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  • Writer's pictureRuth Ann Angus

First Day Out

I’ve been in. Like they said we should be. But not because of the deadly virus. I’ve been in recovering from my second heart ablation followed up by emergency procedure for a pacemaker. The ablation is to stop Atrial Fibrillation an annoying condition that has the heart doing its Daytona 500 race, usually upon awakening in the middle of the night. The first ablation – that’s where they go inside the heart to find the fibers causing the problem and they burn them – lasted about 18 months. Failed in December and so off to the ER I went. This time we are hoping I get a long, long time between occurrences. I would like to never have these episodes again, but the truth is, once you go into Afib you pretty much never completely get rid of it. The surprise was my heart deciding to go into retirement right after the procedure. Heart rate got down in the 20s by the time they put in the pacemaker. Those numbers beat Lance Armstrong's but isn’t much good for staying alive. Now she beats quite regularly between 60 and 76. Fine, just fine.

Recovering was bad – no, recovery was awful, so I won’t go into that. I am still recovering and will be for about five more weeks or so. Therefore, the quarantine is not bad for me. Truthfully, I am home much of the time anyway as I have worked from home for years. My cats are used to it. No, they are spoiled with it as I am here at their beck and call. However, now I am also unemployed. Relying on the Food Bank and friends and not sure about paying the rent. I am looking for any kind of online writing but so are a thousand others. Retirement is not an option. I have decided I cannot fret. It won’t help my recovery so in the words of Alfred E. Newman, “Why Worry?”

Working at home doesn’t mean one is not social or does not go out, even every day, so the order to shelter at home has changed things. And I don’t want to be near other people since I don’t want Covid 19. What to do when cabin fever strikes as it did on Saturday when I decided I had better start my car to make sure it would start and just take a little drive. Down to the waterfront I went. Oh my, in the 50 or so years I have experienced Morro Bay I can truly say I have never seen so many available parking spaces on the Embarcadero! Amazing! I settled down at the boat launch area to just enjoy the view.

I got out of the car to take this photo and noticed the tiniest Snowy Egret stomping around in the shallows. They use their yellow feet to attract fish and who knows whatever else they churn up with the foot stomping.

The wind was blustery, and the storm clouds were forming. Rain was certainly on the way. After watching the egret for a while, I looked in the other direction at the still and quiet fishing boats. Clouds were gathering beyond them too.

I was surprised to see how many people were out and about in Tidelands Park but did not walk near them. Back in the car I drove down to the Rock and was more surprised to see the parking lots fairly full. I found a spot and took pictures with the iPhone through the front window of the car. Gulls were swarming a man sitting on one of the benches and I could smell smoke from a fire in one of the concrete firepits. Gulls apparently had no idea there was a virus going around. People on the beach that had spread a blanket were separated from one another by plenty of space, but others walked in groups along the water’s edge.

My next stop, for curiosity sake, was Windy Cove near the Museum of Natural History in the State Park. Pretty empty there except for foraging shorebirds, a great egret and a great blue heron both coming into breeding feathers.

Tide was out and the mud flats exposed. These birds have the most interesting posture when stalking prey. They bend their long legs, bring their head with curled in neck towards the ground, beak pointing forward and lift their rear end up high. In this position when the time is right, they strike with a forward spring motion of the neck and head. Without the Big Girl digital camera, no photos of this as an iPhone is not that good at 6x extended – at least mine isn’t.

Heading out of the State Park a flock of a dozen wild turkeys were feeding next to the road on the edge of the golf course.

Back home after my little adventure I called in the cats, but they wouldn’t come. Something held their fancy and I soon found out what it was. A tiny Brush Rabbit has taken up residence in the yard and those devilish cats have been honing their hunting techniques routing it out of the bushes and trying to pounce on it. The rabbit is no fool, he has the speed to outrun any neighborhood kitty and I watched as he dashed off into the backyard and under the fence to safety.

All in all, a good first day out!

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