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Fragile Times




Our son in New Zealand several years ago cut a CD with his band he was part of then and they called it “Fragile Times”. I think that makes a great title for this blog entry yes the times are uncertain to say the least. I try as longtime readers will recall to be upbeat and positive, but am finding it harder all the time. So much is out of our control that we used to never even think about because it just happened like it was supposed to. I fear those days are over and we all must get used to and expect uncertainty in virtually everything. Yes the virus caused some of it, but I think much of the uncertainty we have in this world has much deeper roots than we can blame on the virus and was merely accelerated by the virus.


So, enough gloom and doom. What to do about it? That is the question we all want an answer to and must personally each solve in our own way for our personal situation. For Lesley and I, sitting back and worrying and expecting the government to solve our problems is not the answer. So, we are getting on with our life and making some decisions we feel prudent for the times we live in. We have sold our motorhome, although I certainly did not want to. The prices for used motorhomes are high now, and I do not expect that to last because fuel prices are also going up and will someday collapse motorhome values. So we sadly sold it while we could.


The times have also had an effect on our travel plans. We did not go to the wedding in Minnesota in Sept or the festival in October in Iowa that we planned because of selling the motorhome, but did make the wedding  in Indiana in Oct. most importantly we did do the trip to Iceland together in July. What a fantastic place! I have been in 33 countries now and rate Iceland as the most unique. Beautiful in it’s own different way, spectacular in ways I have never seen, and the people most friendly. We were able to go places and see things Lesley did not see on her trip in May. I would suggest any that can go there should make it a priority to do so while you can.


we also squeezed in an unexpected two week river cruise on the Danube, Main, and Rhine rivers in Europe. Lesley cancelled her planned trip to Hawaii in Oct, and she finally talked me into going with her on a river cruise in November over thanksgiving. We boarded the boat in Budapest Hungary and ended in Amsterdam, Holland two weeks later. Amazing experience for both of us, first time either of us have been on any cruise ship. It will likely not be our last. I have been telling Lesley this past year that during and after this pandemic time, there will be short windows of opportunity for travel  and you must keep your bag packed and your powder dry as the saying goes. This trip was no exception. The cruise line completely paid for our air fares from our local airport to and from Europe. The price we paid for the cruise included daily covid testing for all of us (all were negative the entire cruise), shore excursions at all stops, and every other expense. They are desperate for business and the window of opportunity is briefly open. I do not expect it to last, some companies will not survive this uncertain time so be careful and always take out full money back insurance.


The highlight of the cruise was meeting two couples that were traveling together. We met them accidentally and discovered we had much in common, both men were USAF retired as I am, had some common assignments and had probably seen each other many years ago. We had a lot to talk about, and shared many great times together in Europe. In fact, the couples live near St. Louis and invited us to come for New Years, so we did and just got back. We all have already booked another joint cruise with both couples and a third couple, friends of the other two,  in the South of France with a separate add on week in Barcelona, Spain Lesley and I suggested with an add on trip to the tiny country of Andorra for a day another place I have always wanted to go to. All three other couples agreed these were good ideas and have signed on. This trip is scheduled for Sept 2022. This experience makes my point: opportunities await, but will be fleeting. (In fact, Austria closed completely the day after our boat left Austria). Two months ago we did not know any of these people, now are best friends. Be ready and brave. Some scheduled things will not come to pass, but the time of living in fear is over, go forth, expect change, prepare for it, do what you can, do not let “Fragile Times” defeat you. If international travel is not possible or what you want to do, hold those important to you close and see them often. Create memories with those you like and love. That is far more important than all the “noise” in the world today we cannot control.


as for what actions we all should take now I suggest taking some vitamin supplements, other meds if you wish to, if doing something or going to a place makes you uncomfortable rethink it.  (if anyone wants specifics about what we are taking, just message me privately), a bit late to do much about weight, but try if you can exercise and just get as fit as you can. Expect to get this new variant, I think nearly everyone will, the good news is that nearly all should survive it after a week or so of feeling poorly. Be positive, look to the future, control what you can.


wow, I guess that is enough for now, maybe I should post more often and keep it shorter.


Time for tea.





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Thanks George for the wise words. I guess because the Covid came  to Australia on a cruise ship I wouldn't consider a cruise till all this is over. I do need to make some travel plans for this year, time is fleeting and I am getting older by the minute. Will have a think about my options. I am considered a vulnerable person because of the lung damage caused by the RSV virus thirty years ago so when people say " this one is mild and we'll all get over it" I have my doubts.

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Hi Sue I have many cruising friends in America and they have started going back to travelling on the ships. Cruise ships have always been a virus risk, I was on one where norovirus went through and it was not pleasant, but they also are aware of the risks and are pretty good at onboard virus management most of the time. In some ways a cruise ship is both the best and worst place to be when it comes to viruses. (they are really good at surface transmission management but not setup for airborne virus management. I'm not sure I could/would be happy with an inside cabin these days as ventilation is the key with covid and I would want to be able to control that. I've booked myself on a Fiji island cruise in September and am now crossing my fingers that it can go ahead OK.  


mild is a relative term it can still make you extremely ill and even kill you, but vaccination is reducing the severity of it for most people, but yes those of us with already compromised systems are much more at risk from it.  Be careful and do what is right for you.

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It took Lesley quite awhile to convince me to do a cruise. I found the river cruise ship just the right size for me. Just over 100 passengers so not too crowded at all. Often I was alone on the upper deck, just watching the scenery go by. The ventilation systems have been upgraded to purify the air just like airplanes have, so with some personal responsibility, we felt and were safe. A larger ship with thousands of people onboard is not for me no matter how much Lesley tries to convince me. As always we all must balance our own risk/reward and make our own decisions.

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I agree , I had that cruise on the Ruby Princess and if I hadn't  been on it because of my friends need I wouldn't have gone. But a couple of days on the Murray River would be fine. I am planning some travelling by train later in the year if that is feasible. At he moment Omicron is raging here so will have to wait and see.


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Sue I'm really hoping to paddle steam the Murray in SA for our 25th wedding anniversary. 

So we've got two years to get it right!!


Because we've got closed borders, not many of us go anywhere. 


Don't want covid, but definitely looking forward to more than just here.



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