Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Lady And The Lakehouse

I'm writing this down so I don't forget it. I remember writing about 2004 and all of the hurricanes in Florida...and now, this makes that seem tame. The whole world at once is dealing with a virus gone wild, and I really feel like I don't know where it's going to end up. Will I be looking back someday and say "Man, I could have made a Killing on the stock market!" or will I be sitting around a campfire reflecting on the days you could just go to the store and buy toilet paper?
But, in truth, to me, it is happening in a part of my life where I can stand it more than most other times. I am, supposedly one of the people at higher risk of dying from the virus...on the other hand, I'm not worried about getting laid off, and how I'm going to pay the power bill. I'm not worried, that now, I'll never get the promotion I was in line for, or if I'll ever hear back from the company I had interviews with..nah, my problems are much smaller. It seems, however that the power in the universe decided I needed a little reminder anyway..

Last night, my wife and I did our nightly walk, something we've gone back to now that suddenly we have less things to do than we did a few weeks ago. We kept our distance (the social distance) from other folks out walking their dogs or holding hands like us. Usually, there would be a quick smile and a glance down. We are friendly, but nobody is happy-happy. We walked down the street of beautiful, well-kept homes, some old, some new, and pointed out the things we liked and the things we would have different. Many of these homes were on a nice protected lake that is just about big enough for a ski-boat, but only one at a time. It is a lake that I would love to live on. I spent a large part of my life trying to figure out how I could have a piece of that until I finally found out how much the property tax was on homes like that. The property tax around here is to the point that even if somebody gave me a house of the lake for free, I couldn't afford to keep it.
We were passing by a really nice old 60s' block and brick home, with perfect grass and nice hedges. The paint was perfect, no cracks in the driveway, and I was certain I would have it made if I had something like that to live in.  I prefer that on the water to some modern box that screams, "I only LOOK at the water". This house would have some paddleboards and kayaks out back, ready to go at a moment's notice. 
A lady much older than us, was walking out to the end of the driveway, pushing her garbage can to the curb and she waved, Hi! We waved back and she remarked that we were doing what we are supposed to do, get some exercise while not congregating in large groups. She was really well dressed for garbage can duty. Improbably nice red hair and lots of it, and a matching ensemble of colors that set the hair on fire. She then mentioned that she was making do, her husband was in a nursing home and they wouldn't let her see him. Today was his birthday, and she had to show him a sign through the window in the door to his room.....

In the words of my dad, "I have no complaints...."