The coronavirus came, and then the “lockdown” with the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order from Gov. Inslee, and the “CARES” Act came to being.
We stayed home all the time except for when I had to go to the Printery and figure out with Mike Kenna how we should use the Payroll Protection Plan to keep employees and the business above water. One of the most informative and helpful things was the weekly conference call with Shelly Randall and Sarah Hadlock at the Business Guides. Those folks are helpful anyway but they made these one-hour conference calls available to anybody in the community, usually drawing anywhere from 25 to 100 appreciative listeners.
Last Friday was No. 10 and might be the last since they are facing the July 15 tax return deadline for their clients. Last week’s call included Ned Herbert, proprietor of the Pourhouse, which when open provides a vast selection of fine beers. Obviously Ned and I share first names but in addition, his last name is also my father’s first name. Now there is some randomly meaningless information for you.
BJ has been sorting, organizing and disposing of many family pictures so I should probably dig out one of my father and give it to Ned for display. However, my father was actually more of an occasional whiskey drinker.
Recent conversations with real estate professionals John Paxson and Karen Best were surprisingly positive about the market here in Jefferson County. I would have suspected a fairly sanguine description of the business but it seems as if buyers from the Puget Sound area as well as out of state are interested in living on the Peninsula. Apparently they are particularly interested in the ability to get some space for a garden. They probably want to join those folks raising tomatoes at $6 each instead of getting them at the grocery store for a buck. Or it could be a “Victory Garden”!
A previous owner of our home actually painted the wooden deck. Once you paint the wood there is almost no way back from a maintenance schedule that includes sanding, painting again, and more expense every couple of years. As a result, we are now in the midst of getting it torn off and replacing it with a PVC-based solution. I suspect a reasonable payback for this investment can be calculated but I am afraid to face the potential it might not be in my lifetime. OK, the kids will enjoy it since it is supposed to last 50 years! So far, we have found no large bills or small change to offset the cost.
The first haircut in several weeks came to pass last week. I think I have talked about my hair too much in this space recently. You see, upon my arrival at the Bayside Barbershop, both Sonja, the proprietor, and Mike Eidlin, her most recent customer, thought it jolly to stop and take a picture of me. I am sure they would share should you ask!
During the lockdown, my 12-year-old grandson has joined me in a book club whose members include only him and me. Ironically for these turbulent times, we have read “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, a book providing a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned in the U.S., almost exclusively being minorities. We are now almost finished with “It’s Trevor Noah,” stories from Noah’s South African childhood during the time of apartheid.
Both of these books deal with racism and bigotry and generate questions about what we might do to calm the fears brought to the front pages of newspapers, television, and the internet. My grandson is getting quite the education these days.
Finally, in the category of things you never knew you needed, I am advised the new Tesla Model Y has a feature that will play various farting sounds. In fact, it is so technologically advanced that you can direct the sound to emanate from different speakers inside the car, thus generating guilt or pride from your passenger. The kids will love it.
Love a curmudgeon, stay safe and have a great week!
(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive stuck in Port Ludlow).