The bad news emanating from this lost spring of 2020 is unprecedented and well documented. The deaths and sad stories, the impact on our elderly and most vulnerable members of society, the economic devastation, and the long and uncertain road back to something that at least partially resembles our ancient, distant world .... of February.
But, many of my friends have stories of new and positive activities these past few months. Joanna in Haliburton, writing more and obsessed with homemade bird feeders. Leanne in North York, tirelessly providing masks to seniors’ homes. Jim in Newmarket expanding his culinary skills. And Nick in Thornhill, sleeping in and taking to drinking his first coffee of the day in bed. (Nick has always been way ahead of the curve, dating back to our 1989 summer trek across Europe, wearing only boxer shorts backwards the whole time.)
Back in early April I made a list of some items I’d like to accomplish during this lockdown time. Yet another version of the bucket list that has swimming through my restless mind for years. But, as Jerry Seinfeld notes, replace the “b” with an “f” and that’s pretty much what happened to my “buck-et” list. There’s always June, I guess.
However, I did manage a few good things these past few months. Pam and I, so close (and so looking forward) to being empty nesters, had our three kids back home with us, finishing up their university and high school years. And, happy to report, it wasn’t a complete disaster. We actually kind of like them, most of the time.
Which is not to say, we didn’t have our moments. Here was one exchange with my son as we enjoyed a happy hour bourbon and cigar.
CJ: This social distancing is getting ridiculous. I’ve had enough.
Me: Kid, you millennials need to suck it up, it’s not like we’re asking you to storm the beaches of Normandy. Just stay home and watch Netflix, for crying out loud.
CJ: Ok Boomer. Remind me, which war did you win? And I’m technically Gen Z, not a millennial.
Me: Oh yeah? Well, at least I used to cut my parents’ lawn when I was your age. And, I’m technically Gen X, not a Boomer.
10 minutes of awkward silence ensued as we finished our bourbon and cigars and stared off into the distance.
Speaking of Netflix, I’ve managed to use this lockdown time to break away from all the mindless sports I used to watch every night and replace it with ... mindless Netflix series every night. Like everyone else, I was totally hooked on Tiger King. Will Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin be our enduring icons of the lost spring of 2020?
However, there were also many great movies and series to occupy the time - Joker, Parasite, JoJo Rabbit, After Life, Handmaid’s Tale, Hilary, etc. This has got to be the golden era of “stay home and watch TV”.
And I’ve read some good books. That great luxury that I only seem to afford myself on holidays … and once-every-century pandemics.
So, as the restrictions loosen and the summer approaches, I now look forward to some golf and tennis. And happy hours with up to 10 people, none of whom Pam gave birth to.
And who knows, if these social restrictions drag on through the summer and fall, maybe a return to my pre-marriage weight and that novel I’ve always wanted to write are just around the corner. Or, then again, “buck it”.