Sometimes we feel like we are living in a Petri dish here in Estero, Florida. Is the universe conducting some great experiment in human adaptability and flexibility? We are finding ourselves called to perform daily course-corrections that might test even the elasticity of Gumby. There are two variables at work here. The first is the new reality of COVID-19 which continues to color our lives now affecting many of the scheduling details from shopping trips, to food planning and prep, to our morning walk, to the search for the essential face mask. It’s an influencer, but it’s not the only one.
The second is adapting to the record-breaking heat for the month of April here in Florida. Normally, at this time of the season, temps are in the mid to high 80s but we have experienced scorchers in the low, to mid, and then high 90s in partnership with the legendary humidity, usually reserved for the summer months. These realities bring up the same conversations on the time of day we do shopping trips, whether and when we do outside food prep, and when we do our morning walks. Or none of the above.
Our new RV spot does offer many advantages and we do know how fortunate we are. The village of Estero has 34,000 people so there are lots of services available. For example, the local Ford dealership will come and pick up our truck for service, complete the work and return it, sanitized, at the end of the day. A local RV repair shop comes out to service what’s needed in T2. One of the local markets is doing home deliveries, which one of our neighbors here has done. The best pizza place in town still has its carry-out going. CVS will do home deliveries of prescriptions. FedEx and UPS drop off any deliveries right here at our site. The bathhouse in our little community is scrubbed clean every day and even though we still take our own Lysol with us, the base it pretty much there.
Peter finished a couple of important adaptions to our Airstream this past week, considering the climate we are finding ourselves in. The front of T2 faces pretty much southwest, right into the heat of the afternoon. He bought some heat reflective foil and put it in the iconic Airstream curved bedroom windows, and in the skylight and the transom windows in the living area. All the foil is discreetly hidden behind the shades and the curtains. It’s been really effective in helping the air-conditioner to run more efficiently and to hold the interior temps steady, while keeping the two of us more comfortable. Since we do pay for the electric that we use while we are here, we will see in early May what it’s costing, though it’s a given that we’re running the air.
Since our big side awning faces mostly north and west, when there is a morning breeze over the lake, sitting outside is delightful. Those mornings are treasured and rare. We have good friends from the state park who left the volunteer village when we did and rented a spot three doors down from us. Some evenings, they bring over their folding chairs and we practice good social distancing and enjoy time together. They are planning on leaving in a few days, heading west first to New Mexico and then back to their home in Tacoma, Washington. It’s going to be an adventure for them with the state parks mostly closed (Texas just announced it is opening its state parks) and some commercial parks are running at a mandatory reduced occupancy. They have shared their itinerary and promise to text from along the route with information that will inform our plans.
We still aren’t sure how long we will be here and it really isn’t worth too much energy since the most significant indicators are completely outside our influence. Our priorities now are staying well and safe, exercising and eating well, staying in touch with family and friends, and limiting the amount of time spent watching more than re-runs of Downton Abbey, or RedBox movies, which update once a month now. The things that delight me these days include the smell of the blooming gardenias in the neighborhood gardens, the reflection of the morning sunrise on the still surface of the pre-sunrise lake, the joyful songbirds who seem to conduct their morning chorus rehearsals just for me, and the stillness of the dark night here where there are no street lights.
Oh, yes, and the music. Check out our friends from Apple Hill Center of Chamber Music who are offering up youtube.com videos of past performances on their channel. It celebrates the beauty of life.
Stay safe and be well and reach out to someone you love today. Here’s a couple of closing photos from this past week.
Peter and Liz are safely tucked into their Airstream in Estero, Florida continuing their pilgrimage to here from their parked, unhitched, leveled and fully hooked-up T2 where the scent of gardenias in bloom fills the evening air.