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Scattered Thoughts on 2 April, 2020

Wow is all I can say, these times they are a changing. “Hey, don’t get too close.” Those words led me to think, it might be a good time to live in a cloistered society, or perhaps on an island in the middle of the Ocean. Son-in-law Jeff had that island experience during the month of February, while working in Koror, in The Republic of Palau at the American Embassy. While checking on the Covid-19 whereabouts yesterday, I learned there was not one case of the disease in Palau.

Wearing my Covid-19 Mask to keep you all safe while I write. Thanks Grannie.

For the here and now Grannie and the Rooster are practicing self isolation, washing our hands and not touching our face. Daughter Sarah has been getting our necessaries while she’s out shopping. Today we received facial tissue, paper towels, green beans, and diced potatoes. A bottle of Cab and Chardonnay from the wine isle capped off the shopping list. Perhaps a toast at dinner time and thank you Lord that we are Corona free.

We visited a short time on the porch with Sarah, well separated mind you, but not for long. A temperature of 43f and blustery winds drove our visitor from the other side of the river away rather quickly. Thank you our middle child.

The complete guide to Palau
https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/oceania/pacific-islands-of-micronesia/palau/

Should you be interested to learn a little about this island nation of Palau, check out the Embassy fact sheet @: https://pw.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/policy-history/

Tristan da Cunha

Courtesy of Wiki, should you want real isolation try, Tristan da Cunha (/ˌtrɪstən də ˈkuːn(j)ə/), colloquially Tristan, is a remote group of volcanic islands in the south Atlantic Ocean which includes Gough Island. It is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying approximately 1,511 miles (2,432 km) off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa, 1,343 miles (2,161 km) from Saint Helena and 2,166 miles (3,486 km) off the coast of the Falkland Islands.[5][6]

The territory consists of the inhabited island, Tristan da Cunha, which has a diameter of roughly 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) and an area of 98 square kilometres (38 sq mi), and the wildlife reserves of Gough Island and Inaccessible Island and the smaller, uninhabited Nightingale Islands. As of October 2018, the main island has 250 permanent inhabitants who all carry British Overseas Territories citizenship.[3] The other islands are uninhabited, except for the personnel of a weather station on Gough Island.

Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory with its own constitution.[7] There is no airstrip of any kind on the main island, meaning that the only way of travelling in and out of Tristan is by boat, a six-day trip from South Africa.

Cloistered Men and Women of the Catholic Faith.

Enclosed religious orders of the Christian churches have solemn vows with a strict separation from the affairs of the external world. The term cloistered is synonymous with enclosed. In the Catholic Church enclosure is regulated by the code of canon law, either the Latin code or the Oriental code, and also by subsidiary legislation.[1][2] It is practised with a variety of customs according to the nature and charism of the community in question. (Wiki)

The Cooper River runs alongside Mepkin Abbey’s 3,132-acre property.
The Cooper River in South Carolina runs alongside Mepkin Abbey’s 3,132-acre property. Credit…Stephen Hiltner/The New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/trappist-monks-mepkin-abbey.html

A Random Image

http://www.carmelitemonks.org/
Nuns_procession_400
Simon & Schuster photo

Have you ever thought of the cloistered world of a nun. Could this be another safe venue in our world? https://www.tipsonlifeandlove.com/self-help/going-inside-the-secret-world-of-cloistered-nuns

Life in the Netherlands

Sam, Zed, Mia, Ana, Dax, and Zoe

32 days 🎶into the unknown🎶
Positives – Zoe is potty trained, Dax has learned to ride a bike without training wheels, Zoe has learned how to ride a Strider bike.
Activities – Leprechaun trap, snow globes, virtual playdates, calming bottles, aquariums, bike rides, and invented numerous games on the trampoline (this one has been all Zed, and the kids love it)
Challenges – Still don’t know what I’m doing for dinner every night, have given barely any thought to my Master’s assignments, learning how my kids learn best, coordinating Zed and my work schedules, making sure we don’t miss school assignments for Mia and Ana, entertaining 4 very active kids who require social interaction from people their age

Grandson David in NY, NY

Stuck in a 4th floor walk-up in Lower Manhattan. The Rooster shall expond on this isolated lad in the next post. Hang in there David, down in lower Manhattan.

Connecticut Entertainment at son Matt’s house.

Granddaughter Jill stands to paint.

For some reason or an other when I saw the flower, I reflected back to 1967 and a song from that era sung by Scott McKenzie: https://youtu.be/bch1_Ep5M1s

How many of you readers were around with this 24 year old Marine at that time? “Welcome Home,” to all who know the meaning!

ScottMcKenzie.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_McKenzie

Scott left this world back in 2012 at the age of 73.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

The Day the Pilot Died

It’s a Saturday, September 1, 2018, and I have to plan my day wisely. I’m going off on a trip. I must ensure that Ben, our two-year-old Standard Poodle will be looked after later today. I shall be off to Philadelphia International Airport, shortly after noon. My wife and daughter will be arriving from their ten-day trip to Germany, via Dublin. I call Granddaughter Abby, she will be around she says, and will tend to Ben’s needs. Dang, she’s a good one, that Abby.

 

Image result for DUBLIN TO PHILADELPHIA FLIGHT ROUTE

Pinterest Photo

 

I do all the routine housekeeping chores, dishes, laundry, trash, and load it in the car for deposit at the refuse station on the way out. I dig out the vacuum, use it to clean, all is in order. The bed is made, a beautiful bottle of Chardonnay is on Ice, and the favorite glass is being chilled in the freezer.

Around 12:30 I head over to the daughter and son-in-law’s and swap cars, mine is a bit small, comfort and luggage storage are paramount for these two travelers. I transfer the bag of trash to drop off and head out for PHL at 12:45.

After dropping off the trash, I give a quick check to Flight Aware, a great App if you’ve never used it. You can check on a flight, and it shows you where it is on a map, departure time and ETA. I learn the flight is due to land in exactly three hours, thirty minutes early. I don’t need to fly, no pun intended, but I hope traffic moves well as I go up the road.

 

It’s smooth sailing up the Delmarva Peninsula to Dover, DE where I get on Route-1, a toll road, and once again traffic is rolling along quite well. Route-1 is a posted 65 mph roadway, and I hang with traffic moving at 75 mph. No problem I think, I’ll arrive in plenty of time.

Route-1 merges with I-95 in Christiana, DE, right at the massive traffic area of the Christiana Mall. There is also a lot of construction going on affecting the merge onto I-95. All northbound traffic comes to a complete stop. A plethora of ramps and roadways ahead and to the right, show bumper to bumper traffic, inching stop and go style.

95 split

I check my watch, 35 minutes until the plane is scheduled to touch down. I’m 29 miles from PHL and the GPS, after five minutes of inching long says it will be 35 minutes to PHL. After 5 or 6 minutes of this, I’m now onto the merge ramp for I-95 north; At this junction, there are lane closures to the far right. Things are not looking good.

If driving north, you can pretty much do three things at this location. You can go over the Delaware Memorial Twin Span Bridges to New Jersey, keeping to the right to do so. If you stay center to the next split, the right will take you up I-495 along the Delaware River, and this is what the GPS tells me to do. Being quite familiar with the area I choose to ignore the GPS and take the left fork, thanks, Yogi Berra. I’m going right through the center of Wilmington, Delaware. “Bingo” — I’m flying along once again, I’ll get there in plenty of time.

I-495 and I-95 merge outside of Wilmington at the Pennsylvania state line. The traffic slows down a bit here, and there is a left merge that comes into I-95 and slows things a bit more not too far up the road. I clear this point without incident and arrive at the airport with eight minutes to go. I smile at myself and say “Rooster, you done good.”

95 495 road sign

I find the well-marked Cell Phone Lot and slip into a Parallel parking spot. This will turn out to have been a good move. I roll the windows down, take out the key and put it into my pocket. I grab a book, I’ve just started to read, “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Gramm, and exit the car, a 2013, Honda, Pilot. I do a few exercises to loosen up an ailing Hip. Sitting for the past two-plus hour just did the body no good at all.

white Honda blog photo

My first alert on the phone comes in shortly after exercising, “landed” it says. I send a thumbs up. I check “Find Friends” I’m a Tech addict my wife tells me, she’s right of course. They are still sitting at the gate, and I set the little Who’s-E-Dingy that will alert me when they move. I go back to the book.

“Ding,” they’re moving. I can follow them as they move through Terminal A toward the Baggage Claim area. After a pause at the Lady’s Bathroom, they’re on the move again. It’s another fifteen minutes until I get the “Come get us” notification. I close the book, grab the keys out of my pocket and hop into the driver’s seat. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning; I’m getting my friend of 53 years back.

 

 

I fasten the seat belt, put the key into the ignition, put my foot on the brake, turn the key, turn the key, turn the key, Nothing!!!! The car is deader than the last squirrel that tried to make it across the road in front of me. What the? Ok, check everything, nothing on, I’m doing everything right, I know I am. Try again, again nothing. I work the horn, lights, windows and there is no power in the car, The Pilot is Dead, Dead, Dead.

Parked a few slots to my rear is a gentleman in a new Dodge pickup. I approach, ask if he has cables, and can give me a jump. Yes and yes he says. He saddles up inches from the driver’s door. I pull the hood latch, climb over the center console, no small feat for this seventy-five-year-old geriatric and exit the car. I pop the hood, and we hook up. I give it a few minutes to pull some power from the big Dodge. I return to the passenger’s side and once again climb the mountain that is the center console, and I return to the driver’s seat.

 

jumper_cable-

Wimpy Jumper Cables

 

Into the ignition goes the key, I say a silent prayer, turn the key, and nothing happens once again. I’m thinking the big guy up above can’t hear me over all the noise from the big jets landing and taking off. I hit the horn, dead as a doornail. I holler out to the kind owner of the Dodge, let’s just let it charge for a few minutes. He gives me a thumbs-up. I sit for what seems a good five minutes. I get a text from the girls, “?”. I ignore it, try the key one more time, still nothing. “Crap,” I say.

I exit over Mount Console once again; I jiggle the hook-up on the Pilot, my new-found friend does the same on the Dodge. We chat a bit with the hope that more time will make things right. I learn he is from Lancaster, PA and picking up friends from the Mid-West. I’m all set to get more info on him when his phone rings. His guests have arrived, he must leave. He tells me he’s sorry, we unhook his cables, and he’s gone.

I call the girls and explain what’s been transpiring. I suggest they grab a cab and join me. They do and are with me in a matter of minutes, and fifteen dollars poorer. We hug, it’s so good to see them. I feel inept. These two have been up since ever, riding in a three-seat across airplane and are now standing in a parking lot in the ninety-degree heat with no promise of getting home any time soon.

Image result for cab at philadelphia airport

I make a useless call to AAA. It’s a holiday weekend you know. Philadelphia is always busy. I’m told, even more so over a holiday. William, very nice, very apologetic, very unhelpful dispatcher tells me the bad news. The best we can do sir is have someone there between 7:00 and 10:30 PM. It is now 5:45. I get an incident number and am told to cancel if something works out.

Image result for aaa

I call the airport to inquire if roadside help is available. After some cockamamie story, I’m told NO, not to the cell phone lot, sorry. I murmur unprintables under my breath while daughter Kathryn rummages through the storage box under the rear seat. She brings out a set of heavy-duty jumper cables. Now we need to find a savior to hook up with.

Image result for heavy duty jumper cables

Heavy Duty Jumper Cables. I taught this Lady properly!

 

The daughter is entertaining the idea of getting a hotel room for the night. I’m going to try one more thing. I call the airport police. The dispatcher says she will check if one of the cars has a set of cables. If so she will send one to my area if they are available. Is this hope, I wonder.

I’m holding the cables, and I see him, a man in “Black.” He is a Black man, with Black Button down shirt, Black Pants, Black belt, shoes, and socks. He has a Black pencil mustache. “Need a jump,” he asks. I explain the previous attempt by the other good samaritan and his having to leave. My new friend says, “let’s give it a shot.”

Image result for black chevy suburban

He returns to his vehicle, a Chevy Suburban, of course it’s Black! Once again as the previous Dodge owner, he pulls within inches of the driver’s door. We hook up the heavy-duty cables, and life once again begins to trickle into the Pilot, I hope. After five-plus minutes I climb once again over Mount Console and assume my position as Pilot of the Pilot. I turn the key, nothing. There is hope though, dashboard lights in all the colors of the rainbow come on, this is a first. I shout out the good news. Let us wait a bit longer my Man in Black says. I exit once again.

We chat, “a member of the cloth,” I ask. He chuckles, “no, Real Estate,” he says. I learn he’s from Pennsauken, NJ just down the road from Willingboro, where I went to High School. I reminisce about days gone by, fifty-six years worth to be precise. Time passes, the girls leaning on the guardrail close-by. After what seems like an eternity we agree to try once more. I’m feeling right about the life-blood that has been flowing into the pilot.

Image result for blood transfusion

Once again I climb over the console and assume the position, I’m feeling really good about a start this time. I make sure AC, radio and any other electrical draining devices are off. My foot is on the brake; I turn the key,——ignition, it starts! Thank you Lord, there is a Savior, and he is, All Black. There is a Rugby team from New Zealand of the same name, in case you didn’t know. They bought a beer for the wife some years back in Ireland, during the World Cup.

 

I leave the Pilot running, exit once again, over the mountain and through the door. We unhook, his phone rings, time to go he says, my pick-up is ready. I give this kind sole a massive hug of thanks, and we say good-bye.

Daughter Kathryn returns the cables and loads their luggage to the back. We call the Police and AAA and cancel future service calls. We are off to Eden, how appropriate is that name on this night. Eden, Md, God’s Country on the Eastern Shore, here we come.

Image result for Welcome Home Sign

 

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.