These are times where a bit of extra effort is required to find the “silver lining” in the Covid-19 situation. Nevertheless, in spite of all the horrible things occurring in our nation, saddled with the worst President ever, we have been able to find many rays of light here on Hidden Hills Drive.
Being sequestered on our little two acres isn’t so bad. It has encouraged me to spend more time on the patios, just contemplating life and appreciating the beauty all around us. Dorothee has been relentless in her stewardship of our property. Every year she plants hundreds of bulbs and other plants, so that now every spring there is a different surprise popping up almost daily. The stay at home rules have completely shut down our classic limousine business for now.. our last engagement was in early March. In spite of the loss of revenue, it has been refreshing and relaxing to not have to worry about Saturday night engagements and broken vehicles to be repaired!
Dorothee has just assumed her position as Chairman of the board for the entire Austin area YMCA organization, which encompasses a number of outlying facilities in communities on the periphery of Austin. I am sooo proud of her accomplishments. She began as a volunteer when we first moved here, and has worked her way to the top. This, of course, means almost daily meetings with committees and boards, but the virus has required use of online video conferencing, which minimizes her time away from home. Instead, she devotes most all her remaining time to planning and preparing our daily meals. Whereas in the past our meals were more european style: a daily trip to the grocery store for whatever dish suggested during each day. But now, to minimize her exposure at the store, she carefully plans meals for a whole week, and makes one humongous trip for provisions. The benefit to me and my resident-sister, Lee Ann, is a wonderful culinary surprise every single day, many dishes new to the repertoire.
There’s my ever favorite breakfast treat, home baked apple-and pecan “doobers”
Then there’s eggs benedict, with homemade hollandaise sauce:
Chicken Schnitzel with noodles:
Indian food: Tandoori salmon, cabbage, dahl, and nan along with Indian beer:
The list is endless, and we are the lucky recipients.
Dorothee and Lee Ann have taken to “little House on the Prairie” activities at night, finishing up 3 huge tabletop puzzles, with more to come.
I have found these secluded times encourage me to “stop and smell the roses”, including finding more time to connect with friends via phone and Zoom (where would we be without all these incredible devices!)
As if to compensate for our self-imposed imprisonment, the weather has offered us the most delightful spring in our 15 year history here in Texas. We’ve had abnormally moderate temperatures for May. With a few exceptions, our mornings have been crisp and cool, and we have had just the right amount and spacing of rain to keep the surroundings green and fresh.
One especially bright point of our “seclusion” has been the opportunity to spend more time with our treasured dogs.. Sadie, our 2+ year old Viszla, and Chloe, our barely 4 month old Yellow Labrador, who is in need of constant attention, something we are able and eager to give!
And, in spite of all the ugliness our most despicable President has stirred up among his small band of deranged followers, goodness abounds throughout the neighborhood, with people sewing masks and distributing them for free, and generally being good neighbors.
A few days ago, I dusted off my old quad-copter, and went through the inevitable 2-3 hour recommissioning process (update firmware to latest, recharge batteries, re-orient the gyros, etc), and cranked it up to take some shots of our home from above. These are included in the video below as well as a trip through Dorothee’s botanical garden. Enjoy:
Yes, there truly IS a silver lining in every cloud.