Monday, November 2, 2020

Signs and Messages

It has been just over seven months since I last posted, and it's been a very difficult seven months for most of us. The coronavirus pandemic rages on, with more than 200,000 Americans dead, protests for racial justice filled the summer, and a divisive presidential campaign has dragged on for far too long. Life has become so unsettled and disheartening that I seriously considered never posting to my blog ever again.

But strangely enough, there have been signs of hope popping up around me as I do my daily walks in the neighborhood. I want to share some of them with you, in case you need a little dose of hope, too.

At first, there was encouragement without words:

Then the words popped up in expected and unexpected places:

Neighbors posted signs that gave me serious things to think about; out of those thoughts hope and change can emerge.

And now we are at the very end of a long, long election season. Many of the signs in my neighborhood have become political, and because I'm in very blue Seattle, you can probably guess which party's signs show up most often. This one was the tiniest and most unusual:

And this final sign is my message to you: no matter what your politics are, if you are in the U.S., the most important thing you can do is VOTE! 

Be safe and well; until next time.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Life on Lockdown

A lot has happened in the month since I last posted. Significanly, Leap Day was the day that life here in the Pacific Northwest started to change, and not for the better. It was the day that the first death due to Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, was reported. It occurred just a few miles from me, in a city on the other side of Lake Washington.

Once that happened, other changes began occurring quickly. On March 5, the postponement of Vogue Knitting Live, scheduled for the following week in Bellevue. On March 11, the cancellation of the Pacific Northwest Ballet's upcoming One Thousand Pieces repertory. Shortly thereafter, all meetings and events with more than 250 people were cancelled. On March 17, restaurants, barber shops, beauty salons and other businesses were ordered to close, then last week, all but essential businesses were closed and people were ordered to "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" and to practice social distancing (staying at least six feet apart) in public spaces. The lockdown had truly begun.

Signs of the developing pandemic were everywhere.

March 6: A Deserted Grocery Store

On March 8

March 13: Stocking Up on the Day the Library Closed

March 14: It's Official

March 21: New Addition at the Park

March 27: No Playing Today (or tomorrow, or the next day...)

There have been some vestiges of normality in my life, especially on my daily neighborhood walks, where I manage to spot some signs of hope and cheer.

And of course, no matter how bad the news, there is always knitting.

Elizabeth Zimmermann must have been preparing us for this unsettled time when she wrote, "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." I am trying to do this, and I hope that you are, too. Stay safe and healthy, and remember to wash your hands!

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Happy Leap Day!

I know, I know, I was planning on posting on the winter solstice. Then I thought New Year's, Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day... None of those days resulted in a blog post, but I have finally surfaced.

I'm going to give you a short review of the year to-date, and I'll attempt to return sometime in March with a more lengthy post.

So, what's been happening? January saw our only snowfall of the year—thank goodness we didn't get a repeat of last February! Mr. D and I took a walk up to the park and enjoyed the snowy beauty, and we also spotted an unusual sight: palm trees in the snow!

After two days, the snow was gone.

Later in January, we celebrated Chinese New Year at a party at my friend Sylvia's. She and her husband lived in Singapore for a couple years about 15 years ago, and her husband learned to cook all sorts of New Year delicacies. Welcome to the Year of the Rat!

Probably the biggest event of the year so far happened on February 7. Mr. D and I went up to Everett and attended a Fed Cup qualifier. Fed Cup is a women's tennis team competition. The U.S. team played Latvia in Everett, and we saw the first two matches: Sofia Kenin (who was fresh from winning the Australian Open) versus Anastasija Sevastova. It was a very exciting two-set match, which Kenin won. The highlight of the evening was the second match: Serena Williams versus Jelena Ostapenko. So exciting!!! Serena won in two straight tie-break sets. This was the first live tennis match that I have ever seen and I got to see a legend!

I could go on and on, but I'll just end by sharing some photos from the event:

I have been doing more then walking in the snow, celebrating Chinese New Year and watching live tennis, but I'll save that for my next post. There will be knitting, I promise!