This isn't an April Fool's joke. I believe humanity is getting closer and closer to the brink of change that we won't be able to come back from. The good news is, it has been a wake-up call around the world.
"Nobody gets out of here alive.
Good things happen in life - embrace and enjoy them.
Bad things happen - embrace them and learn from them.
Everyday is a test of how each of us will live our life
and what we each will get out of it.
But nobody gets out of here alive." (c) Linda Barrett 2019
I have been working on writing, both in my personal journal and on my memoir. After having to remember and relive and recount some traumatic episodes I've been through, and balancing those with the good things in my life, both of which have made me strong and resilient and a survivor, I took the advice of a friend who is a published author and started organizing all of the short "stories" into what I intend to be a memoir. The most recent nightmare (other than the current global health crisis, COVID-19) has forced me to relive a time from forty years ago and brought the spectre of a long-forgotten ghost back into my life.
Our entire family is "on alert" for an undetermined period of time. We keep the house and cars and out-houses locked up tight, and watchful eyes toward the lane that leads to our house from the highway. Alarms signaling that a vehicle has turned into our driveway have been installed and are monitored. There was a point I thought I may have to leave the retreat for a while, but that concern has passed. I'm not here - not answering the phone, not seeing anyone, and not going into town. The COVID-19 has become a timely excuse for my disappearance from the public eye.
Other than the ghost that is haunting us and the effects of the COVID-19 around the world, life at the Retreat is still good. Fortunately we are isolated in a rural area, not in a town or city, and we are abiding by the self-quarantine and social distancing guidelines. There have been no reported cases of the virus in our County.
We have canceled our house concert live music series through May, and are holding off on canceling a June 29 show until we get closer and the musicians decide if they are going to be back on tour by then. In the meantime, I am trying to share on social media the live-streaming videos and youtube videos I get from both musicians who have played at our house in the past and those who have been booked but are now postponed. That is on facebook, on our OKLAHOMA HOUSE CONCERTS group page.
AT HOME -- In addition to spending an hour a day writing, I am working on an "art" project, decopauging a gourd I want to put at the beginning of the “intuitive trail” that turns north off of the main trail to the back of our property.
Since the two procedures to put in stents in a couple of major arteries of my heart, I have been doing really well as far an increased energy, ability to work outside and hike, and not falling unconscious and hitting my head on our cement floor! My blood pressure is normal most of the time and I continuously monitor it. Ah, the flaws and wonders of modern medicine. Who knew one could recover so well after being in some level of congestive heart failure for ten years!
April 2, 2020
Today is windy – 40 mph+ winds! We may get storms tonight. I need to work on the garden, getting it cleaned up and ready for planting spring crops, but allergies are really bad, especially with the high winds. It is past the deadline for planting potatoes but still want to get some in the ground, along with carrots. We have already planted some lettuces, salad mix, spinach, and cilantro. We've foraged and found morel mushrooms and wood ear mushrooms. Drew and Jenna are quite good cooks. They made a hot and sour soup, served with basmati rice, for dinner one evening, and a shepherd pie with ground lamb from our freezer another evening. They have 8 sheep now and after slaughtering one already this year they are ready to sell a couple. A sustainable herd is 6. Two females had babies this past "season" - one had a single male and the other birthed a set of twins, one male and one female. They are so CUTE!!
Got the news that Ellis Marsalis Jr. passed away last night. from the COVID19 virus. Of course, the news is sad, but it also reminded me of some good times Andy and I and some friends had down in New Orleans many years ago that unexpectedly involved Ellis Marsalis and his grandson, a young percussionist.Of course that story will be in one of my "memoirs". There is so much to write about to cover my 66 years, I'm beginning to think it will take three or four "journal"-like FICTIONAL books. Of course, all of the names will be changed to protect the innocent!
It's time for lunch, so I'll sign off here. We here at the Chaparral Retreat hope everyone we know and who knows us is safe and staying well. If anyone ever wants to skype or Zoom, or whatever other on-line platform is out there to communicate through (including an old fashioned phone call or a card in the mail), please contact me or Andy. Home phone is 580-623-4269; Andy's cell is 214-763-3823, and Linda's cell is 940-735-1065.