A different 10th anniversary for Roadtirement

Our comfortable site near Austin

Right to the point, today is the tenth week anniversary of the beginning of our self- imposed isolation which began on February 25th.

Sher and I were on our Winter Texan living when the coronavirus thing was starting to heat up big time. We got out of Seattle in the end of January after visiting our daughter and her family, just before that Nursing home COVID-19 outbreak was reported. We were in our RV Resort in the Hill Country west of Austin. We’d planned on finishing February in Austin, and then heading to the Rio Grande Valley for March.

As the media brought more and more accounts of an upcoming pandemic, regardless of source, we decided that we would be better off in our home base in Indiana. As it turned out, that was a good decision because as things got worse most RV parks and campgrounds closed. So we got back to our house on February 25th.

Nearly empty lot at Cracker Barrel: carry out only

That began what is now our tenth week in “isolation”. We are both over 65, and I have more than one of those pesky underlying health issues that make for a scary scenario if the coronavirus infects us. So for the past 10 weeks we have been basically stuck at home. We’ve been out just a few times, with our son driving. He has been going to the grocery and pharmacy for us.  The only retail place that Sher and I have visited was a farm store for some flowers. We stayed outside and way away from other customers and store staff.

The State of Indiana is now going through a series of stages getting back to “normal”. By July 4th any restrictions will almost be gone. There will still be warnings for us old folks with underlying health issues. We are supposed to “adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain cautious at work and in (sic) our communities” so states the Back On Track Indiana recommendations in Stage 5.

Roadtirement has had 70 days of isolation. We will have to decide what activities will be safe for us. I don’t think either of us can afford to catch this damned virus, and so far there is no treatment or vaccine.  Sigh…

Back On Track Indiana plan announced

On Friday Governor Eric Holcomb of Indiana gave the long awaited news conference outlining the state’s plan to reopen for business. The official COVID-19 “lock-down” order expired on Friday. New regulations begin on Monday. If you are interested, the details are pretty clearly listed on the new website Back on Track Indiana.  It explains the five steps that the State has planned for the reopening of businesses.

The moon seen yesterday, has nothing to do with COVID-19. Just a pretty picture.

The Reader’s Digest version is pretty simple. It things go according to plan, July 4th is the date when Indiana is “back to normal”. This is if the previous four steps have worked out. The new normal, however, does include possible restrictions on nursing homes and K-12 school openings and still calls for social distancing.

What’s this do for Roadtirement? Well, dear friends, we are still basically under self-isolation. Not until Step Four of the plan does it mention the possibility of those over 65 and with underlying health conditions getting out in public, and then following social distancing guidelines. Are we going to even risk that? The coronavirus will still be out there. People will still be catching it, and will still be killed by it. Who knows when a viable treatment and/or vaccine will be available for all.

We will have to at some point decide when we will be willing to take the chance of catching the COVID-19 virus by getting out and into the public. There is so much we are wanting to do…

Yes, the 1st Earth Day was 50 years ago

Big 4 Mountain, Cascade Range

Wow, April 22, 1970. Where were you on the first Earth Day? I was a freshman at a small liberal arts college in Illinois. I knew several fellow students who were really activist minded about the environment, anti-war movement and other social issues. My geology professor was already a hard core environmentalist. The Nation wide and world wide Earth Day marches were quite something to see/read about.

Here we are in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic. There have been many reports documenting the effect that all of the stay at home orders have had on Earth. Have you seen the air quality/pollution studies showing the very dramatic decrease in smog due to few people driving?  How about the video of the kangaroo hopping across an Australian city and only seeing one car?  Geologists studying earthquakes are seeing subtle readings on seismographs that before have been hidden due to human activity.

I read somewhere that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is Earth’s way of scolding humankind and sending us to our rooms until we learn how to behave. Makes sense to me. It is my hope that the “new normal”, what ever that turns out to be, will show much more respect for Earth. Our existence depends on it.

— stay safe, wash your hands,  stay healthy —

Indiana extends shutdown and protests follow

Here’s some colorful phlox for you to see before today’s Roadtirement blog topic.

Indiana’s Governor Eric Holcomb has extended the state wide stay at home order from April 20th to May 1st. However, some restrictions are being lifted. Most of the non-essential elective surgery procedures will be allowed to continue. This has been so the PPE supplies were available for health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.  Apparently dental appointments will also now be allowed.

There were lots of folks protesting the shut down in front of the Governor’s Residence in Indianapolis over the weekend. The participants were not observing “social distancing” and few wore face masks. I appreciate the protesters’ right of free speech, but sorry, that was a really stupid way of doing it. They got the TV coverage they were after. But, people, the pandemic is NOT yet over. You can protest and do it within the current health and safety recommendations.

When Roadtirement meets Indiana’s shutdown order

Sher and I have been in a stay at home situation since we got back a month or so early from our usual stint as Winter Texans. Since our return to Indiana on February 25th we have been really in a stay at home mode courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic. With our ages and my “underlying health issues” we have to be careful. So we thought we’d share some of what makes up Roadtirement’s self-isolation environment. What do we have,  how do we live day to day, and what’s some of the stuff we’re doing when we can’t go to the casinos, live theater or set up and sell at festivals and flea markets.

Pictured is a very nice and vintage hiking trails map from Tucson. The topographic map is dated 1967 and was published by the Southern Arizona Hiking Club. The map centers around Mt. Lemmon, north east of Tucson, in the Santa Catalina Range.  Mt. Lemmon is a very popular recreation area with miles of trails in the rugged terrain of the mountains.

Details of Mt. Lemmon w/trails

The map legend

We got this map when we were visiting Tucson a few years ago. I spotted it in a listing for an estate sale and was the lucky bidder. I did my graduate work at the University of Arizona in the early 70s and made many of the 2 hour trips from Tucson to the top. That sparked my interest in the map that now lives on our living room wall.

Do you have anything in your house or RV that reminds you of experiences from decades ago?

When the sound of a mower is relished

Our local NBC station showed a video on their noon news of the city of Indianapolis. The video was in black and white and showed scene after scene of the city with no people, cars, buses or any sign of life. Totally empty streets and parking lots made the shots look like they came right out of the last scene of the movie “On the Beach”, an apocalyptic movie from 1959.

Carry out only

Sher and I and our son were commenting on the video which led to the discussion of the quiet nature that has become our neighborhood. It seems as though most of the neighbors are paying attention to the Indiana declaration of “stay at home and work from home”. Very little traffic, even the guy with the extra loud Harley is not to be heard recently.

Then we heard someone starting up their lawn mower. Wow who would ever think that the usually obnoxious noise from a Briggs and Stratton engine would provide a twisted sense of normalcy to this COVID -19 pandemic abnormal situation. Thus the title of this post.

Remembering a distillery visit in Texas

I thought it was time for something different than a post about the COVID-19 pandemic. Allow us to share a few photos and text about a nice local distillery we visited during our winter residence in Texas a few short weeks ago.

Fast Eddy logo in neon

The Hill Country near Austin is home to several breweries, wineries and distilleries. Near Dripping Springs one will find the Fast Eddy Vodka distillery. We stopped there one day near the closing time. The place was absolutely packed as there were the normal amount of cars and two huge tour buses that had filled the place with folks.

 

 

 

The bar of course had samples of the many varieties of flavored vodkas bottled at the facility. There was a very large distillery room with lots of tables. We looked at the merchandise, but did not really find any shirts we liked. Our purchases were limited to a couple of glasses with the Deep Eddy logo.  We passed on samples as we had been out all day visiting breweries. I was not really in the mood for even a sample of vodka.

Here is the Deep Eddy website. Notice that now the place is closed due to, you guessed it, COVID-19 restrictions. When we go to Texas in the future, we do plan on visiting Deed Eddy again.