3.5 years

Sitting here socially distanced and masked up since early spring, I often wonder about how much people have likely ramped up drinking – out of fear.

Out of boredom.

Anxiety.

Anger.

So much anger. Because yep, it’s an election year on top of everything else. Just days away from an election that will determine our path forward, for better or worse. There is a brittleness in our communities that seems tangible. It’s just right there, under the surface. I see it when I go to the grocery. I see it on the wearied faces of the checkout clerk. I feel it in the shortness and clipped responses. So much irritability and anger.

Walking through the store, I saw an elderly gentleman while in the store with what looked like at least a dozen bottles of wine. “Eyes on your own cart,” I reminded myself. The mind still wondered though. Maybe he’s buying in bulk. Who knows? Not my business. On a different day, I saw another person juggling 4-5 bottles of hard liquor. Probably having a party of some kind. Whatever. Not my business. These kinds of thoughts flash through my mind in a matter of seconds. I’ve noticed them more frequently lately, and what seems to be an uptick of alcohol purchases at a few of the grocery stores I frequent.

My 3 year soberversary rolled around a few months ago. It’s weird how time works, both dragging and speeding by as we look through the lens of hindsight. Even more so when aboard the careening Corona-coaster that is this year.

Over three years ago we were living in another state, I went veggie right around the same time and homeschooling wasn’t seriously on my radar. Eric had left for the what felt like the longest year and last deployment. (Knock on wood it stays the last!) I was looking at selling the house while he was gone. I had survived closing up the house and evacuating from Hurricane Harvey with a torn up shoulder and a bit more confidence that I could, in fact, do hard things. I chopped off all my hair and started over because I was too impatient to let the dyed/Brazilian blowout part grow.

What a time to choose sobriety.

But thank God I did.

Eyes on my own cart. Eyes on my own path.

Thank God I chose the one I’m on.

Corona-Style Visits

I was able to escape my family yesterday for an outing (with masks and social distancing, of course) and took my 2 little dogs for the adventure. I met up with my mom and our friends and walked nearly 3 miles around Coupeville, WA – which is a lot for little dogs with short legs! The view was gorgeous!

These are the beautiful Pacific Northwest days that fool people into moving here, not realizing it does rain here 8 months out of the year.

Silly doggies!

After our trek, we socially distanced on the porch and the dogs had treats. They were definitel worn out and ready for a mellow 4th of July.

After our dog walking adventure and heading back up to my hometown, Mom and I decided to do a drive thru coffee and head to a park with the dogs just to sit and continue our visit. The dogs were tired and it was time to go.

But…..

Anytime my mom get started on what we call, “Solving all the world’s problems,” (and seriously there are a few!) parting ways typically takes a minimum of an hour. Or 2. Possibly canceling later plans. It was simply a lovely day. As we eventually made our way back to our cars, she backed her car in so we could chat, “just a little while longer” but let the dogs have some A/C, water and a comfy rest. And then a friend joined us.

You cannot see it in these photos, but there is a WASP-BEE-Murder Hornet flitting between our cars. We would roll our windows down, chat for a bit, and then scramble to roll the window back up as it flew back by. Side note: this is the one time that it does not pay to have power windows. No matter how hard you press that button, the window will only go up at the same slow speed. Manual windows – you could crank that puppy as fast as your arm would go and get that window up quick!

By the 14th time of windows up-down-up-down-up-down trying to avoid said murder hornet, we were laughing hysterically, simultaneously speaking on our phones. Second side note: Did you also know there is a delay when you use a cell in close proximity to the person to whom you are speaking?! We discovered that and played “foreign film montage”!

Silly from the fresh air, the exercise and/or the ridiculous wasp, as well as an overdue visit amidst a global pandemic, we did eventually bid farewell (3 hours later, whoops!). It was just what the mental health doctor ordered!