a memory you can’t recall

“Autumn Bouquet (Portrait of Vera Repina)”
by Ilya Repin

The mind is never so open as such clear days in the fall,
when the air has a special tang of flowers and frosty iron,
and something flits lightly past you,
a memory you can’t recall,
a dream forever undreamt and forever far beyond.

~ Inger Hagerup
(The Magic of Fjords)

This might be my last post tagged with “pandemic.” It’s been two and a half years! Not that I think we won’t eventually catch covid, but we have gotten our state-of-the-art bivalent booster shot now and we seem to be living in a new world, coexisting with a treatable endemic virus. We’re still masking inside public places but getting more adventurous…

The autumn equinox now seems like a perfect time turn over a new 🍁 and stop focusing on the virus. Yes, the mind is never so open as such clear days in the fall!

25 thoughts on “a memory you can’t recall”

  1. That is a perfect portrait for the message of intent, Barbara!

    The autumn equinox seems like the balance in time to turn over a new leaf, renew one’s spiritual soul and set different goals of expectations with each new day offered.

    I appreciate you every day!

    1. Thank you, TD. I am so grateful for your presence here! I feel like I’m in the autumn of my life, too. (I’ve always though of birth to 25 as the spring, 25-50 as the summer, and 50-75 as the autumn.) There’s so much beauty and wisdom in the sights and sounds of the season.

      1. This, Barbara, is a very interesting thought about seasons and life that you have sent for me to ponder; “birth to 25 as the spring, 25-50 as the summer, and 50-75 as the autumn”… 🍂.

  2. It is time to realize covid may be with us from now on, but living our lives is important. We are going to have the newest covid shot next week. I love the painting and the poem. Fall, with cooler weather and lovely Fall leaves slowly beginning to turn makes this a good time to turn over a new leaf. A lovely post Barbara.

    1. Thank you, Peggy, and I agree with you. I’m looking at vaccines and masks like seatbelts in a car. The seatbelt won’t prevent us from getting into accidents but it will help minimize our injuries. Using our seatbelts doesn’t keep us from living our lives. Congratulations on getting the latest shot! I hope any side effects will be few.

  3. I can’t decide if the pandemic is really over or if it’s too boring for news outlets to follow it. Whichever, I’ll go with it’s over and thank you for reminding me it’s been 2 1/2 years long. What a trip it’s been

    1. Yes, what a long strange trip it’s been… I think we’re hovering somewhere between pandemic and endemic but it does seem the worst of it is behind us. I’m sure we’ll catch it sooner or later but I’m in no rush to get that over with, so I’ll keep up with the mask.

    1. Yup, it’s so simple to put on a mask and seems like the wisest choice for navigating the world. I do see a few like-minded folks with masks on when I’m out and about.

  4. I always like your change-of-season photos paired with poetry Barbara. I got my bivalent shot today and must tell you that I was the only one in the CVS pharmacy wearing a mask (and an N-95 mask at that … I wear a blue surgical mask for places that are not indoors). Perhaps after the two weeks passes for this shot, I may have to lighten up my attitude as well … this morning as I went outside with the heavier mask, I had not thought to put the “FogAway” on the lenses as I am not adjusted to “cold air mode” yet and they promptly fogged up … another Winter of navigating on the ice and snow and ending up nudging the blue surgical mask north so I don’t wipe out unless this leopard changes her spots.

    1. Thank you, Linda. It’s interesting that you are still wearing a mask outdoors. I felt safe outside without a mask after my booster shots in the spring. Then again, I think you encounter more people when you’re out and about. Yesterday we went to Mystic Seaport for the antique car show and went into the cafeteria for lunch for the first time since before the pandemic. About 1/3 of the people inside were wearing masks, as were we. Then we took our food outside to a picnic table to eat. They had a place outside to return the trays so we didn’t have to go back inside when we were done. Time will tell if this continues to feel safe enough. I’m half-expecting a new variant to appear on the scene, sending us back into our safe mode.

      1. I encounter people at the Park that want to talk. My preference would be to go to the Park and be by myself – even though I live alone, I like the escape to an outdoorsy setting, the walk and visiting with the critters. I don’t want to rehash politics or the news. You are walking with Tim when you are on nature walks, so you know you’re safe. I wear masks on the weekend at other parks too, though the likelihood of talking to people up close is less likely – mostly someone walks by or passes on a bike – that’s it. I wear a N-95 at the grocery store and have since the beginning. I know a fellow blogger and she and her husband are the same age as me (66) and for the past year, they have been all over the U.S. and overseas. They have one local son and two other sons, one in Colorado, one in Oregon. So they have been driving back and forth to visit their grandchildren. They are both runners and flew to England last year for a big marathon, then went to Portugal, Iceland this year and are once again traveling around the U.S. They have stayed healthy – I guess I worry too much. My concern is people will stop being careful and throw caution to the wind and bingo, we have a rise in cases once again. We had 167 deaths from Covid in Michigan last week or the week before – that is significant (to me).

        1. I do know people who are traveling and not catching covid and also people who are taking every precaution and still catching it. Sigh. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. I just figure with our underlying conditions we had better play it safe. So far, the few people we encounter on our walks have kept a respectable six feet away from us and we’ve felt comfortable talking to them without masks. One lady came too close to me for comfort and I backed away. The talk is usually about birds or the weather, so far no one has brought up anything political. I think people are getting used to the idea that some wear masks and others don’t. Many people in Japan were wearing masks during flu season even in the days before covid. Personally I have enjoyed not having a cold or the flu for 2 1/2 years and hopefully I can go longer than that going forward by wearing a mask inside!

          1. I had never heard of wearing a mask before Covid, except my boss used to teach Labor Law as an adjunct professor and his co-teacher had a stem cell transplant and he wore a mask before the procedure and then after … it was odd seeing him come into our office to collaborate on projects wearing the mask. Another client had the same procedure done and he was an avid gardener and was not allowed to do any gardening for a year – “playing in the dirt” was not recommended, even while wearing a mask. One had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and the other had a form of Leukemia. I had already decided like you that I like not getting a cold from the few places I go in Winter and will keep the mask wearing up. People at the Park tend to walk too close – I mean shoulder-to-shoulder, Like you I will back off or slide over … wearing a mask is just easier for me. I’d just as soon not chat but it is inevitable sometimes.

          2. During the pandemic we only took walks on weekdays in order to avoid the extra people in the parks and preserves on the weekends. Same with food shopping. But we’re starting to do things on the weekends now and are around more people. Time will tell how well our masking up works going forward.

          3. I wonder if the Covid shots will be yearly like a flu shot as I heard them predict as opposed to just boosters? As it’s been cold the last few days, I see the condensation on my glasses forming … that is one bugaboo with the mask wearing.

          4. I think it will be yearly shots for covid, although maybe twice a year because the boosters don’t seem to last very long. Maybe you’ll get comfortable going outside without a mask at some point and then you won’t have to worry about that condensation.

          5. I’ve been hearing warnings about still being careful as the flu season is ramping up and didn’t they mention the phrase “Twindemic” last year too? In the Winter, when it is snowy and a little slick, I go to the Park on weekends mid-day when the ice has melted some on the street and perimeter path. I pull the blue surgical mask below my nose and can nudge it up if someone approaches me by taking off my glove. I go later also so none of the “regulars” are there and want to talk, so I can leave the mask down. I know I am overly careful, especially since I have no underlying conditions (that I know of), but years ago I brought a bad cold home from work and my mom got it, then it turned into walking pneumonia. It was difficult for her to get out in ice and snow, so she did not see a doctor until her chest rattled when she coughed. I felt horrible I made her sick. She took various meds and did not want to take a cold preparation, nor cough syrup, so took nothing. I started being very careful, no hands around my face, washing hands and I have kept doing that since then which was likely 20+ years ago.

          6. We sometimes take afternoon walks in the winter, too, when it is slightly warmer. 🙂 Better to be overly careful than reckless, as many people are getting. Your experience with your mom illustrates how easy it is to spread germs to others who will get much sicker than others. This is why we have our children and grandchildren take a covid test before coming into our house so we can visit without masks. And we wear masks when service technicians come inside. So sorry that happened to you and your mom. When I think of all the colds my little ones brought home from school to me! Heck, I’m still annoyed with Tim for bringing home a bad cold in January 2020, right before the pandemic started. He was out to breakfast with a group of his ham radio friends and one of them came with a bad cold. A couple of days later Tim came down with it and then a couple of days later I did. Grrrrr….

          7. I’d be mad about that too – I don’t understand why people circulate amongst others if they are sick – they probably decide “I’m feeling crummy, so everyone else can feel crummy too.” My grandmother and aunt lived together and her friends would come to visit with bad colds and my aunt and grandmother both got sick – why visit someone when you’re sick? I wear a mask when service techs are here too – some have gone to put on a mask and I say “not necessary, I’m wearing one” and others don’t offer at all. When I worked on site, my boss’ wife was still teaching third grade … she was always bringing home colds, he got them and our tenant had three grandchildren which he often babysat and he was always coming in sick. I have no one except service techs coming in, so it is a good thing I have no other visitors – I’d be a nervous wreck wondering if they have Covid or the flu.

          8. To me it seems to be the height of rudeness to visit someone when you are sick. I’d rather someone cancel their plans with me than just show up sick. But there are those who believe it strengthens your immune system to get exposed to everything going around. When we were little my parents exposed us to the mumps, which I got, of course, explaining that we should get it over with when we were children because if we caught it as adults the illness would be much worse. Same with chicken pox.

          9. I remember reading that people wanted their kids to have COVID parties to expose them to the virus, much like people did in the past like your parents. I never had the mumps, but did get the chicken pox and measles the same year, one on my mom’s birthday, one on mother’s day. I think it’s rude to visit or go out to eat together if you’re sick.

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