Saturday March 21, 2020
Perhaps you are interested in whats shaking in my little piece of paradise in the Canadian Rockies. Lets just say its been a week of ups and downs. Seeing the best and the worst in people. The picture above was taken at Toronto’s Harbourfront a few years ago. That is my friend Lori in the background. I long to see my old neighbourhood sometime soon, although its not likely.
You all know I write this from a 2 acre plot of paradise in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This is my 7th day of social isolation and I thought you might like an update on what’s going down here.
It’s a small town but we get a lot of through traffic from Montana to the south, Vancouver to the West and Alberta to the North (Calgary and Edmonton)and East (Lethbridge). Beginning last Monday, things began to slowly shut down. And then people started to get their lay-off notices. It’s fucking heart-breaking. And then I see some folks on social media coming down hard on others who are just trying to do their best ( I believe) for their families.
Two weeks ago I did some normal grocery shopping and also picked up some extra dry goods for my pantry. Last Sunday my husband popped into the local grocery and the shelves were depleting so he picked up some meat, chicken, fruit and an 18 pack of TP that somehow remained in place until his arrival. My older sister lives in Thunder Bay where she is currently without this item as are many people worldwide.
My well organized life is falling apart. Gym is closed but I have been issued homework by the lovely, dedicated Sarah and I’ve completed it each day before lunch time. (treadmill and tabadas – bridges and crunches)
My standing hair appointment for Thursday has been cancelled and I’m going back to my natural curly girl hair (picture next week) as the operation of a straightener is difficult with one hand. Besides, I like Curly every now and then, it feels like I’m on a beach somewhere, waving my hands like I just don’t care. But that thought needs to wait for awhile now.
My yogi has cancelled until further notice. Our housekeeper has been coming and we all engage in an appropriate level of self checking, hand washing and social distancing.
Fernie Alpine along with all of the RCR (Resorts of the Canadian Rockies) properties closed March 15th…and last week announced they are now closed for the season ( due to shifting changes wrt Coronavirus). I’m not sure what shifting changes means and it makes me wonder what they know that we don’t.
These are difficult times for you, me, everyone in the world. It seems like everything is being slowly depleted: Our freedom, our personal relationships, basic supplies, human contact and sometimes even basic kindness and decency. I’ve been called a snowflake recently (I’m not entirely sure what this means but I’m pretty sure it does not apply to me….OK boomer) and told to fuck off in the past week. I’m just going to roll with it for now and try to go high when they go low.
My husband continues to work from home. This is not new, this is just business as usual for him and for me. But I’m kind of lonely.
I took a short drive mid-week to see what’s actually happening outside, in town, down by the hospital, up on the mountain at Fernie Alpine. I expected very little and I capped off my roadtrip with a visit to Starbucks drive-thru. I’ve started to think about my garden. and what I will be planting this year Based on last years results it will likely be strawberries and various herbs like mint and basil, chives and parsley, perhaps tomatoes and peppers.
I just got back from my wee roadtrip into town. Here are my observations:
- It’s was a bluebird in the Rockies Wednesday. That’s the term locals use to describe a clear blue day, no clouds, bright skies, sun shining. It’s warm enough to melt snow. Yay!
- There were 22 people of various ages on foot in town this morning by my random, unofficial count. This is way more than normal. I guess people are just looking for some semblance of normalacy in their day-to-day with a wee walk.
- Some stores are open, evidenced by a graphic of an open eye. Closed stores have a wordy sign with an explanation why that no one needs at this point.
- Some restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Remain open but are practising social distancing in seating customers.
- The local radio station plays 80’s tunes designed I’m sure to calm the savage boomer beasts that have been in lock down for almost a week.
- Starbucks drive-thru is open and I grab a grande non-fat latte. My intention was to find a walking path near a bench or picnic table where I could enjoy my drink and the bluebird, however, I continued my drive up to Fernie Alpine Resort.
- It is indeed closed and most deserted. Only two walkers, one sad chap carrying skies he will not be using again for some time I’m afraid
- Both grocery stores are open and the parking lots full. As is Canadian Tire.
- People have started walking up the hill that my house is on and back down the other side. It’s a great workout. Perhaps I’ll try it myself one fine day, like today but not today.
- Roop is doing what pugs do, eating, sleeping and giving a bit of love now and then.
Friends, we are in lock-down, but there are still have choices we can make everyday.
Yesterday a friend told me that she was in the grocery store with another friend. Confronted with mostly empty spaces, they came across two tins of tomato sauce. She only needed one and debated whether to purchase them both. In the end her choice was to leave the second tin for the next person who may need it.
Simple choices like this we get to make every day now. I choose to believe that most people are good like this. Caring for their community. Despite bad press being given to hoarders. Many people are just acting out of instinct to protect their families. They are not being mean or unkind. Maybe unintentionally thoughtless. Perhaps it’s time to get more thoughtful.
This is a great time to become more thoughtful in these tough times that are only going to get tougher. Make better, kinder choices everyday. This is day 7 of my social isolation. I’m trying to lay off social media as it seems to bring out the worst in people, even usually nice ones are expressing uncomfortable opinions. I’ve decided to take a break from that as well during this time after a bad experience yesterday after being told to fuck off.
People are also formally and informally deciding to expand their “family” to include others such as nannies, housekeepers, personal care workers and so on, expanding their isolation to embrace one or two others during their social isolation, perhaps observing distancing rules while in the vicinity of each other. This too will end, I’m sure as it is not really in the spirit of what is being asked of communities.
Yesterday. I got in my car at 9:00 and headed over to my local Starbucks for a takeout cappuccino. I brought my kindle, stayed in my car in the parking lot and read whilst drinking my coffee. It was good to get out for awhile. But this is making for very long days.
I’ve been walking for 30 minutes a day on my treadmill but think I will start walking outside next week. I live at the top of a hill. I expect that it will take 30 minutes to circumnavigate my house whilst providing fresh mountain air and a wee bit of sunshine. Sadly it is uphill both ways. Not kidding!
I am strong and I am bored . I took some vitamin B12 today as a bit of a pick me up. I face-timed with my brother. Thanks Dave!
Stay well my friends. In the end we only have each other. Be kind to each other online and off.
Lets try to make good choices every day! Try to remember that this new hardship for some folks is yet another burden to add to an already heavy load. I try to keep myself focused with happy thoughts of the people I hope to see in July but I’m running seriously low on my usual optimism these days. Maybe I need a bit more B12 and a shot of vitamin D. Time to take that walk.
But I am still awesome and so are you.