Are Public Restrooms Safe?
Answer: Apparently not. We took a drive recently over the North Cascades Highway. The “essential trips only” signs are down, but be warned – everybody knows this, so the hills are alive with crowds of people at every trailhead. About 125 miles from home, we took a break at Newhalem, a company town for Seattle City Light. One beloved feature of Newhalem
is was decent public restrooms. But no longer. They are now closed due to Covid-19.
I stood looking at the closed sign wondering what I was supposed to do. Believe it or not, the solution (definitely thought up by some MEN!) was a line-up of porta-potties a block away. To me, porta-potties are the grossest thing ever invented by MEN!. How could they possibly be safer than stalls with flush toilets and sinks with running water? Ugh. I decided I could wait until I found a decent bush.
My Four-o’clocks Cannot Tell Time
A year ago, I planted some Four O’clock seeds in my small garden allotment. They took their time, but eventually sprouted and bloomed. This year, they came back aggressively, and I was delighted. Alas, their flowers were slow in coming. Come they did, but truly they cannot tell time. Their name seems to come from their proclivity to open only around tea time, but that’s tea time on standard time or at some other latitude. I began checking on them around five, but even that is too early for my batch. Then yesterday, my husband called from the garden area around 7:30 to invite me down to view them. Lovely.
Celebrate at Di Fiora
I really wanted to go out for dinner for my birthday. Of course, we’re not supposed to dine in yet, but a wonderful cafe has sprung up in my neighborhood, a lovely new cafe with walls that go up in the summer. We walked there for a Happy Hour meal, sat a table, were served by staff with masks, all the while cooled by a breeze in our open air cafe – our first venture to a sit-down restaurant since the lockdown.Perfect! Help them out with your business; they actually opened during the CHAZ/CHOP chaos in Seattle. Di Fiora 1320 University St, Seattle.
The Mental Roller Coaster
Remember back in history the story of “the year without a summer,” a year when a massive volcano erupted in Indonesia and its ash cooled the earth for several growing seasons? I’m pretty sure that our pandemic is taking a toll on the earth, if not by cooling the weather, then certainly by stressing us out. I think of it as the year without a break. I’m stressed, and I’m relatively comfortable. Some of my neighbors lived through the Blitz in London, people elsewhere have lived through wars or famines or ebola, or tidal waves, etc. I count my blessings.
Blessings acknowledged, I find the 2020 protests one of the biggest mental challenges for me. Justice is a great cause; the need for change is real; but I don’t like anything about the protests that are dragging on and on. I don’t like the tactics of the protesters, I don’t like their claims of innocence; I don’t like the “othering” of police, I’m not wanting a socialist revolution as our most militant city council members proclaims. I want a resolution; agreement on a plan; working together; kum ba yah. Then I can get back to getting through the pandemic – and shouting at the plans of my medical center to go into business with a large Catholic entity. Ugh.