As I have unfailingly remarked on numerous occasions leading up to this much-awaited episode, today is the end of our 14-day quarantine imposed by government order upon those of us returning to the homeland from abroad. It has, I can tell you, been a much greater imprisonment than I ever imagined. And not one I hasten to repeat – in spite of Baker Bob’s enormously soothing Nanaimo bars! The unaccustomed lethargy over the past two weeks has all but paralyzed me (or at the very least stiffened those once mobile limbs). I never until now fully appreciated the text-book advantage of exercise. Stretch! Stretch!
We celebrated the thrilling event by shopping for groceries. It was just after eight o’clock this morning that we arrived at the store along with the other old fogeys. We all skilfully observed the red arrows marking the flow of each of the aisles. It felt as though I were starting my first day of work! There was the same uncertainty about social conduct – my first in two weeks after all! The matter was complicated by the evident concern of everyone to maintain 6 feet of separation – and, as I mentioned, to avoid going down an aisle in the wrong direction! Turn back! Don’t contaminate that elderly woman headed in your direction – the right direction!
Judging by the cost of our grocery orders we contributed to the steady evaporation of products from the shelves. Small wonder the store owner greeted me so cheerfully as I hovered like a cripple over my cart. It wasn’t until later – when I went for my first bicycle ride in weeks – that I began to reinvigorate my mechanics.
It wasn’t a long bicycle ride. I tested the reconditioned railway right-of-way. There remained winter evidence of the snowmobilers by their tracks in the light gravel pathway. But, oh, how enthralling it was sailing over the countryside with only the dome of the blue sky above!
Okay, I forgot to mention the car wash! Yes, the car wash! Driving down that four-lane highway from the Village of Appleton through the familiar fields on either side to Stittsville was the nec plus ultra! In an instant all my fondest recollections of this oft-repeated venture insinuated and strengthened me! For the first time since our reappearance here, I could say, “It’s good to be home!” The transition did however require this minimal exposure. But it succeeded!
And things at the gas station went like clockwork as well. Filled up the tank, got in line for the car wash (and dozed ever so briefly), cleansed the car and caught all the air from the dryer! Utter perfection! And then the drive home along my favourite roads once again – though this time with a stop at the falls in Appleton.
Thus do I reanimate my life in Mississippi Mills! There are other venues to re-explore and to re-discover!