It was Labor Day weekend and inside the house not a human or canine were stirring while the furnace came on. “No, no,” I exclaimed, “it’s too early for the high cost of heating season to begin!”
Should I even admit that the crisp, fall air and colorful vistas that everyone else looks forward to this time of the year do nothing for me? Yes, I know that’s almost sacrilegious. The only real things I love about fall are cider and donut holes and I’d be lying if I said they haven’t already found their way inside my house, sneaky devils. That half gallon of golden liquid and box of baked goods will be the last I’ll buy until nearly Thanksgiving. First and last of the season, that’s my rule for anything too sinful to resist. Cider is not arthritis-friendly and donut holes go straight into belly fat according to the law of physics. (I misspelled ‘holes’ as ‘hoes’ which Spell Check didn’t pick up on and when I discovered the error while proof-reading I thought about how ‘donut hoes’ is a better description of something I’d nearly sell my sole for this time of the year. They hawk their goods on nearly every end-cap at the front of groceries stores. They give you a temporary fix that you later regret and berate yourself for being so weak, then you hope the misstep doesn’t result in getting a dreaded disease like diabetes.)
Writing about cider and donuts made me realize that something was missing as August turned into September; the sounds of a high school marching band practicing in the neighborhood every afternoon the last weeks of summer. Yup, the pandemic put an end to band practice. I’ve lived within a few short blocks of a high school all but one year in my entire life. So it's a long standing sign that fall is upon us when kid are banging on drums and tubas are doing what tubas do and I hear music with abrupt starts and stops in odd places. And that was the year I left town? I could sit on my dorm room's windowsill and watch a marching band practice on the football field. Damn pandemic.
I was walking the dog yesterday when an older couple stopped by me and struck up a conversation as if they knew me. “Well, fancy seeing you here!” the guy said. Me Thinking: Ah… I live two doors down. “Nice looking dog you have there,” he continued. Me Thinking: Same dog I’ve had for the past twelve years. On and on he went with his wife leaning in and smiling across the gear shifter. “The pandemic is keeping us close to home. We did get out to see Jenny and the kids last week." And finally he asked: "How are you doing?” I made some generic pandemic small talk, all the time trying to figure out whether it was me or them whose brain power is diminishing. I took in their car, their faces and voices, the name dropping. Nope, no bells went off in my head. But when he said there will be a covid-19 vaccine ready by November and we’ll be back to normal by Christmas I knew without a doubt that we live in different universes. You’re welcome to be first in line, I thought, because I won’t trust a vaccine fast-tracked by the jack-off in the White House. (Sorry for the crude nickname, the box of hoes made me do it.)
After they drove off I decided it’s my pandemic hair that
made the couple confuse me for someone else. I haven’t had hair longer than an
inch since my 40s but thanks to the pandemic the hair at the top of my head now
measures 4 ½ inches and the pure white “nest” shocks even me when I look in the
mirror. Who is that lady and how did she get in my bathroom? I got it trimmed yesterday but I’m still hanging in there with my goal
to find out what it’s like to have hair long enough to flick it off to the side
when it gets in my eyes. I told the hair dresser when it gets a few inches longer,
I’ll have to start getting manicures---at least on one hand---because I’ll be
doing some movie star-worthy hair flicking. Never let it be said that elderly
people don’t have goals.
Like it or not, fall is here but the traditions of the season may not all come back full-throated and fun for all ages. Pumpkin patch picking, sure, I can’t see how the Pandemic Rules of Engagement could suspend that or cancel the pleasure of leaf-peeping or going into corn mazes. Starbucks is already pushing all things pumpkin spiced and limited edition pumpkin spice Oreos are in the stores. But hay rides, trick-or-treating, football, homecoming dances and Halloween parties? We’ll have to wait and see if they become causalities of the war on the virus. ©
Edit to add: I get a monthly report from Google that, among other things, tells me what people use for search terms to find my blog. Imagine my surprise to see that someone used the the term "deadly ladies in undies" and landed on my blog. I laughed so hard I had coffee coming out of my nose.