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April 8, 2021

by Chris Sorrenti

What a difference a couple of days make. It’s absolutely gorgeous outside, and yesterday, I booked my first and second COVID vaccinations, the first on April 27th. I have to wait four months though before I get the booster.

Meanwhile, the variants run amok, with increasing amounts of people in hospital and ICUs...right across the country. The situation is so bad that here in Ontario, yesterday, the government declared a Stay-at-Home order for the entire province, which means even further shut downs of businesses. Only essentials, like groceries and pharmacy. And for the first time, the big box stores like Walmart can only sell those same essentials; no clothing, furniture, or electronics, etc. On the bright side, more and more people are being vaccinated as the days and weeks go by, with most if not all those over 70 years having received at least their first shot.

As I said a couple of days ago, J and I only go out now for groceries. No more trips to Walmart, only local stores within a few blocks. And I did postpone my eye exam until late May. By then, I’ll have had my first shot. My next concern of course is for Jason, though he’s just as careful if not more so than I. In his late 30s, how long will he have to wait before he can be inoculated?

Called my friend, Joe, yesterday, to see if he was aware of the new restrictions. Was a surprise to him, as he and Lyne had been out in the yard all day, cleaning up dead brush. Although having a home in Ottawa, they spend most of their time these days at the cottage. Turns out they also booked their vaccinations, and go the day before I do.

Our long-time next-door neighbour, Garnet, we rarely see these days. Both J and I call him every so often, just to check in...see how he’s doing. The pandemic has been especially hard on him, as he lost his wife, Debbie, a couple of years ago to heart problems. Thankfully, he has a good network of friends to stay in touch, especially due to his being a Reggae musician. He and Debbie have been our neighbours nearly as long as we’ve been here; 30 years, and both houses have seen a steady stream of friends and family come and go over the years, especially with me and my poetry, and Garnet with his music. I always got a copy, whenever he would put out a new CD, and Dawn and I would immediately throw it on the stereo for a listen. Like us, Garnet is a very spiritual person, and it comes out in his music.

Now, sadly, both places…the neighbourhood itself are strangely quiet, and though feeling quite comfy and safe in this little home, there’s definitely something missing. It’s almost a relief to occasionally hear and see kids running and playing in the back, or strangers walking their dogs down the path. Life! Being near the airport, few if any planes pass overhead these days, adding to the quiet. Not sure if that’s good or bad.

Getting back to Garnet, in the beginning, as soon as the pandemic hit, the few times I went to his door to talk (as I always had), I could clearly see he was freaked out, and wouldn’t even let me in the door. Since then, I've kept our contact to phone calls and chance meetings, if he's getting into his car to go somewhere or just come back from groceries, waving and exchanging a few pleasantries, but always at a safe distance.

One neighbour J and I have seen quite a bit of lately is Heather, living on the opposite side of Garnet, a few doors down. A mother in her 30s, she moved in a couple of years ago. Quite the outdoorsy type, who goes ice fishing in winter. She’s also been kind enough to snow blow ours and Garnet’s driveway, although J and I and Garnet have shovels. Also loves to barbecue, and will often share her pulled pork and beef brisket with us. Heather has a big BBQ setup, and likes to use wood chips to slow cook her food. Yummy! In return for all her kindness, last week, Jason baked her a chocolate cake, and I bought a thank-you card, which we both signed. I happened to be talking to her today out in the back, and she asked if she could rent my driveway, as her daughter is looking to buy a car. Told her that she could have it for free, but I might have to use it on the chance I rent a car or have company over, which of course, I don’t get very much of these days.

© 2021

100 hits as of April 2021


Posted on 04/08/2021
Copyright © 2021 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Johanna May on 04/11/21 at 12:25 AM

It’s no fun on our side if the pond right now. Hope you and yours are safe and healthy.

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