My Pandemic Year: August 2020

August 1, 2020 – A ghost town, and Blursday

Vicki and I drove to the Seattle Rep yesterday with a trunk load of food and masks to donate to WASHMask, who was collecting for agricultural workers. Of all the essential workers we have, our field and packing house workers are among the most essential and the least supported.

Third Avenue is a ghost town, with businesses boarded up for several blocks as a precaution against the continuing evening demonstrations. There are very few people walking around and I don’t see any of the regulars. Vehicle traffic was still pretty heavy. Buses remain infrequent. Our office building is among the ones that are boarded up and I had to use the call box to be let in. Once upstairs, I grabbed everything I thought I would need for the next six months, cleared out several dead plants, and grouped the remaining plants together to make it easier for the solo staff person to water. I don’t know when I’ll be back.

Federal troops have been withdrawn from Portland, and (surprise surprise) the last two nights have been peaceful. There has been a focus on the number of black people getting arrested in spite of the majority of the demonstrators being white.

The Michigan State Capitol was stormed by armed white militia, I think to protest the COVID-19 lockdowns. The White House seemed to condone the behavior. Also this week, Trump suggested postponing the election. Analysts surmise that his goal isn’t actually to postpone, but to delegitimize the results of the November election in case he doesn’t win.

Feelings of being trapped have picked up again this week and “Blursday” has set in. I have to check my laptop to figure out what day it is, and I’m ‘losing my words’ more frequently which is distressing. I need to find some immersive and stimulating projects. “Is this what retirement is going to look like” has become a recurring, nagging question.

So I applied to the Betty Bowen Awards (for the third time in as many years) and accepted an invitation to participate in a virtual art show in October at Peters Valley School of Craft. I think about starting some new hats for Brookfield Craft Center now that they have re-opened their gallery (with COVID-19 precautions in place). Tubac Center and I have mutually decided that my hats are not a good fit for them, so they are shipping their stock back, which I hope arrives in time for the Peters Valley show. The “Seattle Krakens” was announced as the name of our new hockey team, so now I have an excuse to make that cap that’s been on my design board since my steampunk days.

I go on a spending spree, buying new dishes “not from the thrift store’, an outdoor carpet to cover my ugly cement porch, and too many videos.

I would normally be writing travel journals right now, so I’m now going back to old travel journals and extracting museum visits for my company newsletter, and sent a sample to the Mainly Museums website. If I’m accepted, the two projects would dovetail nicely.

I subscribed to the Disney Channel so I could see Hamilton. A friend suggested that I turn on the closed captioning, which was the only way I could understand the dialog. I was not expecting 2 hours of rap, which grated on my nerves. The script was good but the acting was patchy. I loved the actor who played Jefferson, but I was disappointed in Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose performance seemed flat. Now that I’m on Disney, I’m watching all the Marvel Comic franchise. The Avengers Affinity Wars was hard to sit through but it led to End Game which is good, but sad since it really is the End of the Game for Tony Stark. Green Arrow on Netflix also ends this week. So now I’m all melancholy…

August 2, 2020

I receive a spur of the moment invite to spend the afternoon at Payne and Marie’s house. We shared a socially distanced meal on their deck, and Payne guided me through the proper sequence for watching the Marvel franchise. I returned home to two very hungry cats whom I had forgotten to feed before I left … oops…

August 8, 2020 – Travel journal project

My first submission to Mainly Museums was accepted last week, and it appears I will be a weekly contributor. I have a list of about 40 museums and 15 exhibits to write reviews for. I’m excited at having something new to do, even if it is just rehashing stuff I’ve already written. It also launches a retirement project of converting my travel journals and photo collections – currently scattered across various websites, USB drives, photo discs and CDs – into a series of hard copy books. When I die, my websites die with me, and I’ve sorted through enough of my deceased friends’s photos and files to understand the value of leaving behind a more cohesive and organized record. It’s a sizable project that will probably keep me busy until the world ends…

August 10, 2020

Vicki and I visited a botanical garden in Bellevue today. We walk a couple of times a week, usually at The Rez (a nearby park named after a reservoir), or just take a drive to break up the monotony of apartment living during a lockdown. I spend my days in a 10×10 foot room, sitting in front of a laptop, and my evenings in my 10×20 foot room, at my sewing machine, churning out masks. Blursday. Blursnight. Whatever.

August 28, 2020 – Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman died today, age 43, from colon cancer that he had been battling since 2016. His death was a shock to nearly everyone in his social circle, many of whom wondered how he had managed to keep his diagnosis and chemo schedule secret from them. The Black Panther franchise has now been thrown into question.

I have not done well with keeping this journal this month. Perhaps I’m too tired, or too overwhelmed. There’s a dichotomy between how slow my daily life is and how fast the news cycle continues to be. Some days I cannot keep up, other days I simply choose not to…

Published by August-Phoenix-Mercantile

I'm a self taught textile artisan, working in rescued materials and found objects. My designs are often inspired by my travels and historical studies. Learn more about me at

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