Shooting Journal: The Year of the Virus

It has been two years since I wrote a journal entry. Life has happened - a lot. Health problems have sidelined me much of that time. I was not able to be out and about, taking photos as I have in the past. My website was neglected for the most part although I did occasionally add new images.

My web designer/host has gone into a black hole for over two years. This website is only still available because GoDaddy managed to bypass the expiration date on my credit card to get the new date from the bank. (Did you know they could do that? I certainly didn't.) The bank ruled against me when I disputed the charge so the site is here for two more years. My plan was to let the site go when my domain name didn't renew. Meanwhile, there is no way to retrieve this site from the webmaster and no maintenance has been done. On the plus side, he hasn't billed me in two years. Is this some kind of karmic message that I need to keep photos and journaling up for the next two years?

I had a serious medical crisis on vacation in Seattle two years ago and it became apparent that traveling like we have for years is no longer a great idea. Add to that the Worst Airport Experience Ever (OK, Toronto was the worst but Seattle was nearly a tie) and flying anywhere has lost its appeal. Our plan was short trips by car to visit family or local scenic and historic places. Great opportunities for photographing scenery and historic sites, lots to look forward to.

Late in January, my husband celebrated his 73rd birthday, he bought me a shiny red new CRV and one of our cats died suddenly. While we were still processing all of that, the country shut down to minimize the spread of the virus and to avoid overwhelming the health care system. The first two weeks, he and I were really under the weather with something so didn't care whether we went anywhere or not. While I'm a bit of a homebody these days, confinement was harder on him. So he found a project - back yard fence replacement - and I planted tomatoes, snow peas, carrots, lettuce, green beans, mostly in my raised beds. I discovered growing bags and used them for potatoes, tomatoes and carrots with mixed results. We added lots of flowers in planters, pots and beds. I visited a nearby park to shoot flowers and scenery and found beauty in the flowers and vegetables we had planted. Friends visited out lovely back yard, keeping a safe distance and enjoying our wildlife and flora. The weather was so strange - unseasonably cold or not, lots of rain drought conditions in later summer - so crops and flowers did OK but not great despite lots of loving care.

As I write, Ohio, where we live, is experiencing a surge in new coronavirus cases. Friends have been diagnosed, some really ill, others with no symptoms at all. One son and his wife lost long term jobs and our other son keeps expecting that to happen to him. The unemployed son is seeing this as an opportunity to make a long postponed career change and do some freelancing. His wife does well working freelance so money is not a huge issue. They have two children who attend school from home three days a week so having parents around to share supervision is a good thing. theater son is developing Plan B just in case.

"Winter is coming", as was famously said in Game of Thrones. We hope for the best and plan for the worst. The coming months will be an opportunity to read, to work on photo and editing skills, to continue family history research, to cook, to nap, and to take one day at a time. And pray the virus inflicts no more devastation than we can handle.

Autumn Jewels

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Nasturtiums

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