My neighborhood is very popular for walking. There is trail etiquette, then there is social distancing etiquette. Today I found myself stepping off the trail into deep snow to let a large family group pass unmolested by my breath. This time of year my eyes are often turned towards the ground which is slushy and slick. Instead I now have to pay attention to my social distancing as well as keeping my balance. I figure if I’m going to multitask I might as well bring my phone/camera. I am one of the few remaining Americans who does not practice “Have phone, Will travel.” It’s heavy to carry and really takes one away from the walking experience. But sometimes there are pictures which must be taken.
Here is the small lagoon directly at the end of my street. The first time this year for open water finds the ducks not harassing passing humans for food.
I am in the habit of coming home from work and checking out all the bad news I can before taking a walk to see the sunset at 8 pm. Here is the sun setting over the trail leading to the bigger, Westchester Lagoon.
After this natural beauty I was surprised by a litany of snow creatures who were created on the ice for the enjoyment of passersby.
As there was still about 20 minutes of light left, I made a small one of my own. I tried not to get frustrated because the snow was not the best for sculpture, nor I the best for sculpting.
If you are wondering, it’s a duck, in a nest. I intended to make ducklings but the duck itself had a barely recognizable mass so I told myself, “leave the ducklings to someone else.” This is a nice way of saying, “The head will have fallen off in the morning. Someone can build something entirely new on top of it. I will not compare it with this shoe or the following whimsical persona.
I don’t hear Alaskans banging pans or singing Amazing Grace to honor their healthcare workers. For one thing we don’t have many balconies and when we do they are all on the Southside so no one would see anyone else. We also don’t have a ton of bad pandemic cases yet. We are all in the same boat as far as toliet paper.
Technically I am a healthcare worker but I am under little risk as we are solely focused on keeping Covid-19 out of the building rather than treating it. I work with the aged in a capacity which is really too fun to be considered work. Indeed, most of the residents believe I am a volunteer as no one would possibly be paid for acting like I do. As long as people don’t get sick, I’m doing my job. If they do get sick, all bets are off.
Maybe I will paint a message on my front window to thank my neighbors for staying inside away from me and the older folks -something like “Thanks for being lonely on my behalf,” or “Cabin Fever doesn’t kill!” I’ve noticed newer houses don’t even have front windows. What a loss for the community.
Here is a photo of what some less fortunate folks who have no work may feel like.
I am so lucky to have work, even though I am exhausted. Not knowing how long our residents will have no visitors or whether we have missed some protocol that could put them in jeopardy makes me try harder to cheer people up. That can make me a bit intolerable. But they only have to put up with me for so long. The sun will set. I will go home but Trump will be on FOX all night long. That’s one good reason to get out for a walk.
Walking is essential, especially if you work in healthcare. Give each other space and paint something on your front window if you have one.