Day 17: New Normal

Yesterday I did not journal. After early coffee and breakfast, I hit the ground running with work, both at home, zooming, and on sites, and went grocery shopping.  When the day ended I watched some “Outlander” and went to bed early.

Out And About

Must admit, it was nice to get out and drive around my city.  It was the perfect day for a drive, a mild 50-something-sun-shinnin-blue-sky-day! I was curious about what new things I might encounter, you know…out there…in the outside world.  Getting onto the freeway, I rolled down all four windows and enjoyed rushing fresh air whipping around the inside of my car while listening to anything other than the news.  The 1st Wave channel works to break the mundane news trance if you’re interested.
-Although it was Wednesday, it looked like a Saturday.  Many folks in the neighborhoods were cutting their grass, washing their cars.
-Very light traffic, like what you might notice on a holiday, but, of course, with NO British Columbia plates due to the border closure.
-Many people riding bikes, folks walking their dogs and strolling babies.  Food drive-thrus still open.
-At Fred Meyer, I purchased 8 days worth of food—breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.  (Dang, it was expensive!)  There were small amounts of toilet paper available with signs to purchase no more than two packs of four.  It took me three attempts to retrieve coffee because the isle was too busy.  About 3/4 of the shoppers were wearing masks.
-Also, later, I noticed a white truck with a “Federal” seal driving around Happy Valley.  I’ve never seen that seal before and it caught my attention.  On the social website Nextdoor, a person took a photo of a Volvo that was video recording neighborhoods.  Are they looking for folks breaking the mandate? I wonder if the sightings are related? Curious.

1) an observed joy- Chatted with a neighbor I’ve never met while out for a walk.  We walked in the same direction on opposite sides of the road (plenty of space). We parted ways at an intersection and wished each other good health.

2) a real concern- Nothing new is being reported about airport screenings. I assume passengers are being screened, but, who knows. There appears to be little less airplane traffic these days.  To view every single airplane in the air this second, visit https://www.flightradar24.com/ 

3) a personal challenge- I need to find new ways to eat healthy for less.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- I stretched for 30 minutes this morning.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- It’s so nice out this week.  This morning the air coming in my bedroom window reminded me of summers, when I was a kid, sleeping in our back yard.

Here is a pandemic meme that expresses how I felt yesterday going out to do errands.  Stay safe, stay healthy, stay happy. -Shannon

Poetry: Alarm

For about 12 years I spent two hours or more a day commuting to work, just sitting in traffic 10 hours a week, 40 hours a month!  This poem is a window into that “zombiefied” lifestyle, something I’ve been freed from for over three years.  How wonderful to have that time returned to me:

Watching the clock
waiting for time to
catch up with me:
Breakfast time.
Traffic time.
Working time.
Lunch time
More working time
Leaving time… finally here.
Time drags along
like a leashed cat
never taught to heel
Coming home late
the house dark
My kitchen smells like
the dinner missed
Opening a window
a breeze floats in
scent like rain on the black top,
dust and wet at the same moment
Pouring myself into bed
next to one already asleep
a new rhythm starts.
Breath bellows in and out
Fresh replacing exhausted
In a room absent of fluorescent
Moon glowing through
slits of blinds
patterns across the nightstand
where the alarm clock sits
Not a clock only
nor an alarm, but both.
It’s red eyes watching
as I toggle its hated button
Alarm clock: sound and visual aide
that announces my next destination.
A location I’ve purchased no ticket for
but a price has been paid.
Eyelids close
Mind opens
Dreams dreamt,
too quick to absorb
ALARM!  ALARM!
Time races out of the gate!
I am the slow one now…
5 a.m. comes too early.
Quickly get on the carousel!
Around I go into another day,
following the sun,
while wishing for the moon.