Monday, July 27, 2020

De-stressing During COVID-19

Mountain Island Lake
There is no better way I know to take my mind off of the pandemic then to get out on Mountain Island Lake with my kayak. The only sounds are wildlife and the swish of the water as I paddle. The experience is always enhanced, though, when I have the company of some of my new friends and neighbors here at Imagery. We often marvel at how blessed we are to have this paradise literally in our backyards.

Sunday morning six of us met at 6:30 in the morning to catch the sunrise on the lake. We paddled slowly, exploring all the glory mother nature revealed to us as the day woke up. It was a glorious, spiritual experience, and one that I hope I never take for granted.

paddlers of Imagery

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Still Safer at Home

Today is the 58th day of Safer at Home, Phase Two of North Carolina Governor Cooper's restrictions to help fight COVID-19 (and the 115th day of overall restrictions here.) On Tuesday, the governor extended Phase Two (which was supposed to expire July 17th) until at least August 7th. Many schools in our area are slated to reopen on August 17th, with most using a hybrid of in-person and online learning. It is somewhat ironic that parents cannot go work out in a gym, yet are expected to make their children ride buses and go to school.

The statistics are still very scary. In North Carolina we have 95,700 confirmed cases and 1,638 deaths. The United States overall has 3.68 million confirmed cases and 141,000 deaths, with the worldwide statistics being 14 million cases and 601,000 deaths. 

Cases among those aged 18-49 have dramatically increased, and now represent the most amount of cases in North Carolina. The governor put into place a mandatory mask order on June 26th hoping to curtail spread of the disease. The order requires people to wear a mask when inside or outside in public places when they cannot maintain a distance of 6 feet from one another. Children under 11 are exempted. (But they will be required to wear a mask in school - go figure.) 

My observation is that people are better about wearing masks since the mandate came out, but there are many folks who don't believe that masks make a difference. It is unfortunate that early on the CDC stated that only those who are sick should wear a mask. The non-believers cling to that, despite new studies that show wearing a mask protects the wearers as well as others around them. In countries where masks have been mandatory from the beginning of the pandemic, their case numbers have dropped dramatically. 

Then there's the segment of the population that claims their civil rights are being violated by requiring masks. When a business says no shoes, no shirt, no service, they comply with that. When told they can't smoke in certain areas, they comply with that. When told to wear a seat belt, most comply with that. So what is the big deal to don a mask? It is so selfish of them to buck this when lives are at stake. Of course we have no leadership at the top of this country to serve as an example of wearing masks in public.

Better Fit Face Mask
I believe masks will be part of our future for quite awhile. I found another pattern that calls itself the Better Fit Face Mask. You can find the link for it here. I tried making one for me using shoelaces and pony beads for the ear pieces, and a coffee bag tie for the inside nose piece. It fits so much better than any of my other mask, and was fairly easy to make. I made Jim one as well, and then made a second for myself. That way I don't have to wash masks as often. I ordered additional coffee bag ties online, and now need to locate more shoe strings. I think my family and friends will need additional masks as well.

It's hot, humid and I have to stay at home. Might as well be making masks, right?

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Wrapping up 68 Years of Married Life

Following the funeral of my mother-in-law, we turned our attention to her house and its contents. We were lucky to find in Charles City a company that not only handles the sale of houses but their contents as well. They will remove every last item from the home, and can provide us with a cleaning service as well. I asked the guy where he was when we were emptying out our home in St. Louis last year? What a godsend! We all can simply take whatever mementos we want and leave the rest for them. As we are over 17 hours away and don't want to risk additional Covid Cooties by making the trek again, this is such a great solution for everyone.

After two weeks up north, we began our way home on July 7th, stopping in Lexington for the night. Our son, daughter-in-law and her family were staying in Asheville for the week. We had been invited way before the pandemic came along to join them at their AirBNB in the mountains outside of Asheville. We debated whether or not to stop. We are definitely a higher risk because of the 7 states we have traveled through for the funeral. But everyone there still wanted us to come, so the next day we made our way to Asheville. 

sunset from the deck
We spent two days and nights with the 6 of them, and I have to say it was such a welcome relief to talk about something besides our overwhelming grief at losing both mom and dad within a short time period. We visited downtown Asheville, a local brewery, spent time on the deck overlooking the mountain range, and played games. It was a perfect way to destress.

We arrived home on Friday after a two hour drive from Asheville. How nice to end things with a short amount of time in the car! After 2,800 miles on the road, it was so good to be home. I hit the grocery store early Saturday morning, and now we are self-quarantining on the off-chance that we picked up the virus on our journey.

kayaking on Mountain Island Lake

Sunday morning we took our kayaks out early to beat the heat and the boat traffic. It was a nice, relaxing way to ease back into our Mountain Island Lake lives. There is nothing like home, sweet home.