Every Day is Wednesday



Every Day Is Wednesday

If this were a normal year, right now I would be driving a rental car from Phoenix to Flagstaff. My best bud Theresa would be next to me in the passenger seat. She would scroll through her Spotify playlist. “So, Lynette,” she’d say, “what do you want to hear? James Taylor? Linda? Emmy Lou?”

“How about Jackson Browne?”

“Nope, I want you to hear this song by Jason Isbell.”

And sure enough, the song would be great. Jason Isbell would be fabulous. I would have to tap my fingers on the steering wheel. Yep,Theresa was right, darn it.

We’d cruise up hills dotted with mesquite and juniper. We’d watch clouds darken and we’d pull over in the blinding deluge of a monsoon. We’d grab extra-hot lattes at the Camp Verde Starbucks and drink them parked under the bright-yellow giant Kokopelli statue out front.

We’d never stop talking - except when realtor Theresa would be on the phone making deals. I would watch the desert change from sage and scrub to Ponderosa forest.  Theresa would roll down her window and we would both take deep breaths. “I never get tired of this,” she would say, “it’s like a homecoming,”

We would walk into the Flagstaff Basha’s and it would feel like a second homecoming. Theresa would head straight for the wine and grab a Malbec with a catchy label. I would load up on coconut rice, maple almond butter, rocky road ice cream - and, to be safe, a pint of mint-chocolate chip. We’d check into an artist’s quirky, cozy home with its overstuffed chairs, uneven floors, and stunning artwork. We’d drink wine in the garden, hypnotized by a waterfall that pours like music over pink sandstone. We’d meet our sister-of-the-heart, Mary, for dinner at the Indian restaurant for spicy pakoras, cilantro rice, and naan. If this were a normal year. But it’s not.

The markers of time are missing. My husband says these pandemic days are like a series of Wednesdays, recurring hump days that we can’t seem to get past. There was no family gathering for July 4th in the Sierra, no golf vacation in the eastern Colorado sand hills, no weekly beach night potlucks in Lake Tahoe. No visiting the Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains. No trip to the mainland at all.

Here in Hawaii, even the weather is unchanging. Morning sun, windward and mauka showers with afternoon rainbows, the Southern Cross glinting over Lana`i at midnight. Imagine viewing a slide show of your tropical vacation on a continuous loop. This is no show. It’s my life.
I’m blessed to be stuck in paradise, I know that. There are worse places to ride out a pandemic. Still, it feels like time has stopped. Or gone on without me. There’s a ceramic clock in my kitchen with its numbers jumbled in a pile near the six o’clock position. On top of the clock, letters spell out “Whatevah, Hawai`ian time”. I used to love that clock. I think about taking it down but can’t seem to muster the energy.


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