Today is May 4. Can I resist a Star Wars joke? No, I cannot. May the fourth be with you. After all, in these decidedly unfunny times,  a little humor helps leaven the grimness.

In Maine as well as in other states, governors are gradually reopening their economies—for businesses such as hair salons, barbershops, and pet grooming places. I get it. I really do. Unemployment in this state, in this country, has risen at an alarming rate. People are afraid that they won’t be able to pay their rent or buy food. Business owners are afraid that their doors will be closed for good.

These are real fears. But it would be a gross understatement to note that our government is ill equipped to help everyday people get through this crisis. For the past forty years, we have bought the line that government is not the solution; instead it is the problem. Now we are reaping the results of that philosophy.

In Maine, the virus has seemingly slowed down in terms of new cases and deaths. But the virus is still here, and infection has not reached the standard level of decline—fourteen days—that most experts recommend before opening the economy. As soon as people start gathering and going out in greater numbers, the virus will strike in force. I am worried that we are in for an even rougher time this spring and summer than what we have already had.

On Saturday, we spoke to our New York City daughter, and as we talked, there was a steady wail of sirens in the background. When we asked Dee about it, she said that there were more ambulances than ever rushing through the streets where she lives. I understand this is true everywhere in New York City. With so many people sick and dying, sirens are the primary sound of urban life in this time of the coronavirus. A chilling sound.

But despite the coronavirus, it is spring in Maine, and that means leaves must be removed from the various flower beds. It’s a relief to head outside and work in the yard, to take away the leaves and see what’s coming up.

I’ve made good progress. Since I took the picture below, another bed has been cleared. Weather permitting, I’ll have everything cleared by the end of the week. Then it will be time for moving plants around, a chore I really do enjoy.

Here are a couple of pictures before all the leaves are cleared. Looks like fall, doesn’t it?

Nothing in bloom yet, but the first flowers are in bud.


54 thoughts on “Soon”

  1. Day before yesterday I spent a good amount of time pulling weeds. I’ve made it half way around the house (we have beds all around) but still have the big perennial bed, a big bed by the dryway, and two small beds out by the road to do. I am already tired. I was too sore yesterday to do anything, and here it is 3 and I haven’t started today either. Tomorrow seems like a good time to get back to it.

  2. Hi, Laurie – I said “May the 4th Be With You” to my husband this morning, and he claims never to have heard this before. Some people! 😀
    I agree with your concern that reopenning too soon simply increases the virus.In BC, we have had less forced closures, but are also having less immediate reopenings. I greatly appreicate you keeping us posted on your corner of the world. Enjoy your gardening!

  3. May the 4th be with you as well! One of my favorite days :*) I have a son in the NY area who is an essential worker and it worries me to death. I know it’s human nature to want to be done with the social distancing, but I think we are going to have a mess on our hands if we do too much too soon, sorry to say. I think I’ll stay down on the farm!

  4. It feels like a bold experiment, with much at risk, as folks go back to work and more. I fear the inevitable climb in cases once again. This is such a nightmare, a dream from which we cannot awaken.
    Thankfully, there is joyful oblivion to be found in our gardens. ❤

  5. I hope that things turn out better than the worst fears indicate. In the meantime, cultivating your garden is a good plan.

  6. Our gardens offer such solace.
    Businesses and the media are clamouring for the lockdown to be lifted over on this side of the pond. So far our Government are holding and also experimenting with a tracing App on Smart phones, using the success of South Korea as an example of how to keep the economy on track, and the number of cases down.
    I wonder how many Brits will be happy to have their every move monitored – I will sign up when it is rolled out over the whole country, but then I plan to stay in lockdown until I have had the virus or the vaccine.
    Luckily I have the 4th with me! May it also be with you. 😉

    1. Oh, many thanks! Like you, we plan to stay in lockdown until there is a vaccine, or, God help us, we have had the virus. So very grateful we can do this.

      1. Yes, Me too, I feel very lucky, that I do not have to go out to work and that I have a garden. I hope this impacts on future planning policy in this country – rather than cramped infill, more homes with private outside space.

  7. The 4th needs to be with people out this way because I’m afraid Cinco de Mayo is going to be a dud during lockdown. I’m happy I don’t live in a big city. Lot’s of weed whacking going on around here.

  8. It does look a bit autumnish there, but those leaves no doubt have done their job. Who knows that’s stirring underneath that ground?

  9. I am grateful to live in the country, but also recognize it is too early to open things back up.

    We also have a new threat coming down from the north, and it’s not a virus or bacterium, but a 2″ long non-native hornet that can wipe out honeybee hives, and potentially kill people with its venom. If it’s not one thing, it is another. 🙂

  10. It is wonderful to have a garden at times like this, even to walk out into the garden brings a sense of peace I find. I think we are all living with a lot of uncertainty at the moment, so it is nice to count on the seasons to be predictable… I hope your spring will be as colourful as our autumn is turning out to be..

  11. It’s seems awfully soon to me for things to be opening up as much as they are in some states. I expect a very bad second wave of the virus. I can understand people’s frustration at not being able to work but I get impatient with people’s frustration with not being able to go out for entertainment purposes, if that makes sense.

  12. I am so grateful for my garden! The signs are that the UK government will begin a cautious easing of restrictions soon but I will be planning on being very careful. Of course I have the luxury of making that choice! Another week or so and I will need to do a supermarket shop (the first since we locked down on March 23rd) but may either go to the small one at the petrol station or ask my neighbour’s daughter, who has probably had the virus, to go to the big one in town for me.

    1. Yes, do be careful. Clif and I pretty much plan to self-isolate until a vaccine comes out. Probably will be a long haul. Sigh. Thank goodness for our gardens!

      1. I hope that like me you have friends and neighbours who can run errands for you. It certainly makes staying home easier.

      2. We have had a couple of offers from younger folks, but we haven’t had to take them up on their offers. Between ordering online and subscribing to a service that delivers our groceries to our very own doorstep, we are all set. I am flabbergasted that the last service is available in our rural community. Also, makes me feel a little funny to have someone do something for me. We have always done most things on our own. Well, strange times call for strange measures.

      3. I think we are all having to adapt at present. Strange tmes indeed. Local supermarkets who offer a delivery service are pleading with healthy young people to shop in person and leave the delivery slots for the elderly and vulnerable as they have limited capacity.

      4. Ah! Haven’t heard of that happening here yet, but as the plague continues, there might be restrictions. Clif and I fall squarely into the elderly and vulnerable category. So here we are, for the first time ever having our groceries delivered. As you noted, we all are having to adapt.

  13. That hornet could have stayed where it was as far as I’m concerned. Add that hornet to the worms, and I’m not sure what that forecasts. As far as moving plants, that is definitely one of the best parts of gardening.

  14. I did a bit of random weeding yesterday and stung myself on some nettles. My hand has felt ‘fizzy’ ever since so that’s me done for the year – I’ll leave it to the gardener (aka husband) as I usually do.

  15. Love every Star Wars joke I hear and am thankful for anything that helps us smile and the time outdoors that let us escape for a bit from fearful thoughts of this early and rapid reopening.🙂

  16. I agree with you about opening things up. I know that despite the fact that I probably need a hair cut, I am not in any rush to have it done. Guess it will just get longer and I will let the gray come in. So be it.

    1. I will be trimming my own hair until a vaccine is developed. No way I am going to my hairdresser. Fortunately, I let my hair go grey several years ago. So no shock there. 😉

  17. I hardly dare write my predictions, because they are not too cheery. My only hope is that our PM had a very bad reaction, perhaps too bad to be blasé about it. But let’s see. If I have to place my faith in commercial forces, I have little faith.

    1. Yes. Sigh. I think there is hope for Boris Johnson to be changed by his experience with Covid-19. As for Trump…Yet another sigh. Make that two or three.

      1. I’ll join you in the sighs. The proof of the pudding will be in the next few days or weeks – whether he follows his heart or pleases his backers.

  18. I think the rush to reopen is reckless and an exercise in willful denial. The attempted suppression of the CDC report says it all. Oh well, at least spring is here.

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