Sunday, September 5, 2021

The New Normal - And It's Not Good

The past few days here in Virginia have been beautiful.  Lush green everywhere now that we finally had rain.  Cooler temperatures.  Crisp mornings.  But it's been difficult to get really excited about fall.  I guess I had hoped that by now our lives would somehow be returning to normal again after almost two full years of a pandemic.  But that's not what is happening.  The reality is that until the world gets vaccinated, we are not going to be "normal" again.  There are more variants coming so if the Delta does not scare you, then something else will.  Maybe you feel safe tailgating, taking trips to the islands, dining indoors, but I do not.  Too many healthy people I know are still getting sick, even vaccinated.  We don't understand the long-term implications of Covid - kidney disease, heart disease, long-term fatigue - all side affects from this virus even in people who don't get very sick. And where I live sadly less than 50 percent of the population is still in denial about the vaccine.  It is very sad to me that people are so ill-informed, not able to do the right thing for the world at large. But this is our country now.  And it is quite depressing.

Climate change is here.  Get your head out of the sand if you think otherwise. You will know it is here when you get your new homeowners' insurance bill.  We are all going to pay for this one way or another.  If you are young I would be very worried about what your life is going to be like 20, 30 or 40 years from now.  Even the scientists who have studied this area are amazed at how much more quickly the climate is changing than even they expected.  These extreme storms - the new normal.  Enjoy the time now where you don't need to worry about getting 10 inches of rain in a day.  Any house will flood with that amount of water.  Drought, lack of water, fires, extreme heat and cold, massive rainfall. It's here.  It's our new way of life.  We will all have to learn to cope.

So my way of thinking about what I do, when I do it, how I do it - well, it's changing.  I buy too much stuff that I really don't need.  There are very few things that I need in terms of clothing.  Maybe a pair of warm winter boots or slippers for my aching feet.  But that's about it.  And when I do splurge on something I have to get rid of something.  Our consumerism is killing us, literally.  Think about what you buy, where you buy it.  Do I need it?  I see some lovely fall tweed jackets out there like this one from Talbots, but where in the world will I wear this now?  We don't entertain.  I don't travel for work.  My trip to Europe later this year is cancelled.  Staying at home wear is in.  Everything else is out. Again.

And everything is getting so expensive.  I can't believe how much groceries cost.  The cost of owning a horse is just through the roof now.  So I am grateful that I have been a horse owner for a long time.  The ones I have are definitely the last ones I will own.  I never thought I would say that.  The cost of grain and hay alone is through the roof.  Vets cannot keep their staff and are limiting their hours, their farm calls and are pricing accordingly.  Horse shows are not going down in cost.  I am trying to relish what I have now but I know in my heart, this too is coming to an end eventually. 

So what's there to look forward to?  The US Open is in full swing and there have been huge upsets.  It is poised for a breakout player to win, on the men's and women's side.  I have been watching every night.  Shelby Rogers upset Ash Barty last night, the top player in the world. What a win for her.  Go girl!  I wish in my heart I could be there in person this year but maybe in another year, or two?  Or maybe I'll never feel safe in a place like that again.

We took a drive on Friday to Bath County, Virginia, one of my favorite places. It was a perfect day.  We went to a darling antique store full of great vintage china (and only looked) and we went to the Cascades' Golf Course and dined at Rubinos, a great spot overlooking this infamous golf venue made famous by Sam Snead. The view does not get much more fabulous than this.  The food is not great but we don't go for the food and you can dine on a large porch socially distancing (the deck is being repaired).  We then stopped by The Homestead, another favorite spot.

Trying to find the silver lining right now. But is it hard.  Accepting how our old way of life may not return, well, it's sobering to think about.  But denial won't cut it.  We need to adjust, to come up with new ways of doing things, how we should relish some of the things we have not that may not be possible in another 5-10 years.  Be thankful for what have now.  Before it is gone.  It will be gone.

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