Friday, Nov. 13, 2020
I found my snow boots today! I was so afraid I’d tossed them a move or two ago. Yosemite had its first snowfall of the season last weekend and we’ll be there in three weeks! It’s so important to have something to look forward to–to get you through the winter. Things that make you smile. Like snow and flowers and music.
Because that fall surge the epidemiologists predicted is happening now and it’s time to review the meaning of the word exponential. And hunker. Hunker–it’s a funny word. According to Merriam-Webster it means “to settle in or dig in for a sustained period —used with down.” As in, I plan to hunker down until spring. Think of this as your Covid year, as Dr. Osterholm says.
For me it means that Israel trip we planned last year is cancelled. It means planning for a restrained holiday season. It means scheduling something smaller, but special, like spending four days at Yosemite this December. It means driving down to San Diego for Thanksgiving dinner with my son and daughter-in-law and the baby. Five of us. It means a Christmas visit from my son in Honolulu who I know has been as cautious as John and I have been here. And his four children who are being home-schooled. I can be the protected grandmother who stays a little distant this year. Just don’t call me “vulnerable”!
Not complete isolation, but much more limited than I’ve ever been. For the most part, I’ll be watching movies by the fire (the one in the fireplace), blogging, Zooming, and gardening. This year I’m planning my spring garden early.
So–flowers! I’m hoping for a lush garden next spring with begonias and nasturtiums blooming in containers all around the patio. (Flowers that rabbits don’t eat). I mostly grow Begonia semperflorens, commonly known as wax begonias. They are labeled as annuals but in our climate they bloom almost all year round. After watching several YouTube videos on begonia propagation I’ve decided to separate out my larger plants into separate pots and nurture them in hopes that the pots will overflow with blossoms by spring. I might try the leaf propagation method indoors as well–as a winter experiment. My two-year-old nasturtium, grown from seeds from a friend’s garden, has flowers in every stage right now, so I plan to harvest the seeds this year and plant them around the fountain in the early spring. I save all my containers, so I’m hoping to produce this lush patio border without buying anything. We’ll see . . .
In the meantime we have the holidays! I’m packing a Christmas box for my granddaughter to take to my daughter and her family in Lancaster. Another Christmas box to take to my son’s house on Thanksgiving. And wrapping a few things to have here for the son and grandchildren who are coming Christmas Day. For those long winter evenings, I’ve found some music and entertainment options:
- Hershey Felder has more Live From Florence performances planned for the 2020-21 season. You can get tickets through the Laguna Playhouse at https://lagunaplayhouse.com/2020-2021-special-performances/hershey-felder-tchaikovsky-live-from-florence/ . The Christmas show is based on Tchaikovsky with a focus on the Nutcracker Ballet and locations in Florence where Tchaikovsky actually lived and worked. One ticket per household. Live on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 5 PM PST and you can stream it through Dec. 27.
- South Coast Repertory has a unique performance of the Christmas Carol with Jefferson Mays performing 50 different characters. Tickets available through https://www.scr.org/jefferson-mays’-a-christmas-carol . Live on Nov. 28 and streaming until Jan. 3.
- A fun idea I found through the Segerstrom Center for the Arts: A virtual Christmas vacation with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo talking about the making of the “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and showing their favorite clips will show live on Saturday Nov. 28 at 5 PM PST only. Tickets available at: https://www.scfta.org/events/2020/a-(virtual)-christmas-vacation. Note: It’s just that one night.
- And for FREE there’s the L.A. County Holiday Celebration started in 1959 by the late L.A. Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. Music and singing representing the diversity of Los Angeles County’s cultural and ethnic groups, this year pre-recorded and available on PBS SoCal or stream from this site: https://www.musiccenter.org/tickets/events-by-the-music-center/holidaycelebration/ . No ticket needed. Dec. 24 3-6 PM PST, rebroadcast several time on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Check out the website to learn about the artists.
The L.A. County Holiday Celebration is especially close to my heart because Harry Marlow (my dad and Supervisor Hahn’s Chief Deputy) used to coordinate it from the time it moved to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in 1964 until he retired 20 years later. Many a Christmas Eve afternoon he would take me with him to the DCP to meet the choirs, bands, and performers and check that everything was running smoothly. The afternoon of music, free to all, is one of my favorite Los Angeles holiday memories.
Pandemic getting you down? Put a few things on your calendar that will keep you looking forward. Like snow, flowers, and music. We will get through this.
Today’s Notable Headlines
“Snow in Yosemite: See photos and video of the park’s early winter wonderland,” The Fresno Bee, Nov. 11, 2020. https://www.fresnobee.com/news/california/yosemite/article247070112.html
“As holidays approach, Fauci discusses COVID-19 “risk/benefit ratio.” ” CBS, Nov. 13, 2020. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-holidays-fauci-risk-benefit-ratio-coronavirus/
“Need Something to Watch This Holiday Season? We’ve Got Music Fans Covered,” Billboard, Nov. 13, 2020. https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/holiday/9484237/holiday-2020-music-specials-roundup/
“The US has added half a million new coronavirus cases since Monday,” CNN, Nov. 13, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/13/health/us-coronavirus-friday/index.html
“‘I see something terrible happening now’: Exponential COVID-19 growth worries experts,” Channel 3000, Nov. 13, 2020. https://www.channel3000.com/i-see-something-terrible-happening-now-exponential-covid-19-growth-worries-experts/
Micheal Osterholm, M. D. https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/about-us/cidrap-staff/michael-t-osterholm-phd-mph
Why am I doing this?
The coronavirus pandemic will be indelibly written on our memories just as the Great Depression or the Battle of Britain left their mark on past generations. It is my intention to journal the pandemic experience from three perspectives: as a retired medical technologist, a historian (Ph.D., 2014), and an ordinary person living through an extraordinary crisis.
You are on History’s Edge.