In the Middle

August 7-12, 2021

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,

During the year and a half of the first COVID pandemic, I used daily writing and posting as therapy. Then we went on The Big Western Road Trip (BWRT) to mark the end of pandemic precautions and writing and posting returned to our historic normal: a travel record. Now, I feel we have found ourselves in the middle of COVID#2 and I'll write, from time to time, for therapy, for habit, for distraction.radiology

hazeSaturday started with an early drive out into haze, a reminder from last year's season of fire and smoke. We made it to the Kaiser Radiology department before they opened and waited. Waiting in Kaiser was another reminder of past times. Soon enough, Marianne was taken away, the medical team snipped seven biopsy samples, and we were sent home to ignore the elephant in the house for the three to five work days needed for analysis.dinner

While Marianne recovered, I was charged with taking over her physical chores. Glad to do it. I started with dinner: barbecue and salads as directed.

Sunday was our 29th wedding anniversary and was quiet, with Marianne resting and me charged with another dinner, barbecue steaks and shrimp this time. (No pictures. I was busy cooking.) It's been a good 29 years.

doveThe next days were quiet and slow as well, although cooking shifted back to the main chef by Monday. Our little dove kids came back to see how we were doing. One just does not want to move on, but Marianne did Google research to find out that this reluctance is not unusual and the parents will gradually shift the "squabs" (baby doves) from being fed to hunting for themselves. It seems like each of our half-dozen bird families has handled it differently, kind of like the variety in human family dynamics.

On Tuesday morning, I tried to capture the early light in the back garden, as filtered by the smoky haze. Photography is my main therapy and it helps with the waiting.

peah ragged pink
blu raggedy rooster

puzzleMy other accomplishments were to finish the 10,000-piece puzzle (James Mellett's iconic collage.) and to read. I finished an easy-read murder mystery and moved on to Michael Lewis' "The Premonition: A Pandemic Story". This later book was a discouraging story of CDC and government incompetence in the face of a national emergency, a national emergency that is not yet over. Somehow the turmoil pictured in The Sixties gave context to a pandemic story, a half-century later.

On Wednesday morning and we were still waiting for Saturday's results. I write and Marianne paints to stay distracted.

Thursday afternoon. A phone call. The news is bad. We are speechless.

Stay tuned.

John and Marianne.