Photo facts we must face while in the midwest…Happy 4th of July to our family and friends in the USA!

Little, please be there when we return at the end of the month!

After signing up for a membership for $60 yesterday at Costco, I was a bit frustrated. Once again, Tom dropped me off to shop, with a plan to pick me up when I was done and called him. I was surprised to discover a new policy after being a Costco member for many years, except for the past nine years since we’ve been gone.

The customer’s credit card to sign up for the membership will automatically be set for future renewals. In concept, this doesn’t sound so bad. But, the only way I can cancel the automatic renewal is to call and talk to a manager after we are no longer using the Costco membership when we leave the US. Why can’t I go online and do this?

Having to call, be on hold, and explain our circumstances to a manager is a big waste of time. Sure, they want to make it difficult for customers to cancel to maintain their vast customer base. I get that, but such policies when it comes to us are archaic and out of date in today’s technological world.

Now, I’ve had to mark my calendar to remember to call Costco when we leave Minnesota on July 16th to head to Milwaukee. The main reason we signed up was to purchase a camera. Once in the store, I discovered Costco no longer sells cameras in their store or online. Maybe they found it wasn’t worthwhile during the pandemic. Who knows?

I have a mental block about learning new camera techniques. It’s just one of those things I am not fascinated to learn. I know how beneficial it would be for me to become more adept at taking photos. But when it comes to wildlife, there isn’t much time to change settings and lenses when the magic happens quickly in the garden or a national park. So, now I begin searching for the best camera for our use, which hopefully won’t require a lot of my time to learn to use.

In the interim, when photo ops present themselves, I will have no choice but to use my phone to take the photos. With Chromebook, getting the images from the phone to the computer is time-consuming and tricky. By the time we leave the US, three weeks from today, we’ll have a new camera and can begin retaking photos.

As for today, Independence Day, aka the 4th of July, we changed our plans from visiting an old friend and neighbor since fireworks on the lake were canceled this year due to Covid. Go figure. What does a virus have to do with fireworks? In any case, I sent Nelleke a message, thanking her for thinking of us, and explained we’d be celebrating the 4th with Greg’s family at their home.

I will be preparing most of the meal but wanted to keep it easy. Since we aren’t planning to arrive at their home until 2:00 pm, I will be busy once we first arrive at their home, getting the cake baked, cooled, and decorated, the ribs in the oven, and later on, the grill preparing the garlic bread and sweet corn. Camille will make potatoes.

We purchased several Costco rotisserie chickens, which we’ll reheat 30 minutes before dining. This makes for an easy meal, leaving more time together instead of being stuck in the kitchen. In my old life, I’d be cooking for hours on the 4th of July, but nowadays, my interest in cooking is marginal at best.

While back at the hotel, we washed, dried, and folded clothes, especially after Tom’s lost bag was delivered from United Airlines, with everything intact. The only issue was my container of Himalayan salt spilled all over his clothes. We had to wash everything to get the salt out.

Last night, we stayed at the hotel after several shopping trips. We were both still exhausted after failing to catch up on sleep. We dined on one of those enormous Costco chickens in our hotel room, streamed a few shows, and fell asleep early, hoping for an 8 hour night. It just didn’t happen. We’re still on South Africa time, 7 hours later than Minnesota. I suppose we’ll adapt in the next few days.

Be well, everyone. Continue to follow safety protocols wherever you may be. We’ve had no ill effects from taking the Covid-19, J & J vaccine, other than Tom’s sore arm. Be safe.

Photo from one year ago today, July 4, 2020:

In Trinity Beach, Australia, vegetation growing in the lake at the Cattana Wetlands created this view. For more photos, please click here.

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