PANDEMIC! Blog from a plague year, part 8

So it’s been a few weeks since I checked in. How are you doing? Things here are pretty good. I finally got unemployment, retroactive to March 20, and we got our stimulus check! It came in one envelope and a letter from the president came in another envelope. Turns out the White House IS supporting the USPS! Frankly, I wasn’t expecting it until much closer to the election.

I’ve been going down to the post office pretty often to mail stuff people have bought on Etsy or whatever. Plus I need to occasionally mail things to people I actually know. Plus they won’t deliver the mail to our house, so we have to empty the PO box now and again. The PO has big new sneeze guards up and tape on the floor to let you know where 6 feet is. But the walking space in this little post office is not six feet wide, so if you have to pass someone, just hold your breath I guess. They clerk told me it’s as busy as Christmastime there these days.

Let’s see, it finally stopped snowing and turned into spring. The Charm of Goldfinches is still yucking it up in the yard. We have nesting Barred Owls, and a pair of some kind of raptors – not sure they are Merlins or Peregrine Falcons – I’ll have to study their call more, also, a White Breasted Nuthatch is nesting in a hole in a pine tree, and our Eastern Kingbirds are back, building a nest in the eaves of the cabin. The Kingbirds always try to build over our front door – it’s nice and protected, but we use the door a lot so we don’t let them. The mud on the threshold is the giveaway. They used to nest in the crook of a downspout on the side of the house.

I put out the hummingbird feeders this afternoon, and one already found it! Thanks to the heads up from some neighbor on Facebook. Speaking of, here’s a screenshot of a recent post about masks on the Great Barrington Community page.

Some people just don’t believe in science. It’s unbelievably depressing. In 2 days, a statewide mandate to wear masks in public will go into effect, but it’s proving controversial. Honestly, just when something happens that you think people could all get behind (PUBLIC HEALTH, for cripes sake), some idiots decide it’s a fucking liberal conspiracy. Imagine if some asteroid were hurtling toward our blue planet. Jeeze. We are doomed.

Am I the only one who feels like we’re on the brink of a civil war? And guess what? One side is already heavily armed.

ANYWAY, in other news, two funny things happened on the facebox. The first is, I got invited to a high school alumni page, which usually I would ignore, but for some reason I joined. I didn’t much care for high school, and don’t remember many of my classmates, but there’s been an interesting online thing happening there. A good friend of mine from those days called me up and said she felt ambivalent about it, and I said I did too, but that I thought we should just dominate it so the weirdos would feel like they belonged, not just the “popular kids,” whoever they were. It worked! If you look at the yearbook from the year we graduated, you can tell who was on yearbook staff, since the pictures are of the same clique over and over. But if you look at our FB page, you’ll see nearly all the cliques represented, including my faves, the meddlers (metal heads), trade kids, hair girls. Good times remembered, grievances aired, secrets revealed, catharsis achieved.

Second funny thing is I got invited to join what amounts to an online role-playing game based in reality called “a group where we all pretend to live in an anarchist collective together.” Nobody is allowed to talk about the Pandemic. It’s populated by ex-group house living peeps, so they know of what they satirize. It’s FREAKING HILARIOUS! I like having an imaginary home of anarchists who do crazy shit but I don’t have to actually use the broken toilet or deal with the dirty refrigerator. I never lived in an anarchist collective, but it was pretty close.

But real life has been fun too! Yesterday Slava and I drove the 1959 MGA out to the North Shore to visit my family and Slava’s friends. The weather report was for clouds & sun, but it was mostly sun, baking us in the convertible. Fortunately, we had hats and sunblock. We got a lot of love from peeps in other cars! There wasn’t much traffic on the Pike, but once we hit I95, it got kinda crowded. We hadn’t been out on the Pike for two months or so. The North Shore driving was busier, people heading out to the beach maybe?

After an awkward social-distance mask-wearing some-of-the-time visit with my rents’, we visited Slava’s friends in Winthrop, which is right across Boston Harbor from Logan Airport. The entire neighborhood had soundproofing installed by the airport because the planes are so low and so loud and so frequent. We had a weird social distance visit in the yard with masks, but the strangest thing was the lack of plane noise. We only heard one or two the whole time we were there. We walked down to the water and talked to a guy in a car who had a telephoto lens. He said Logan was averaging 4 planes landing & taking off PER HOUR. When I lived in Boston, I lived in the flight path south of the airport, and plane noise would be constant when they were using the runway that led over my house. Which seemed to be every day. From 5am-1am NONSTOP PLANE NOISE. These are strangely quiet times.

On our ride home, we went through some tunnels, which were oddly empty. Some guy in an Aston-Martin tried to race us, but that would just be silly.

On Saturday, we were lucky to get to meet some goats who were ONE WEEK OLD! They were the size of my tiny cat, Miss Honey! Country life is pretty great. We’ve been talking about getting goats from this farm, which I follow on FB, but I hadn’t actually visited yet. One of the people who runs it is an old punk who loves the goats and chickens he cares for. We also bought some seedlings, which is great since I only just started some plants early and they only just germinated plus half of them did nothing. (Still, better than usual.)

Oh, and did I mention THE YURT?! Stay tuned.

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