If we only knew …

Remember the first week or 10 days of last March?

I know it feels like a century or two, but it was only a little more than a year ago that most of us were still enjoying the Before Times, unaware that we were just days away from the full force of a pandemic that would infect and kill millions, cripple countless businesses and turn people’s lives upside down … for more than a year.

But what if we had known?

What would we have done? What would we have not done?

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Just chilling out

It’s pretty hard not to be relaxed when you’re rocking sunglasses with bright orange frames at the beach, right?

Except I don’t own any sunglasses … and even if I did, my tastes are slightly more conservative, sporting apparel notwithstanding. Nor was I at the beach, unfortunately.

Nope, I was wearing the orange-accented eyewear to make sure my regular glasses didn’t suffer spatters while I was at the dentist.

But I was still pretty relaxed.

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Wondering about people’s stories

The sand that seems to go on forever, the Pacific Ocean, the amusement park, the volleyball courts, the walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers on the path — they all make Santa Monica Beach one of my favorite places from Suzi’s and my travels.

I know … I know … it’s probably a horrible tourist trap, but I also find Times Square endlessly enchanting so … whatever.

When we went to Los Angeles several years ago, our hotel was less than a 20-minute walk to the beach, and from the park and pedestrian area above the beach, it’s just as amazing at sunset as in the middle of the day.

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My parts don’t work quite like they used to, and I hate it

“Ow … ::shuffle:: … ow … ::shuffle:: … (unintelligible groan-like noises) … ::shuffle:: … (more unintelligible groan-like noises).”

The whole thing felt pretty pathetic — my right knee feeling so horrible that I needed to pull myself up by the rail and step with both feet onto each stair because I couldn’t push off that leg.

It wasn’t much better on the way down, either.

I know I had walked two miles followed by 90 minutes of pickleball for the second day in a row, but I hadn’t gone that hard.

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The second circle of hell

Based on the difficulty my blogging buddy Michelle of Michelle’s Clutter Box had getting her passport, I’m going to guess that the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa may leave a bit to be desired.

Well … that and that the whole experience made her imagine it’s what the first circle of hell looks like.

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The week gone by — March 14

The first steps on the journey are always the easiest: the flat ground, the well-marked path, filling in my name, date of birth, race, gender and ethnicity.

But unless the entirety of the path is within what the eye can see, there’s always the chance for an unexpected obstacle. The trail may just end, or have snow which hasn’t melted yet.

The foliage may be too thick to navigate, the stream too large to cross, the CAPTCHA asking me to type words I can’t make out.

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Make me

There’s a guy up in Maine named Aaron.

He doesn’t seem to be the most-social guy in the world, but he has a best friend named Holly who thinks he personally hangs the moon every night.

I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual, but there’s something about the way Holly feels that’s … different.

Continue reading “Make me”