Thursday Tidbits

Posted on June 25, 2020 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

Practicing physical distancing in the early days of the Coronavirus


Bubble Buddies.

Coronavirus has done much to keep friends and families apart but in strange ways, like Facebook “Live” shows, Zoom and Facetiming, we may have done more communicating than ever before, albeit in a  new way. For three and a half months we have been encouraged to stay home. In the early days, the measures imposed by health authorities kept us at home hugging our fridges rather than our loved ones. Then came family bubbles and things started to change slowly and imperceptibly.

My son, Peter, arrived home in mid-March after spending a good part of the winter performing a solo music act on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. I came home from northern Quebec at the end of March when my school year ended abruptly. We both went into self-isolation and emerged from our caves in mid- April. We unofficially became a bubble and started spending time together, most of it in the outdoors.

Peter and I have spent a lot of time together over the years. We have done some epic road trips across Canada and the United States. My third book, “Tales, Trails and Tunes” chronicles some of these adventures. Spending countless hours in a car, motels and restaurants, we got to know each other well… maybe too well if you ask Pete! While both of us have the gift of the gab, we also learned that long periods of silence are perfectly acceptable.

It started harmlessly enough. In April, we started doing a few walks which led to a few hikes. While I haven’t kept a tally, I’m guessing we walked or hiked 6 out of every 7 days since then. While I have done some hiking in and around Antigonish County over the years, this was all new terrain for Pete. He discovered that Antigonish has many great hiking options. There were days that one or both of us didn’t feel like walking or hiking but we would push each other to get our ass in gear. We never regretted it.

Similar to road trips, long walks and hikes have their share of banter but much of the time has been spent with our own thoughts.

Peter is smart like his mother. He is musical like his sisters. I think he may have inherited his quirky sense of humour from his father! Luckily, the forests and glens don’t have recording devices to capture some of the zany conversations we have had. We would be walking along when something would come up that elicited a funny comment. The conversation would then go off in a bizarre tangent bordering on the ridiculous. I think we could easily write sitcoms together. To wit: after our ill fated hike in the woods at Ballantyne’s Cove where we were savaged with ticks, I mentioned to Pete that we should go down to the wharf now that Fish and Ships has opened for the season (world class fish and chips). His retort, “We can go for fish and ticks”!

Rarely does any one in sports or any walk of life record perfection. Ted Williams is acknowledged as the greatest hitter of all time in baseball recording a career batting average of .344. This means that two thirds of the time, Ted went down swinging. I am happy to report that Pete and I batted a perfect .1000 when it came to “apres walk/hike” activity. On every single occasion, we retired for a cold beer, first in my apartment (with appropriate social distancing) and lately at one of the restaurants that have re-opened after a long hiatus.

On Monday, we did a big hike at Keppoch, first going to the top of the mountain, then making our way to White Rock where we enjoyed a lifesaving swim in the cool waters of the Ohio River. It was a very muggy afternoon. Keeping our streak intact, we went to Boston Pizza and had a beer and some nachos on the patio. It was a gorgeous evening and such a pleasure to see lots of smiling, happy people.

We were quite enamored with the nachos and I wondered aloud if it was possible for me to write an entire 600 -word story about nachos. I have written more words on less substantive topics! This led to one of our “off the wall” conversations. Once again, I can only hope that BP doesn’t have recording devices embedded under the tabletops. Stay tuned. I may write this piece yet. Will the chicken in the nachos be plain or spicy? I bet you can hardly wait!

In a few weeks’ time, we will be heading in different directions as we try to resume a normal life, whatever in the hell that is.

I have been honored to have the best “bubble buddy” one could imagine.

If only we weren’t so foolish!

Have a great weekend.

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