Love in the Time of Corona: Week 16ish

I had a nice talk with Junebug about memories and nostalgia. It seems we are both slaves to them. I won’t speak for her but I fear losing stuff down the memory hole. I witness it whenever I look around in my blog archives, “Did I write that? It sounds like me but I don’t remember that happening.” And I’m only talking about seven or less years ago.

She says she has similar feelings which is one of her motivations for her photography. Unlike me and my pictures, she spends a great deal of time on them, adjusting, filtering, and editing them so the image matches her experience; I just throw them up there. But when it comes to writing about them, I filter my work as well.

Sometimes the filter is time and perspective, sometimes I leave out details that might upset someone who reads my blog – and believe me, there are times when I wish it was anonymous – sometimes I am writing it from the perspective of the person I want to be, maybe putting the cart before the horse.

I will alter the narrative to change how I address difficulty. What do I want to remember, and how?

But sometimes memories come up that are suddenly and completely unfiltered. Like this post a woman on IG put up relating to her experience as an Asian. I reposted it and my caption is at the top, about the memory her post spurred.

Then it led me down a memory hole.

There is so much heaviness. Tomorrow our school district will announce their plan for the next semester. I don’t want to hear that they are reopening because I don’t feel like it is safe and it’s not just me.

But this article really summed it up for me. Here are the important excerpts.

My kids want to go back to school yet I don’t think they realize how unlike the school they remember it will be. They will be stuck at one desk, wearing masks, made to wash their hands every two hours, no lunch, no recess, not playing with friends. They might as well be on a Zoom call. I face being the bad guy, the one that keeps them from their friends. I am willing to play that role, this is about more than an abundance of caution. This is about a modicum of caution.

I ran into someone while waiting in line to get to the grocery store and he said his 9 year-old daughter has developed Type-1 diabetes and he believes it was from COVID-19. She was terribly ill in February and there are some articles to support his belief that COVID-19 infections damage insulin creating cells, but who knows. All we know is that no one really knows for sure what the long-term outcomes are. It’s like playing Russian Roulette with our kids.

So maybe I’m hoping the school district decides to go on-line next year, at least to begin. What I’m afraid of happening (besides everyone getting COVID) is starting down one path and yanking it away. It rocked my kids’ world when it happened in March and I don’t want it to happen again. Wouldn’t it be better to resign ourselves to a path we feel comfortable with and stay the course until this resolves?

Anyway, I could dwell on this all night but I have pictures and videos to put up so I can look at them in 10-20 years and remember the good things that happened.

For instance, I picked Scratchy up from a friend’s the other night when we saw a pit bull walking on the sidewalk alone. I knew that it was possible that she was near home and just self-walking, but I’ve had Bartleby and Blue returned to me enough times to be truly grateful that someone took them time to make sure they didn’t get hit by a car.

We loaded her into the van and drove around for a bit, listening for someone calling out for her and asking anyone we saw if they were missing a dog.

She was very sweet despite being A LOT of dog. Scratchy wanted to give her a bath and treat the scabs on her neck but I thought she seemed scared enough that we didn’t need to traumatize her further by throwing her in the shower. He was immediately in love.

She had a bandana but no collar. I figured I’d hold onto her until the morning when I could take her to the Humane Society to see if she was chipped. Surely someone would be looking for her.

I put up an urgent alert on Nextdoor and within an hour I got a message that someone heard people whistling and calling out around 20th and Bluff, where I found her. I hustled down there, found her owner and reunited them. I was worried about her spending the night. She already started to cry and I knew she was going to have a rough evening. I was so glad we found him and he was truly grateful that we took care of his girl, Vinnie.

Do you know who else was happy we found her owner?

He was not psyched to share the bed.

Speaking of creatures with blocky heads, I found Mr. Bates lying face down in the garden.

He’s getting old but seems really happy, unless he runs low on food.

I took the kids to FOCO to hang out at Horsetooth reservoir. They really love it there.

They are both crazy about cliff jumping.

The BF and I are spending a lot of time there. My posts about our adventures there seems to be what has finally lured a Boulder friend out of the bubble.

Inga and Rob came up to FOCO to spend the morning with us on the reservoir and then we showed them around Old Town and got to know each other better over margaritas and tacos. I don’t know Inga well, Rob even less, but after a day on the water and then some lubricated conversation, I feel like I know them so much better and am looking forward to more time together.

Nature has never been so important to me as it is now, luckily it is everywhere, even in town.

Summer sunsets are amazing, I’d say 50% of the pictures BF sends me are of the sunrises above his home. But the other day Bryce posted this amazing video.

I watched this cloud in awe.

Itchy is preparing for a four-day backpacking trip and is leaning in to his packing list in a way that deeply resonates with me. I can tell he is having fun with just the list alone, and how satisfying it is to fiddle with it.

BF came camping with me and the boys. We took the Shasta to Salida and camped on a friend’s private property. I was stressed about the trip. It being our first “family” type event, I wanted everything to be perfect.

Was it? Nope. Could it have been “perfect” in a millions years? Never. But we had fun, the weather was lovely despite rain and heat in the forecast. I got to reconnect with Scott, the owner of the property and former denizen of the Fryehouse back in the 90s.

BF’s friend from middle school years joined us and that ended up being lovely, too. He plays the classical guitar and nothing makes a campfire more magical than a guitar.

Sean playing my guitar
Best photo series from the trip

So what wasn’t in the pictures … the edited out parts? Well, first we were supposed to go with two other families but a snafu in the reservation process revealed that we weren’t camping near the idyllic town of Salida but the shithole home to a supermax prison facility near Cañon City, nowhere near anything.

Recent reviews talked about the non-stop construction and traffic noise from the nearby freeway, the lack of shade, the bugs, and dust. Yeah, no.

I hustled to find better accommodations but there was literally nothing available because everyone is camping since you can’t travel. Thanks Trump! It was Scratchy who reminded me about Scott’s property and even though I hadn’t talked to him in a year and I hit him up at 10:30pm to ask a favor, he agreed to let me and my friends camp …

… except they decided to bail. I get it, they lost enthusiasm for camping and my last-minute Hail Mary came too late. Their loss, though. So it was me and BF and the kids plus one. BF’s BFF from middle school happened to be in Salida so he and one of his friends camped with us which was great but also complicated because BF felt compelled to do things with his friends while I wanted him to be with me and the kids and that caused some friction. I get that he was torn, I would have been, too.

But the good news is that I was able to talk to him about it before the trip was over and I felt good about the way I did it and I felt really good about the way he received my feedback. I felt heard, respected, empathized with, and like we learned things about each other and could do better next time. I hope he felt like he was being treated fairly and not attacked and/or criticized.

I’m working hard on telling the truth, and not after I’ve stewed on it for a week and blown it out of proportion. He continues to reward me for being open with him. We are rounding the nine-month relationship mark and shit is getting real. I try to focus not on what happens but what happens afterwards as we unwind events. It’s good. Real good.

Anyway, we wrapped up the weekend by getting caught in epic traffic on the way home. A 2.5 hour drive took five hours which honestly felt fast given how fucked the traffic was. I was sad to see him go back home when all I wanted was to take a shower and crawl into a clean bed with him and sleep the night away. But he had work to go back to and I had a lot of cleaning up to do.

And I really wanted to eat a meal full of veggies after a weekend of burgers and sausages.

It’s challenging writing about my relationship as it evolves, also being mindful about his privacy – our privacy – while also wanting to document this process which I find really beautiful.

At the end of the day we are in love and working to build a mindful and deliberate connection based on trust and respect. I’m happy … that is when I’m not completely freaked out about the myriad ticking time-bombs that litter my life.

But things are okay. I’m happy to be with the kids and give them a good summer. Lonny and I are getting along well. He’s hanging out with a woman which makes me really happy because I can see that he is happy. It’s eased my anxiety about my presence stunting his ability to move on. Nothing would make me happier than to see him in a good relationship. Barring that, even just only having fun and getting to know new people is wonderful. There is an increased sense of ease to us. I am more able to be grateful for him and his easygoingness.

1/2 cup flour, 4 eggs, 4 cups shredded cabbage, scallions, ginger and soy sauce. Cook in a hot, oiled pan, flip, cook some more. Drizzle with Sriracha mayo, teriyaki sauce, hot chili oil, top with more scallions. Yum.

In other news, My Asian Daughter (Waeli) was passing through and asked if I wanted to hang out. Of course! I dug around the fridge and made Okonomiyaki (Japanese scallion pancake) and a salad and enjoyed the first and only meal with anyone but my family on the porch.

Feels like summer

Wow, I’m at the end of this. Junebug related to how big of a deal it is to compose these blogs. It takes hours to sort photos, edit videos, upload and write, but it’s worth it. Or at least I think it will be when I am reflecting back on my life.

Here’s my internet roundup.

Well, now that I’ve gotten this out of the way, I’m going to finish the Ruth Ware book I’m reading and tomorrow I’m going to make a dress. I got some lovely linen and pre-shrunk it and I found the missing dress pattern I’ve been looking for. I’m looking forward to doing something for myself.

4 thoughts on “Love in the Time of Corona: Week 16ish

  1. Another wonderful post. I am sitting here at my computer having coffee reading about your life. It feels like I am having coffee with you. I realized as I was reading this that I don’t think I responded to your last post, although I read it. Shoot. You must love that your son is so incredibly organized like his mama. It is impressive. As usual I love looking at your pictures. Your boys are very handsome. The oldest looks so much like you it is crazy and the youngest looks like his dad. Speaking of your boys…I can’t believe what a hurtful thing your mom said about their eyes. I bet looking back on comments like that, that you are not surprised she is not in your life. You look like you are managing to have a great time creating experiences with your boys and BF. A story about being Asian. My good friend Tina is from Taiwan. We took a road trip and drove from Hunt. Bch. to San Fran to visit her family there. Her aunt probably started out beautiful, but had so many surgeries she didn’t look Asian any more. She had two eyelid surgeries and had a bridge put in her nose. I was in my late teens and even at that age couldn’t understand why someone didn’t want to have the features that made them who they were. Speaking of sewing…..I have been on a roll in the last few months. I have made 7 pairs of shorts, 4 blouses, 5 dresses, 5 pairs of pants. I have been living in play clothes so when I go out(about once a week)I have to wear my new clothes.

    • Hi JJ! I’m feeling so anxious about the state of our country right now. What Trump is doing to peaceful protesters in Portland is truly scary. I am worried that one day I will be rounded up, too. But what do we do? Protest and fear being loaded into unmarked vehicles by federal agents? Never to be heard from again? Our country is spiraling into fascism and we are hoping for an election to save us. It may be too little, too late. Why are the agents complicit? Why will no one say no?

      I want to hide somewhere. Like your cozy home near the beach where we can sew things out of fabric we’ve been saving, agree with each other …

      I don’t understand plastic surgery in general, speaking as one who has had it, but not on my face. No one is fooled. You still are what you are, only with work and features that don’t make sense. Like blonde Asians.

      I have some lovely linen and a wonderful shift dress pattern to be cut on the bias. It’s a pain to make but worth it. I’ll post pictures. Give my love to Basil.

  2. It is nice living in my small town being away from the craziness. It is interesting about plastic surgery on one’s face. Mr Basil will not notice if a woman has huge boobs,(my friend’s daughter was a 34 P, they were the size of my head) but will notice that a women’s face isn’t moving how it should. Don’t forget when you are making your bias dress that you have to hang it up for a day so it can “collapse fully”(I love that wording) otherwise the hem will be all uneven. It sounds very Eileen Fisher. Another sewing tip……I find it so much easier to use bias/hem tape on my hems, especially if it is on the bias. I don’t ever make a rolled hem, or hem anything on a sewing machine. I do it all by hand. I put in a movie, settle in on my couch, then start hemming. It is nice to have an organized container of various colors of tapes to chose from.

    • Ooh. Good idea with the bias tape. I’ll have to make some for this latest dress, what a pain, but it will turn out nice. Also, I’ve never hung them up to collapse, I’ll do that too.

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