Those of you who read my blog regularly have probably guessed that I have a challenging relationship with one of my sisters-in-law, although I have been gritting my teeth to keep things pleasant. Well. So, I talked about part of this issue last week. There is now one case of coronavirus in Clark County, but Wayne and I have decided that the likelihood of us encountering that guy’s germs, or the germs of anyone with whom he was in contact, to be slim. And, in fact, no more cases have emerged in the county since this one was announced almost a week ago.
My local relatives have taken the most cautious approach of staying at home most of the time, and that’s fine. However, Wayne and I have decided to continue to live our life normally until things look more alarming in the county. As life around the area looks fairly normal, I’m guessing most of the local people have decided the same thing. My Weight Watchers meeting was just as full as it usually is (I lost 2.2 pounds!), and almost everyone has been coming to the dog classes and tai chi. My neighbor Maja went ahead and had her sweat lodge ceremony this weekend as planned.
So, we come to our Tuesday hike. When I sent out the message on Monday to see who wanted to come, Maja said that she did and my sister-in-law (SIL from now on) suggested a place to hike. I did not know she had invited my niece and her family, but that was fine. The difficulty came about when Maja decided to drop out, because her hip has been bothering her and she doesn’t want to miss tai chi.
The plan had been to meet at SIL’s house, and after Maja dropped out, I said I didn’t have a ride. That is because, since we shifted our hiking day to Tuesday, I have not had the car, since that is one of the days that Luke goes to puppy play and Wayne has physical therapy. SIL messaged me asking if my car was in the shop, and the next thing I knew she was calling me. I told her that I never had the car on Tuesday because that was Luke’s puppy play. There was a few minute’s silence, and then SIL began interrogating me about the measures we were taking to avoid the virus. Wasn’t I observing social distancing? Didn’t I know not to attend large events? (I usually meet three or four people at puppy play.) She called it a class, but even after I explained that all we did was drop Luke off and pick him up, she kept asking me about what I was doing. I finally said that Wayne and I were living our normal life like we said we were going to do (on an earlier messaging round with the family).
She got really wound up and began saying things like “If I am going to allow you to ride in my car . . .” basically she had some say in my behavior. I told her that if she was uncomfortable going with me then I would stay home. (Note that this started out to be my hiking expedition.) Even then, she kept trying to tell me how Wayne and I should be behaving, so I finally hung up on her. It is as though she can’t take a polite hint. Earlier, she kept sending me articles about the virus and to get her off my back, I told her I wasn’t interested in medical issues (which is true, but that doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention, which she seems to have taken it to mean). In answer to that, she sent me another article.
As if that were not enough, when I got up Tuesday morning, I had an email from her entitled “Please read.” It quoted the King County health department and said that all at-risk people should avoid large gatherings and try to stay home as much as possible. I wrote back and said, “King County. That’s up by Seattle.” Then I again explained about the odds of getting the virus with only one case in the county, and no additional cases emerging in the last week. Finally, since I was sick of all this, I told her that what we decided to do wasn’t her business, just as what she decided to do wasn’t our business, and that I wasn’t going to talk about it anymore.
Of course, since she doesn’t seem to be able to control herself, she had to answer back, saying, among other things mostly implying that I was criminally oblivious, that she wanted me to remove her from my hiking contact list and any other event lists until after the contagion had left the area. As if she can get the virus over the internet.
So, I guess I’ve alienated SIL, but if she wouldn’t always be trying to tell me what to do, this wouldn’t have happened. Wayne says he’s happy she doesn’t want to be around us. Frankly, after the way she treated my other brother, so am I. I wonder what my oldest brother, her husband, thinks of all this. I guess I’m not going to find out, although I’m sure she spent the hike with my niece traducing me. I know my niece agrees with her about the risks, but that’s not the issue here.
And actually, after the hike I got a nice message from my niece saying she was sorry I had missed it and inviting me to go with her some other time.
The rest of the week was normal. We’ve had a lot of very nice days lately, so we’ve been doing yard work. We have a burn pile of blackberry bramble in the middle of the wolf pen. Wayne was going to burn that today, which was supposed to be partly sunny, but we woke up to mist and a bit of rain. Around here, you always see guys burning piles in the rain in the early spring, but Wayne’s been waiting for the perfect day. I hope he does it today, because I don’t want the blackberry bramble to sit there so long that it reroots in the wolf pen.
I spent a few hours ripping up the smaller blackberry vines that were trying to smother several of our bushes and a poor little Japanese maple that’s been struggling along since I planted it. It is too high up on the ridge during summer for me to do anything with it, but since the foliage around it is dead so I could see what I was doing, I was able to remove most of the vines from it from as far up as I could climb. I just won’t be able to do much about the vines that attack it this summer until next spring. Still, those little suckers did their best to trip me when I was going back down the ridge to put the dead ones on my pile.
In the orchard the crocuses are all out now and the daffodils have started to bloom. We have a duck family in the pond. We have had ducks there on and off all spring, but this time I swear I saw ducklings. It seems early for them, but although they were hard to see, I counted two large ducks and several smaller swimming things around them when I looked out early this morning from the kitchen window. I hope the ducklings will make it for a change.
Wayne has not made it to tai chi (big surprise), but now he’s saying he will start it when our class starts over in April. I should be taking Luke to Monday night class since we haven’t been going to tai chi, but inertia keeps setting in. And anyway, that’s one set of germs I’m avoiding weekly.
No picture today. I thought I’d have one of our hike, but that’s how things go.
Some of my traveling friends will be delighted to hear that I finally got Wayne to finish filling out his passport renewal application, and he just left to put our applications into the mail. Our passports expired the year we moved here. That was not a good time to have one more thing to attend to, so I let them lapse, and since then we’ve been lazy about getting new ones. We don’t have any traveling plans yet, but one friend has proposed England and Scotland for next year. Yay!