View from the train

It's over

By TOM CASKA
Posted 4/28/20

‘It’s over’

Oh boy, don’t we long to hear those words so we may go back to normal. I do fear it will be a new normal; people just don’t know who to listen to …

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View from the train

It's over

Posted

‘It’s over’

Oh boy, don’t we long to hear those words so we may go back to normal. I do fear it will be a new normal; people just don’t know who to listen to anymore.

Our joy is living here in the Upper Delaware Valley. Relatively speaking, our cases and deaths from this virus have been low. Each patient is a person with a family—a human life, not just a number. Yet, here in the hills, we are seeing spring bloom before our eyes. Even after a mild winter like we just had, spring is always welcome.

There is no one I know of who is still riding the train—maybe the construction workers on the first train out. Most of us who are lucky enough to work from home do not miss the three-hour commute. We stay in touch either through email or on the phone. One couple who lives in Matamoras, PA already has most of their plants in, the ones that can tolerate the cold mornings. They told me the tomatoes will be in by mid-May. My frost date here in Glen Spey, NY is Memorial Day, so we will have a few weeks before it gets going in earnest.

One young couple with two rosy-cheeked angels was worried about their grandparents having access to enough fresh food. They have recently relocated up here to escape the city. They were going to stop by over the past weekend to see if they needed anything. Upon arrival at their home, they were pleasantly surprised to find the cupboards and freezer full, and their garden already planted with cold-weather crops of potatoes, onions, leaks and cabbage all in straight little rows. The grandparents assured them they have been through worse and this too shall pass.

We country folks know how to be prepared; we don’t wait till the crisis to go shopping for milk and bread. Whoever thought toilet paper would become an issue? But here we are, and now it seems eggs are in short supply. If you haven’t found a local neighbor who is raising chickens, now would be a good time to make friends. My neighbors and I all know we need the basics for running a home during hard times. We need wood for the fireplace, an extra can of gas for the generator, extra bottle of propane for the grill—it’s a plus to have a camp stove at the ready indoors to boil water and make breakfast. These times we are all locked in and are lucky the power is still on. This virus is nothing like losing power for a few hours or days—this virus kills. Being prepared is a good way to reduce some of our stress.

Recently we had a van pull up and a young guy was at the door. I could see his wife and two children in the van. He excused himself and asked if he could borrow 10 dollars so he could stop at the store and by some food since the food bank was closed being out of food. I told him I could do better than that. My wife and I opened our cupboards and began to load up plenty of the staples we had, including fruit and veggies. I also gave him the 10 dollars he asked for gas. His smile told us he was more than grateful. This virus will not be forever; maybe it has given us a chance to remind us to be kind to each other. One other bonus is the stars at night are brighter than ever. Good luck and remember to be kind.

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