Stay (close to) Home, Save Lives

It seems like ages since this Pandemic began. Meet You in the Morning is a travel blog and obviously we. are. not. traveling. Instead I will share a little of how we are dealing with the Covid-19 quarantine.

Maybe we are living in a bubble? Any explanations for this upside down rainbow?

April: The remainder of the school year has been canceled. The state of Oregon is on lockdown orders. Instead of leaving on April 15th for Amman, Jordan to manage two Bible Land tours, I spend hours processing refunds, securing airline refunds and rescheduling the tour for 2021.

My definition of “staying home” is not so much staying inside my home as it is limiting contact with other people as much as possible. I regularly see my granddaughters and their parents. We go out for groceries, take-out food, and and exercise in the sunshine.

Our Easter Sunday walk to the park. It was sunny with a cool north wind blowing.

At first the stay-at-home order is fun and similar to being “on vacation” except in the comfort of our own comfortable home. I love not having to work, or going places. My husband does not. He likes to stay busy and starts a part-time job.

I love going on walks with my husband. Each time we exit our little apartment one of us will ask the other, “Which way do you want to go today?” We have checked out every street North, South, East and West of us.

One year ago we moved to Parkrose, the suburb where I lived from age 2 to 18. On our walks we have explored sites from my childhood: schools, church, and parks. It’s brought to mind many old memories! We walked through this 1846 pioneer cemetery for the first time ever.
One day we drove to Rocky Butte. Looking East we could spot where we are living in Parkrose and all the way to Mt Hood.
The view north from Rocky Butte to Mt St Helens across the Columbia River.

May: Walking the same streets continually has become boring. To mix it up and see different territory we go in the car to find a new place to park and walk. One day we went to the Eastside Esplanade and Portland Waterfront Park walk (pictured below.)

The Esplanade Walk along the Willamette River in Portland.
The Burnside Bridge
The Eastside Esplanade.
One day I enjoyed the pink cherry blossoms carpeting the ground at Blue Lake Park.

Not everything is pretty. Portland has lots of homeless encampments.

I-205 Bikepath near Marine Drive
On Marine Drive
We walked the paved bike trail by Portland International Airport on the Oregon side of the Columbia River at the I-205 Glenn Jackson Bridge.

Always wanting to explore further abroad, one beautiful sunny day we actually drove across the Columbia River to Vancouver, Washington to explore their beautiful new Waterfront Park.

New mixed use development with hotel, residencial, dining and recreational on the Columbia River at Vancouver, Washington.

The new trail connects to the Ft. Vancouver National Historic site. I wrote about this area as well as the Eastside Esplanade at this link Portland and Beyond.

We were really impressed. We only walked a short portion of the trail and want to return soon. There’s more to explore!

Quarantine life is almost like a “staycation” with something missing. “What is missing?” you ask. The wanderlust! The excitement and intrigue of exploring new locations, and dining on different foods.

Purposely I make an effort at slowing down in order to enjoy life “in the moment” but as a planner and logistician, I am not patient by nature. Seeing no end in sight, makes me frustrated, but not fearful. I journal as a way to vent my frustrations and to track my blessings. There is much for which to be thankful. We are fed, clothed, housed, happy and healthy.

Entertainment choices include reading, listening to podcasts and even an audio book. Signing up for a free trial of The Great Courses, I watch The Grand Tour of France, Planning African Safaris, and The Grand Tour of England, Scotland and Wales. From Amazon I order four new Rick Steve travel guides. I am hopeful.

I watch countless YouTube videos including a local professor teaching Pacific Northwest geology from his backyard, travel vloggers and videos about constructing tiny houses, container houses, modulars, even “barndominiums” which naturally leads to…

…looking at real estate, especially buildable land in a few localities.

June: My secret hopes are dashed; European travel is not resuming for U.S. citizens. American Airlines called to say our flight to Europe has been canceled. (The good news: a refund is on its way!) Such a sad day when I canceled 30 nights of hotel reservations in Poland, Austria, France and Germany. Months of planning down the drain!

To ease the pain, and give us something to look forward to I book a Christmas vacation: a 2-week Panama Canal cruise on the Holland America Zaandam from San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale. We hope normalcy will return, but are cautious. We know this cruise, too, could be canceled.

Isolation began in late March and although it feels like time is standing still, it has not. Summer flowers and roses are blooming at Península Park, Portland’s oldest rose garden.

Finally we go somewhere! For Father’s Day and our 40th wedding anniversary we rent a lovely condo in a place we have never stayed before – on a golf course in Welches, Oregon (a mere hour from home) and stay 3 nights with our adult children and granddaughters.

We took Evora to Timberline Lodge and saw snow!

July: The second wave of Covid-19 is spreading. All my tourism work has been canceled or pushed into late summer/early fall.

I continue to read a lot and have read some great books. After reading Grain Brain and Wheat Belly, I change my diet (again) to mostly grain free, lo-carb hoping to ease joint pain.

I try new recipes like these breakfast parfaits made with homemade grain-free granola, Greek yogurt and sugar-free fresh fruit.

Frustrated with my iPad mini, I justify buying a new 13″ MacBook Air by saying it will be easier for travel planning and blogging. (This is an example of what we call Retail Therapy.) Hours are passed loading music and photos from my old MacBook to the new one. It is not without frustration.

Half-heartedly I consider planning a possible European itinerary for Summer 2021, but with all the unknowns it feels like a waste of time. I contemplate the possibilities of a week-long driving trip to eastern Washington and Idaho.

I am glad we are passing the COVID time here in Oregon and not overseas.

I am thankful for time at the Oregon Coast with my granddaughters.

Making memories! Gramma and Evora fly a kite, build sand castles, bury each other in the sand, visit the aquarium and ride the carousel at Seaside, Oregon.

August: Meet You in the Morning took a road trip! l’ll tell you all about it next time.

2 responses to “Stay (close to) Home, Save Lives

  1. I am so sorry about what is happening in your beautiful state 😦 I had planned a trip cross-country from NH and back mid Aug. but with all the hate and discontent from the nations people and the weather and disasters most days I am thankful for this pandemic and the safety of home. Stay safe hoping by spring Covid and the flu season are behind us put that everyone knows how to stay home when sick from now on.


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