Two mornings ago my husband Art and I flew from Tucson to Seattle. I will be here for ten days and Art will be here for 32. We are beginning the remodel of the daylight basement in our home in Brier. We are creating a light and bright studio living area for ourselves, and we plan to live there during the summer months. One of our sons, Jason, has relinquished the basement and now lives only on the main floor upstairs with his family. It will be a win-win, as we will have no stairs to aggravate my arthritic back and they will have a reasonable rent where our grandson Kaleb can continue to go to school with his friends.
It was a big deal for me to get on the airplane. I know that, though Tucson has opened up somewhat, Seattle has not. Washington has a four-phase opening process for counties based on multiple criteria. About half of the counties - mostly rural - are opening up.
But not King County, where our Seattle airbnb is located. And not Snohomish County, where our family home is. One of the required criteria to move to Phase 2 is that a county have fewer than 10 new confirmed coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents across a 14-day span. Right now King County has about 39 and Snohomish County has about 31. So it will be a while before people can emerge from their homes for other than essential business.
The flight itself felt very safe. We were required to wear masks from the time we entered the airport in Tucson to the time we emerged from the terminal in Seattle. We had acquired N95 masks some time ago from a friend. On the plane, everyone had a window seat and an empty aisle seat. Everyone wore masks - both passengers and crew. Only bottled water and a small packaged snack was served. The crew wore gloves and collected trash several times during the three-hour flight. Social distancing was observed by everyone on the shuttle bus and at the car rental checkout. I read that this week marked an uptick in the number of people flying in the US, so I guess we're part of the trendsetting travelers.
We've rented an airbnb in Ravenna, a Seattle neighborhood just north of downtown. It's an older place currently being renovated, with creaking hardwood floors and a steep interior stairway. We're sleeping in the smallest bedroom because it's on the ground floor. It's about a 20-minute drive to Brier.
I'm normally a law-abiding, compliant person. So coming up here for the beginning of the remodel, when all around me people are staying home or wearing masks when they venture out, made me hesitate. I really thought Phase 2 would have begun by now. But we've hired the worker for the remodel - my son James - and Art will be doing the electrical work. So we are being as compliant as we can.
In Tucson, on Thursday, people were out and about, some wearing masks and some not, in the 90-something degree sunshine. In Seattle, on Friday, traffic was light and it was 60 degrees and, in the grocery store, everyone wore a mask. So we are adjusting for our time in Seattle.
It feels odd to not give my sons, daughter-in-law and grandson a hug, and to keep my distance. But Art and I are among the vulnerable "elderlies". I suspect that when I return to Tucson next week I'll quarantine myself to keep my Arizona friends safe.
Our Brier garage is full of our stuff - everything from the upstairs has been put in boxes and stored there, along with miscellaneous things like vacuum cleaners and fans. I'll be selling or giving away most of it. Just this morning someone bought our Bowflex, office desk and office chair. They pick it up tomorrow. I'm more inclined to get the job done than to make a lot of money, so the buyer - she took all three items - got an excellent deal and I cleared a bunch of space. When the remodel is complete - hopefully by the last half of July - we'll drive back up here for a few months, and I'll spend more time clearing the contents of the garage. The goal, as always, will be to have enough space in there to park my car. But maybe not.
A year later
7 hours ago