After all these years, planning shopping and cooking yesterday’s 4th of July meal was a different experience, especially in Camille and Greg’s new house. No one was quite sure yet where everything was located. My granddaughter Madighan was very helpful in finding the kitchen items I needed.
Together, Madighan and I made the flag cake, got the ribs in the oven, and prepared the sweet corn, chickens, and homemade garlic bread. No one was interested in eating potatoes with the otherwise big meal so we left those out. It was a relatively easy meal to prepare for the six of us. Our granddaughter, Maisie, was working at her McDonald’s job and couldn’t dine with us.
We had a great day. Greg had to pick up a piece of equipment at a distant Fleet Farm store, and I rode along with him. The food prep was under control, making it easy for me to be gone for the hour. It was fun to have a little alone time with my youngest son, and the lively conversation flowed with ease as if we’d never been away.
Daughter-in-law Camille is still recovering from recent cancer surgery, and we insisted she stay away from the kitchen. It was good to be able to give her a break to rest and relax.
After dinner, Greg and the kids did the dishes while Tom and I relaxed while chatting with Camille. We’d all opted out of going to watch fireworks. Tom and I were still struggling from lack of sleep due to the seven-hour time difference between South Africa and Minnesota, and we had yet to catch up on sleep.
Finally, last night we both slept almost 8 hours, and we’re good as new today. Whew! What a relief! We knew a good night’s sleep would set us right, and indeed it did. The past four days have been a struggle for both of us, when we were awake at 2:00 or 3:00 am and unable to go back to sleep. Last night, I awoke at 2:30 am, feeling wide awake.
After playing a few games on my phone, I finally dozed off back to sleep, as did Tom. As for Tom, he left at 8:30 this morning to meet up with his daughter Tammy. They, too, needed some alone time together. I was content to stay behind at the hotel. I am stranded here for the next several hours but I will make some calls to friends and family and easily stay busy.
It will be great to be able to make calls without considering the time difference. This time, we may not see many of our friends due to concerns over Covid-19. After all, we’ve just returned from South Africa, and it seems many are terrified at the prospect of being around us.
We certainly understand their concerns. With the scare tactics in the news, the perception is that most people from South Africa are infected with the virus, which isn’t necessarily the case. Currently, South Africa is in the #19 position in the world, based on the number of cases and deaths as shown on Worldometer.com.
Unfortunately, as of yesterday, South Africa was in the #6 position worldwide for new cases and deaths. It’s only been four days since we arrived, seven days since our negative PCR tests, and another four days since we were vaccinated. Even though most family members and friends were vaccinated weeks ago, there are still some risks in being in our presence.
We can’t rest easy until the first seven days pass or even more. In some cases, symptoms don’t become evident for up to 14 days since exposure. We can only rest easier (still observing Covid-19 safety protocols) when two weeks have passed since our vaccination date of July 1st. We have a long way to go. I’ll be relieved when this period passes.
It’s interesting to hear Americans’ observations about Covid-19. Some are incredibly cautious, and others fall into the category of the “naysayers” and “conspiracy theorists.” Many refuse to get the vaccine which is also the case in South Africa, making herd immunity impossible.
I believe I’ve located a camera I may be interested in purchasing. I’ll decide today while I am alone and conducting more research and reading reviews. We’ll have the camera shipped to our mailing service in Nevada rather than collect it here. Added weight for our upcoming domestic flight is a good reason to wait. Once we leave Nevada to fly back to South Africa, we’re allowed twice the weight at no additional cost.
We hope all of our US friends and relatives had a great Independence Day!
Photo from one year ago today, July 5, 2020:
|Cattle were so busy grazing in Connemara, Ireland, that they hesitated to look up for a photo op. For more photos, please click here.