Monday, March 30, 2020
I took a long weekend. My normal schedule gives me Sundays and Tuesdays off, but I’d seen the way the wind was blowing, for a lot longer than most. I started buying extra food and supplies the day that the first cruise ship victims were met at the airport by HHS representatives without protective gear. That was over a month ago, and well before the shelves at the supermarket were cleared and violence erupted over, of all things, toilet paper. Anyway, knowing that the virus was getting closer to affecting my life, more than just shutting down my happy hour tavern, I took Saturday and Monday off, effectively giving me a 4 day weekend.
Saturday and Sunday were spent mowing the yard. When I say ‘mow,’ it’s a bit of a misnomer, since I don’t own a lawnmower, just a battery powered weedeater and I own almost two acres of land.
This morning I set up my Charlie tent down at the end of my land, where it joins with the finger of lake cove that is about 40 feet wide, and dries up in the summer. I call it a Charlie tent, since I bought it for my deceased friend Charlie and I to sit under, in the hot 4th of July sun, during the annual party thrown by his neighbors. Hundreds of people showed up at these galas, many pitching tents and spending the night, rather than risk driving home. Since Charlie was getting old, and couldn’t take the sun, I bought the 10 foot pop up canopy to make sure he could enjoy what turned out to be his last party. It had sat, collecting dust since.
After I had cleared a relatively flat space at the water’s edge and set the tent up, I built a table to set up under it. My neighbor Jerry had given me a burn barrel towards the end of winter, that I had used exactly twice for its’ intended purpose. This made a fine base, topped with a dumpster dive glass top. I didn’t actually dive into a dumpster, but while I was sitting out on the back porch of my aforementioned tavern, a friend had brought two glass tops up to throw into the dumpster behind the bar. I helped him throw the first in the dumpster, and he helped me put the nicer one into the back of my SUV. The twelve sided, thick beveled glass had been sitting out in front of my house for the last two weeks, mocking me. I somehow managed to wrestle the beast down the hill, only stopping once to set it down and catch my breath, and up onto the top of the barrel, which I had set up under the tent. I then trudged back up the hill to the house twice, and retrieved my two metal-framed barstools, and their respective cushions.
We’re under a shelter in place order, both at my house, and in the next county over, where I work. I have a letter that my supervisor gave me to carry with me that exempts me from the order. I’m nothing special- the mail is an essential government function, and being a mailman, I am suddenly unexpendable.