Adventures Outside the House During Our Time of Isolation

Yesterday I ventured forth farther a-field than I have for three weeks. I had an health appointment and my son agreed to take me so I wouldn’t have to take the bus (I don’t drive). I thought I would be excited to leave the house, but in truth I was mostly nervous. I looked up how to make a mask from a bandana and hair bands:

You can find instructions on how to make your own COVID-19 fashion statement here. I had a hard time getting the elastic bands to stay looped over my ears, so when I got home, I strung three together, before slipping the bandana through the end two, to allow the elastic to go around my head. I haven’t tried wearing it outside as I walk around yet, but I have high hopes it will stay in place a little better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way in, there were some cars, but many stretches of the road were almost empty.

We passed my favourite pond. There were two grey herons on it, a bird I hadn’t seen there before. I hope they’re nesting. Someone pointed out to me that the birds have been loving the quieter days and the cleaner air, and since then I have noticed that there are indeed more birds around than we’ve had for a while.

 

      After my appointment, we had a couple errands to run, one on the pedestrian mall. It was stunning to see how empty it was. The homeless folk had gathered primarily in one area, but most were keeping several yards apart from each other and talking about the pandemic.

I was surprised by how many restaurants were not limiting themselves to take out or curbside pick-up. Quite a number were open for business as more-or-less usual. THIS IS WHY WE NEED A NATIONAL SHUT-DOWN, PEOPLE. We can’t count on folks to stay away from each other if it isn’t mandated as a necessity.

There were few shoppers around; many of them were wearing scarves or masks. We looked like a small convention of highway robbers.

Because I’ve been cooped up at home, my son and I took the scenic route home. We saw trees just coming out of dormancy, still all bones, but not for long.*

There were some mountains, too.

Honestly, I feel as if the world has undergone such a cataclysm that I wasn’t sure the Rockies would still be there. It’s like living in one of those SciFi movies in which most of the population has been swept away by a plague and everyone is afraid of everyone else, but it’s not a movie.

Be careful out there, folks.

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* Winter trees remind me of the first and last verses of Theodore Roethke’s poem, “I Knew A Woman”:

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;   
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:   
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek).
………………………………
Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:   
I’m martyr to a motion not my own;
What’s freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.   
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:   
(I measure time by how a body sways).
(https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43331/i-knew-a-woman)

 

The Peach Chronicles, Part II

Well, I am sure everyone had a sleepless night, worrying about the peach tree. I am pleased to offer a bit of good news: I think the lights may have worked! Take a look:

 

Not only do most of the blossoms that were there before seem to be there still, but there are even some new ones:

The foreseeable future offers some dips down to freezing temps, but no hard freezes. But then there’s the rest of April, squirrels (who literally will take one bite of a peach and then throw it as far as they can), bugs, birds…
Kinehora, all!

#30Inks30Days 4 April, 2020

 

This ink is Benitsuchi from Taccia’s Hokusai set. I’m not sure how much I’m choosing inks that suit the unfolding story (I don’t have any of it planned out) and how much I’m suiting the story to the ink. This ink wanted to draw people, so people showed up in the story. What will tomorrow’s ink bring? I don’t know either.

#30Inks30Days 3 April, 2020

Day Three of using 30 Inks in 30 Days to distract me from the tragic, global disaster of COVID-19 and the national political disaster of our Federal Government.

Darkness brought to you by Diamine Shimmertastic Colbalt Jazz. I thought this ink caught the way a sudden darkness would hold some of the shine and gleam of the briefly obscured day light.

Inktober 2019, Day Twenty-four: An Eerie Coincidence…

Inktober Prompt: Dizzy
GoldspotPrompt: Ghost

24 October, 2019

Bridget,

These coincidences are almost too many to believe, queer and eerie ~ we shall have a neologism: queerie ~ but perhaps that is just how the world works.

Dr. Torres found the volume in a book store ~ I should like to know which one! ~ as she was driving here to open her new practice? Do you believe this account, Bridie? It makes me a little dizzy in those parts of my brain struggling to maintain a link to logic.

And to find out that you, or your family, are part of local legend and you never knew! I was aware that your mother was another Bridget, but, like you, I had no idea that your family always had a Bridie in every generation of the family tree. All this you learnt from the introduction! Do any of the legends in the book hold clues as to what is happening now?

It saddens me that your father is not improving any longer. How often what we see in others reflects back to us; how aching it must be to have your father look through you as if you were a ghost. In my little world, you are the reality that is

Most substantial,
Hannah

The Peach Tree Chronicles

The freezing rain came. It brought frost and snow in its wake. It coated the tree branches,

 

the hyacinths,

   

the miniature lilies and the crocuses.

 

And it showed no mercy to my beloved peach tree.

My only hope is the string of lights my son helped me wind through the tree.

        The rain and snow have let up. Tomorrow will still be cold, but a warming trend is on the way. However, there is more rain in the mid-range forecast, so stay tuned. More peach drama is sure to follow.

#30Inks30Days: 1 April, 2020

 

1 April, 2020

And just in time, for those of us who need something else to do while practicing social distancing, comes another #30Inks30Days! (Thanks to Tom Oddo of Ink Journal for coming up with this challenge.) Here’s my first day’s inking:

Today’s Ink is Robert Oster Australian Opal Grey. It’s very much the colours of the clouds that will bring the rain and snow that will endanger my peach blossoms (see my previous post).

While We Wait

I’m not the Pollyanna type: my approach to life is more Pessimists are never disappointed. BUT — desperate times, desperate measures. So while we wait for this fearful virus to relent, I have been trying to remind myself that there are still some soul-lifting aspects to life. So I have been out with my camera*, taking photos of sunsets:

 

 

 

 

   

I have been tracking the moon:

             

and watching for the flowers to add colour to the world:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND — I have been chronicling the emergence of blossoms on our peach tree:

   

 

 

 

Our temperatures are about to drop into the twenties with rain and snow, so I am worried that after Friday, there will be no more blossoms, and no peaches later (though last time we had peaches, the wasps ate more than we did).

Stay tuned. I’ll update the state of the peach tree later. Stay well.

 

_____________

*All the photos, like all the contents of this blog, are copyrighted to me.

Inktober 2019, Day Twenty-three: Shadow Curse

Inktober Prompt: Ancient
GoldspotPrompt: Shadow

23 October, 2019

Bridie,

These are dark matters indeed! Dr. Torres has discovered an ancient shadow fallen on our wood, one that reaches to your house, that place of refuge for me ~ my second home; that is what you tell me. Write me as you read through the book she lent you so I feel I am

With you,
Hannah