Thursday, April 29

We are back in Greenville, now for 10 days.  Coming home was a good move, as Hawaii’s extended its lockdown to the end of May…it was a nice condo unit, but better to be taking care of this house, getting outside for yardwork, m’cycle riding, etc.  Things generally quiet here, but people not as cautious as in Hawaii; few masks, e.g.  But we’ve been back nearly 2 weeks, are healthy, although Pattie’s really reacting to a potent spring bloom in the air.

Sorry you have to leave the island, but the CAT scan’s essential…how long has it been at this point, 3 yrs?  I know you’ll both take all necessary precautions, so hope it’s a safe and easy trip in and out.  Sorry you won’t be able to sit and enjoy a nice meal at a favorite café but, alas, let the suspense keep building.

ECU’s Chancellor has announced that in some fashion we’ll be operating on campus in the fall.  He admittedly doesn’t have details, but says many options are being considered, i.e., some online, drastically shortened semesters (i.e., a UNC system-wide switch to 8-wk terms), and lots of other possibilities.  Everything remains online through the summer sessions.  Our Dean noted that we were already slated for a 5% cut before all of this…now administrators are being asked to prepare for a 15% cut.  Lean times ahead, for sure.

We spent the first week here bringing everything back down from the attic (which we’d stored to get out of the way of the renters).  It took 3 days to just get most of it down here and mostly put away, but lots still in boxes, and still about 10 boxes in the attic.  A few days of yard work was really welcome, and the lawn’s growing fast; this weekend will bring another day with the mower.  But we’ll also take a day trip to the beach to see what’s going on there.  Just heard from the construction manager and it actually seems pretty darn close; floors going in this week and hopefully done by Friday, then the only thing left is putting in bathroom vanities.  But that may mean they haven’t yet ordered them, we have to wait weeks for delivery, etc….we’ll see.  When it’s possible to get there, get everything moved in from storage, we’ll relocate as soon as possible.

In the meantime, stress-baking/cooking, indeed.  Here (since the final month in Kona, in truth), I’ve been making bran muffins a few times a week; and either lentil or split pea soups weekly, as well. 

I find it very difficult to concentrate on writing.  I have three songs that have been 95% complete for over a month, very few decisions remain to be made, but I can barely bring myself to even look at them, so I don’t.  A few weeks ago I started a little diversionary project for cellist friend, a little solo thing, just a few minutes.  It’s good, and I know where it’s going…but am really having problems writing more than a note or two each day.  Lots of days with no writing at all, not even looking at music at all. 

Although I feel in generally ok spirits, it does feel like a low-grade depression, i.e., the same ennui felt by most of the world right now.  I have successfully stayed away from briefings from Washington for many weeks now, just catching Cuomo on alternate days.  But the NYTimes headlines are so upsetting; the protests which are pushing ‘re-opening’ and which seem sure to cause more waves of covid, then a fall wave coinciding with the flu…so much misery for so many people.  And that so much of what’s going on is being politicized by morally bankrupt ‘leaders’ can only be described as sickening.

And the medical workers—I just cannot imagine the horrors they’re experiencing in dealing with the ravaged victims.  I know it’s not hitting most people very hard, but it is clearly hitting many people and families, isolation, dying alone, no good-byes…just so, so heart-breaking.  A frighteningly real blog for our day.

A death in the family (not covid-related) saddens all of us.  A generous soul, and man filled with great humor, smarts, and care.  Am so very sorry that we won’t travel for a funeral, but find a silver lining in knowing that he was at home with his wife, children/spouses, and that they’re together in grappling with the exhaustion of dealing with his loss.  I know from experience the difference between being there when a loved one dies, and being informed of such a death by phone, and I’m glad that Larry’s family were able to be together, and am so deeply sorry for the many who are in hospitals now and can’t be close as death approaches.

And all of the darkening news is balanced by a joy-inducing video call from Joe, with Jackson.  They’re all well, and look great.  Jackson crawling easily now, and pulling himself up to standing.  Still so happy and smiling, now at 9 months.  So very glad that Joe and Cristin are both there to enjoy every milestone.

As today is another day of waking at 2:30am, and clearly now (nearly 5am) need to lie down for a nap.