It seemed like such a big deal, when Luzerne County went to the "green" phase of re-opening. That was on June 19th.... For me, the biggest change was that hair salons and barbers opened up, after over 3 months (a very long time for anyone running a small business). Mom's hair trimming service on the deck at 215 Montgomery Ave is no longer needed - but all the newly-acquired trimmers & scissors are saved for future use. Steve got his hair cut at his usual place near Walmart, Rob went to see Kevin (Jim's partner), I am going in 2 days when my hairdresser Sheryl is back to work and Alex doesn't have an appointment yet. Dentists can begin routine checkups. And indoor dining is allowed, subject to lower occupancy and distancing between tables. After eating out a few times, it seems like restaurants are not super busy. Wisely, most people around here are being careful. Masks are required in all public places, and can be removed in limited situations like while in the dentist chair (of course) and while sitting at a restaurant table.
Alex, you've had a rough couple weeks. Taylor's grandfather had been failing and began hospice care shortly before her planned vacation to see her Dad in Florida. Unfortunately, he passed during her visit in Florida, in fact on her birthday (just awful!). She drove home with her brother Mark just in time for the funeral, shortly after which Mark got sick. He was seen by a doctor who told him he had COVID-19 symptoms and sent him for a COVID test. While waiting for the results, he was getting better and the Fumanti family spent weekend time together at a campground including Taylor's grandmother. On Sunday night, you told me Mark's COVID test came back positive. Yikes!!! So now it's a 14 day quarantine for you all, including COVID testing for you & Taylor last Thursday. Results come back in 2-7 days. Great news - every time I text you, you tell me you're doing fine. And in fact you got a new kitten "Azula" (or Zuzu for short) a few days ago, so somehow you did go out to adopt her. She is tiny and quite adorable. Hopefully Chloe is contented with having a younger pal around.
I passed along Steve's suggestion that you name her Covid, with Covie as her nickname. Your response was "Haha".
As soon as you get your COVID test result, I'm going to try again to get you a haircut appointment with Kevin. Hopefully the timing works well, with you waiting to begin Volunteers in Medicine internship time on-site at the clinic.
In the meantime, Rob you have a summer job after all.... Plans to work at Camp Orchard Hill did not work out, since this year's summer program is limited to day camp with a small enrollment. Plus you really will need your driver's license to work there conveniently, and won't have that until the end of the summer. So in the meantime, you've begun helping Jim out with pet washing/drying at Grooming Cottage in Wyoming. Today was your first day, and you seemed to be content on our drive home. Plus you smelled pleasantly of shampoo (much nicer than the somewhat fishy odor Alex gave off upon coming home from his first job in the Fox Hill Country Club dish room). You learned that wearing long pants and sneakers will be helpful. And you're scheduled for 3 days next week, when you can polish your pet washing technique.
Thanks to Steve's love of yard work, we do have pretty flowers along the front walk and gorgeous flowers in pots on the deck and along the fence in back. Below is a picture of a Mexican sunflower plant Grammie gave us that grew amazingly fast over (with constant watering) since early June. Steve also planted 5 tomatoes in the original garden next to the deck, and I belatedly "suckered" them last weekend - likely way too much..... It remains to be seen how productive the plants will be. One huge accomplishment - Steve did 95% of the scraping, repairs and re-painting of the front porch window, railings & decking. A big, tedious, time-consuming job. Otherwise, I keep doing Prudential work - really am looking forward to vacation next month.
On the depressing side of things, Steve has not gone back to work yet and is getting restless. He is starting to find more job postings, but the economy is not going to bounce back quickly as the pandemic affects our country & the world. We had hope at the beginning of the summer that the first wave would subside. It has not, COVID-19 case counts in Southern (including Florida) and Western states are very high, particularly where governors did not mandate strict and adequately long shut-downs. Our great country is struggling through this pandemic with inadequate leadership at the federal level. We are truly fortunate to live in Pennsylvania, where Gov. Wolf takes this situation seriously. When you were very young, I read you Winnie the Pooh stories. It's easy to remember Christopher Robin, Pooh, and the exuberant & bouncy Tigger. Remember Eeyore who was almost always sad? In one story, he lost his tail - Owl found it and pinned it to the tree trunk next to his door to use as a bell-pull. Pooh noticed it there, and brought Eeyore his tail back. As gloomy Eeyore said while his tail was missing: "It's not much of a tail, but I'm sort of attached to it." I'm feeling similarly like we have lost our tail and need to have it pinned back on. And I doubt the operation will be as quick and painless as Eeyore's was.