It’s spring, which means there are snow flurries happening during Holy Week and I’m currently roasting a turkey. What? You don’t have turkey dinner on the Monday of Holy Week? Why not?!
Yesterday was my uncle’s birthday, and today is SuperDad’s uncle’s birthday. At 78 and 88, respectively, they are our oldest living blood relatives for each side of the family. Their birthday cards remain unsent because, while I do make cards, I seem to have trouble actually sending them. And yes, I need to rectify that ASAP.
This is the first year I can remember being truly relaxed during Holy Week without being away on a trip. For many years I sang in a choir and for five of those years, I also worked in a church office, so it was especially busy with multiple worship services and rehearsals. Some years, I would feel guilty for missing those services and rehearsals (small churches need every body) because we would be traveling to or from visiting my dad, but I’m glad we had those times since he has been gone for over 3 years now. Then the pandemic hit and we were locked down at home. Last year we listened to the Easter Sunday service while driving on our annual spring trip. But this year we are home and the only responsibilities I have on Easter morning is bringing a breakfast egg & potato bake and ringing 3 handbells; it feels like very light service compared to years past.
And yet… I overscheduled my Tuesday (tomorrow) with multiple events: lunch meet-up and walk with Side-by-Side, a dentist appointment, dinner with Side-by-Side home groups, and then handbell rehearsal before the end of the dinner group. Except for the teeth cleaning, those things are all enjoyable, but it’s a bit more than I can handle in 8 hours with a smile on my face. It wouldn’t be too much for a normal, healthy person but I am abby-normal and cannot be upright for more than a few hours at a time without paying the price in pain. Luckily, Wednesday has less happening before Holy Week heats up with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.**
**Our pastor pointed out yesterday that Christians have weird names for things. While the Good Friday/Tenebrae service is a favorite for some of us, it’s also rather dark and depressing; however, it makes Easter Sunday that much brighter and joyful.
The cat is curled up in my lap right now. She’s 17 years old and we recently discovered she is deaf. This might explain why, after years of being petrified of the vacuum, she now enjoys being vacuumed. The Barefooter is mowing the lawn — second mowing of the year — and the buzz of the electric machine is distinguishable to my ears but not by much. Like most people my age who blasted music through her earbuds at a younger juncture of life, I’ve got a bit of hearing loss, but the thrumming tinnitus has been non-stop for 3 weeks and counting. I’d developed a bad headache on Easter Sunday and while the pain abated after a week or so, I’m still “hearing underwater.” After my almost sleepless night of listening to the imaginary hum of airplanes and slow-moving locomotives, I’m envious of the cat’s ability to sleep when she is tired. (The inability to sleep was last night; now I can barely hold my eyes open!)
The annual Lilac Festival would normally be happening over these next few weeks; yesterday should have been the 12-km Bloomsday run. But nothing is normal during a pandemic. Bloomsday has been rescheduled from May 3rd to September 20th, but I don’t believe it will be possible for nearly 50,000 people to gather and run or walk, or even half that many. No one is willing to acknowledge how very much life has changed and will remain different for the foreseeable time.
The Scout left after dinner yesterday to embark upon some social isolation hiking. We knew the state parks were closed, but he was very surprised when he got to his planned starting point and discovered this:
The article I read this afternoon tells me that over 7 MILLION ACRES have been closed — and that’s just in our state. My heart breaks for my son. Hiking is one of the few things he can do; he’s spent much of the past several years in his room, socially isolating because of Post Concussion Syndrome. Yes, I know we’re supposed to be staying home due to the novel coronavirus and the dangers of COVID-19, and except for “essential” trips away from the house, that is what we are doing. Yesterday I drove him to two different medical appointments; I stayed in the car with my phone and a book while he went in to meet with those new-to-him doctors (all part of trying to find a way to heal from PCS). The doctors have no answers. They cannot explain why The Scout had 6 weeks of reprieve from his symptoms (chronic headache and cognitive impairment) after 3 months of hiking on the PCT last year. Since they have no answers, hiking again is his best chance for regaining his healthy self. Frankly, I see his solo hiking as somewhat essential for his mental and physical health. I do not begrudge him the chance to try again for that relief. He’s already changed plans twice this spring due to park closures (state and national) and the realization that he would be unwelcome visiting small towns for resupply.
I’ll leave you with this picture of him playing in the ocean with his brother 12 years ago on a mostly deserted Virginia beach (because, like today, it was cold and blustery), when no one but a hardy few were willing to get outside and experience the power of nature.