It drives me crazy that of all the lovely shots I had taken of me in my wedding dress for our thirtieth wedding anniversary, this is the one blown up on my husband’s office wall. I guess that is the Kerry that he really loves. Right now at this crossroad in history we need some lightness. The last time I felt panicked about going out was in 2003 in Cairo, Egypt. The Second Gulf war had started and there was a perceived threat of weapons of mass destruction. We were advised to stay home in case Westerners were a target.
Since I looked like I did above, it was obvious that I wasn’t Middle Eastern but I couldn’t stand being in the house. I strode out silently daring anyone to harass me. Nobody did…I probably looked like a crazy lady. Then I felt silly. Now we have to socially distance. I went to Trader Joe today (our Marks and Spencer sorta) and there were little yellow lines painted 6 ft. distance. They were only allowing a limited amount of shoppers and it was the quietest I have ever seen the shop – bliss. As you approached the shop, the Trader Joe artists (there are always some on staff to paint the signs) had put little encouraging words on the yellow stripes.
When I got to the checkout desk, I had a little chat with the lady. “I look ridiculous with these black hair dye gloves,” I said. “Oh, no, I have seen much worse…” she returned with a chuckle. Then my imagination went into overdrive with WWII gas masks and Breaking Bad yellow boiler suits. Then I went home and disinfected my purchases. Earlier in the day, Teddy was convinced he had appendicitis. I reassured him that it was probably gas and this wasn’t a good time to go to our doctor’s office. It is right across the road from a retirement community that has been quarantined because of a significant outbreak of Covid 19. I checked his temperature and poked the sore bit, made him bend over to check for sciatica. Then I scolded him for being hypochondriacal at the wrong time in human history. He seems to be fine now – usually Dr. Kerry can scare most illnesses away. The gas came out eventually – so much so that I fell about laughing and sprayed air freshener in our house.
It hasn’t been long since I had a major bout of depression and anxiety. I have good days and bad during this crisis but so does everyone. For the first time, most of you can empathize with how a chronically mentally ill person feels ALL THE TIME. It is so exhausting to be terrified and worried about everything. Now there is a pandemic and I am doing okay. After I reassured Teddy that he wasn’t dying, I went for a walk around the pond and up to the reservoir. Many years ago, my friend Anne and I took our bikes many miles to our nearest reservoir in Glasgow at Cathkin Braes. The sign said, “NO TRESPASSING!” but we were about 13 years old with that ‘who cares’ attitude. We were having a lovely time when the warden found us. Oh dear… we got a dreadful row about how dangerous reservoirs were and to go home immediately.
I REALLY wanted to ignore the NO TRESPASSING sign, at my reservoir today, but two Sheriffs had already passed me. I just stood and enjoyed the ozonic breeze wafting down from the water. A Great Heron was fishing for her lunch at the spillway. She must have caught a dozen little silvery fish that sparkled before disappearing down her gullet. She was pretty husky for a heron… Back at the pond I almost stood on the fattest Muscovy duck – I think the neighbors feed her because she isn’t afraid of me. Teddy usually lumbers after me on walks round the pond – he has a big actual footprint and frightens all the critters away. This time I was able to see around 20 little turtles sitting on a mud bank with a single White Egret.
I saw a variety of neighbors and we all kept our 6ft distance, shouting the news at one another. The great leveler is how awful we all look. Grey roots, no makeup, stubbly beards, Walmart clothes and no one cares. My Walmart tops are all from the thrift store so I have Eco Brownie points. Our cul de sac is in a state of excitement right now because we have a new nest with a Black Crowned Night Heron. They aren’t particularly common round here. Teddy and I sat out on our deck on Sunday and a perfect little Downy Woodpecker came really close in the tree right above our head. She had no red markings yet and seemed to be fascinated by the humans. She tapped and tapped, entertaining us for a full hour. Take comfort in small moments of joy and be as safe as you can be.
THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD – POSTSCRIPT
As I was writing this post, I heard an inordinate amount of sirens – police, fire engines and ambulance. We live close to one of our major routes within the forest but we haven’t heard them for weeks since everything went pandemic crazy. I was so bored that I considered going out to see what idiot had sped through our cross stop or ran over a pedestrian but decided to keep watching Animal Planet. Then our neighbors sent a round robin to say that some desperate guy had robbed people at gunpoint in one of our furthest subdivisions and sped away. He had gone into our sleepy little street to escape the police and then exited only to wreck his scooter in front of the pediatric hospital across the road. He is now in critical condition – I guess God decided he deserved a Darwin award. To give some perspective, this is a sleepy backwater with very little crime so this is unprecedented. Today was a strange day for me, not just because of the weird robber, and I had already been considering opening a bottle of wine. The wine is finished… On a really sad note, two of the elderly residents of the retirement community have died – may they rest in peace.