I am on vacation. It seems wrong and the antithesis of everything that is happening in the country, but here we are on the Cape for a week. There is some guilt involved for me, but I also see that taking a break from the barrage of crazy Trump, the pandemic, Portland, politics and the serious break with reality that Kanye’s having (!) and all the other awful news is necessary to be able to get through the world right now. Hey, you gotta do what you can to save yourself. Put the oxygen mask on first, or you won’t be able to take care of anybody.
We have been going to the Vineyard for the past 30 years, but that seemed too much this year with the ferry dictating our arrival and departure. Who knows when you might need to go to the hospital. So, we rented a house near close friends who are here for most of the summer and we are having a lot of fun. FUN. Can you imagine? Don’t get me wrong, everybody is wearing masks everywhere you go, and some things are closed and the traffic is minimal (which is a stupendous side effect), but the beach is stunning, with a sandbar that goes out for what feels like miles and actual warm water! I have been swimming! I can never get into the water for more than a warp speed moment to cool down when it’s super hot because New England beaches are generally cold as winter. I just might be a Bay kind of girl.
Anyway, yes, I feel sheepish to be on vacation while things are going to hell in a Corona infected handbag right now, but I am also feeling some much needed happy seeing my kids together, having my son home from California, spending time laughing with good friends. It’s also adorable to see all the kids, who grew up together catch up on their lives reminiscing about their childhoods and cracking up.
So gratitude for a getaway. I think we have to take care of ourselves, not just physically, but mentally during this country’s nightmare. There have been whole hours I have forgotten what’s going on while I’ve been here. And that’s not just good, but I think it’s necessary to keep putting one foot in front of another without wanting to step in front of a moving train. Can you get away? If even for like, a day? It helps.
I have to work hard these days to focus on gratitude. It’s not that it isn’t lurking behind every corner, it’s just that there are so many obstacles trying to obscure it (a pandemic, Black Lives Matter, a lying, cheating,100% insane, murderous president, humidity).
Of course, this is when gratitude is most needed when you are stuck in the muck of a world in trauma. So, here are the five things I’ve been most grateful for in the past two weeks:
Hamilton. I was fortunate enough to see this on Broadway and didn’t think it could possibly translate in movie form, let along on tv. But guess what, it does, and beautifully. In fact, I caught words to songs I hadn’t caught in the live performance. We are currently playing the soundtrack around the clock. This is worth getting Disney for a month and canceling. It will remind you of how we’ve had other tumultuous times in our country and also how brilliant Lin Manuel Miranda is and also that there is nothing like a musical to get you in a good mood (The King!)
The Lincoln Project. This is a Republican organization trying to bring the party to its original mission. In doing so, they tell the truth about Trump. Their videos are informative and, well, brutal. If I were the president, I’d be curled up in a fetal position after watching one of these. This is the latest. It makes me giddy.
Cauliflower rice. Ok, you might think I’m scraping the barrel here, but this is my gratitude list, so back off! I used to make this fresh, but it seemed to always come overcook. I just tried the Jolly Green Giant frozen version and it somehow seems to come out exactly right. And they have it with broccoli in it and other veggies, too. This stuff is great. I doctor it up with garlic and onions and sometimes put in a cup of real rice, too. This low cal treat is a frozen food staple in my kitchen these days.
4. New sneakers! I have difficult feet. Just search “bunions” on this site and you can read all about them. So, finding sneakers that accommodate the wide front of my foot, while hugging the narrow-ish back of my foot has been a job in itself. Until a few years ago when I found a Nike version that was perfect. I just kept buying them every 8 or so months, thinking how great it was that I’d found something that felt made for my feet. Well, as all good things come to an end, so did the Pegasus Zoom 33. Sigh. Nike discontinued them. Heartbreak. Foot ache. Covid had begun and no stores were open for me to find a replacement. I kept wearing my beat-up Nikes, while I was walking more than ever, and hoping they’d hold out. So, Marathon Sports opened the other day, and if you’ve never been there, shout out. They fit you and assess your gait and will bring out as many sneakers as you need to get you the Cinderella fit you deserve. I got some Asics that are so comfortable and padded, I feel like I’m walking on a trampoline. Talk about a spring in your step.
5. Flowers. I cannot get by without some blooms. My little garden is in full swing right now and I appreciate it every time I go outside. I also get high from other people’s flowers. Walking around the hood, more than normal during Covid has given me a brand new appreciation for the gardens of others.
What’s keeping you going these days? What are you grateful for?