a sunday of memories and hope

It’s the afternoon of Father’s Day and I’m lounging on our patio which continues to be our primary living space when the weather co-operates and allows us to relax in comfort. I find myself listening to Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers in Arms‘ album and thinking of my father, now missing for the second of these days. I now know I’ll spend all the Father’s Days ahead celebrating his memory and all that he contributed to my life.

I awoke this morning from a blissfully solid night of sleep; the kind it takes a few minutes for your eyes to un-gum from. Bae prompted the fur kids to wish me a ‘Happy Father’s Day’, but that instruction went unheeded, and despite this I willingly allowed my arm to become pin cushion later in morning after Bae had prepared a wonderful French toast and mimosa breakfast that followed the coffee that finally got the rest of the gunk cleared from my eyes.

After that incredible start to the day, I felt I needed to step up my own game for the roast beef I will prepare for tonight.  Garlic spiked, hickory smoked and rotisserie cooked premium rib roast is now on tap for tonight (I did have to fight the temptation to put it on shortly after lunch and have it done to pick at for the rest of the day).  This will just be a little 1.5 lb’er but I’m positive it’s going to be amazing, especially with the help of the new thermometer added to my barbeque tool inventory a couple weeks back.  Here’s hoping this is another recipe I can safely add to my repertoire of ‘why bother getting it elsewhere’ dishes.

The pandemic allowed me to break the habit of seeking instant, but expensive, gratification in fine food.  Slowing down enough to fully appreciate the flavour and satisfaction that comes in healthy, home prepared meals, and really made it possible to reset my mind from utilizing restaurants from ‘frequently‘ and returning to ‘only special occasions,’ or as a treat when truly earned and tolerably no more often then every six weeks or so (I will monitor this for success as normalcy returns). 

Alberta did it.  On Friday afternoon, the premier announced that the 70.0% requirement for Albertan’s over the age of 12 to be vaccinated had been achieved, and the 14 day clock had begun on moving to open, unrestricted indoor and outdoor activities, conveniently, on July 1st, before the Stampede returns to Calgary after a year’s break, and a month before the CFL returns to action in a delayed and somewhat shortened season in August.   The provincial mask requirement will be over, leaving localities to determine where it’s still appropriate for a requirement.  Ultimately though, the best gift that what will come on July 1st (assuming no major new global developments regarding the delta variant which seems on track to become the majority of cases) is a return of choice and freewill.  I welcome it, and will cherish it’s return, but will not lament the the requirement of the controls.  I will continue to mask up in situations that make me uncomfortable.  In time, I hope that my masks become something forgotten; laundered and added to the keepsakes stored in some drawer, or in a box at the back of the front door closet, just in case they become needed again.

The thought lingers is that for a province that once had more cases per capita than anywhere else in North America, it is now becoming the first Canadian province to remove all restrictions amidst the rise of the delta variant. The alarmist (cautious?) side of me feels this is like aligning all the pieces necessary to spark a fourth wave and deliver yet another heart crushing gut punch from the pandemic which at one point has already brought many of us to our knees.  Even having had the second of my vaccination injections this past Wednesday afternoon, despite the tightness of muscles fading in the shoulder near the injection site, my disbelief that the pandemic is not yet approaching it’s true end does not.

I do want to believe it will be over, and I want the hope for a return to the comfort of normalcy, but I am not ready to faithfully switch to ‘all is normal’ mindset just yet.  I worry that there’s still a good chance that when this October comes, we’ll be watching the case numbers of whatever new variant has arisen increase and we will be anticipating a return to lock down by the middle of November and waiting for a booster injection to help counter it. 

Get me to Christmas time (and a return to the new tradition of seasonal baking) without that happening and I’ll final believe it’s all over, except for the lessons learned.

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