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Archive for June, 2020

Most mornings, in the little town where I live in Ontario, I jog out on the leafy main avenue that runs along the Lake and then back through to downtown where we live. I do a few miles, very slowly, easily passed by determined men who are so lean they look like animated cadavers, and those confident young blondes, who seem to prance by, pert noses upright and silky ponytails swinging in the sunshine.

But I have to rest today, since yesterday morning, I stumbled off a curb and fell in front of a huge red MAC truck. Fortunately, the driver had stopped the vehicle just as I caught his eye. So no real harm done, except to my left knee and shin, both have which have suffered sudden encounters with the pavements of Oakville and San Miguel before. But I have an open hour to pass this morning, so I thought that I would spend it writing while I ice my leg. Why do I think that this incident is worth writing about? Well, it is the only significant event in my otherwise quiet life. Yes, given the 14 day quarantine and then self imposed lockdown, it has been so quiet here in the two months since we returned from Mexico, that finding myself like a squirrel flattened on the road is the only thing worth mentioning. Sigh.

I normally write about our travel adventures, Ben & me out in the world, exploring, discovering, eating, doing all of the things that are fun for us in our lives. I spend the better part of my year researching and planning our travel: for 2020, we were to spend five intense days of frenetic fun in New York City, a serene fall week in Vancouver just because we had never been there as a couple, and of course, winter weeks and months in our lovely home in the beautiful colonial mountain town of San Miguel in Mexico.

Now, I spend hours on the phone with the (surprisingly) friendly folks at the Air Canada contact centre, trying to undo all of the bookings we did so far in advance to save a few bucks. What is an evoucher vs an ecoupon? Change of itinerary or just change of plane? Who gets to cancel your flight, and what does it mean when the government does it vs. the airline? Conditions that require you to book within 2 years but travel whenever, or both book and travel whenever you like? What are those prepaid tickets worth in reward miles if you choose to convert them? Who knows? Those same friendly folks don’t and I am sure that they get sworn and yelled at regularly by irrate, red faced customers who are not nearly as organized, calm and polite as Ben & I. (He figures that in all situations when dealing by phone with unpleasant issues, assume that the person on the other end of the line is just trying to do their job, does not really want to piss you off by adhering to obviously irrational company policies over which they have no control, and that taking the extra time to engage them as a human being with some small talk and jokes is a good way to have them feel good about helping you out. What a novel approach. And what a long winded sentence.)

All of us are now moving carefully and slowly out of our country wide lockdown, and that feels very positive and hopeful. But my little accident made it quickly apparent that my behavior post-pandemic will have to change. It might be called a gift of evolution, that as humans we can adapt our behavior to new circumstances so quickly, especially when our survival is threatened: frequent handwashing, mask wearing, and physical distancing are, or should be, second nature by now. However, it seems that just as I got used to seeing more foxes and hearing more birdsong on my lonely morning runs, I now have to adapt to other, more menacing competition for my attention. Be well friends, and don’t forget to look both ways. I enclose some photos of lovely spring and early summer gardens.

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