Thursday, March 19, 2020

i really have no problem with hanging around days on end, playing out in my garden, moving dirt and cutting wood, growing garlic and greenthread. my kids are restless, being teenagers and all, and being way out on the end of the road in the mountains. there are a lot of deer and elk and turkeys out here, but no other teenagers, and they don't go for long walks in the canyon if they can avoid it. they have internet though, and we're feeding them pretty well. we hang around in the main house, either obsessing on the news, or avoiding it entirely, and when they come in, we feed them and try not to sound too upset.

the numbers climb steadily, especially in italy and here. the couple of weeks we went without testing will turn out to be crucial, as it will have spread too much and too wide, and then everyone will get it except those of us who are way hidden, way out there. for us, school has been canceled for three weeks, but we suspect it will be much more. and i am happy with that, remember, as i have dirt and fence projects, and things like transplanting trees.

one son was almost ready for college, and the prospects for that are looking dim. is he supposed to just move into a dorm, in august? i think he's a little relieved that he might not have to. if they put all these courses online, he'll save a lot of money, and then by the time he is ready to bolt, it won't be a problem. i'm sure he doesn't want to stay home forever. but he put all himself into getting straight a's, and that didn't leave him much room for developing independence skills, or the self-awareness to be ready to leave. he's nice to have around, it won't bother us a bit. i'd rather have him stay, than out there rubbing elbows with every eighteen-year-old that forgot to use social distance.

the other three, well, it's tough on them too. the question is, whether to ride horses or not. in austria, they say, not. that's because it's dangerous, but there are no hospital beds to share. if you were to end up in a hospital, as my wife did back in what, november, you'd take a bed away from someone who could die. now is that a reason to let go of a very expensive habit? i'm not sure. the horses are my wife's salvation. she will have trouble living without them.

the youngest goes outside, lives outside, likes it out there. if i'm doing weeding or raking, sometimes she'll help me; she likes it. she gets a lot of fresh air out there. but she likes school too, and will miss it dearly. not sure how to get her with her friends more. pretty soon everyone will go bonkers, i'm afraid. i'm hoping, not me. i'm trying to hole up, be peaceful, give kids things to do, keep my cool in the storm, that kind of thing.

my sister, i'm afraid, is having a tough time of it. she's alone, in a city, and it's scary, i think. a friend went to walmart and found shelves empty; that upset my wife too. if the supply chain is disrupted, that's trouble. i think inflation is a secret problem too; it's been so long that we really suffered from it, that we've forgotten what it's like. but they can charge whatever they want for toilet paper. and if we really need it, what are we going to do, live without? most of us have a lifetime supply, back in the garage, now. i know we have something like that, because we were worried about power shortages. i don't want to give the mice time to find them. my goal is to 1) use them for insulation, for the rest of the winter; 2) use them up slowly, and 3) maybe think of some art projects that use them cleverly.

and then, the sun goes down gently in the canyon. another peaceful country night, and i know that people, in their various houses, are as agitated as we can be. but there are deer, elk and turkeys out here. i say that not to say that we'll always have a food supply (i'd need a gun and some skills, before that would be true), but more that, if you're going to have neighbors at all, best to have the ones you know are not carrying the virus.


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