Another groggy early morning in downtown Chautauqua and the garbage truck is noisily making its way along our streets.
Ah hah. It’s Friday! How many times were we not sure what day it was? Or even what the date was? The 14th. The 15th? The 16th? Less to do, less reason to know the exact date.
Here we are, some 16 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and on our way to the finish line.
What a journey it has been and our lives have been modified in so many ways.
Thank goodness for my various tennis leagues, which help me to know what day it is. George Dell organizes Big Hitters on Monday evenings. Gerry Kowalchuk is the boss of geriatrics on Wednesday mornings. Terry Francis organizes 30 former athletes for Top Guns on Thursday evenings, while Dominic Ventresca’s Dominators play between 8:30 to 11:30 Saturday mornings.
The real fun is on Friday and Sunday evenings when Marilyn Francis and Pippa De Leonardis herd us cats for Mixed Dubs. Tennis with music, and tea and biscuits later. What’s not to love, eh?
Some awkward moments arose during the early months of the new normal. While waiting at the red light at Mary and Mississauga streets, several times I blushed a bit when I looked to my left and saw a woman behind the steering wheel of her car.
How daring, how risqué I thought, having her underwear hanging from her rear-view mirror. Then, I realized it was her COVID-19 mask, not her intimate apparel. Black, blue, white, whatever. How silly of me.
And at the Avondale stores, chance encounters with normally well turned out, chic female friends, who were wearing baggy grey sweatpants. Sometimes without any war paint on. Small talk was truncated and short memories became a bonus.
And during the four summer months of 2020, I performed my ablutions with hot showers only three or four times each month. No, I wasn’t on the nose, because I bathed in the fresh waters of Lake Ontario almost every day.
Rode my bike down to Ryerson Park with a bar of Ivory soap and a bottle of Head & Shoulders shampoo. Into the water, and it is a different kind of clean. And a good heart starter.
With most Tim Hortons and McDonald's outlets closed, many NOTLers and visitors needed to find alternative public washrooms. Nature pees became more common, as this is a necessity, not a luxury.
And more time to read the newspaper. What a great letter to the editor back in March, explaining how to improve the audio on our mobile phones. Simply use a toothpick or toothbrush to clean the lint out of the charging port on the devices, and voila, so much easier to hear.
This lint hint reminded me of my second summer working on Nantucket Island back in 1971. Remember, this was the Woodstock era, with a lot of flower children feeling the love. Kathy Granseth, a young waitress from Minneapolis, spent many days on the ‘Sconset Beach, looking at people’s navels. If there was visible belly button lint, she would ask that it be put in her mason jar.
By the end of the summer, she had a baseball sized wool collection, and that fall she knitted a unique wool scarf with the “Meh Meh.” Peace and love, friends. Next Thursday, we will reflect on the lyrics of the epic song “Imagine.”
More time to think about the history of our wonderful country. We are so fortunate, but we can be kinder.