Saturday slipped by like a zephyr rearranging tendrils of fog. Days are becoming just a bit less substantial; purpose drains like shower-water off my body, lost and unmourned. Nonetheless, we are persisting. Over a week ago, I thought it might be a good idea to have some flour and yeast on hand, just in case we were unable to get bread, so I added them to my Fred Meyer online order, formerly known as Clicklist. Yeah, no bread, no yeast and no whole wheat flour to be had. Guess I wasn’t the only one with that thought. We did get 5 lbs of all-purpose flour, and Terri found some unexpired yeast we’ve had for who knows how long. Then a friend on Facebook posted a super-easy bread recipe, so I had to try it.
I guess like everyone else, I have my strong suits and weak spots. Sometimes when I’m cooking I get a bit hasty, and combine steps that should be separate, like mixing the dry flour, yeast and salt together before adding the water and mixing. After spending several minutes cleaning dough out of the whisk, which would have worked so much better with just the dry ingredients, I tried to salvage my project. Following the directions purposefully, I put the dough in a covered bowl on a warm spot, and let it sit overnight.
Saturday around noon it was time to put the bread into the oven, and see if it was going to be edible, or maybe dried and used for breadcrumbs. Once baked, we let it set a spell, and took advantage of a break in the weather to head out and walk Burlington Hill. When we can’t go further afield, this is our go-to spot. We get about 600’ of elevation gain with a 15% grade with a couple of varied options on which way we go, plus we get some great views of beautiful Skagit Valley. The sky was overcast, and we could see a storm slashing against the Lookout Mountain range, but aside from being breezy and cool, we were just kept company by the weather. We’ve walked here dozens and dozens of times over the years, in every season, but each time we find something to marvel at.
Well, back to the house, and time to try the bread. Years ago we were introduced to the joys of rustic bread dipped in great olive oil and balsamic vinegar, complemented by a glass of nice wine, so that is what we did. The bread was surprisingly good, and worked well with the EVOO and vinegar, and I splurged and opened a bottle of Pezzi-King Zinfandel from the Russian River area of Sonoma. Remind me to tell you sometime about how I got that … and about our favorite balsamic vinegar. Anyhow, it was like a magical portal had opened up to a world not consumed by contagion, sitting there with my sweet wife and our simple repast, just alive to the moment.
Sunday I felt compelled to get up a bit early and exercise, then sat down with a cup of coffee. Terri soon joined me with her coffee, and we connected the laptop to the TV and tuned in to Cornwall Church’s 9:00 online service. So grateful we are able to recenter ourselves and reconnect with our church and through that, our Creator.
Well, mundanicity calls! Bills continue to come in the mail, quietly insisting on the transference of the ethereal concept of value represented by symbols printed on paper, or pixels on a screen. Meanwhile, Terri had fun looking for some special gifts to send to our grandkids to bring a bit of excitement and projects to their homebound days. I made even more additions to my Wishlist at Fred Meyer, hoping they will be in stock when I get to go on my assigned day to pick them up next Saturday.
Time to change things up! We pulled out the game of Splendor, easy and fun for two people. Terri won the first game, I won the second, so we had to have a playoff. Unfortunately, Terri won, big time. I’m going to have to hone my strategy a bit more to stay competitive.
I had to sorrowfully say good-bye for now to Zion National Park, Santa Fe, Mesa Verde NP, Chaco Canyon NP and Yellowstone NP. We had a fantastic road trip all planned in meticulous detail, leaving on May 1st. I had been holding on to all the reservations at our condos, but in the morning news, when Dr. Fauci said this would go on for months, I knew any miniscule glimmer of hope I had for this trip had evaporated. I didn’t cry when I cancelled each precious reservation, but I was sad. Then, of course, perspective sets in, and I am aware of the tens or hundreds of thousands who will not survive this pandemic. I think of the millions who will be impoverished because I – and countless others – are staying home or cancelling trips, and all the businesses, large and small, who will lose all their revenue for weeks or months.
So far, we haven’t binged on TV, Prime or Netflix, but decided to watch a movie last night called Uncorked. It is based on a true-life story of a black man who wants to become a Master Sommelier, and the struggles he faces on that journey. I have to admit we struggled with the dialogue in places due to the black patois, but it was an interesting diversion.
Well, Sunday also brought the news that the president is extending the national social distancing order until April 30. I can’t imagine anyone is thrilled with the prospect of at least another month of isolation, but I was … gratified … to hear that this is being taken seriously now by this administration. So sit down, buckle in, and stay home, and stay well.