It is 4:35 AM on Tuesday June 15th, 2021. There is no moon, a heavy fog lies above and the street is dimly illuminated by a street lamp. The world is silent with the only sounds coming from the air pump for my fish tank and a slight, chill breeze wafting through the trees. Everyone here in Pacifica is still asleep except for me, here at my perch on the second floor overlooking the street.
Today is what I consider the “first day of summer” for me because things have changed dramatically due to the time of year. School has ended and my family has just gone back to Japan. Due to COVID the trip could not be made last summer. Going this year was also on the fence due to COVID and the preparation was an ordeal indeed. My family had to take COVID tests, have Japanese government forms signed and make use of the unused funds from the trip not taken last year. At the airport United also couldn’t find the tickets for my boys although they were on the same reservation as my wife whose ticket had no problems. I was at the airport and checking in took a while until a manager came and printed the boarding passes. However, at the gate my family was called to the desk as apparently my boys tickets still couldn’t be found. I got a call from my wife but I was confident United would figure it out and things would be fine.
I spent a restless night along with weird dreams which came from worrying about the special Japan COVID immigration procedures. Awaking at 3:30 AM I checked my phone and was relieved to see a message from my wife that they were through immigration and on the way home.
Now here I am at my perch, at 4:47 AM and a car has just passed by. I wonder where they are going at such an hour and can only guess that poor soul has a job that begins very early. I enjoy the chilled air passing through my window and a faint rustling of leaves. Due to the fog there will be no sunrise today. We are also entering a heatwave and looking at my weather app it looks like we will have unusually warm weather as far as the models can predict. This is the first time in ten years I’ve seen such a warm trend and I worry about global warming. The only silver lining is that here in Pacifica this warming will turn us into the new Santa Barbara as the weather is more L.A. than the Bay.
Another car has passed by and I wonder if it is someone returning from their night shift. My body wonders what I am doing up at this hour and hits me with sleepiness. I therefore have to decide to go back to sleep or make use of these peaceful morning hours to get things done. With the family gone I have a number of projects I need to do and could get a lot done in these morning hours. My biggest project is to go through all of my blogs to clean them up with all the updates that have taken place in WordPress. The main item is to make use of the “featured images” function so a picture in the post will appear in the summary as one scrolls through the blog. I also need to update the YouTube links as WordPress no longer requires the embed code but will embed the video automatically with just the new link. As for the link itself I want to have the “share” link instead of the longer URL. And finally, I need to clean up the categories and tags.
Other items on my “to-do” list are digitizing my Grandmother’s album full of pictures and notes. I need to deliver my Grandfather’s WWII letters to the 10th Mountain Division library in Denver, Colorado. There is yard work and general house maintenance. I’d also like to take a trip somewhere although the COVID situation will determine if I go overseas or not. I need to start working out again after a month break due to, what I think was an issue caused by the vaccine. I haven’t been to karate in a long time. And finally, I’d like to go to the local onsen/spa for a really good sweat and maybe a massage.
It is strange being in the house all by myself. Without my family the opportunities are endless as the normal routine is put on pause for the summer and I can do pretty much anything I want. It is strange not having a regular routine with just about all free time taken up by family. Over a decade of summers where I’m alone I’ve learned that I need to make a list of activities and projects so I remain productive and don’t waste this precious free time.
Well, my body is demanding I go back to bed which is probably a good idea. I have two conference calls today which should not be hampered by sleepiness. The family is safe in Japan and I needn’t worry about that anymore. They are happy and will have a good time. Unfortunately I cannot go this year because Japan isn’t letting foreigners in at the moment due to COVID. Even if I could go there wouldn’t be much to do as we could not take our usual trip, nor could I have my three day jaunt in Tokyo. The world has changed and I certainly feel it more today than anytime before.