When you want relief from politics and Covid ....I am surviving this Covid thing. We are surviving this Covid thing. My partner, best friend and, not coincidentally, spouse, makes note every day. We have been trapped in our home since March and we still love each other. More importantly, we still like each other.

One of the things that has made that possible is my several-times-a-week hikes into the South Mountains or along Marsh Creek. Finding trails and tor monsters. Writing about trails and tor monsters. Making pictures of trails and tor monsters.

For years, I shot a Nikon. The very name is synonymous with “camera.” But Sony made some advances too good to pass up. So I traded my old camera for a brand name that says Walkman. I’ve been looking for a place to insert the DVD.

Some things change more than others. The name that once meant Walkman now is the leading name in the camera marketplace. Wow!

Times and technology change inexorably, and new generations come along wondering what you’re talking about. Like when I bought that one-wheel drive Datsun pickup truck just before leaving California to live a couple of years on an island some 1,200 miles from mainland Alaska, which itself, though a state, was separated from its siblings by a whole ‘nuther nation.

But I digress. When I purchased the Datsun, I had been looking for a Dodge. The year was 1973, and the only way to purchase a pickup with a manual transmission in California was to leave the state. California long has had it’s own environmental regulations and the term “California car” represented a whole set of them.

But Japanese vehicles, with their smaller, four-cylinder engines, could meet the mileage and emissions rules, and a red Datsun with a white fiberglass shell on its bed accompanied my clan to Adak Island, Alaska.

There was a time with “stripped” had nothing to do with ballots or being unclothed on Main Street. It made you feel special for not ordering a vehicle with accouterments that, back then, actually were extras – such as a radio.

You felt as though you actually had saved money if you told the salesman, “I just want it stripped. Maybe I will buy a radio later and install it myself.”

My granddaughter drives a Jeep with an automatic transmission and a radio. When I was her age, I would have been drummed out of Tribe Jeep for even wondering if that was possible.

Many things have changed in recent years. A few important things have changed in recent months. Some people have thought our hometown should be more pedestrian-friendly, and the main route through town should be two one-way streets. Since March, traffic has been down and a few restaurants have opened sidewalk dining.

I people-watch because that is a thing I do when I am not critter-watching. I look for faces to see whether I know them. I crave that friendly thing with even strangers’ lips that says, “Hi.” We once associated face masks with surgeons and Asian cultures; now they have hidden our faces here at home. I believe it is a temporary thing, though “temporary” can be way more than a few minutes, or months.

The evening news demonstrates nightly the results of gathering maskless in crowds of strangers. We don’t need to hire more experts. We can see the overpopulated hospitals and overworked funeral homes.

And I really would like to see what magical vehicle my granddaughter will be driving in another ten years. Also, I would like to find where to insert the DVD in that thing claiming to be a camera.

Thanks for sharing the ride. I hope you enjoyed the ride. Comments are welcome, and please feel free to share.