Social Distance

Well, ordinarily at this time of year, we’d’ve just finished up the ski season and we’d be getting the motorhome packed up and road-ready, while getting the regular home packed up and ready for the house-sitters. Instead, the ski areas shut down a month ago, and of course traveling for 6 months or so is out of the question for now. So we stopped packing, helped our house-sitters arrange alternative housing, and set about hunkering down.

We’ve been doing a lot with our music. Sue is active on a drum website ( and I’ve been a lot more active on my guitar one ( Both have a lot of online lessons and interactive webinar-type offerings. So far we’ve each been focusing on our own things independently, partly because Sue has been recovering from surgery to fix the broken arm she sustained in January. Because of that, she’s been doing a lot of one-hand work and is beginning to be able to use her left arm for hitting the drums again. At some point pretty soon we’ll get some collaborations going on again.

I’ve been learning new songs, practicing old ones, working on courses, and trying to figure out how to sing from somewhere down in my chest rather than out my nose. At least, I think that’s what I’m doing – time will tell. I do feel like I’m learning a lot. I’ve never really bothered to spend this much time focused on learning to play. (I almost said I never had the opportunity, but that’s certainly not true – I’ve had plenty of time, I just never took it all before.)

We live in a resort town, of course, and we normally get a lot of visitors up here. But our year-round community is small and we’ve all been pretty serious about staying ahead of the virus (at least, so far). Folks wear masks when they go out, we all limit our trips to the store and they limit the number of people who go inside at the same time. We take walks around the area for exercise, chat (across the road, from a safe distance) with friends and neighbors we meet on our walks, and do the occasional Zoom conference to catch up with friends farther away. There are some in our area who have the virus (a scant handful in a community of around 5,000 – a small percentage but certainly enough to be concerned about – and very few of us have been tested). If it starts to spread here, we’re hosed. The nearest hospital is 30 miles away, and it’s not very large.

Reading room

Sue and I read the news online every morning. We try to keep aware of what’s going on across the political spectrum by following NYT and WaPo, as well as WSJ and National Review. I can’t look at FoxNews (we don’t have television, just the internet, that’s one reason…) and I’ve mostly stopped looking at facebook, which has surprisingly (or perhaps it’s not so surprising) made me much calmer and happier.

It does look like we’ll be here, doing this, for a while longer. Buds are starting to show on the trees, and things should be getting green in a week or two. And yes, being retired is probably a pretty good situation to be in for getting through this.

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