August 9, 2020

Buy my house! Please!

Well it’s been an eventful weekend, even though I’ve spent a good deal of it in a T-shirt and sleep pants lounging around the condo snuggling with the cats and writing a lecture on Covid-19 and its implications for older adults that I’m giving via Zoom as an adult education class for church this Tuesday. You didn’t think I was going to let everything I’ve learned writing the Accidental Plague Diaries go to waste now, did you? It’s been a while since I’ve written a lecture on a brand new topic for a lay audience. I think I’ve gotten all my ducks in a row, my facts checked, and I should be ready to go but everything changes so fast on the topic, that I’ve had to double and triple check dates on sources. If it was published before June, it’s likely completely out of date at this point.

My so called corona virus life continues in its usual patterns. Go to work during the week, sit home on the evenings and weekends with plenty of reading, binge watching television, some Xbox time, and Zoom meetings with various boards trying to help arts and other nonprofits weather the storm and plan for the future. I am no seer but I can help people understand the real science and medicine behind the pandemic so they aren’t relying on media reports tainted by politics or other agendas. I miss a life of rehearsals and performances and social gatherings but I’ll make the best I can of what I’ve got. I am so fortunate to have a career that’s rather impervious to pandemics, a nice place to live, people who care about me, and to live at a time in history where creature comforts are not that hard to obtain. I put up one of those FaceBook memes this week asking friends to define me in one word. I was enormously flattered by the responses.

The house is finally ready for market and went live yesterday. No firm offers yet but a few swirling around in the ether. It looks gorgeous in the photos. I’ve decided they must have taken the front photos by drone as there’s no way to get that vantage point unless you climb the tree in the parking strip and then shinny out onto a branch overhanging the front lawn and I don’t think anyone would be fool enough to do that. I’m not worrying about it selling relatively quickly and for a good price. Location, location, location. It will be nice to completely close that chapter and no longer have to pay two mortgages and sets of utilities.

It reminds me of the time that Steve and I allowed our condo in Sacramento to be put on the historic homes tour. We had been living in an apartment down by the old governor’s mansion but, in 1990, after we decided we were likely to stay together for a while, Steve wanted to buy. He had inherited some money on the death of his mother the year before and he found an old Victorian a little bit further uptown which had been split into two units with an additional three town homes build behind it on the lot making a five unit complex. He bought the top half of the original house, dating from the 1890s and we lived there for the next three years (and kept it as a rental after that until we left California). As the house was historic and we were good sports with the neighborhood association, we became a stop on the 1991 historic homes tour. You haven’t lived until you’ve had strangers filing through your house commenting on your window treatments, decor choices, and library selections. About half way through the day, an elderly lady showed up. She had been born and raised in the house as a child. Soon after that, a neighbor who was of her generation turned up and we served them tea in the living room while they caught up and told us stories of the neighborhood from the Edwardian era on.

This morning’s surprise was the general reaction to my PopTarts for brunch. They’re one of my weaknesses. I generally only eat them on Sunday with my on line church brunch. Apparently they are a bit of a flash point for my friends – I’d rather walk up over the hill for fresh pastries from The Continental Bakery but Carole Griffin cares enough about her employees not to expose them to the population around here who refuse to take Covid-19 and masking seriously. Our local numbers continue to increase by leaps and bounds. Nearly 100,000 diagnosed cases in our state of 4 million and 13,000 in Jefferson county. Our positivity rate (the percentage of tests done that are positive) is running about 15-16%. Public health experts recommend that this be below 5% before societal lockdowns end and we aren’t having much of one at all around here these days which is why our numbers continue to shoot up. I’ll continue to do my part of socially isolating and wearing my mask in public because I want to get back to theater and traveling.

The schools remain in a quandary. First day of school is rapidly approaching and we aren’t in any sort of position to prevent schools from becoming a hotbed of viral spread. Some local districts are remaining virtual, some hybrid, and some are pretending it’s not an issue as most kids don’t get that ill. They seem to have forgotten the adults that work in the schools. The one thing that is likely to get local attention and maybe change the equation around here is the spread of virus among returning college students who are back on campus early for football practice. The country is about a week away from cancelling college football completely for the fall (I fully expect that to happen). When Alabamians can’t worship in the temples of Bryant-Denny and Jordan-Hare this fall, there may finally be some willingness to take the pandemic seriously and change behavior.

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