Day before yesterday was the Fourth of July. Never my favorite holiday. Dedicated to noise. But what if it’s 2030 and life’s memory stash is all muddled…what if I need to remember July 4, 2020? I’d better make a post for just that eventuality.

But what about?

Black Lives Matter; rampant racism; out-of-control cops; dt shooting off his pouty smarmy mouth, and fireworks on sacred Native American land in environmentally-dangerous circumstances; oh yeah…and there’s the virus. Let’s hope—in 2030—I’m not looking back on this year as ‘good times.’

Saturday was going to be great: small (socially-distanced) gathering of good friends, burgers, “Hamilton.” Turns out when I awoke, my previous week’s little cold sores had turned into swollen burning weird lips. All is well now but needless to say one does not go visiting in these times looking unwell.

But there have been and are good times this year…so please view the following photo album as proof. There’s a selection on my gym life just before the virus closed us down…and I am an awesome planker. There’s my brotherly-love album, proving that last year’s grump-in-pain was once a delightful little boy. Although big sisters rarely find little brothers ‘delightful’ I suspect.

There’s more…plus the odd sentence or paragraph.

Best of all for 2020 though have been my Bosque/river walks with Steven. Early morning cool, trees and more trees, rambling feet, rambling conversations, perfect. Hope we will keep these up even post-virus.

Oh yes…my GYM is open again. Presbyterian Healthplex…where I’ve been going since about 2002 which is why I can leap tall buildings in a single bound…or at least slowly walk a rocky path in Tajikistan. Now the  machines are spaced and masks obligatory but when actually tread(mill)ing I’m allowed to breathe. And I’m listening to Judy Collins memoir/autobiography which is perfect semi-paying-attention material. So here are some pics from shortly before pandemic times.

My poor knee-stricken brother who was miserable with pain and suffering all winter finally had his surgery on his birthday, July 1st. He is sounding like a new human being. While neither he nor I are exactly perky jolly types, he’s usually pretty interesting and enjoyable to be around…but last winter he could easily have served as the doom and gloom precursor of the pandemic.

The last weeks, planning with a few of my co-workers (even though we’re actually volunteers at the present) how to reopen the North Fourth Art Center (when the time is right) and continue to serve diverse communities with arts activities and events. Of course we are anxious and we alternate between enthusiasm for future possibilities and psychic exhaustion; but doing rather than waiting is always good. The N4th Theater and Gallery and classrooms will be back in business eventually; there will be performances and art classes and gallery shows and music and fun. Yes. There. Will.


What else? Have been ‘distanced’ from my Albuquerque granddaughters but I know they’re just around the corner and always ready for a phone call. Interestingly I’ve been more in touch with the Californians than usual in some ways. Teresa in San Francisco and Steven and Ashley in the Valley…we zoom. Don’t like zooming in groups but for just a few people and especially for one-on-one it’s nice. And Steven is a master of great conversation about world affairs and politics. I think of him as a future governor of California. He’s smart and progressive, a thinker and arguer, and actually kind and decent. Maybe he could be president should the country ever decide that those qualities are more desirable than stupidity, bullying and bluster.

I am managing my budget better than I ever have…probably something to do with how long my working life can continue (once North Fourth opens again). And the fact that Sara, Celia and I ARE going to Africa summer 2021. Better an extra night in a breezy room overlooking a hippo pool than a bunch of streaming channels I rarely visit or buying potatoes at Whole Foods instead of Albertson’s (although shoppers are better about wearing masks at WF).

My sun-blocking window treatments. Only thing keeps rain-loving, sun-averse me sane.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I am determined to come out of this an ever-so-slightly better person than I went in as…more exercise, better money management, maintaining a cautious optimism…when possible, limited whining…




  1. Yes, cheers. Your blog was especially cheerful today. Thanks. Just came from two frustrating meetings and your blog was most welcome. It is hot and very humid here in Delaware. If your grandson becomes the Governor of California you could move into the Governor’s mansion and live for free…and save money for even more trips. I am looking forward to a President from Delaware. He Joe, remember your old friend from Dover?


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