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News >  Spokane

Front Porch: Get me out of the house, please

Fair to say, everyone is getting a little stir-crazy being sequestered as we have been.

Never mind missing work, family, friends, restaurants, travel, going to the theater – I confess to really, really wanting a haircut. Very first-world and shallow of me, I know, but I also know that a date with a professional artist with scissors will be my first self-indulgent activity when it’s safe out there once again. The passion I’m feeling about that is a little disturbing, all things considered.

I think stay-home time may be getting to me a bit more than I realized.

I started coming to that conclusion when, instead of walking across the street to deposit outgoing mail in our mailbox and then putting the flag up, I hopped into the car and drove slowly to the post office – a different post office each time – and deposited my letters in the drive-up mailbox. I didn’t even feel guilty about the waste of gas, nor taking a meandering route back home again.

And then, one Saturday in mid-April, my husband had a job to do in Coeur d’Alene. This job is a regular monthly thing, and I often go with, because when possible afterward, we go sailing or just spend a little time in, on or near the lake. So I went along this time, too. Escape.

Sailing wasn’t an option that day. Our boat was winterized. It was too cool, and it was raining by the time we got to Coeur d’Alene. But I wanted (safely) OUT OF THE HOUSE.

I should mention that Bruce, as a necessity for his work, has all sorts of protective gear, including both full- and half-face respirators; we also have face masks and a spare respirator for me. So we were prepared with all that, plus copious amounts of hand sanitizer in the truck.

I still considered it a play date of sorts. I drove, mostly because Bruce didn’t care one way or another and I wanted to, and found myself quickly hitting speeds on the freeway. That was unexpectedly thrilling, not a sensation I anticipated feeling.

After his job (I waited in the truck), we went to a favorite restaurant in CdA, which was open for takeout only, and picked up some food.

We deposited ourselves along Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive and looked out at the lake while we ate in the vehicle. The lake was calm, but as we watched, a heavier group of clouds began to roll in. The wind came up, the lake got more turbulent and filled with white caps and, then, the light rain turned into a big downpour.

It was a wonderful weather phenomenon to observe. I found myself amazingly energized, almost giddy. Bruce observed that my cabin fever was surely more pronounced than either of us realized. Um … yes.

So as I was still firing on all cylinders, I decided to ease us down the shore road for a couple of miles. That’s always a beautiful drive. And then I thought a pass along Sherman Avenue might be in order, and we also meandered around the grounds near the Coeur d’Alene Resort and McEuen Park. It was kind of cold and the rain heavy enough that a little safe-distancing stroll wasn’t advisable, so everything was seen from the truck. I didn’t care about that, but eventually I had to, reluctantly, turn us back toward home in Spokane. Back to captivity.

Life is strange. These were ordinary things I’ve done a zillion times, but on that day, it was all fresh and new and exhilarating.

One bummer, though. At the restaurant where we picked up our lunch, a couple were coming out as I was going in. There were four employees inside. Another customer was picking up her order. As I was waiting (at a safe distance), some other people came in to order. As I walked out, another person came in. The only person with a face mask on was me.

Someday I’ll find myself looking forward to spending a quiet day at home with nothing in particular to do. But I think it’s going to be a long, long, long time before that happens.

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