Doing Our Best

We went to the desert today to go hiking. A spot not many people go to or know about prior to COVID-19, and sure enough we didn’t see anyone the entire time we were out. Not even parked cars along the route of people hiking some other trail off the main one. We were outside in the sun and wind and clouds for hours and it was amazing. It was also eerie.

From the top of a mountain we looked down at the highways and saw no cars.

We hiked for a good long while, as much of a good long hike as you can have with a four-year-old and a one-year-old who isn’t doing much in the way of walking right now and thus needs to be carried. Clean air. Fresh blooming flowers. Sage.

We collected handfuls of sage to bring the outside inside.

We drove a bit further and stopped along an extremely popular hiking through trail that also happens to have the perfect fallen tree that acts as a bench and ate our packed lunch: tuna salad with avocado and almond crackers. A couple apples. We walked a portion of the trail, just so I could finally say “I’ve walked a portion of the PCT.”

There were no hikers.

We continued to drive through to the other highway that would loop us around and back home. We finally saw someone. On a bike. An older man, certainly over sixty, most likely a prime candidate for the entire self-isolation movement. He slowed down as though he wanted to chat. We waved and mouthed “hi” as we drove through. He waved back.

This is social distancing without a couch.

And then we blew it. We were driving back towards town and saw two through-hikers who needed a lift into town. It’s a long hike into town. The clouds are coming in good now and the wind has picked up. It is very, very cold outside. These two kids need to get in out of the storm and fast. The cab of our truck is full with two adults and two kids in car seats, but our truck has a shell on it and the dog is in back.

We stop for the hikers.

The hikers have no problem climbing in back with the dog. They’re shivering. They say they want a hotel and food and they’ll go anywhere we think will take them. We close them up in the back, tell them to bang the glass if they need us to stop before we get to town. We start driving, and texting with a true trail angel to see if she wants hiker company for the night.

She’s had a strange day.

She pulls over and waits for us to get up the hill with our hikers. We pull over and ask the hikers if they still want to go to town and pay for a hotel and pay for food or if they want to go home with the world’s most epic trail angel where they’ll have showers, laundry, food, beer, and a game room all for free.

The hikers jump in with her.

We continue on our way home. We have our homemade kombucha and discuss how grateful we are to come home to a wood stove and to have spent a day together. Yes, we broke isolation by letting trail hikers ride in the back of our truck. Yes, we broke isolation by stopping to let those hikers get a much better deal for the night than a hotel would give them.

We are not learning from Italy.

My kids are perfectly healthy. I’m perfectly healthy. We are probably carriers if we have been exposed. My husband is currently, knock-on-wood, perfectly healthy. He is also immunocompromised. We risk his health more than ours when we do what we did today.

My joy at helping others could soon be tempered.

This is my greatest fear. Not that I may have compromised my husbands immune system by breaking isolation, although that terrifies me more than I know how to put into words, but that I may become too afraid to help others. And yes, it’s fine to say, just let the people who don’t have immunocompromised people in their family be the helpers. And yes, it’s fine to say, just let the people who don’t have 60+ people in their family be the helpers.

Expecting others to be the helpers seems pretty entitled.

When we returned home I saw an invite on social media to join a group for helpers in our area. A group for those who want to help and for those who need help. I haven’t yet seen anyone raise their hand needing help, and I’m grateful. I’m hopeful no one will need it.

I feel like a hypocrite.

I will wait for someone who needs eggs, then I’ll deliver to their doorstep fresh from our hens. I will wait for someone who needs rice, then I’ll deliver from our enormous Costco bag purchased before the panic buying began. I will wait for someone who needs a smile, then I’ll FaceTime with them and my goofy children.

I will do my best.

~~~That’s one hour~~~

Self-Care

“It should not be this hard to find a chocolate lava cake,” she said aloud to no one in particular, although a few people turned in her direction. She tossed her head to get her bangs out of her face and carried on. She’d been walking around the downtown area for at least an hour, popping in to different restaurants and eateries, finding pies and brownies and sundaes and all sorts of cheesecakes and more ice cream than anyone could eat in a week, but no chocolate lava cake. “Damn.”

She stopped on a corner for a moment to catch her breath and figure out her next step. She could always go back to the place with brownies, brownies were chocolate and kinda cake-y and hell if you heat up some chocolate sauce and pour it on top that’s kinda chocolate lava cake-ish, right? Her brain congratulated her on an excellent idea but her stomach, oh who was she kidding, her uterus laughed and said “oh no, only chocolate lava cake is chocolate lava cake, and if you’re not going to grow a child and you want to survive the next week without intense pains, you will get me what I want: chocolate lava cake.

She sighed and wracked her brain. Surely there was somewhere within a sixty mile radius that would have chocolate lava cake. She pulled out her phone and opened Yelp! She searched for chocolate lava cake and found only poor substitutes and imitations unless she wanted to drive through three hours of traffic, which she did not. She closed Yelp! and opened Google and performed the same search. No dice, same info. She stomped her foot, suddenly a toddler being told she couldn’t have her way, furious with the world and all who would undermine her.

Close to tears she finally searched the internet for recipes and found one. The most decadent sounding chocolate lava cake she’d ever seen pictured or read about. The reviews were spectacular, she could pronounce the ingredients and even knew she had some of them at home. She shoved her phone back in her purse and went in search of her car and a trip to the grocery store.

Home with her items: chocolate, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, and salt, she proceeded to unpack her purchases and wash her hands. She then pulled down from her cabinet six small ramekins which she’d had for years thinking she’d someday make her own creme brulee, which she never did, but she still had the ramekins and now they would be perfect. She proceeded to follow the instructions on the recipe, turning the oven to 450 degrees and mixing, whisking, boiling.

She filled all six ramekins, then covered five in plastic wrap and set them in the fridge. She’d have one each night until she got sick of them. The remaining ramekin she put in the oven and tapped her nails waiting, realizing as she did so that she should really put some fresh paint on them or at least remove the chipped paint. Twelve minutes had never taken so long. When the timer finally went off she yanked the little cake out and set it on the counter for one minute as instructed, then put a plate over the top and flipped it over. She listened as the dessert inside slid down and plopped onto the plate.

Removing the ramekin and setting it in the sink she turned her attention to the beautiful chocolate lump in front of her. It looked like a little chocolate muffin or a cupcake that needed icing. She grabbed a fork from the drawer before thinking better of it and grabbing a spoon. She pushed the spoon into the little cake and scooped up a bite, thrilling as the chocolate began to ooze slowly out of the hole her spoon had created.

The first bite of cake was the most orgasmic moment she’d had in ages. The cake was rich but not too sweet, the chocolate almost too hot but not quite. She considered letting it melt on her tongue rather than chewing but couldn’t stop herself. Before she knew it the entire little cake was gone, a few smears of chocolate on the plate all that remained. She drug her finger through the smears and sucked on her finger for a moment. “there are five more in the fridge…” she thought.

They were so tiny, these little ramekins of bliss. Surely one more wouldn’t be too much. She pulled the ramekin out and found it was a bit chilled but certainly not cold enough to warrant sitting on the counter to bring to room temperature. She removed the plastic wrap and threw the little ramekin into the oven. Setting the timer for twelve minutes was much easier this time, the wait no longer interminable. Nor was it difficult to wait the one minute while it sat on the counter a cooled a bit before she plated it.

This second cake was just as delicious as the first. There was absolutely no loss of joy or flavor. She did a little dance as she ate the second cake, humming as she sucked chocolate off the spoon, and licking the chocolate off the plate when she was done rather than dredging her finger through what was left. She briefly considered having one more but decided she really was sated now, and if she knew anything about her body by now it’s that she’d be wanting another cake or two tomorrow.

She drew a bath, poured a glass of port, and grabbed a book, Glennon Doyle Melton’s Love Warrior. No need for candlelight or music, she wasn’t that high maintenance. She slipped into the hot water, took a sip of port, and proceeded to read her book. The introduction was amazing and she was quickly whisked away; nothing was better than a good memoir…except maybe chocolate lava cake. “Damn.”

She put a bookmark in the book and set it down, finished what was left of her port, and grabbed her towel. Pulling the drain on the tub she went back into the kitchen and turned the oven back on. She pulled a third ramekin out of the fridge and removed the plastic wrap. She went back to her room to get pajamas on as the oven and the dessert warmed up. Grabbing a bottle of nail polish remover, some cotton balls, and a bottle of nail polish she went back out to the kitchen and put the ramekin in the oven.

She painted the nails on her left hand while she waited, then pulled the ramekin out with her right hand and set it down to cool for one minute. Setting the plate on top she realized she’d painted her left hand prematurely. Shrugging, she set her left hand on top of the plate and used her right to grab the ramekin and flipped everything over. She set the ramekin down and then grabbed the plate and a spoon with her right hand. She sighed in relief as she wiggled her left hand in front of her and realized all five nails were unaffected.

~~~That’s one hour~~~

Please note, I do not know Glennon Doyle (although I’d love to!) and I am in no way affiliated with her, her book(s), or her site(s). I do not make any money or get anything for free from her if you visit her site. It’s simply the book I just started and literally read the intro and can’t wait to read the rest. This is how real life slips into fiction sometimes 🙂

What To Do: Home With Kids

Home with the kids for the forseeable future because school is closed? Debating going to the movies or a local zoo or museum because you don’t know what to do to keep them and yourself from going insane over the next few weeks? I get it. I stay home with my kids 24/7 (although I use the term home loosely as we are generally running around doing things), but I know exactly how crazy it can be. But here’s the thing, the whole point of schools being closed is so that kids won’t be exposed to the virus and/or spread the virus. So keep your kids home. And find stuff to do…. Here are some of the best ideas of heard.

If You Need a Schedule

Some kids (and adults) do best with a schedule. Sure the first day can be a free for all where everyone sleeps in and eats breakfast for dinner and revels in a day home from school. But what then? By the third day you and your munchkins may be going a little insane. It can help everyone if there’s a plan in place. Here’s a suggested schedule from Jessica McHale Photography:

The thing to remember here is that you can make the schedule any way you’d like, reorganize according to when your family wakes up and goes to bed and the things your family enjoys doing.

For Those With Internet Access

There is SO much you can find for free online, and it seems many of them are coming out of the woodwork with this virus. Here’s a picture with some good ideas from That Fun Teacher:

For Those With Access to the Outdoors

If you are lucky enough to have a patio, yard, or several acres and can go outside there are tons of things to do. Our favorite outdoor resource for ideas is the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge website.

  • Give the kids paper and pens and have them draw the nature they see: leaves, insects, trees, birds, etc. If you have access to field guides or the internet this activity can be extended to later figuring out what all everyone saw
  • If you have sand toys and access to dirt and water you can make awesome mud cities and car tracks
  • Basically anything you’d normally do inside you can take outside: dolls, cars, games, etc.

What We Do

In our house we try to do a mix of the things above as well as those below, and rather than use a schedule we just go with the flow and try not to have every day look exactly the same or the kids go insane (and so do I). Feel free to pick and choose from the list below:

  • Chase: parents chasing kids or kids chasing parents (if you have slick floors make sure socks are off). This is usually done with one of our kids bent over a truck trying to run us over
  • Hide and Seek: you’d be amazed at how fun this can be in your home, especially after the first few rounds when you have to really start getting inventive (it is especially fun if you have young ones who may take awhile to recognize the lump under the covers is mommy = instant ninja nap!)
  • Craft Time: pull out everything from old buttons and crayons to broken dishes and boxed noodles. Let the kids decide what they want to make and just be on hand in case they need adult assistance
  • Cardboard Box: it’s not just for Calvin and Hobbes, cardboard boxes are the bomb! Young kids like to pretend they’re houses or airplanes or cars and older kids can turn themselves into a robot or build a time machine. There’s no end to a box, especially if you keep it around for a few days. The first day they may just pretend with it and the second day ignore it until you suggest decorating it. Suddenly the box has a whole new life as they paint or color it and add stickers
  • Water Play: you do not need a fancy water table. Pull chairs up to the kitchen or bathroom sink, put a large bowl in there and fill it with water. Give the kids nonbreakable items to play with like metal funnels, metal measuring cups and spoons, wooden spoons, plastic cups, etc. In our house this activity can literally keep my kids occupied for an hour
  • Reading Time: books they love and have heard a thousand times can be “read” to you and books they’ve only read a couple times can be re-read now. Expand this activity by asking if they want to write a book. You can write the words for them if they don’t write yet, but let them have full charge telling the story. You can even expand this activity to the next day by asking them if they want to illustrate their book. Want to expand it for another day? Have the kids create costumes and a set and enact their book for you!
  • Donation Time: you may have cleaned out rooms before the holidays to make way for new toys, or you may not, but now is a great time to do it again, after all it has been three months. Get two garbage bags and help the kids go through their stuff throwing garbage in one bag and toys that still have life but are not entertaining for your kiddos anymore into another bag (feel free to let them do this by their selves if their old enough while you go do your own stuff)
  • Slime: there are TONS of videos on YouTube that will show you how to make your own slime and you are almost certain to have the necessary ingredients on hand. This can take half a day from finding the “recipe” the kids want to try, to following the recipe, to playing with their slime
  • Cards: did the kids already thank everyone for their holiday gifts? Have they made Mother’s Day cards for grandma (or you)? Is anyone having a birthday soon? When was the last time you thanked your waste disposal person or your package delivery or mail delivery person? There are tons and tons of reasons to make your own cards (especially just to say hi!). They can make cards for family members, friends, people in your neighborhood who may be elderly and at particular risk of infection right now but who could use a happy card to cheer them up, etc. (please note that if you DO make cards for the elderly that you should actually wait to give the to them since the the card itself could transmit the virus to them)
  • Camping/Cooking: build forts or tents in the living room and then pretend camp in them. Have a picnic lunch in the tent or a high tea. Honestly, there’s so much about food prep that can take up so much time if done with children instead of for children. Not only does it take up time, it’s also teaching a valuable skill
  • Dance Party: we love to throw on music and have a family dance party. We all dance as wild as we can for as long as we can. Great way to use up energy and hilarious. It’s also fun to then play a Simon Says style dance party where everyone tries to copy the moves of another person
  • Laundry: even the youngest kids can marry socks and the older ones can help with hanging stuff up. Make it fun by playing sock puppets while you find the mate or dressing up your stuffed animals in the clothes before folding and putting away
  • Shoe Boxes: everybody has these bad boys lying about. They are great to turn into DIY doll houses, car parking garages, diaramas, etc.
  • Games/Cards: obviously…
  • Puzzles: when you run out of the ones you have, make your own! A piece of paper or a piece of cardboard painted/drawn on/colored is all you need. Then cut the painting into pieces, mix em up, instant puzzle
  • Plant Seeds/Pits: when we find a particularly delicious orange or apple or avocado (or whatever) we save the seeds. Grab an old egg carton, throw some soil in the egg cups, and stick in your seeds. Water them and wait. Every few days check if they need more water and within a week or so you should see some green popping up from anything that was viable. When they get big enough you can transplant them or cut up the egg carton and give your seedlings away (or if your kids are older and entrepreneurial, they can sell them!)

And since this isn’t really what I do for a living, I’m sure there are way better ideas out there as well. A Google search will probably give you an unending assortment of ideas. This is just what’s been on my mind today as I hear about more and more school closures and hear parents starting to panic not because of the virus but because they simply don’t know what to do with their kids all day.

I sincerely hope you have the ability to stay home with your kids. I sincerely hope you have the disposition to enjoy it. And I sincerely hope you all remain healthy and happy and calm.

~~~That’s one hour~~~

Please Note: I am in no way, shape, or form affiliated with any of the above links. I do not make a penny, get any free stuff, or in any way benefit if you use any of the above information. This is purely caregiver to caregiver love. Be well.

Off-Grid

“I was married once, you know,” Mary said. The green wide eyed surprise of her best friend betrayed that she did not in fact know. “I don’t like to talk about it because it reminds me of just how foolish I was, probably still am, I don’t know,” she continued.

“You were foolish for getting married?” Sarah asked, taking a sip of her water to hide any facial expressions she might be inadvertently sending out.

Mary laughed, “no, not for getting married. I was young and in love and full of passion, and that may be foolish, but it’s also beautiful. No, I wasn’t foolish for getting married, but for staying married for as long as I did to a man who was,” here she stopped, looking at the pot of hanging flowers purple and pink and blue, appreciating their splendor and perfection and wondering if they held the word for her husband in their petals for her to read, “well, let’s just say he was passionate, too, but dangerously so.”

“I’d love to hear about it if you’d like to tell me,” Sarah prompted, desperately hoping Mary would continue the story but sitting back casually in her chair and combing her fingers through her long dark hair to indicate there was no rush.

“Well,” Mary began, taking a moment to take a drink of her tea and pick a crumb off the tabletop, “when we first married he had all the usual, or well I guess I should just say nothing unusual in his beliefs. He wasn’t sure about God or aliens but he also didn’t believe the moon landing was faked. What I mean is, there was nothing about him that indicated I should be wary, and so I wasn’t. I fell in love, hard, head over heels, pick your overused expression and it would be applicable. We met and were married within six months. We were deliriously happy.”

Sarah was smiling because Mary was smiling, it was infectious, like Mary had been transported back to the beginning of her romance and taken Sarah with her; like Sarah was The Ghost of Christmas Past and they were both looking through the window of Mary’s life.

“We had children, we had friends, we had family, we had everything. You know, people always say they have everything when they have their family with them, and it’s true. We had everything. We didn’t have much money, but we didn’t notice, really. We pinched our way through groceries and the kids never realized we were struggling because we were so creative with things to do and ‘gifts’ at the holidays. It was definitely one of the happiest times of my life, well, those first three years anyway,” Mary swallowed, the lines around her eyes decreasing and turning down as her smile disappeared.

Sarah patted Mary’s hand on the tabletop, the one that had been picking at the tablecloth earlier but was no still and almost lifeless. She wanted to urge her to continue but was afraid that anything she said might bring the story to an abrupt end instead so she bit her tongue, literally, tasting a bit of blood and backing off.

Mary took a deep breath, “but things change. He began to change. Little things at first, things I ignored because they didn’t amount to much on their own: he spent more and more time online, he didn’t want us to buy anything that wasn’t totally and completely made in the USA, he stopped reading books and newspapers and distrusted people who did.”

Sarah’s eyes had gone wide, Mary had noticed and stopped talking, taking a sip of her now cold tea, debating whether or not to continue.

“I realize that when you hear those things all at once, back to back, they sound like huge red flags, massive warnings,” she interlaced her fingers and spread her palms apart, “but it’s not like everything happened at once. These were major changes, sure, but they happened one at a time and very slowly over five years. So slowly that by the time he announced we should move somewhere that wasn’t so populated, so hectic, so expensive, I readily agreed. I too wanted to go live somewhere that our nearest neighbor was twenty acres or more away and where I’d only drive into a big town for the necessities once a month or less. I was eager to live somewhere the kids could have massive tracts of woods to get lost in during the day and maybe a pond or a river to swim in come summer. So that’s what we looked for, and that’s what we found.”

“Hello ladies, everything okay here?” asked their server, as she grabbed an empty plate from the middle of the table and set her hand against the teapot in front of Mary, “some more hot water, maybe?”

“Yes, please,” Mary said, “and perhaps a different tea now? Do you have something citrus, a lemon tea of some kind?”

“Absolutely, yes. Some fresh lemon too? Maybe some honey to temper it?” the waitress asked.

“That would be lovely, yes.”

“And for you?” the server asked looking at Sarah.

“Same, please,” Sarah said dismissively, eager to have the waitress walk away, terrified Mary wouldn’t continue her story if the woman didn’t leave right then.

“Sure, be right back with that,” the waitress said as she disappeared with the now cold and empty teapot and the empty plate.

Mary waited a moment for the server to be out of earshot and then took a deep breath, “I don’t want to bore you with all the little things, let’s just…”

“No! I mean, yes! Ugh, please, continue. I m very curious about all this, this past life I never knew about, please,” Sarah begged.

Mary laughed, “I suppose it is interesting to hear about a persons past life, especially when it deviates from the person you think you know. Like being a child and realizing your parents are more than just ‘mom and dad’ that they actually have a life and names of their own that existed before you came to be.”

Sarah chuckled with Mary and then sat back as she saw the server approach with their teas, making sure there was space on the table for everything so the server could set it all down and move on as quickly as possible. After the obligatory tea pour they shooed the waitress away and Mary continued.

“We ended up in Wyoming, which I don’t recommend,” she laughed lightly, “but it’s where we could afford several acres and where the law didn’t much care what you did with yourself or your land or your kids. We homeschooled, we started a garden, we lived in an old cabin that we slowly retrofitted to meet our needs through all four seasons. It was the first time I’d ever experienced all four seasons so distinctly and intensely, and part of that was because I was spending so much time outside which I hadn’t before then. But the ways in which my husband was changing, his passions, were becoming more and more time consuming.”

She stopped to take a sip of her tea, pour in a bit of honey and stir it, Sarah mimicking her not because she thought the tea needed honey but because she was so enthralled by Mary and her story.

“The first year we were there we had a pretty good garden, we were able to grow much more than we could eat and I learned how to preserve things. Starting with canning and moving on to pickling and things it had never occurred to me to do myself. It was exciting and I felt so self-sufficient. We did so well that we decided we should try to live completely on our own. This was a bit of the ‘made in the USA’ passion turned into a ‘completely off grid’ obsession, but still I didn’t see it. Or at least I didn’t see it as a warning sign. I was too proud of what I’d learned to do, too enamored by the idea of self-sufficiency.”

~~~That’s one hour~~~

COVID-19

It’s astounding to me that Italy has effectively shut down, no school, no businesses except groceries and pharmacies, shut down. I’ve been to Italy twice in my life, and been grateful for each visit. It’s a country I have a heartfelt kinship with although I don’t believe my DNA test revealed any Italian in my ancestry…hang on while I double check that. Whew, I wasn’t lying, no Italian. So, even though I’m unrelated to the people of the country, it’s a place where I’ve always felt at home and me, a person who can get lost in my own neighborhood, has never once gotten lost in Rome. It’s like a map of the city is written somewhere in my bones and becomes accessible the moment I arrive. Sigh.

My first trip to Italy I met a friend in Rome who did some touristy thing with me one day, and then we went our separate ways. The touristy things were cool, some would argue necessary, but my favorite parts of Rome were the things I bungled into: a piece of art on the outside of an apartment building that looked like a window with a woman peeking out, the cafe that made absolutely phenomenal coffee and beyond perfect cannoli, and my all time favorite, the crazy middle of nowhere restaurant that was practically empty when I arrived and where after the very best meal I have ever eaten in my life I thought I was going to be murdered or raped or sold a slave when the waiter/chef/owner insisted I follow him downstairs and where I was then shown an unbelievable train set of the entire city in perfect and minute detail.

I can’t imagine how many people had plans to travel to Italy in the next few months and now won’t get to go. I can’t imagine what will happen to the US when we eventually succumb to the same lock down, because it’s inevitable. The thing is, the entire world is going to be exposed to COVID-19, there’s no way to avoid it. We will all be exposed and we will all die or become immune, and then COVID-19 won’t be a problem for us until the next generation comes along, the generation that wasn’t alive when this first swept through and therefore isn’t immune. It won’t happen right away, but at some point, there will be enough new generations that haven’t been exposed that we’ll be primed for another outbreak. Unless of course a vaccine is developed before then.

What You Can Do

I was texting with my family about this today and the point I was trying to make is that we will all get it eventually, so there’s no sense worrying about getting it, you will, accept it. The point is that right now everyone is getting it all at once and there’s currently no way to treat all the cases erupting exponentially each day, so your best bet is to do all you can do for yourself and your family and your community to delay getting it as long as possible. Give the medical community a chance to figure out what we’re dealing with and how best to do so.

Take care of yourself:

  • exercise
  • eat well
  • sauna (if you can)
  • keep your immune system up
  • wash your hands
  • stay home as much as possible to avoid contracting the virus or spreading the virus (since you may already have it but not yet be symptomatic)
  • keep abreast of the truth by visiting only vetted sources of information, this is an excellent one: CDC Website on COVID-19

I was speaking with a friend today who, like my husband, has a weakened immune system, and we were saying how important it is for people without weakened immune systems to be aware that just because we can quickly and easily fight off an illness it doesn’t mean that others can. We have a responsibility to ourselves as well as to others not to go out when we’re sick expecting that others will recover as we do.

Mister Rogers’ mom said something beautiful like how even in the worst tragedies there are always helpers and to look for the helpers. I’d like to take this a step further and say look for the humor. Yes, this is a tragic turn of events, especially on the heels of all our political devastation recently, and still there is humor. There are brilliantly hilarious memes circulating and laughter is an important part of keeping your health and your sanity. Some of my favorite memes are the hand washing ones, like this from Imgur and DilligafDiva:

Labyrinth Hand Washing Meme Courtesy of Imgur and DilligafDiva
Labyrinth Hand Washing Meme Courtesy of Imgur and DilligafDiva

I wish you all the best of health now and always. Keep your chin up, and sense of humor intact.

~~~That’s one hour~~~

Hollow

She’d built the birdhouse out of scrap wood and materials she found here and there. It was an eclectic little house with an off-center roof and a decorative chimney. It looked like an old mill and she wished she had the talent to create a decorative water wheel to put beside it. She’d made an old doorknob into the perch and she’d bent an old license plate to cover the roof and make it waterproof. She slapped on some paint and a few pieces of scrap tin here and there to make it shiny, then hung it up in the oak tree out front.

She watched the bird house every day, hopeful for a feathered occupant, but none arrived. She watched the birds in her yard with an intensity that bordered on madness, and people who saw her about town began taking notice as her mannerisms became odd…or rather, odder since she’d always been a bit different. Now though she was, well, “wild,” as the postmistress said, “the girl is wild. She was just gettin’ into her truck t’other day n’instead a jes gettin’ in like anyone’d do she stopped and hovered there, like a dern hummin’ bird. An’ you know she don’t say ‘hi’ no more, she jes stares at ya, holdin’ so still like maybe ya won’t see her if she don’t move. Wild.”

She’d gone from a woman who could polish off a plate of steak and potatoes with a side salad to a waif of a girl who could barely eat a single scoop of ice cream in one sitting. The waitress at the towns only restaurant went from calling her “the one who can belch like a trucker,” to asking her if she felt alright cause she “ate like a bird now.” Everyone began to notice the wild girl, making outings difficult for her. The staring, the whispers, the concerned pats and questions.

She got so she stopped going to town much at all, there wasn’t anything she needed there really. She’d stopped eating meat a few weeks before, couldn’t stomach it anymore, and was thereby able to get just about everything she needed from her own garden. She missed conveniences like bread, and boxed and canned food, but only in the beginning. After a month she realized she hadn’t thought of that stuff in a week at least. She never opened her refrigerator anymore and decided to unplug it.

As Spring turned to Summer she realized she didn’t hardly spend any time in the house at all. She was always out in the yard minding the garden that had turned a bit wild and restocking the bird feeders and sitting and watching. It was warm enough to sleep outside and she did so, watching the stars overhead and drifting off to the sounds of the frogs near the pond and the crickets everywhere. She was eating less and less, not needing the same number of calories as before and finding fewer and fewer foods delightful. Before she knew it she was eating the seed from the bird feeders with the other birds.

The hair on her arms, legs, and head became itchy, she couldn’t stop scratching at herself day and night. She worried it was a mite from being around the birds all day or perhaps something simpler like the need for lotion, her skin getting drier and drier. After the third day of this scratching she was gashed and bloody from her fingernails but the itching had finally subsided. As the gashes scabbed over they became a multitude of bumps instead of lines and as these healed wisps began to grow out. Her first thought was she had ingrown hairs that were starting to burst through but as the days went on it became clear the wisps were feathers, grey and brown and black.

Soon she was covered in feathers from head to toe. And her hands were no longer hands at all but wings which she played with in the early Autumn breezes, raising them up and down and thrilling at the feel, at the tickle of the wind playing through them. Her legs and feet, too, had changed becoming scaly and claw-like, the toe nails small and sharp. And it wasn’t only the feathers and scales, she felt lighter, not just in her stomach but as if her very bones were hollow, as though someone had sucked the marrow out, the way she used to gnaw on a steak or pork chop bone beck before the very idea made her nauseous.

As the leaves fell from the trees and the mild nights turned chilly, she found herself in a bit of a state. She wouldn’t be able to stay outside much longer, feathers or not. It was simply getting too cold. And what would become of her when the rain and the sleet and the snow came? She’d need a shelter. She thought about going back into the house but as quickly as the thought came to her she realized she was flying and the windows and doors were all closed to her. She flitted around the chairs on the deck, hoping from one to the other, looking in the house from outside and wondering how this had all happened.

She turned from the window and looked out over the yard. The garden now nothing more than an overgrown patch of wild shoots, the lettuce gone to seed, the tomatoes rotting off the vines, the asparagus a beautiful and fragile fern-like bed, blowing in the chilled breeze. She looked to the oak tree and saw the bird house she’d made what felt like years before, could it be years? It hardly seemed like more than a week but had to have been at least a few months. She loved the doorknob perch and wished she’d had the talent to add the little water wheel.

Before she knew it she was there, at the house, sitting on the little doorknob perch. She poked her head inside the house, turning her head this way and that. The little house was empty. She pushed her way inside and realized she fit perfectly. From inside the chilly wind was nothing more than a gentle finger rocking her to sleep. She knew she’d need something to keep her warmer over the next several months but for now the empty little house, full of her, was warm enough. It was perfect.

When she woke in the morning she hopped up and out of the house, perching on the doorknob as she surveyed the area. The ferned out tips of the asparagus would make a soft and light bed. She darted down to the garden and snipped at the ferny bits with her beak. A yank here and a yank there and before she knew it she had several bits of asparagus tips with which to feather her nest. She grabbed a few of the pieces and flew them back up to her house, placing them inside the hole, before flying back for the others. With all the bits in the house she jumped inside and fluffed about creating a little nest among the plants.

~~~That’s one hour~~~

Sly

The snow was unexpected, but welcome, and covered the trees, early blooming bulbs, and her tracks. She’d covered at least twenty-five miles the day before, possibly thirty, which was no small feat, especially with the weight of her pack. She’d gone as far as she could and then chosen a stand of oaks, possibly Engelmann though it was difficult to be sure in the dark, as her refuge for the night. She’d quickly erected her tent, thrown in her sleeping bag and pack, and disappeared inside, zipping everything up against the oncoming cold, the curious nocturnal animals, and anyone who might be following her.

Fumbling in the dark of the tent for her pack she found her headlamp in the side pocket where she always stored it when camping and put it on, clicking it until it turned blue and therefore less likely to be seen outside the tent. Thus newly able to see she found what she needed in order to sleep soundly: a protein bar, her bottle of water, and a 9mm Smith & Wesson. She double checked the clip, full, let out a sigh that was equal parts exhaustion and relief, then made sure the safety was on and scrambled into her sleeping bag.

She was asleep almost immediately and only woke a few times in the night, due to some critter, likely a possum, scratching around outside for grubs. When she woke the third time she checked her watch and saw that it was nearly five in the morning. Now was as good a time as any to get moving again. It wasn’t until she got out of the bag that she realized just how cold it was. With her breath steaming before her she hurriedly grabbed another protein bar from her pack, rolled up the sleeping bag and shoved it back in along with the headlamp, clipping the water bottle to the outside of the pack. The pistol she tucked in the back of her jeans after ensuring the safety was still on, and the protein bar she shoved in her front pocket, it would get smushed and crumbly there but she didn’t want to lose it and she needed it out of the way while she took down the tent.

When she opened the flap to go out she saw the snow. She’d only expected rain and the snow was a surprise, albeit a beautiful one. The snow would slow her pursuers but it would also slow her down, and while it may cover the tracks she’d left the day before it would highlight her route today. There was nothing for it though. She had to press on. There was always the possibility no one had noticed her disappearance yet. Slim. But possible. She clung to the possibility.

The tent was all weather and super easy to set up and take down, especially since she hadn’t bothered with the guy lines the night before. As she rolled it all back up she noticed the tracks around her: possum. She’d thought so. Raccoons would have tried to get in the tent and a skunk would have had a smell even without spraying. Tying the tent to her pack she re-shouldered it, aching at the straps, out of practice with this sort of hiking and camping, and wishing she was enjoying it more, wishing it wasn’t necessary and merely a vacation.

Unfortunately the pack dug the gun uncomfortably into her back and as much as she liked that it hid the pistol, it wasn’t going to work for a long day of hiking. She removed the pistol and checked again that the safety was in place before stuffing it into the front waistband of her jeans. Much better. Sadly it was obvious in it’s new location but it would also be easier to draw and it was no longer digging in painfully. It would have to do.

Taking her bearings she continued north, the most obvious path of escape but also the hardest to follow. She pulled the protein bar from her pocket, yup, smushed. She opened the top of the wrapper and tried to squeeze bits of it out into her open mouth without choking on the small bits. She tried to eat slowly but she was starving, the bars were great for a snack but didn’t work as a meal, especially not with all the exercise she was getting. Her stomach complained as the meager meal hit it, and she stopped for a moment to wash everything down with her water.

Water would be the next obstacle. She’d only brought what the bottle could carry, unable to support the weight required to bring more. She’d easily be able to filter any water she found but that would require getting to a water source or starting a fire and melting the snow. She’d rather find a creek than wait til she could start a fire, but her thirst would determine how far she could go that day and judging by her stomach she’d need to stop sooner than she’d expected anyway to give herself some calories.

Keeping her head on the trail she was blazing and her feet moving she stopped occasionally to ensure she was still heading north, adjusting her course by minute lefts or rights as necessary over the next several hours. Just when she thought she was going to have to melt some snow she heard the unmistakable sound of water falling over rocks. She followed the sound to a small but clear and rapid river. If there weren’t snow on the ground she’d risk soaking her aching feet in that flowing water, but with the snow it was too dangerous. She couldn’t risk getting stuck here, she needed to cover much more ground before nightfall.

She set her pack down and rummaged around for the water filter. She let the water flow through the system, filling a few pouches and her water bottle. Then she pulled out one of her instant meals, it was going to taste pretty terrible without boiling water, but then they tasted pretty terrible anyway. She added the water, stirred it all up, and forced herself to eat it, drinking more water whenever she gagged. Her stomach complained some more but this time it was from what it was being fed rather than what it was missing. She said a brief apology before finishing the “meal,” and packing everything back up.

Taking her bearings once again she realized she needed to get over this river to continue north which meant this river was the Thorn and she’d come a good forty-five miles and only had another sixty or so to go, assuming she could get across. She looked up and down the parts of the river she could see from her position and didn’t see any way across that wouldn’t have her soaking wet up to her waist. Not a problem in the summer, but definitely not practical right now. She’d have to pick a direction and walk hoping to find a better way across.

There was no easy way to decide which way to go and she was about to head left when she saw movement out of the corner of her eye to the right. She turned slowly and stared at what was left of the ferns growing along the trunks of the trees, paying close attention to the one brown frond bobbing and swaying a bit still from the passage of whatever it had been. She held still and watched. Soon enough a little black nose emerged, followed by two bright eyes, and two perfectly pointed ears. The silver coat rippled as the fox emerged, black forelegs skinny and petite, ending in perfect little paws the size of a quarter. She watched the fox as closely as it watched her, careful not to move a muscle.

The fox made it’s way down to the river slowly, then stood a moment, not quite sure it was safe to drink with her watching and finally lowering it’s head and lapping quickly, a glinting of teeth visible around the red darting tongue. Finished with it’s drink it looked once again at her before sitting down and lifting a paw to it’s face. A quick grooming session, all the while watching her, and then the fox blinked at her and she swore it smiled before turning and dashing off.

She realized she was smiling and for the first time her fear was replaced with the thought that perhaps she would make it. Perhaps she’d gotten started early enough. Perhaps the snow had protected her passage enough. Perhaps the distance she was putting between herself and that place would be enough.

She decided to walk to the right, the way the fox had gone, following the river that way for a chance at a crossing.

~~~That’s one hour~~~

Sleep Tracking

As a person who has suffered with insomnia my entire life, pregnancy was a godsend. Suddenly I could sleep with zero effort. At least for the first six months or so. Then I reverted back to my usual inability to sleep and *sigh* life returned to “normal.” Once the baby was born my sleep disappeared completely and while it was unbelievably tough, it was also easier on me than on my husband who had never had issues with sleep before.

Now with two kids I get even less sleep. If the youngest one isn’t waking me up for a boob every twenty to forty-five minutes (okay, okay, sometimes he can go two to four hours, but not lately), the older one is waking me up because he couldn’t sleep in his bed anymore or something woke him or he’s too cold or too hot or or or or or or…. The thing is, even though it feels like I’m getting less sleep than ever in my entire life, I’m for sure getting more sleep than I did the first four months with my first child.

Either way, it was positively delightful when my husband turned to me the other day and said, “I don’t know how you do it. I only got a few hours of sleep last night and I can barely keep my eyes open or my head straight.” That was such a rush. I wanted to jump his bones so badly in that moment. It was such an “I’m seen! I’m vindicated!” kind of moment. And the thing is that I know I only get two to four hours of sleep a night. How do I know, you ask? Fitbit.

Several months ago I went to the doctor for several reasons and one of the things I mentioned while I was there was how tired I am, how I know I’m doing really well eating right and even doing okay with the exercise part, but that I’m failing abysmally in the sleep department. The doctor proceeded to tell me that there was “no way” I was only getting three to four hours of sleep, and that I should get a Fitbit to track my sleep so I could see how much sleep I was actually getting. Great idea, doc! I went shopping for a Fitbit, got a great deal on one through a sale on their website, and strapped it on eager to see how much more sleep I was actually getting. Come on Fitbit! Show me the zzzzzz’s!

It turns out that I actually get two to three hours of sleep a night, not three to four. And now that I’m actually able to see it every day and verify how little it is I’m even more irritated than before. Which is ridiculous, but there it is. So now I’m getting less sleep than I thought and I can see that there is absolutely no pattern to it. Every night is completely different, so it’s not like I can say “ah, yes, see on nights when I do x I sleep y.” There also doesn’t appear to be any correlation between the amount of steps I take a day and the amount of sleep I get. Or the amount of water I drink. Or any other damn fool thing.

And still I wear it. Because there are days, glorious days where my husband will get up at six am when the youngest wakes up and whisk him away, closing the bedroom door behind him. And on those days, those fabulous days, I am able to get two to three hours of sleep all at once, and usually deep sleep, and I come out feeling like a million bucks, I come out feeling drunk on sleep. And then I sync my Fitbit to the app and I can see the sleep. I can see all that beautiful sleep and for once in that week I’ll get a Sleep Score in the 80’s instead of in the 50’s to 60’s, which is my usual.

Plus, it’s pretty cool that I can see my text messages on it. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the feature. I love it because if I’m feeding the baby and trapped away from my phone in breastfeeding hell, I can still read the texts people send me. So I can still have something to alleviate the pain and/or boredom of the experience (pain because my youngest has taken to picking at my moles while feeding, to the point of making me bleed, it’s not pretty or fun). I only hate the feature when I get a metric shit ton of texts or someone sends me a ton of multiple texts, because then my wrist is just vibrate, vibrate, vibrate, vibrate and it can be a bit annoying.

So even though it is probably giving me wrist cancer, even though it is probably secretly a Big Brother tracker of some kind (as if my phone isn’t), and even though it’s a super silly trendy little fob that is sometimes annoying, I continue to wear my Fitbit. And I’m learning to appreciate other things about it, besides the fact that it verifies how little sleep I get. For example, I do these Workweek Challenges with my friends and family where we see who can get the most steps Monday through Friday, or Weekend Challenges for Saturday and Sunday. And it’s fun! It’s silly, and for whatever reason (a deep rooted and suppressed need to win, the competitiveness I never knew I had) I will find myself walking circles in my kitchen or up and down my hallway at the end of the day if I haven’t reached my goal or if I’m super close to my goal. I also enjoy the weekly email they send me that shows trends in my health like heart rate, step count, times in an hour I was active, etc.

Plus, I have to keep it so the next time I see my doctor I can say, “see! I TOLD you!”

Summary: probably killing me and certainly angering me with it’s proof of my insomnia but also silly fun with step challenges.

~~~That’s one hour~~~

And before you ask, no, I am not an affiliate for Fitbit. I do not receive any monetary reward if you read this article, nor if you purchase a Fitbit. Fitbit doesn’t know I exist aside from the fact that I bought one of their products. I wrote about it tonight because I had to charge it and it got me to thinking about it and the next thing I knew I was typing.

Bicycle

Somewhere between the ages of six and nine I learned how to ride a two wheel bicycle. I don’t remember when it was exactly, but I can picture the bike like it was sitting in my garage right now, which I wish it was cause it would be worth a fortune in memories and a potential fortune in parts. The bike was purple with a white banana seat with a unicorn on it. I’ve tried to find some images online so I can post one here because just thinking about it brings me joy. Sadly the internet has failed me…or my lack of tech savvy has. Either way: no image. Le sigh. Le boo hoo.

At any rate, I remember my friend, Tamara, and I going up to the top of the parking garage with her older sister and our bikes. Her older sister explained to the both of us how to get on our bikes and how to pedal. She then proceeded to hold our seats, one at a time, as we each tried to ride. I have no idea how long we were up there. In my memory it was the entire day. In reality it was likely thirty minutes. Regardless, there was a point in time where my friend figured it out and was riding and was having so much fun. I was thrilled for her and couldn’t wait to join her. But I couldn’t get it. I tried and tried and I couldn’t get it. I finally made some excuse and said I was going home. I walked my bike over to where the parking garage started to go down to the next level, where I felt I was far enough away that no one could see me. And I cried.

I cried, and cried, and cried, as I walked the bike down through the parking garage. At one point, I realized it would be easier to coast down through the garage than to continue walking the bike, so I sat on the seat with my legs splayed out in a v on either side and coasted down through the garage. At some point as I was coasting I also put my feet on the pedals. At some point with my feet on the pedals I used the pedal breaks and then also pedaled forward. By the time I got to the bottom of the garage I was riding a bike.

I was so elated. So vindicated. So thrilled. Beyond thrilled. I felt like I was flying. I felt like I was free.

That was the beginning of freedom for me. Ever since freedom has felt like wind rushing through my hair and my pulse jackhammering. I felt free not when I first learned to drive, but when I first drove alone with the window down, my hair streaming back. I felt free when I went skydiving and we were freefalling, the wind forcing my hair back. When the freefall ended and the chute came out it was beautiful and still and eerily quiet; I no longer felt free but it was still a phenomenal experience. As an adult I got a mountain bike for Christmas (my first bike in roughly twenty years) and the first time I rode it fast enough to need the breaks, my now shorter hair streaming back, I laughed exalted by the freedom I felt.

My oldest son who has been riding some version of a wheeled transportation device since he was ten months old (since before he could walk!), learned how to ride a two wheel bike yesterday. The bike that had training wheels on it for a year longer than he’s needed them because he refused to let us take them off. It wasn’t until we were all going on bike rides together and he realized how much the training wheels slowed him down that he finally agreed they should be removed but wouldn’t actually let us remove them.

On Wednesday we were at the park with friends and he rode his friends bike that doesn’t have training wheels. He rode it no problem. He got his confidence in himself and his abilities back and as soon as we got home he begged his dad to take his training wheels off. Once they were gone, he got scared again, begging dad to put them back on. He was told he could ride his balance bike if he didn’t want to ride his pedal bike, but the training wheels were staying off.

Thursday he let me hold the bike seat while he jumped on and pedaled for about two seconds before jumping back off. Friday was a repeat of Thursday, with one crucial difference: when he said he was done and I put the bike down and walked away to go do something else, he picked the bike back up. He sat on the bike and cruised down the driveway on it, his legs in a v to either side. And then he put his feet on the pedals to use the breaks. And then he used the pedals to propel himself forward. And then he realized he could do it. He began laughing. He cried out, “mommy! Mommy! Look at me! I’m doing it! Woo hoo!”

His pleasure at being able to ride, his pleasure at being free, his pleasure at having the wind in his hair, absolutely made my day. I took a few videos of him riding. I asked him if he was proud of himself (yes!) and told him I was proud of him. I can’t stop watching the videos. The look on his face. The sparkle in his eyes. I am immediately transported to being somewhere between six and nine with a unicorn banana seat bicycle, all of my frustration and fear whipped away by the wind in my hair. The pure joy.

I can’t wait to ride my bike again. I can’t wait to ride bikes with my son. I can’t wait to be free together.

~~~That’s one hour~~~

Devastated

So here’s the thing, I didn’t #writeonehour last night because I was depressed. Not suicidal, not clinically depressed, not check my hormone levels and dose me with Zoloft, not even hand me a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and let me binge watch Netflix (but only because I can’t have dairy). But I was, I AM, depressed. I didn’t realize just how badly I’ve been wanting a female president since Hilary Clinton was nominated and then not elected.

I was never a Hillary fan, I’m still not. I was all systems Bernie in 2016, but when he didn’t get the nomination I immediately said, yes, fine, Hillary. In 2016 I was “any blue will do.” Now it’s 2020 and not only were there many fine women to choose from, there were also fine women of color, as well as an openly gay man. I was in freaking heaven because here’s the thing, not only were there so many choices but almost all of the choices were excellent ones.

I don’t just think the choices we had were excellent because they could put together a coherent sentence (helps), or because they were well read and learned (bonus), or because they weren’t Trump (hallelujah!). No, these were excellent choices because they have a proven track record, these are people who mean what they say and can prove it. Something desperately missing from the current administration.

What’s killing me is how badly I wanted a woman. We’re currently looking at another crusty old cis white man leading the nation no matter who the Democrats end up nominating, and it just makes me sick. How can we revert from Obama to Trump to Washington? Why can’t we go Obama to Trump to Harris? Or Obama to Trump to Warren? Cause the thing is, Warren was freaking KILLING IT in those debates y’all. And not just in the debates, in interviews outside of the debates, in rally speeches, and in her freaking social media feeds.

Warren is a badass. Warren is every girl’s inspiration and every woman’s saving grace. In Warren there was the promise of a sane, competent, intelligent, bitch of a President. I went to a talk by a publishing agent the other night and one of the amazing moments was when she said she’d overheard one of her clients telling someone, “she may be a bitch, but she’s MY bitch,” and my first thought was “Warren!” I want Warren to be my President Bitch!

There are so many moments in my life that I have managed to block out and forget because they don’t serve me. But learning that Warren had dropped out made everything flood back, all the times I’ve been embarrassed, ashamed, or made to feel incompetent:

  • Unsure of exact age, possibly six, playing “basketball” with my dad in the front courtyard. The baskets are empty planters. I’ve never played basketball in my life, don’t know the rules except that your job is to get the ball in the “basket.” Any time I actually make a basket I’m told it’s illegal because of X or Y reason. Even if I’ve done the exact same thing my father just did to get his basket
  • Unsure of exact age, probably nine, playing backgammon with my dad at the dining room table. He’s teaching me to play and also winning game after game. I finally win one. Finally. And he tells me he let me win
  • Twelve years old in my moms car. Look out the window and see a semi. So excited! They always wave and smile and sometimes they blow their air horn. Pull up along side said semi and proceed to smile and wave at the driver. Driver leers at me, and time begins to stand still as he puts his hand up to his mouth, spreads his index and middle fingers apart, and proceeds to waggle his tongue between splayed fingers. I had never seen this gesture before but I immediately felt ashamed and dirty
  • Fifteen years old, teacher accuses me of cheating (from who or how she could never say) because “I’ve been asking every class this for as long as I’ve been teaching and no one has ever gotten it”
  • Seventeen years old, straight A student, Key Club, Honor Roll, the whole nine yards. Ask to go to a cast party for the play we just wrapped where I was a stage manager. Told no. The explanation: “we trust you, we just don’t trust other people”
  • All my life: never go anywhere alone, never stop for gas at night, always carry your key between your index and middle finger so you can use it as a knife (a dangerous idea btw, please don’t do this), always meet a first date in a public place and make sure people know where and when you’re going and who with, if you’re ever accosted or raped scream “fire” because no one will help you if you scream “rape”, girls are too emotional and can’t just have sex (which I rebelled against hard, to my own detriment)

All of these horrible, demeaning, depressing things that wear you down. And I’m a very, very privileged white cis female. I’ve got nothing to complain about and I am all things entitled (though trying desperately not to be). So Warren steps down and I’m flooded with all these feelings of being weak, sad, put in my place, seen but not heard. And I just went on personal lockdown. I turned everything off so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. I absolutely binge watched Netflix, but without the pint of ice cream, and without watching the things that would have allowed me to cry and cry and cry, because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to stop.

Last night in bed, after feeding the baby yet again, I rolled over and cuddled up against my husband. I just needed him to hold me. Again, I was trying so hard not to cry and cry and cry. I didn’t let a single tear out. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t tell him “I need you to hold me so I don’t shatter,” or “I need you to pet my head so I don’t pull my hair out.” I couldn’t speak, but he knew something was wrong cause I hadn’t written my one hour. He didn’t ask, he knows I need time and space before I can talk about things. He just felt me cuddle up next to him and began stroking my head and my back and my arm.

I’ve read this a few times. I can’t seem to stop reading it. Heather Havrilesky has a way of helping me get past some of the sadness and frustration, but keep the anger on a low simmer. And that’s probably good. We probably shouldn’t let our anger go quite yet. I’ve been holding on to hope that Kamala Harris and/or Elizabeth Warren will still be on the ticket somehow as VP’s. There’s always that. It would still be a first. It would still be a “win.” So there’s that. And in the meantime, there’s Netflix.

~~~That’s one hour~~~