Monday, March 30, 2020

We Were Set to Fly to Maui Today, But...

We were set to fly to Maui today for a nine-day vacation, our first in a year. Our second vacation in retirement. But coronavirus happened. 

We rented a one-bedroom condo with a balcony overlooking Kaanapali Beach (see photo) and a fully-equipped kitchen. We dreamed of enjoying fresh pineapple each morning on that balcony, with fragrant Kona coffee for me. 

Nine days of sipping tropical drinks, chasing waterfalls and pristine beaches, a round of golf for Ron, reading time for me, and soaking in soul-deep relaxation. 

It's OK, though. We'll rebook for later this year, probably to replace the two-week Panama Canal cruise we planned for October as early celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary. Post-coronavirus, that cruise seems a touch too scary for us, at least in 2020.

We're OK during the pandemic if we leave the house now and then. We took a three-hour drive yesterday around Reno, to drop off boxes at the Goodwill (bless those workers!) , to check-up on family property for sale, to the market (for tamale pie makings, pasta, Cheddar cheese, more apples), and gloriously, for a bite of fast food. 

It was lovely to feel fresh air, to watch cottony clouds under blue skies, to savor the lazy hum-drum of neighborhood life.   

Truth is my semi-retirement life has changed only about, say, 25% by shelter-in-place mandates.  I already write and research from my home office at my own pace (and have done so for 20 years), and after 44 years as a career engineer, Ron is pleased to putter at home, particularly on his budding "man cave."

I miss the new friendships I was building, especially at two book clubs, after our move to Reno in July 2019. I miss sojourning at my new favorite places... the Nevada Museum of Art, the South Valleys branch of the Washoe County Library system, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. And I miss discovering the Reno restaurant scene. 

But still, Ron and I are blessed. Blessed to have each other during this public health crisis. Blessed with a comfortable home, plenty to eat, online connections to our loved ones. Blessed with imagination and creativity, energy and decent health. 

To hopefully stay healthy, we're leaving the house only once or twice a week. Eating healthy, including lots of fruits and veggies. Avoiding most broadcast news. Catching plenty of sleep. Engaging in something that makes us happy, which for Ron is listening to music, and for me, reading. Washing our hands constantly, and gargling daily with salty lukewarm water. 

Good habits we'll keep after this pandemic is a fading memory, except for the "getting out" part. We're itching to take some road trips, to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. To Powell's  and the public rose garden in Portland, Oregon. Maybe to beautiful Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. We road-trip together as well as any couple ever.

We're blessed and content sheltering in place. "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." --- Philippians 4:11. I wish I could claim that sort of perfect patience. Alas, at best, Ron and I are works-in--progress. 

In the meantime, It's OK we aren't landing in Maui by noon today, and reclining on that beach-front balcony by 3 pm. . We'll vacation there later this year. Maybe July or August. God willing.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Dad Visited Me Last Night

My father came to me last night in a dream, the first time he's appeared in my dreams since he passed away at age 89 in March 2016.   Maybe the first time he's ever appeared in my dreams.

He looked older than this. Maybe 50 years old, healthy, casual, and serene, before time took its usual toll.  He was dressed in neat slacks and a button-up shirt, short-sleeved. He looked normal. He acted normally, too... quiet, not shy, doing not talking. 

So normal, I wasn't surprised to see him. At least, not until I awoke, thought about my dream, and realized I saw and felt Dad. 

He silently, handed me a pile of three or four boxes. I knew the top, rectangular box held a picnic lunch. 

The boxes underneath were flatter, wider, but not nearly as deep. I think the other boxes contained documents and information Dad thought I needed. Thinks I need. 

I fell asleep with a half-dissolved throat lozenge in my mouth. He motioned for me to take it out. I woke up, and without thought or feeling, obeyed him. Of course. 

And he was gone. I feel peace from his visit. A new peace, as I never deeply mourned his death as I did when my Mother passed away, ten days later. 

The connection between me and Dad was as much intellectual as emotional. When he was dying, he asked me to send him newspapers. We talked current events and economics and politicians. We watched the moon landing together in 1969. 

I think I know what's in the other boxes. His ancestral info that he avoided like poison during his lifetime. ("You never know what you'll find."  But I firmly believe he knew exactly what he would find.) Family info that stunned me when I researched it after he passed, but dropped when we moved last year.  

Seems like I need to get back to it.