Saturday, October 9, 2021

Eaton Night

Walking the streets before dawn, walking the streets during the day the only difference is I take pictures in the dark and I do chores during the day! These photos from the days ago illustrate my thoughts about yesterday's. chore day in my retired state.

Rusty and I chauffeured Layne around town to deliver a piece of furniture, to deal with a couple of banking issues, to mail packages, all the daily dreariness. I used to be at work while all this went on, cool in the air-conditioning at my desk handling other people's routines for them. Now I walk Rusty while the offices reverberate to my routines. My wife's routines really as I am not much given to bureaucracy.

While we were away Maria cleaned the house which is always lovely but right now the interior has the spartan appearance of a traditional Japanese interior. Places to sit, tables to eat at and a bed surrounded by white walls. I always enjoy this stage of the move, the simplicity and ease of nothing much to take care of except the daily needs. 

I was walking Rusty past Mattress Firm in the heat of the day. My hair got cut faster than Layne did the grocery shopping and I had forgotten my medical card at home so the vaccine booster was going to be for another day. So I walked Rusty, who vacuumed from shade to shade as I walked and thought.

We have a little more than two weeks to go before departure day as planned. As we walked I was wondering what else should we be doing? Have we left any stones unturned? And the answer kept coming back no. I think we've sucked the Keys dry.

Yesterday was Friday and as I stood outside Baby's Coffee waiting for breakfast, and walking Rusty in the heat, I watched a long endless line of cars driving slowly toward Key West on the Overseas Highway. An endless line at ten in the morning. People coming to Key West in October. 
I got a call from a friend on the mainland on Thursday calling to congratulate me on retirement. We talked of this and that and somehow the conversation wandered around to the shortage of workers services and things. The lack of employees is nationwide, containers are in short supply, cars and their spare parts have gone AWOL in dealerships, and oddball grocery shortfalls strike at random. It was a good thing to remind me its not just in the Keys.

Reporters tell us its a side effect of the damned virus but to me on my good days I see it as a sign of resilience. We learn how to do without even if it is just a favorite name brand. I hope it doesn't last, I want. return to normal, but for now we hang on and make do.

Closing down our bank safe deposit box was a trial. The new employee had no idea what to do and feared making a mistake (another mistake she told the senior clerk). The senior clerk was doing the work of an assistant manager I guess and it felt like things were hanging by a thread as usual.  Mailing our parcels was the same trial at the packing store, one slow client sent the room into a long line and the single employee. had no one to help. We the customers waited in line with no expectations. It's the new normal. Thank goodness for Kindle on my phone!

Retiring and driving away is a new normal for us but all of us in our own ways are living in a new normal that has taken over all our worlds. Life is full of surprises.