So after staying in or close to the house, and interacting only with Walt, since March 14, today will be my first excursion out into the world. We need supplies, and I'll be going to SuperU to pick up items I ordered on line a couple of days ago. Tomorrow, Walt will be going to the other local supermarket, Intermarché, to pick up another order. There are products from each grocery store that we like to have on hand.
Yesterday morning I got up at about five and by 5:30 I had this capon roasting in the oven. We ate some yesterday for lunch with mixed vegetables, below. We'll have meals including capon for the next week or so, but probably not every day. This morning I'm going to cut it up and put legs, thighs, or wings in the freezer. Then I can get them back out and prepare and serve them in different ways. Survival skills are good to have or develop right now. We've been developing ours ever since we left California and moved to this rural environment in central France in 2003.
2003 was the year of the Grande Canicule, the great heat wave, which was one of the biggest public health crises in modern French history — thousands died — until the current one came along. At the time, we thought we might end up roasted ourselves, for lack of air-conditioning. Then, for several years, we watched the U.S. dollar decline at a time when we didn't have any significant income. We thought we might have to return to the U.S. because the worthless dollar meant we were running low on euros. More recently, we've both seen old friends and close relatives in the U.S. pass away without being able to get back there in time to say goodbye to them. So many things we never really thought about happening when we made our big late-life decision to come live here have now actually happened. These realities are things to think about before you make a big move as we did.
One of the weirdest things about this whole coronavirus crisis is that there are absolutely no jet plane "condensation trails" in the skies out over the vineyard. There have never been skies as clear in the 17 years we've lived here. Air traffic has been halted.
Walt and I have lived here more or less isolated for the past 16 or 17 years. really, but this not being able to go out when you want to is a new experience. Not being able to travel, and not being able to have people visit us is a strange experience. We used to have a lot of visitors, and we had many more neighbors when we first got here. At least seven of them have passed away since 2003. Now we have very few neighbors, and the three who live closest to us are all older than I am. We four are all in our 70s now, so we are all vulnerable (personnes à risque) risk during this coronavirus crisis. Two of the neighbors have had heart surgery over the past three or four years. The other one was just recovering from bronchitis when the Grand Confinement was decreed. I guess I'm the healthiest of all us senior citizens around here, though I have had severe pollen allergies for decades. I'm doing everything I can to stay healthy, so today's excursion is a big deal to me. I undertake it with some trepidation. Am I being overly dramatic?