Archive for category Life during Covid-19
This column runs in the Fall 2020 issue of Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country
Summer 2020 continued to be a crazy period for sports while each entity tried to put together safe plans to resume play despite outbreaks in COVID-19. Gone were the TV reruns of every Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Championship and College Championship. Even the most avid fan was tired of the same endings, but willing to watch anything for the fix.
NBA Basketball proved to be the most creative and successful as twenty-two teams were invited to the “Bubble” – a closed to the public, hotel complex in Orlando where each team was sequestered at a hotel and only allowed to go back and forth to the arena to play. Families of the players were not allowed from Mid-July until the end of August during the second round of the playoffs.
Professional Hockey followed a bubble concept also except they had two bubbles, both in Canada. Twenty-four teams, the best twelve out of each conference, reported to Edmonton or Toronto for a one-week quarantine before resuming play August 1st.
Major League Baseball plotted a 60-day regular season beginning July 23rd. Instead of the bubble concept, they tried playing by geographical regions so travel would be limited. This idea forced teams into an interleague schedule with the leagues playing each other on a regular basis. The designated hitter, which for years was rejected by the National League Teams unless in interleague play at an American League stadium, became a mainstay. Arguments with umpires were accomplished with proper social distancing, masked and no spitting. No worries, the guys still got the bench clearing brawls in at least once a week! Some teams at the beginning struggled with players who tested positive for COVID and series would be postponed or re-matched with open teams. There were lots of doubleheaders at a reduced seven innings each to keep everyone on schedule for a planned regulation season ending September 27th. No one was complaining – America’s past time was back!
Sports had one thing in common — no fans in attendance. Players quickly learned the heart and soul of the game were the fans and the cheering or jeering. The sounds were solved with last year’s game noises piped in. Within a few weeks, sound engineers had it down to a science with the pop of the bat, groan of a misplayed ball and of course, the roar of a crowd when a homerun was launched. As for fans, support staff and the bullpen pitchers, all socially distanced and masked, were scattered throughout the lower deck. It still wasn’t the same and the TV audience yearned for more. Enter cardboard cutouts! Teams got fans involved offering their picture on the cutout for a donation to the team’s local charity. And, it didn’t stop with the fan. Bark in the Park had been a mainstay since launching several years ago. Well, canine cutouts had it even better! Instead of the normal outfield seats of previous years, the dog cutouts had seats behind the dugout and even Home Plate!
As I write this, some college football teams and the NFL have started with a few states allowing fans in the stands at twenty-five percent capacity. It’s baby steps, but maybe, just maybe, sports will be back to normal soon.
We have been trying to take some road trips just for a change of scenery from “Stay At Home” guidelines. Last week turned into a challenge when we took both pups with us and tried a five hour day. (We had forgotten when we did the cross-country drive on our move last year that Jake was tranquilized for the three days in the car.) Jake, our Boxer who turns three next month, is still finishing up his puppy stage and so hyper. Once he discovered it wasn’t a drive to the vet, he calmed down while our three and a half old Boxer Katie got a concerned look on her face. I’m sure she was thinking, “Last time we took this long a ride, we didn’t come back home!”
So today we decided to start with a mini-trip with just Jake through the neighborhood. He actually was doing pretty good. He abandoned window-cleaning after one firm, “Leave it.” Then there was a someone walking their dog. “No bark!” quietened warm-up yaps — that is until the dog decided to go potty! Then both Jake and my husband chimed in their irritation since they were both sure the dog didn’t live at that yard. A “That’s enough!” by me quieted both. “Since Jake is doing so good, let’s go to the front of the subdivision, “I suggested. And that is where it all began!
As we made the turn to the densely wooded area near the front, there was a car parked off to the side with two teenagers unloading a stroller. We drove to the top of the hill where the entrance is and turned around. As we passed the car, Jake’s cowlick bristled which is an indication he is uncomfortable with something. The car was still sitting there with a woman inside as well as a child looking as hyper as Jake. This is where my Nancy Drew intuition kicked in — after all, I read every book starting with The Secret of the Old Clock to The Clue in the Old Stagecoach. She was my heroine — an amateur sleuth who always put her skills into use when something appeared amiss. Or maybe it was my one year as Neighborhood Watch Captain or the experience at our last subdivision where a group would let their kids out at the front of the complex to case homes. Jake was bristling and I needed answers!
When we got home, I got the keys to my car. “Where are you going?” Rick asked. “I’ll be right back. I’m not leaving the subdivision. If I’m not home in an hour, come look for my body!” Rick’s mouth was agape as I took off in my blue roadster …. um…. gold sedan. I passed the two teens enroute. We exchanged stares as I passed. Further down the road, the car was still there and with another car behind her! It was a red convertible with a man and a little boy. I went to the top of the hill again and turned around. This time I snapped a shot of both cars. May as well have something on my phone records when they investigate my disappearance. It would been at that point the back ground music on my soaps would have done “da da!” On the way back to my house, I got ready to pass the girls who were still proceeding down the road pushing the stroller. I stopped and put down the window. “Hi! Are you new to the neighborhood?” They looked at each other. “What street do you live on?” “We live down the road.” I must have given them the eyebrow my mom used to give me. “Regulator,” one finally offered after they shared uncomfortable glances. Suddenly I realized maybe they were just being safe and trying not to talk to strangers. “Well, it’s nice to meet you. It’s a nice day for a walk.”
Rick was relieved to see me back at the house. I told him what transpired. “I think I’ll swing down to Regulator,” he offered. He must have read the Hardy Boys. His findings? The girls went into a house. A little later I headed out for my daily two mile walk. With all the things in bloom, I found my self stopping and admiring the properties making mental notes for Rick’s “Honey Want List.” Suddenly I heard a, “Hi! Are you new to the neighborhood?” I laughed to myself. Another Nancy Drew.
Who would have ever guessed four months ago what 2020 would bring — a whole new way of existing in life.
Life without a hairdresser — It starts with my bangs. How spoiled I’ve gotten depending on my hairdresser for those trims once a month! Well, it wasn’t by choice — I did attempt a couple of bang trims back in the 80s — my hairdresser at the time issuing me an order – “NEVER try this again!” OK. She had her reasons.
My first attempt was a tad on the short end. In my defense, maybe I was going for that Mamie Eisenhower look! OK. I wasn’t, but if I had been, my mother would have given me an A-. Mom used to love my bangs short and I didn’t have a whole lot of control over what she did with them! There were the years they were short and then those years she permed them! What was she thinking?
The second attempt wasn’t my fault. My hairdresser Luis, who I had found at Memorial City mall, was discovered by someone in California. Last I heard he was getting top dollar doing celebrities. So in the interim while trying to find Luis’s replacement, I attempted to try another bang trim.
Bang Trim #2 was before you could go to You Tube or DIY for guidance. I knew that my bangs had a slope up to the middle from both sides. So I started from the far right diagonaling towards the center. It looked great except my estimated center and what the final look showed, was way off! It was then I retired my scissors until last week!
I was finally to the point that my bangs were bothersome getting in my eyes. I’ve gained an appreciation for how a poor sheepdog sees! So with great care, working very slowly, I started the scissors cutting upwards following the existing edges barely snipping. It took me almost twenty minutes for what Rebecca normally does in two minutes. No worries Rebeeca — when things get back to normal, you will have your day job back!