How are you all doing? Are you wearing masks, and washing your hands, practicing the 6 feet social distance rule and avoiding large gatherings? Are you a believer in science and health news or are you a politically motivated Covid-19 denier and possible spreader of the virus?
I am wearing the masks. I am mostly staying home. I am washing and disinfecting. Certainly, I am avoiding large gatherings and travel.
I find I am immensely grateful for summer and the warm weather season as we learn to find our way through the GLOBAL PANDEMIC. I have said many times, “we are all going to have to figure out how to navigate this.” I hope you and yours are staying healthy as you do that.
I have an amount of risk factors, and I know I mentioned before that my roommate (aka husband) does too. If we get sick, we will be more at risk than younger, thinner, healthier people. We are also retired and able to “stay home,” where as many do not have that luxury. We don’t take that for granted and I know we are immeasurably lucky in that regard.
Which brings me to PICNICS.
We are loving our picnics. I am loving my PICNICS.
We have enjoyed several “deck” picnics. A few with our youngest daughter and her boyfriend, and another with our middle daughter when she came to visit.
It is the summer, and we can visit on the deck and eat at separate tables. When middle daughter came to visit, she even slept in a tent in our lovely backyard, mostly for fun, since she loves to camp. We do have a covid corona pandemic guest room that she could have slept in, although she chose not to sleep there. We just close the door when they leave and do not enter for several days. Yes, we know we are lucky in that regard too.
For Father’s Day? We celebrated. We had a picnic. Middle daughter and her boyfriend met us at a beautiful park and we ate and drank and chatted, sitting in our camp chairs under a beautiful tree. It was a beautiful day in a pretty setting and we enjoyed our visit so much.
I miss seeing my sisters. Although they have socialized in various ways during the pandemic, I have not. So, we had a picnic. “Bring your own dinner, and camp chair,” I said. We met at a state park, sat under shady trees and talked for hours. When a storm came blowing in, we knew it was time to leave, although weather permitting, we would have stayed even longer. It was lovely.
I missed seeing my niece and great niece and have barely met my newborn great nephew. So… you guessed it. We had a picnic. We met at our local park. We each brought our own food, I brought my favorite camp chair. We shared the picnic pavilion with 2 separate groups at separate times but let me tell you. It was delightful. There was no touching, no contact, no little girl or baby boy holding, and that may have caused a few surreptitious tears. Still, a socially distant picnic is better than nothing and safer than our usual hugs and kisses and touching and holding. (We are that kind of family.)
I missed my friend. So, we had a picnic variation of a coffee meeting. We sat outside at a table, and were able to talk and catch up since we hadn’t see each other in months.
My calendar used to be full of appointments, dinners out at restaurants, parties with family, meeting friends, trips to the city and movies and museums, travel, and more. Now, its empty. But lucky for me, occasionally, a calendar square is filled with 6 letters: PICNIC.
Are you missing your friends and family? Have a picnic. Find a park, preferably one with picnic tables and perhaps a covered pavilion. Bring your own chair, insect repellent, food and drink. Bring disinfecting wipes if you have them and plenty of hand sanitizer. Put your phone down. You’ll be surprised how quickly the time passes. How wonderful is the simple act of connection in the beautiful outdoors surrounded by green trees and (hopefully) blue skies, and if you’re really lucky, maybe a river or lake.
There are many more PICNICS in my future. After all, summer has only just officially begun. There are a few birthdays, a girlfriend reunion, and some weekly get-togethers with family members. I’m going to preload my car with my PICNIC KIT. It holds water, insect repellant spray, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, a blanket, a jacket, and my favorite camp chair. I’ll be exploring county parks and state parks in certain drive radius of my home.
I rarely let my thoughts consider the future, with seasons of bad weather and uncontrolled virus in this country. A world of us are working on our mindfulness and learning to live in the now. I have enough crying days. (https://notjusthorsingaround.com/2020/06/04/weep-with-me/)
Besides knowing that we each are going to have to learn to navigate our own way through this pandemic, I also say, that I don’t know how I’m going to do that. Am I being too cautious? Not cautious enough? When I read the news and the statistics, it’s terrifying. And the number of people who won’t participate in simple mask wearing to be safe is even more frightening.
I see others who are more at ease with a greater assortment of get-togethers and activities. I don’t know how to act. Some people are in the world interacting day after day, many of them with no choice, and many are making their own choice.
Despite how young I may feel at times, I remind myself of my own risk factors and the more serious ones of my roommate. They call them comorbidities.
comorbidity [ˌkōmôrˈbidədē] NOUN
- co-morbidity (noun)
- the simultaneous presence of two or more diseases or medical conditions in a patient.
- “age and comorbidity may be risk factors for poor outcome” ·
It appears I have plenty of time to figure this out. In the meantime, I am going to work on my kit and plan my next PICNIC. See you soon.
I love you. I miss you. You know who you are.