OYL May 21

This photo is from a month ago when I went to visit Vladimir. It’s such a great photo I wanted to put it up in my blog, and talking about my first pandemic visit with Vlad was a good excuse. This is a short walk from Vlad’s house, down to Cathedral Park on the Willamette River. You can see this message from the St. Johns Bridge.

One Year Later I look back at what I wrote in my COVID journal. May 15, 2020. “Today I met Dan for a first date on a trail in Forest Park. There were tons of people on the trail, which surprised me. People were very cautious though, some had masks, though most didn’t, but people were visibly pulling their shirts up over their faces when we passed, or turning their backs to us until we had passed. I think I will not take classes next term at Portland State University if it’s all online. I don’t like online classes.”

I did take the summer off from school in 2020, which I am going to do again this year. Summers are so busy that it makes sense. But as you know, online classes continued for a year.

May 16. “Didn’t want to hike today because it’s raining. It’s good I didn’t leave because I got word from Flavia that Manja was having an online birthday party in Italy. Her husband set it up. That’s the first time I’ve done something like that I think: a group gathering online. It was definitely the first birthday party online. I stayed on for over an hour and got to meet several of Manja’s friends, her man, her dog, her parents. It was really fun and poor Manja said she had been speaking and hosting the party for 6 hours!”

Manja, as several of you know, is a buoyant blogger living in Italy. She had been planning a larger-than-usual birthday gathering because her birthday in 2020 was a big 5-0 celebration. Sadly, her gathering of international friends had to be postponed. I benefitted because this way I was able to celebrate with the others. Not only are Manja and I nearly exactly the same age, but we are kindred spirits and friends. Once more, I find myself grateful for the world that blogging opened up to me.

A screenshot from April 2020. The Apple update last year was improvement in the face recognition technology so that when I wear a mask, a locked screen goes more quickly to the password entry. It can’t tell who you are, but it can tell you have a mask on, and then asks for your password. Like glasses fogging up, it’s another very annoying thing about a pandemic: my screen recognition doesn’t work anymore when I have a mask on.

May 17. “Apparently Oregon is in Phase I of opening up. Oregon total cases 3623, total deaths 137. Columbia county 16 cases, zero deaths. Benton county 51 cases, 5 deaths. Cowlitz county 68 cases, zero deaths. I’m still feeling reassured by these numbers because they are comparatively low in the places where I spend most of my time. Total cases in U.S. 1,467,065 with 88,709 deaths. There are still people protesting about the business and event shut downs, but it’s apparently a minority of people. Many of the early resisters are now on board and when it comes to sending their kids back to school or going to a restaurant, these are the people now saying they aren’t ready yet. Lots of people in the US are ready though. Wisconsin’s supreme court declared the stay-at-home rules unlawful, and that night bars opened in Wisconsin. And were packed. No gloves, no masks. The governor of Wisconsin must be about to have a breakdown. In two weeks when all those people start getting sick and clogging up the hospitals, they’re going to blame the governor. Because people are idiots. This is one of the main things the pandemic has taught me.”

May 20. “I gassed up for $2.39 a gallon. I know it’s lower in other places, but that’s the lowest I’ve seen in years probably.”

Today in my town, gas is $3.45 a gallon, so we’re climbing in prices again. It has gone up about 10 cents since the hacking and hoarding of gasoline in the east and southeast US.

May 21. “After his invitation, I’m planning to meet my friend Vladimir. I’m going to ask him if he wants me to wear a mask while we’re walking together, which is something I haven’t done with anyone I know yet. This will be my first meeting with a friend since mid-March. It seems risky and maybe reckless, but we will be outside.”

Vladimir chose his home partially because of how close it is to the spectacular St. Johns Bridge and Cathedral Park on the Willamette River. He never tires of it, and when I visit him in this suburb of Portland, we nearly always walk to the water and out onto the dock where the LOVE sign is always there.

Here’s a little info about the LOVE sign at the top:


11 thoughts on “OYL May 21

  1. Ahhh, how lovely, the shoutout and the link to me and the Love message. Thank you for calling me buoyant, I believe it’s the first. 😉

    I love it that you had a good time during my surprise party. I lasted for ten hours! With just a very brief pause or two. Incredible! One of those memorable things that someone does for you that you cherish forever. I will always remember all my worldwide guests, including you, and I have a recording right here to remind me.

    And finally, do you see how the Like button of this post is hidden by the video? At first I thought that it’s gone missing.

    1. Yes, I did notice the overlap of likes and the video. This problem has been happening with the new blocks format whenever I post a video. I usually attempt to solve it by adding a paragraph block or two after the video, containing only a “.” That’s what I did here, and it seems to have helped.

      Ten whole hours. Oh my goodness that deserves an award. I was so smitten by you and your family in the short time I spent with you online. All of you were so kind and welcoming to me, whom you had never met (and still haven’t, technically). You treated me like a longtime friend anyway. ❤

  2. Hi Crystal
    That love sign is awesome and the closing video was a mice bookmark with the opening photo
    And nice to peek at your journals and hear about Manja’s connection.
    I know her a little from Thursday doors

    1. Thank you Yvette for the feedback on tying the final video to the image post at the top. I didn’t plan it as bookends, but now that you mention it, I’m glad I did it that way. You know, I haven’t kept journals for years because I use my blog for that. But when the pandemic started, I began keeping a COVID journal, and I think it was a good idea to remember this remarkable time. In November or so, I got the idea to post “one year later” comments on what the pandemic was like, exactly a year later, and compare how I feel today with how I feel a year ago. It has been interesting. Sometimes depressing. But such a curious time in the world it seemed like a good idea to catalog all this. I’m glad you’ve seen some of Manja’s doors. She’s brilliant with the doors!

      1. Hi there- the journal sounds like a good idea for this very uinque event in history – and I do love Manja’s Its;ian doors and her zest — and I actually met her when she was experimenting with Stacy Fischer’s before and after photo challenge – but recall her saying it was not her thing – and that was maybe five years ago?? Crazy how times flies by

        and hope you get back to your traveling again soon

    1. The changes have been dramatic. What is most refreshing to me is that there is a pretty clear message – on most topics – rather than a bunch of people hemming and hawing and being careful not to hurt the President’s feelings.

  3. Countdown time, Crystal! Peggy is off in Florida and I am over in Florence (Oregon). We’ll both be home on Tuesday, just in time to get ready for our guests. 🙂

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