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Covid-19 Lifestyle

May 2, 2020
You’ve got to pick up every stitch. (Remember?)

May 1, 2020

I doubt if my grandparents experienced what I’m experiencing with the Covid-19 pandemic.  Or did they?  

Carl and Ellen lost their toddler, a girl, in 1918 to scarlet fever.  She died in my grandma’s arms, I was told.  Like that.

Soon after, they adopted a kid from North Dakota, Sigurd Christianson, whose mother died during the flu pandemic.  The mother was married to one of my grandma’s brothers.  I don’t know what became of Sigurd, but I think he returned to live with his father after a few years in Kalispell.  Perhaps his father remarried.  ?

My aunt Corinne said everyone liked Sig.  He was approximately as old as Corinne’s brother Bud, lost in WW II when a U-boat torpedoed his troopship in the English Channel Christmas Eve, 1944. Wars never end.

But. Back to the present.  In Billings, these days we live in a strange, compressed way, with face masks and computer zoom church services.  Our neighbors howl each evening at 8 o’clock.  We were walking and P. and I saw a kindergarten-age kid leafing through a coloring book on his front porch.  He howled at the kids across the street as he leafed through the book. The adults across the street looked like they got a kick out of the scene.

Earlier today, at two o’clock, I walked Gunther around the block and at the end of our alley I saw my friend Nick.  He said he was glad to see me.  He approached me and I shrank back.  He presented an elbow to bump.  “Elbows,” he said.  He is young, muscular, black.  Lovable, wholesome. Always friendly to me.

He is working.  Distributes potato chips and other snacks for Frito-Lay.  That makes him essential so he can keep working.  He is essential to his family.  His wife is applying to become a physician assistant student at Rocky.  They have two high-spirited daughters who write messages of love on the sidewalk in pink chalk.  Nick and his wife recently remodeled their house.

He is interesting.  Formerly a college and professional basketball player, he played for the Harlem Globe Trotters in addition to more conventional teams.  I’m not a great fan of pro ball, but Nick cares about the same kinds of things I care about.  People, pets, pandemic.  Sometimes he parks his big Frito-Lay rig at the end of our block.  We talked about getting together for supper, his family and mine.  Well, we still talk about it, but now the getting together seems remote, in the social isolation time of Covid-19.  Nick said we will get through all of this.  In my imagination I’m grilling him a steak. Maybe a baked potato. Here’s a beverage.

Gunther needed more time for his physical needs, so I walked him down the alley.  My neighbors are socially isolating in their back yards.

I’ve been napping a couple times a day, these days.  Then I get up and do chores.  Sometimes I sit in the back and look for birds.

My friend Ezra Stewart called me this afternoon.  Ezra reads science fiction, but other things too.  Good stories.  Some by Kilgore Trout.

He and I like to volunteer at NOVA theater when we can get adequate instruction and supervision.  Carpentry in a theater is different from standard household carpentry.  (duh!)  A nice thing these days is the lack of any work deadlines.  Tuesday, I plan to meet with the theater manager along with Ezra to see if we can spruce up the theater.  Probably make some repairs. Do some deep cleaning.

But back to Ezra’s phone call.  He mentioned giving his mother a book of Emily Dickenson’s poetry.  This inspired me to read through a book we have at our house.  And that’s what I’m doing tonight.  

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One Comment
  1. Blaine Ackley permalink

    Hi Dan, Happy May Day to you, Pen, and Gunther. Dogs can be subject to depression too so it is good that you keep his spirits up by walking with him regularly. How is Kilgore Trout doing anyway? Besides walking my five miles a day, keeping up to date on boating and fishing issues, taking the occasional bike ride, sending out flyers to Demo voters for our May 19 primary election, I have been reading and chuckling through the latest from our ace Swedish detective Ulf Varg. He again finds himself embroiled in situations of a very personal and delicate nature that go beyond the Department of Sensitive Crimes. I have picked up such erudite observations as: politicians lose their influence when they die. What are online church services and choir practices like? I am learning to play Lady Madonna and It Don’t Come Easy on my ukulele. Be well, B B

    Best wishes, Blaine Sent from my iPad


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