The Last Day of 2022

 A couple mornings ago we were treated to the birth of the new day over our snowless, leafy woods.  A week ago we had snow on the ground, though not much.  It lasted through Christmas then the weather began to warm.  Yesterday the high temp reached fifty-eight!  

End of weather report.

This is the last day of the third year of our forced isolation.  That's what it has been for me.  I miss the contact with friends, without a Zoom screen between us.  The hugs.  The handshakes.  The meals shared across a small table or sitting shoulder-to-shoulder.  I miss being able to augment my poor hearing by watching a speaker's lips form words.  

What concerns me most about the flow of the past three years is  wondering what our 'new normal' will be when this scourge becomes like the Flu, something we get inoculated against annually.  Will we once again interact with friends, family, and strangers as we did before all this? Or will our years of abstention, of masks, of self-testing, be so much a part of us as to inhibit our old level of socializing?

Personal sadness: 

  • Not being able to celebrate my 80th by organizing a February Birthdays Party and inviting everyone I knew with a birthday that month, as I did for my 70th.  
  • Missing a vacation in Cedar Key with stops at my sisters-in-law and our surrogate daughter in Savannah on the way there and back.
Personal happiness:
  • Seeing, in person, our youngest granddaughter graduate high school.
  • Having Kelly and Kelli arrive for Thanksgiving with Nick and our great grandchildren, Suri and Jaxon. 
I've lived almost eighty-one years on the planet.  It's not unusual that some of my waking hours are spent remembering, whether consciously trying to recall some event, or having some trigger arrive from who knows where, to bring a memory or sensation up.  

The strangest one today happened as I listened to an audio book.  Much of the novel takes place in the Middle East — specifically Pakistan.   As I listened, the mention of Peshawar brought visions of the place — little more than a village when I was there in '67-'68.  I could see the hard-packed dirt streets, hear the venders hawking their wares, see the occasional oxcart with the team toiling under the weight of mud bricks in the wagon, its wooden wheels harkening back a thousand years.  When the novel focused on an Afghani farmer in his field, I experience the distinct odor of freshly-tilled soil.  The incongruity of that odor in December, in New Paltz, caused me to pause the narrative and ponder it.  The memory wasn't of a sensation experienced in Pakistan, it was from my youth working on various farms.  Wonderfully strange how memories work.

Until next year,