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January through March, 2020

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Sadly, we lost our little dog Pumpkin this quarter. We got her at the Cut Bank animal shelter, where she had been turned in from the Blackfoot reservation. She was only 6 weeks old, and lived to just over 15 years old. Her legs finally gave out and we had to put her to sleep. She was the smartest and most gentle dog we have ever had.

This quarter brings to mind several more trite phrases, such as “Life is what happens while you are making other plans,” and “May you live in interesting times.” The origin of the latter phrase is interesting in itself and is reminiscient of British ironic humor.

The events of this quarter have affected everyone and will be the object of many future studies and analyses. In our case, we find ourselves “self isolated” in our Pacific Beach home wondering if our planned drive back to Montana at the end of April is possible or even wise. The per capita Covid-19 cases in Bozeman is higher than here in San Diego county and our access to delivery services is better here.

The return to Bozeman was planned to resume our activities preparing the property to be put on the market in spring. Now we doubt there will be any buyers. In related news, it appears our realtor is sick from the virus (doing alright so far).

Furthermore, our plans for friends and family to visit us in Montana this summer are on hold and one wonders if Arthur and Alixandra's wedding in October will go as planned.

We had planned to take an extended trip to Australia and New Zealand in late January through much of February but decided mid-summer to put it off. That turned out to be a fortunate choice because terrible fires in Australia would have ruined the trip. And, it is possible we would have been exposed to Covid-19 late in the trip.

We did manage to make a quick trip to Oklahoma at the end of January to see Gary's aging aunt Faye (now 90 years old). She has adapted well to living in a care facility. Cousin Pam had been checking on Faye regularly and seeing to any details not otherwise covered, but now access to the facility is limited to essential personnel.

Our drive down to Pacific Beach at the end of February was uneventful. The plan was to host cousin Theresa and her daughter Grace for a week in early March. Concerns about Covid-19 were beginning to raise alarms, but they decided to come anyhow. Within two days of their arrival it became obvious they should have stayed home: schools were closing along with many of the attractions they had planned to see. They rebooked for an early flight home rather than take a chance on being trapped here.

So far, Arthur is the only one of the kids to be out of a job – food service jobs in Bozeman are on hiatus and one suspects many restaurants will not survive. He will probably apply for unemployment. All the other kids and kids-in-law are still working, some from home and some mostly from home. Samantha's health and safety job keeps her very busy.

The last day of the quarter was Jade's first birthday. We were able to have a “socially distant” party (though Pauline is getting too close in this picture) in our backyard, with video calls to many of the rest of the families. Jade loves the stand-up push toy we got her.

Another Birthday Picture

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