the fish book, war and the virus

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Someone started the fish book the year the boat was built. Dad was six years old that year and I can imagine him hanging around Grandpa’s shop listening to the Uncles as they hammered and glued and put the boat together. In a weird time shift, see me at 6 years old in the shop at our house in Oregon where my Dad was building  his own boat.  Mahogany.  I remember;  the smell of planed wood and many coats of varnish.

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in search of swans

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“There they are! See, over on the far bank.  You can see a few!”

“Hold on, I’ll pull over and we can get a better look”.

Our spring-time tradition of heading off to find the swans as they touch down and ride the river currents between thinning sheets of ice.  Driving north where the bears are still snoozing under snow blankets and any pull-offs from the highway are blocked with 3,4,5 feet of snow, we search for swans through the trees from the truck windows.

“Wait I see something.  Lots of them.” As she looks through the seriously unfocused binoculars. IMG_7194.JPG

“I think it’s a swan. No, wait….. it tipped over. It must be an ice burg that fell over.”

“Uh… ok, I guess it could be an ice burg, but…….”

“Oh, hahaha it’s a swan butt! He’s upside down feeding….a swan butt! I’ll get a picture of it”.

With photo ops few and far between from the truck with the phone, we drive on in search of swans.

“There’s lots of somethings over there. Let me check with the binocs.  Well, they sure look like penguins”.

“Don’t think so, Sue.  Not likely penguins”.

“You’re no fun.  Wouldn’t it be cool if they WERE penguins?”

“Sure”.

“There’s a weasely thing on the far bank”.

“Whatcha mean, weasely thing? You mean a marten?”

“Hey, I should narrate wildlife creature shows! (Much laughter)

“Sure”.

Finding swans feels a bit different this year. We left the house with our road sammies (BLT on fresh French bread), cinnamon buns and coffee because stopping in the tiny cafe for lunch is not an option right now.  We stop at the only outhouse rest stop open and maintain awkward social distancing with the few other travellers who have stopped. We disinfect our hands with sanitizing wipes immediately when we are back in the truck.

Finding swans this year sent us home with hope, faith and love. The swans show us that while our world might be different for awhile, we have faith that we will meet together again; and hope that we all stay safe in the meanwhile.

and Love.

“Yeah Sue, you really should narrate creature shows.”  Takes some love to say that with a straight face.

Happy Easter my friends and family. Miss you mightily.

 

 

 

 

 

shopping in virus times

 

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I’ve been away for awhile – life as usual – for awhile.  But now…..now nothing is as usual.

I’m working from home and fortunate to be doing so while so many have no work to go to right now. However; the work from home set up is not without some stressors.

It became evident quickly that my fancy-dandy Mac wouldn’t work with the system I needed and unless I quickly became a computer tech I was out of luck.  So……. I went shopping for a PC laptop.  I had to have it; I had exactly 4.5 days to learn a new job, with some 30 hours of online training (I know, do the math – it didn’t fit) learn a new program and get to work and my employer was not providing equipment. Crisis times call for crisis measures and I want to do my part.

Dashing into the empty city I found the computer places closed and with only a drug store that has a reputable computer department open.  I went in to awkwardly stand across the room from the sales guy and explain what I need.  He came up with the great idea of hey! how about a refurbished Lenovo? It will handle your requirements and not cost you an arm and a leg.  Well, $500 of an arm and a leg.

I took it. Rushed home to get on-line and try to catch up.  I yanked the “refurbished” tape off and “unboxed” my new to me Lenovo.  I opened the laptop and WTF! there were crumbs in the keyboard!  Someone’s sandwich leftovers refurbished….. In order to enter the Windows 10 code I needed to turn the laptop over to read the number.  Two keys fell off in the process and the code wouldn’t enter. I tried to get the keys to fit back on as I hurriedly tried to connect to the training I was missing.  Just trying to make it work for the day.  Just get through it. After charging the battery up fully, I unplugged the laptop and carried it into the other room with the message battery low – plug me in now or lose everything.

So long story shortened; I took it back. Got my money back.  Went to the computer store that was now open and bought a new PC for substantially more $. I won’t tell you I handled the stress ok, because I didn’t.  I cried. The pressure from work was huge.

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On my way home I stopped at Walmart to grab a cable to connect to my extra monitor.  The store has made considerable effort to manage shopping with huge red arrows on the floor directing traffic through the aisles and distances marked off at cash registers.

Are people blind or just plain don’t give a damn “it’s not meant for me mentality”? As I follow the red arrows up the aisle, they come from THE WRONG DIRECTION and walk right up as if social distancing was a concept beyond their grasp.

I found some help in the tech department with a close-talker young lady.  As I kept backing up and moving off to the side, I can excuse her for being too young to remember Seinfeld and the “close-talker” episode, but social distancing? Hmmmmm.

We dance around as I show her a picture of the connection I need and she shows me a cable and says “you need the female connection”.   I show her the picture again and say, “no I’m thinking I need one with the poking out ends to go in” and she says “Oh! I get it the male; the poking out thing!” Ah, yes.  Sadly they had none in stock.

Any shopping in virus times compels us to take a saunter down the toilet paper aisle.  Empty of toilet paper, but a couple boxes of scratchy looking tissues that we all have in the cupboard (just in case) and a lot of paper towels.  Maybe the populace has discovered that paper towels and septic systems are not a good match.

Tired of the whole frustrating shopping experience from laptops to cables to toilet paper,  and major stressed from work requirements, I turned around at the end of the aisle and there in front of me was a whole cooler of Haagen-Dazs!  Talk about strategic end of aisle placement!!

Well played, Walmart.  I bought it.

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