Sunday, March 22, 2020


Last week things continued to change day by day. On Monday, I was home all day. Masses were canceled for the foreseeable future, as was Bible Study, choir practice, and Christ in Our Neighborhood. When I called the church office, they confirmed that the church would be open for private devotion until 4 PM every day, which meant that I also could not go to my Holy Hour on Wednesday nights from 7 to 8 PM. All the things that structured my days and evenings had disappeared. Since Edward had been transferred to the other hospital, I also wasn't allowed to join Maria there because the restrictions on visitors had become tighter every day.  
On Tuesday, Maria called on her way in to visit Edward in the hospital, to say that something was happening to her power steering, and could I meet her just outside of town, exchange my Suburban for her Jeep, and get the Jeep towed from my house to the car repair shop. I did this, and learned that not only had the power steering pump broken, but that her front brakes were shot, so I arranged for everything to be taken care of while she was with Edward in the hospital signing the papers for his surgery the next day and meeting with the team of surgeons responsible. I fixed her dinner and pampered her as much as I could since the day of the surgery was bound to be stressful. On Wednesday, she again climbed into the trusty Suburban and headed to the hospital for the surgery. It was supposed to be about 45 minutes, but wound up taking 5 and 1/2 hours for the pacemaker and defibrillator to be implanted in Edward. She stayed until nearly 10 because Edward took a long time to begin to come out of the anesthesia, but the surgery was successful and by the next morning Edward had already noticed a difference in how his heart was working, so we were all relieved and grateful.
With the surgery completed, Maria was no longer allowed in the hospital so she had to make do with a few calls to Edward during the day.  We cooked dinner together; I had bought pork tenderloins earlier, and she tried a different recipe on each of the two tenderloins, while I made a hearts of palm and celery salad. After the stress of the past few days, it felt like a little celebration. The Governor issued an order for people to stay home which resulted in drastic reductions in traffic and emissions.
On Friday, we ransomed the Jeep, Maria left for her home, I had a three hour Master Mind call, and then set up my own Zoom account to see if that would work for my horn lesson.  While I was able to make the connection with my horn teacher, he had just finished three lessons on Messenger with my grandsons, and asked if we could try again on Saturday.
On Saturday, after I unsuccessfully researched microphones for the computer, I was able to have my horn lesson virtually over Zoom, although sections of it sounded as if they were happening underwater. I was introduced to Door Dash and ordered calzones from one of our local pizzerias.  I ended the day reading from Louise Penny's Kingdom of the Blind since I have more time now to become engrossed in her mysteries.
And today, I experienced my first Weight Watchers online workshop, where I saw with delight our leader and many of the friends I've made in our actual meetings. It was amazing how comforting it was to see so many of the people virtually whom I've come to know actually, but this time in their homes, which added a new dimension to my perception of them. One of them had the Golden Gate Bridge behind her, and I saw that she had managed to invoke one of the backgrounds offered by Zoom, which I'd never figured out how to do.  There is always something new to learn!
I watched the Mass that Bishop Barron streamed from his chapel and was thankful that it is the virus that is keeping us from actually being able to be at Mass and receive Communion, rather than the persecution that many Catholics experience in places like the Middle East and parts of Africa, which means that they go for much longer periods than we will without the Sacraments.
In the afternoon, courtesy of Google, I was able to wish one of my granddaughters a happy birthday, and see several other of my daughters and their families.  Now I wonder if this week I will actually get to experience the joys (to an introvert) of being at home with more time to accomplish things, and particularly to pursue several of my writing projects.  
I think very often these days of a scene in John Steinbeck's The Red Pony. The grandfather has told Jody that they will go out to the barn and hunt rats the next day. Jody is excited about being included in the hunt, and he comments, "Those old rats don't know what's going to happen to them tomorrow." His grandfather replies, "And neither do we."  It always seemed a succinct summation of life, and these days it appears to be an even truer description.

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