Doing My Part For the Cause

Most of my blog friends confess to having lost their mojo during this time of sequestration, as if their inspiration to write comes from the stimulation of interaction with others. Since my life has changed very little, I have no such excuse. I’ve just become a crotchety old lady, bereft of humor.

Like many, I’ve tackled long-procrastinated tasks, like divvying up Mum’s cremains. Each of her nieces have requested a piece of her, so it’s up to me to get a scoop of grandma shipped to them.

This is a selfie of Mum and me. I miss her every day but I’m grateful that she is not here to weather this crisis. She would have not been able to process the information she saw on Fox News (not that I can!) and she would have been in a constant turmoil.

This is her urn, a carved piece of juniper driftwood that I picked up in the San Juan Islands, several years ago. It’s cedar so it smells lovely.

Thankfully, mountain biking and hiking are still permitted in our neck of the woods, though the trails closest to parking lots are more populated than normal. Sadie and I don’t have any trouble escaping the madding crowd.

Sadie catches her breath before we begin the descent of Roller Coaster…
an E-ticket ride, for sure.

My sister Babs has been forced to take up cooking again which gives us something to commiserate about. Menu planning for “mates” who have polar opposite tastes to our own is challenging. I made this gorgeous lentil soup that included coriander seeds and cumin seeds which Mike immediately deemed too exotic for his taste. I ate it for a week and never tired of it.

Chunks of butternut squash, Rotelle tomatoes, and spinach add texture and color to a pot of yellow lentils.

The only excitement (if you can call it that) was a hike my favorite niece (MFN) Tara enticed me into doing one afternoon. She called around 3:00 to tell me she was going to hike up Morton Peak at 4:00, did I want to go? No-brainer! I loaded up my hydration pack, snapped ID on the dogs, and leapt at the chance to spend time with MFN. Morton Peak is a fire road (that’s a dirt road to those of you who live in more humid climates) that ascends about 2,000 feet to a now defunct fire lookout tower in about three miles.

Tara, 13 years my junior with long legs, scampered up the trail at a pace that had me unable to hold up my end of the conversation. Knowing that it was a short hike, I pushed the pace to keep up. At the top, Tara bemoaned the fact that we were too early to observe the sunset that promised to be spectacular in the stormy sky. In a moment of insanity, I suggested that we could descend via the single track that ended six miles below. We had two hours of daylight remaining, so we called my sister to arrange for a shuttle back to my car, and set off down the trail.

The trail had suffered some damage from the heavy rains. It was rutted, rocky, and badly overgrown, all of which slowed our descent. Still a couple of miles from the bottom, the shadows grew long and the light began to fade.

By the time we reached the dirt road at the end of the single track, it was all but dark and we still had a mile to go to reach the paved road where my sister waited. Coyotes began their evening chorus; we were serenaded from several directions so I leashed Sadie just to make sure she wasn’t tempted to go native. Eagerly, she preceded me down the final descent, a steep, gnarly motorcycle track, barely visible in the dark, as Tara called encouragement from below. I had to remind Sadie that her assistance on the downhill was NOT appreciated.

Then the real danger began…we, my sister, my niece and me, failed to practice good social distancing and all rode in the same car back to pick up my car, which, much to our relief had not been vandalized in the dark.

6 thoughts on “Doing My Part For the Cause

  1. Glad you’re still out and about, getting your daily dose of fresh air (which is admittedly much larger than my 15-30 minutes of dog walking on nice, level sidewalks). The Lentil soup looks amazing! I make red lentil dahl with ginger and pinches of exotic spices like cardamom and mace. You’re the first person I know whose COVID-19 To-Do list included divvying up someone’s cremains with a (soup?) spoon. One upside of my own father’s death is that he didn’t have to live through this… endangering himself and Mom with a zillion trip to his dialysis facility and other medical appts. Of course, he was otherwise homebound and could have given us all a lesson on how to shelter in place graciously, finding contentment in such meager meals as his diabetic, cardiac, salt-free diet would allow, watching MASH reruns, napping, doing Sudoku puzzles, and keeping his journal. 🙂

    Like

  2. I love this post involving danger, thrills, adrenalin rushes, and cremains. My mother has my father in a cardboard box in spite of the ceramic urn i made. I’m tempted to put a third of him in the urn. Anyway I’m glad you let common sense rule instead of riding with your head out the window to avoid any “bad air” from your sister and MFN! I was reading this while Sparky sat at his computer. He really liked the looks of your lentil soup. I have a feeling lentil soup will be on the menu next week…

    Like

  3. Sadly, I wasn’t able to buy more yellow lentil so I settled for RED! We shall see how the next batch comes out. Just make sure you have your masks because a big pot of lentil soup can make sheltering in place a bit…shall we say aromatic.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s