Constant Whoosh

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November,
All the rest have thirty-one,
Except in lockdown when all twelve last forever.

We broke up our evening streaming TV routine by renting Knives Out on Amazon Prime. Very enjoyable movie, except for Daniel Craig’s cornpone accent, jarring and out of place from beginning to end.

Our lot backs on Catalina Highway, the road to Mount Lemmon. The mountain is popular year-round and double so on weekends, and we’ve grown accustomed to the constant whoosh of car tires. Suddenly there’s no traffic. We’ve never heard so many birds. We could get used to this.

I copied an online banana nut bread recipe into a blank Word document and printed it, not noticing that some of the line breaks went AWOL during the process. The first line under ingredients said “1 1/2 cups flour2/3 cups sugar.” I read the flour part and missed the sugar. I wouldn’t have if the sugar had been on its own line.

My sugar-free banana nut bread is baking now. I don’t expect it to be very good. On the upside, I re-copied the recipe, manually inserting line breaks between ingredients, so next time I’ll get it right. Shouldn’t be eating sugar anyway, but the idea of banana nut bread drove other thoughts out of my mind this afternoon.

I don’t know how many people are blogging during these enforced stay-at-home days, but I bet our blogs all look about the same. I know that’s all anyone is talking about on Facebook and Twitter, both of which have become tiresome. No doubt my blog is equally so. But hey, I’m trying!

Since I tracked down info on how the pandemic is affecting American military members and their families stationed overseas (see my previous post), I’ve begun to pay attention to domestic military news as well. One item that has me a wee bit concerned was recently posted on Instagram by Edwards AFB in southern California: “Effective Mar. 28, 2020 at 12:01 am, per the base commander, retirees, retiree dependents, and veterans will only be able to access Edwards AFB on Wednesdays until further notice.”

You know, this is the kind of innovative big picture thinking that gets colonels promoted to general. It’s not going to stop with Edwards AFB. Or the Air Force. Other base commanders and other services will follow suit. Soon, if they haven’t already.

Thousands of military retirees, dependents, and veterans live in communities surrounding military bases. They rely on base exchanges, Class VI stores, on-base gas stations, banks, credit unions, clinics, pharmacies, and (especially) commissaries for their daily needs. Most of them deliberately chose to retire near military bases precisely for access to on-base services. Limiting their base access to one day a week will not only be a hardship, it’ll result in crowds on the weekly open-access day, possibly hastening the spread of COVID-19.

What else does it do? It violates a contract Uncle Sam made with volunteers to get them to sign up. Oh, but it’s just a temporary measure, these are extraordinary times, yadda yadda … what do you want to bet restrictions like this stay in force long after the current threat goes away?

Poked my head in the kitchen just now to check on the banana nut bread (it’s all sad and flat) and interrupted Donna informing Polly she’s our designated grocery shopper now, since we’re vulnerable elders and she’s young (but just as vulnerable, I wanted to say but didn’t).

Fun times! Sort of.

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