Diary, Family

It’s been a rough season…

With our second great grandchild, the first boy in the family in 3 generations.

All my life I’ve been an optimist. I’ve recognized “problems” along life’s way but I’ve always been able — quite easily — to put them to the side and keep moving forward. But even aside from COVID I’ve found the past year or so to be exceptionally challenging.

I’m not yet sure if this marks the beginning of my return to regular posting or not. I’m going to give it a try, to see what happens. But I am at least going to give it a try.

That said, the blogosphere as I know it has changed significantly over the past couple years. While I have tried to dribble out a few posts here and there — to keep the site just a little bit active — a good number of the bloggers I have followed with interest seem to have disappeared from sight/site altogether. That makes me sad. I know we are all struggling our way through the longterm effects of COVID isolation but sadly making our own non-face-to-face isolation even worse won’t help anyone’s mental health at all.

Let me take a few minutes and catch you up on what’s been going on.

  • WE have both (Peggy and myself) avoided contracting COVID. That’s the good news.
  • No one in our nearby family did either.
  • That said, Peg’s brother Fred in California did in connection with a fall and broken bones which put him in hospital and at 80+ years of age with throat cancer he sadly passed a couple months ago. It had been several years since we’d seen him and we felt we could not safely make the funeral trip ourselves so that has been the sad part of our life.
  • Just before the beginning of COVID we were blessed without ur first great grand baby — a girl named Sophia. She is now a month shy of 3 and a lovely addition to the family.
  • A month ago we added another great grand child to the list — a boy named James.
  • On the health front we have been visiting more doctors than pleases us.
  • On top of the routine visits I’ve had my appendix removed.
  • And then there was a Fugax Amarousa (or maybe it’s Amarousa Fugax, I don’t know)— which is a short term partial loss of sight in one eye. Obviously they were concerned about a conventional stroke but after more tests than you can shake a stick at they concluded that it wasn’t veins, and wasn’t heart, and wasn’t clogged arteries — that it was just the optic nerve but still they are monitoring me as a stroke patient out of safety concerns. And they permanently installed a LINQ monitor to determine whether I’m having any heart issues that haven’t been diagnosed.
  • All of those things have seen multiple appointments, multiple blood draws, multiple tests and while I’m glad to be near world-class medical help, it all does get boring — and tedious.
Sophia & James / June 2022

With all this stuff going on in the middle of a pandemic it’s been challenging. I freely acknowledge sometimes feeling depressed — but I sincerely believe that anyone alive in 2022 who doesn’t have situational depression simply isn’t paying attention to the world around them. So, while I have talked this through (actually Peggy and I both have) with our general practitioner it’s not something needing treatment.

We live in a suburb of Milwaukee. While Milwaukee is a hugely Democratic community the outlying suburbs are not. Our town of Franklin is way more GOP than I’m comfortable with but there are reasons we live here that override out our dissatisfaction with the political climate. That being the case I still find myself in a very uncomfortable situation. And the idea that literally 1/2 of the country seem to feel that Donald Trump and his kind are good for the nation strikes me as horribly disheartening. While I have always been optimistic I find myself less so than at any point in my life.

On the COVID front we are both vaccinated and twice boosted. My own lungs give me good reason to NOT WANT to contract COVID. As a result we still mask up for anytime we are in public — which isn’t all that often. Routinely we are the only people in the grocery still wearing masks. Even going at early hours so as not to be around many people. We have ventured out a few times to restaurants where we felt less than comfortable even though all the places we chose were doing a decent job of keeping customers separated and taking appropriate health precautions.

The results of all the stress and the COVID-necessitated isolation has been that I simply haven’t felt like putting anything down on paper. Partly because I don’t want to be reactionary — and there have been a lot of events that push me in that direction. Partly because I’ve ben thinking thoughts about the overall world scene that I’m not sure I want to share with anyone yet. And partly because as one ages it’s simply not quite as easy to compose intelligent content.

We still have a place near he Wisconsin Dells where we can get away from the city and it’s a welcome haven. But at the cost of fuel lately we no longer view the 250 mile round trip quite as casually as in times past.

I guess that’s enough of a catch up for now. I’ll try to talk with you again soon.