keep in touch than it was for them. I am so glad they made the effort that they did. I hope Hazel, Hudson, and Sebastian (and any future grands) remember me as fondly as I remember Grandma Mae and Grandpa Howard.