I declare my pandemic year over. It officially started, for me, when the State of New Mexico gave North Fourth two days to close down. March 13, 2020. Oh sure, a lot of bad things had already occurred and more are sure to happen after today. But I’m vaccinated, masked, haven’t hung out in a crowded bar for a goodly number of years and I’m way too old to start again now…so think I’ll be okay.
And TODAY I’m older again…but surprisingly happier than I’ve been in awhile. Can’t quite figure this out. Or maybe I can. I fly away from New Mexico for the first time since returning from the Stan countries and Turkey, fall of 2019. What a relief to discover traveling is like riding a bicycle…once you’ve learned how to do it, the skill always returns. I was exhausted from bad sleep and and general stress when I got back on my Southwest steed but by the time I was in San Diego, sitting at Scott’s house, eating fried rice, and gazing out at their freeway, runway, harbour view I felt like a new human. No small thing thing as one approaches birthdays of ever-greater oldness.
Yesterday Scott and I drove here to Visalia where Ashley and Steven live; Ashley paying off student loans in her first professional gig as a PA, Steven developing his IT life. They have a new house and are adapting to life in the San Joaquin Valley instead of their natural habitat on the coast. I really do have extraordinarily wonderful children and grandchildren (not to forget siblings, Robert and Marsha of course). Do I seem to you to be more appreciative of life and family than normal this morning. Well, that’s what getting back into the world does for one….
My Black Mountain Climb to prove I’m not old-old was put off to Monday when back in SD. I didn’t get to test myself last birthday but Black Mountain is not Everest so it should be fine…I say nervously. Visalia is not exactly good walking territory…begin flat, full of cows, and 90 degrees in the afternoon. But how perfect to be here. Ashley and Steven are full of the opinions and intelligence that the best of young adults (medium-young) possess, Teresa’s driving down from San Francisco for the night, and Scott, the dad, is being kind and less-insulting (in a good way) than usual to dear old mom.
Be back later…from all the day’s partying…as one must do to celebrate surviving a pandemic year without work and travel…and being brave enough to get back on that plane…(especially since it was Boeing-made)…I’ll perhaps post more photos. Me in the pool in my bikini. Maybe not that one. Maybe this one. Me and my Ponytail. After all these years…and too late to be a cheerleader.