OYL May 26

Just yesterday, June 1, 2021, this male swallow perched atop the birdhouse and called loudly and persistently. I was outside and couldn’t avoid hearing the message to his mate: “Come over here and take a look at this! This one has real potential! Hey! Do you hear me? I found a possible home! I’m doing my job as a mate and I want you to recognize it!” Finally, after several minutes of calling, she came over and humored him.

{Note: As you can see by the date above, I am a little bit behind. Some serious personal stuff came up, devastating news and fabulous news. I’ll tell you the cool stuff soon and the shitty stuff when my heart is ready. You know how life is…. anyway. I’m sorta back now!}

One Year Later, I look back at my posts from my COVID journal. May 21, 2020. “A pair of violet-green swallows were really checking out the birdhouse in front of my office window. I was so hopeful that they would move in. They spent a long time checking it out, maybe 10 full minutes. Then they left and never came back. I wonder what it needs. My guess is that the hole into it is too small, but I just don’t know. In my final paper for my Indians class I’m researching the Modoc people. I didn’t realize how excited I would get about doing this. I think I might post it on my blog when I’m done.”

As you can see, my COVID journal became an actual journal. I have journaled all my life, since age 7. Sometimes I would go a year or two with a gap, but most of the time I’m writing my personal thoughts down in some format. In 2007 I began blogging, and since then I haven’t kept a regular journal until I started the COVID journal. But a writer’s gotta write, and clearly, with the world in turmoil, my COVID journal became a place for me to pour my heart out in some passages, and then to comment on birds and Indians in other passages.

Neither of these topics above from May 22 are relevant to the pandemic. Both of these stories continue into this year. For example, I took a recent road trip to Modoc country (blog post coming soon) that is a result of my paper, and the violet-green swallows are back! I’ve included some photos I took yesterday.

The male on the roof checks to make sure the female takes his suggestion seriously and doesn’t just blow off his idea without taking a good look. She says, “Yes, honey. It’s a very nice place. Thank you for finding it for us.”
She went inside for a full minute. “I’m not sure how I feel about this place though. It doesn’t mean I’m not appreciative for all you’ve done and all you do. I’m only saying….oh, I don’t know. It’s not quite… I mean…. did you look inside? Come in here and look.” He never did go in. He just perched on top and puffed out his chest and thought, “I am a damned good male swallow. I find excellent homes.”
“Yes, yes, it does seem safe, up this high. You are so right to point that out. I’m only saying we haven’t looked at all the places yet. Let’s keep looking, and I’ll promise to keep this one in mind.”

May 22. “This morning, a couple of swallows did a fly by, on three separate occasions, but then left. BUT!! For the first time ever, I saw other birds checking it out.”

I caught photos of all the other birds up there that day last year, and then wrote a blog post about it.

May 23. “Margaret called me to try and talk me into going to Greece with her in July. She’s had the tickets and hadn’t canceled the trip, and now it looks like it’s opening up again. It’s not open yet, but news is that it is planned to be open in June. So she’s all “Let’s go!” But I am not ready to get onto a plane yet. She sent me her plans anyway, and asked me to consider it. I had a second date with Dan last night and we went to El Tapatio and per the rules, parked outside and called in and ordered. We were told to wait out there and they would bring us the food in 15 minutes. Wendy, the staff member who came out, explained that it is expecting to open to limited seating soon. that makes me really happy. I love El Tap and I’ve been giving them a 100% tip whenever I go, which is not often. I want the small businesses to survive. I met Vladimir for the first time in months. We hit Cathedral Park first, and I was astonished at how many people there were, including a big party with loud music and a buffet line. I tried to decide if each group was socially distancing from the others, but I really couldn’t tell. I did notice that when we passed people on the sidewalk, some clearly tried not to walk too close to Vlad and me. It seemed alarming to me that they would party together in a pandemic.”

May 25. “We got a message from our professor saying there were only two weeks left of class. Whoah. How did that happen? But such a relief. I’m tired of all this work, ha ha. I will not take summer classes, and if school isn’t in classrooms this Fall, I will not take Fall classes.”

That’s where I am right now! One week of class left and one week for finals. This year I will also take the summer off. There is just too much work to do in the summer to also take classes. Ah, but look at my bold declaration last year. It was hogwash: I took classes Fall, Winter, and Spring – all online. I still can’t stand online school, but the appeal of learning was stronger. 🙂

May 26. “Total COVID-19 cases in the US: 1,637,456 Total deaths: 97,669.  Thirty states have reported more than 10,000 cases. Montana and Wyoming have the least in the country, and both reported less than 1000. In the US, it’s strictly along population lines: the most populated states are hammered, the less populated are hardly touched. This will suit Trump well because the rural folks are still considering whether COVID-19 is a hoax, or a Democratic strategy to make Trump look bad. I am convinced he will be re-elected. He is more insane than ever, recently saying he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine as preventative for two weeks. Before that, he suggested we inject disinfectants, or zap COVID with UV light. Which is a natural next step, I guess, for the man who suggested we nuke hurricanes. His people LOVE him, and Democratic elite are still totally oblivious to what’s going on in the country. They think a campaign based entirely on the platform “get rid of Trump” is a winning strategy. It’s not. People don’t rally behind “get rid of the other person,” they rally behind ideas. I’m so frustrated I may not even vote this year. Can’t believe I’m saying that. I’m so sure Trump is going to win.”

I forget how many dimensions of awful 2020 was. On top of the pandemic, murder hornets, kids not allowed to go to school or play sports, people being laid off, racial tensions and protestor violence, institutional violence, forest fires, water shortages….AND there was a friggin nasty, negative election campaign all year long. No wonder we have spent time exhausted and out of our minds.

4 thoughts on “OYL May 26

  1. I’m so glad to see you back, Crystal. ❤ I remember your bird house post, how you made the hole bigger. So you've had quite a bird traffic on and around it, but no nesting as yet? I laughed when I spotted that in one caption you wrote "sparrow" instead of "swallow". 😉 See, maybe it was offended…

    Yes, we did other things before blogging, I was thinking about it just today. I also had diaries, but only until I hit 16. After that I started to live in the place of daydreaming. 🙂 I did have a scrapbook at all times in which I collected quotations and all sorts of stuff. That was my first blog of sorts. I need to take some photos of it and do a nice post about it, seeing that I have my last one right here.

    I wish you well and that life puts you on the plane this September and carries you over here. 🙂

    1. Oh goodness, Manja. Thank you for pointing out my bird-offending mistake! I fixed it, but I imagine the male is now concerned about discrimination or some such thing. Yep, you are right: I enlarged the hole and have had some good activity around the house this year, but no takers. I’m still not sure why not, but then, I haven’t researched what Violet-green swallows look for in a house.

      Ooooh, I think scrapbooks are a great way of journaling, and so much more interesting. I have two beautiful books I made when I traveled to Greece/Turkey, and another when I went to France, and they include many things that are not photos. I have thought the same as you: I should get photos and do a post or two on my books. I’m eager to see your scrapbooks: maybe in person!!

      1. Yesss! I do hope so. And I’ll be really happy to see yours! Also, violet-green swallows sound so exotic but we have many swallows here too, just not sure about their colour. Maybe if you paint one wall violet, and one green? (Noooo, just a joke. :D)

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