I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Marching toward spring

Lily and Maria after our walk
Yes, Lily made it back home from Guatemala after her long day of travel on Wednesday. I didn't get a chance to see her myself until our usual Saturday morning walk. Twenty of us showed up, and our lone gentleman, Gordon, has joined us once again. We had a lovely walk in the park before some of us met to enjoy a cup of coffee.

I am relieved that she is home, since travel is becoming more difficult almost by the day. Just this morning I learned that the whole northern part of Italy is in lockdown, and that another cruise ship is in trouble with the coronavirus. It's impossible anywhere around here to buy hand sanitizer or toilet paper; they are sold out, although there are now stations for all patrons to use to keep our hands virus free, with large containers of different hand sanitizers for us. I found one I especially like, with aloe vera in it, but of course I cannot buy any of it to take home.

It's a mystery to me why toilet paper has become such a symbol of the need to stock up. People are going a little bonkers out there, it seems to me. But still, we made sure we have a good supply stocked away. SG always has plenty in our closet, so we will not run out. But I cannot buy hand sanitizer anywhere. I've heard a few people talk about how to make your own, so I looked it up online.
If you can't find 70% rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer in stores, you can also make your own hand sanitizer by filling your spray bottle two-thirds with any 180-proof booze such as vodka and one-third with water or aloe vera, but make sure you mix well before spraying your hands.
I guess the vodka is because you also cannot find rubbing alcohol anywhere, either. Here in Washington State we are sort of at Ground Zero in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, but I expect that to change soon, as it's spreading very quickly into other communities.  One place to catch germs that many of us never think about is when handling money. I've decided for the time being not to ride the bus, either. It's getting very scary out there. And I just read that elderly people (which must include me) should stay home to protect themselves. I just can't do that, but I am taking precautions. Nobody is shaking hands any more, but instead using fist or elbow bumps to greet one another.

In any event, it's still important to stay calm and wait it out. If I get sick, people have said that I am relatively healthy and should be fine, but nobody knows. My body has never met a germ it didn't like, and I had hepatitis A many years ago and consider my immune system to be rather weak, so I sure hope I don't have to find out how I'd weather the virus. Stay safe out there, dear friends.

*   *   *
My plans for the day are rather simple: once I finish this post, I'll go through my normal morning routine and head to the coffee shop. There I'll enjoy my usual latte and visit with my friend John. He's doing pretty well himself, after having had a shot to block the testosterone in his body to keep the prostate cancer from spreading. He hasn't had any side effects yet, and maybe he won't. I'm glad he's feeling so well and is spending time doing things he enjoys, such as ballroom dancing and attending music venues. He even recently started going to a gym to walk on the treadmill. Apparently another friend has encouraged him to start getting more exercise, and I'm thrilled he's actually doing it.

After I come home from the coffee shop, I'll probably start working on getting my front porch garden ready for spring. All the pots have dead flowers in them, so I'll clean those out and get some fresh soil and then consider what flowers to plant in them. I really enjoyed last year's petunias and will plant more of them this season; they last a long time and are so cheerful to look at. It's a little chilly this morning, right around freezing, which means I'll probably have to scrape the car before heading out, but I don't mind. I think of it as exercise. 

And of course I need to consider how fortunate I am. Not only do I have a warm and safe place to live, but I also have a dear partner to share my days with. He's so conscientious, always thinking about ways to make my life better. He's a great guy and I sometimes forget what an integral part of my world he is. When I got up to make my tea, I noticed that the one clock that doesn't change automatically with Daylight Saving Time had been reset. And yes, I've got to remember that I missed an hour of sleep last night and will be more tired this evening than usual. But! The sun will set tonight after 7:00pm, which will be a real treat, as the days get longer and longer and we head towards the Vernal Equinox a week from Thursday.

Yes, life is good, even if a bit unsettled, and I need to remind myself to look around at the beautiful world and give thanks for all the positive and wonderful friends in my life. 
A friend is someone who helps you up when you’re down, and if they can’t, they lay down beside you and listen. —Winnie The Pooh
My tea is gone, my partner still sleeps quietly next to me, and my post is written. Please take care of yourselves and be well until we meet again next week, dear friends. I wish you all good things.


ApacheDug said...

Reading 'Eye on the Edge' has become one of my Sunday morning routines. :) Very glad to hear your friend Lily made it back safe n' sound, and wow that's crazy about toilet paper being sold out!? Haven't seen that yet here in Pittsburgh, but I'm going to take that as a sign of what's coming & stock up some myself. Hope your first day of longer light is a good one Djan.

gigi-hawaii said...

I am glad John is getting more exercise. Recently, David was told to stop taking testosterone injections because his hematocrit is too high and could result in heart attack or stroke. He was taking it because of Low T, which causes osteoporosis. Presently he has osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis, which afflicted his mother and landed her in a nursing home.

Marie Smith said...

Stay safe there Jan.

It is good John is getting some exercise! Hope he fells well!

A two week quarantine must be awful but if the temperature felt like it was in the -20 C I don’t think I’d mind it. However, getting outside in the fresh air would be important, even if just on the patio

Anvilcloud said...

I hope your get through the outbreak well enough. I don't know if anyone has figured out how long it will last. Aside from Trump that is because apparently doctors are astounded by his knowledge and come to him for advice.

Speaking of the clock change, I became excited this morning thinking that I had slept for 8 hours. I hadn't, but 7 is not bad and about the best that I can do.

Linda Reeder said...

The clock says it's after 9:00. My body says it isn't. It will be like that for a few days. 7:00 sun in the evening will be nice though.
As seniors well over 60, we almost felt like we needed permission, but we went anyway to the stadium last night for our Sounders match. We rode the light rail, using latex gloves until we got to the stadium and ditched them in favor of hand washing and warm gloves. The stadium filled slowly for the 7:00 match but eventually about 33,000 fans were in the seats.We stayed warm enough, and hopefully germ free enough. We used sanitary wipes to clean stuff when we got back home.
I really hate having to think about this virus all of the time, but we can't get away from it on the news, and as you say, as healthy as we are, we still don't know how it would hit us if we were to get it. In the mean time, I refuse to be paranoid. But we do have a supply of toilet paper, just in case????

Friko said...

Hi lovely lady,
we won’t be changing our clocks until the end of March but the days are already getting longer. Hurrah!
It’s too cold for much gardening round here this week but I am hoping that the everlasting rain will stop soon and I get out and get dirty again soon.

I too am curtailing my social activities, taking steroids for asthma is weakening my immune system so, rather than risking trouble, I am pottering around locally. I am even stopping seeing friends who overdo the out-and-about gadding too much for my liking until such time as we get the all clear.

William Kendall said...

I think we should go back to all standard time, all the time.

Rian said...

I'm so glad your friend, Lily, made it home safe and sound... and that John is doing well.
Think it's a good idea to avoid the bus for the time being. Stay well!

Gigi said...

SO very glad to hear that Lily made it back and that John is doing well.

We all need to be aware and take precautions; but buying up all the toilet paper is ridiculous. We haven't seen that here...yet.

I adore that Pooh quote; he is a "wise, old bear."

Have a great week, my friend.

Elephant's Child said...

Wonderful news about Lily and John. If you think of it, please tell them that they matter to people they will never see.
Toilet paper, tissues and hand sanitiser are gone here too. Silliness.
Have a wonderful, healthy, happy week.

Red said...

Covid 19 has made you do some serious thinking. When the virus is in the neighbor hood one's attention is quickly focused. We can do some common sense things . After that all bets are off. Enjoy your day. Enjoy your week.

The Furry Gnome said...

It'll be ahwile (2 months?) before we get started on gardens hrre.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I will check out our local stores in the morning and see what is on the shelves. I have a bunch of Lysol wipes so we are good with those and we have lots of packets of hand sanitizer and we use them too when we are out and about. This may be the last week that Far Guy goes out to Pulmonary Therapy we will see. He says I should stay in also....we will see.

We are getting our new great grandbaby on Tuesday! I am excited to see the photos! Only Dad is allowed at the hospital they are on lockdown in Michigan.

Maybe that will happen to our local hospitals soon.
Stay safe! :) So glad your Smart Guy is so good to you!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Forgot to say I am so happy that Lily is back safely and that John is doing good! :)

Rita said...

I am so glad Lily made it back and that John is doing well.
Stay safe and use the hand sanitizer. Won't be long and you'll be planting spring flowers. :)

Arkansas Patti said...

Was relieved that Lily made it back and to hear John is doing so well. I did hear a doctor
say something that made sense. He thinks elbow bumps aren't all that good since we tend to sneeze and cough into our elbows. Just a thought. I guess the toilet paper is being snapped up in case of being self quarantined and not being able to get out. Would hate to run out of TP. No one has Sears Catalogs these days:)) Seems SG has all ready taken care of that.
Stay safe Djan.

C-ingspots said...

Good to hear you're doing well and still hiking with your friends. I have to laugh at the thought of no toilet paper...now that's serious! As far as the corona virus though, I don't even give it a thought. There's nothing different that any of us should be doing except maybe washing our hands more often after being out in public. Otherwise, it's just another virus. If I get it, then I get it. I'm so thankful that I'm not a fearful person and have complete faith that God has it all under His control. Be well and enjoy these beautiful spring-like days we're experiencing!

Galen Pearl said...

I know you are closer to ground zero than we are just to the south of you in Portland, but I do see things changing here. Yeah, what's up with the toilet paper hoarding?! I am washing my hands more often, but otherwise going about my business as usual, for the most part. I don't go to many public events anyway, so I'm not giving up much. Still going to my martial arts classes as usual.

I had hepatitis when I was young as well. You and I have a lot of life parallels!

Let's enjoy the spring and be sensible about our health and love life.

Dee said...

Dear DJan, thank you so much for the Winnie-the-Pooh-Bear quotation. It is so apt right now as the coronavirus spreads and there does seem to be some of that "going bonkers" who mentioned. Like you, I'm in the risk group, 83 years old with COPD and asthma. But mostly I'm homebound and so not out and about meeting people. I so so hope that we come together in this crisis and see ourselves as One. There's a wonderful article today in the New York Times about the people in Italy yesterday singing from roof and balcony to thank all the health-care givers. That gratitude swelled to those who play musical instruments and DJs and opera singers--all of whom contributed to the music that swirled around the country. In reading the article I could feel the tangibility of their Oneness. I hope that the coronavirus touches you and those around you lightly. Peace.