Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Great Fall to Come

Nothing witty. Nothing clever. Just another day, like yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. The heat has finally arrived so we are restricted to the confines of the one air conditioned room in our rat cage. Every well-appointed cage has an exercise wheel. Ours is the treadmill. It stops us from climbing the walls, but it is by no means a substitute for the great outdoors. Folks refer to it as the dreadmill for a reason. I long for the coolness of fall.

Google Photos keeps sending me reminders of European vacations taken 5 and 10 years ago. Thanks, Google. (I mean that sarcastically.) I anxiously await the arrival of a vaccine and release from the confines of our borders. I wish it would come in the fall, but I am doubtful.

The U.S. has gone insane since I last posted. I know better than to read the news, but it is hard to look away when the entire country seems to be breaking apart and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. The new term “doomscrolling” refers to our mindless hours spent swiping through news feeds, consuming the latest in a never-ending diet of soul-sucking poison. I think we keep scrolling in hopes of finding the light at the end of the tunnel, but I think it is just an oncoming train. Maybe this fall will provide relief from the chaos that surrounds us presently. Meanwhile, I must look for the good in order to maintain my sanity.

Thank you Disney+ for not waiting for fall to release the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton” for a meager $6.99 for a 30-day pass. This original cast production recorded on Broadway is fantastic! Lin Manuel Miranda’s fast-paced, clever lyrics deliver a condensed version of Ron Chernow’s book of the same title. Brilliant. We will watch it a few times before the 30 days end. Disney+ is also home to most of the Marvel superhero movies and we have now watched them all.

Speaking of superheroes...Bill Gates is a gift to us all. He and his phenomenal wife, Melinda, formed The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which provides incalculable benefit for literally millions of people. King Rat and I were lucky enough to spend an afternoon in their visitor center in Seattle (pre-COVID) and were astounded by what they have been able to do. https://www.gatesfoundation.org/ A visit to their facility (or website) gives hope where there is seemingly none. These are the heroes we need in every season.

Bill Gates is also a prolific reader and a gifted “book-talker”. He can make any book sound fascinating in just one paragraph. https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books

Thank heavens for public libraries and ebooks. Stepping into others’ shoes for a while provides a necessary distraction from the crapfest that is 2020. What a gift talented authors give us. I feel sorry for people who cannot or do not read. They may not open in the fall, but libraries offer free ebooks all the time.

The arrival of fall cannot guarantee anything more than cooler weather. In this time of uncertainty, I will settle for that.

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