With warm weather and plentiful sunshine over the Easter weekend, the government was afraid people would come out and contaminate each other in droves. But apparently that didn't happen. I guess people are finally getting the message about the importance of staying at home and social distancing. I was home all day yesterday, with only one brief outing to walk Olga -- and we only went literally around the corner.
The photo above shows Finchley Road, normally a major north/south traffic artery, yesterday afternoon. I don't think I've ever seen it so quiet. There are only five distant cars visible in that photo, and at least three of them appear to be parked.
Not only were the streets weirdly quiet -- they were also weirdly clean. The trash had been collected from all the places where it tends to accumulate, and the pavements even appeared swept.
I did a lot of cleaning of my own yesterday morning, including washing all our back windows. Several weeks ago a pigeon bumped into one of them, and I know this only because there was a ghostly pigeon-shaped smudge -- with outstretched wings -- left on the glass. I finally washed that away. (As far as I know the pigeon was unhurt -- at least, we never found a wounded one.)
I also had a little chat with Mrs. Kravitz, who prevailed upon me to remove a dead limb from the elder tree at the back of our property. (It was stretching over the fence, tousling the leaves of one of her shrubs like an adult might tousle a child's hair. Apparently she didn't like that.) It wasn't a high limb and it was easy to saw off.
Here's one more picture of the once-viney tree, now in full bloom.
I called my mom in the afternoon to wish her happy Easter. It was such a surreal conversation. Talking to my mom is pretty much a one-way affair these days, as dementia and aphasia prevent her from saying much back -- she usually just laughs. So I told her about me and Dave staying home, and how everything was paused because of the coronavirus, and how I hoped to come and see her but I wasn't sure when. And she just laughed and laughed and said "Oh God," as she often does -- and then she said, "I love you."
Now, my mom has never been the kind of person who would come right out and say "I love you." In fact, I'm not sure I've ever heard her say it. I was so stunned I just kept talking, thinking it was another quirk of her language impairment. But in the course of our 8 1/2-minute call, she said it twice more. So the second and third times, I said it back: "I love you too, Mom."
I think she knows what she's saying, but I also think she says it more lightly than she ever would have in the past. (In fact I think I remember her saying it to one of her home health aides when I visited last September!) But that's cool. I'm fine with that. At least it's being said.