The Best Laid Plans…

Aug 18, 2021 | 3 comments

Cousin Alex

We learned yesterday afternoon that the long-awaited visit by my cousin Alex and his friend Katie will not be happening after all.  Their August 19th Alaska Airlines flight from Chicago to Portland has been cancelled — “not enough support crew to fly. and unable to find a replacement flight within 48 hours.” Their visiting window of opportunity ran out.

We are beyond disappointed.  It’s a visit we’ve been planning on for several months.  But, beyond that are the implications in an ever-growing stream of disruptions to whatever “back-to-normal” we had been hoping for.  Here on the Peninsula, “Help Wanted” and “Now Hiring” signs proliferate — to the extent that Adelaide’s in Ocean Park, for one,  is closed for lack of employees.  And in some other kind of domino effect, friends have reported that the shelves at Okie’s and other grocers on the Peninsula are bare.  To say nothing of the events that have been cancelled — Vespers, the Kay Buesing Kite Festival Gathering, the Oysterville Regatta Awards Ceremony — and those just for starters.

Visitors to Oysterville, both masked and unmasked, preface remarks to us with “We’ve been fully vaccinated.”  However, these days, that isn’t really very reassuring to anyone.  “Breakthrough” and “variant” and “Delta” and “booster shot” have crept into our vocabulary bigtime.  We are beginning to wonder about phrases of reassurance such as “herd immunity” —  and just how did humanity survive plagues through the ages when they not only didn’t know the cause but had no idea about any the “science” that the experts are telling us to count on?

And then, this very morning I saw a familiar name in an online New York Times article — a comment by an old friend of Nyel’s:  Our whole family were all vaccinated as soon as it was possible to do so, yet our grandson, who has been working in a day camp this summer, brought home the Delta variant. Luckily, our daughter-in-law is a scientist and got everyone tested as soon as he had a runny nose. Our grandson and his mom were positive, our son and granddaughter were negative and we are waiting to find out if my husband and I are positive. — Beda Herbison, Seattle   

Spectators – Oysterville Regatta 2017

As we watch what is happening right here in Oysterville — those touched by the virus and its variants as well as those who proclaim “it’s over!” — we wonder if there will ever be a return to normal as it was three or four years ago.  And, if not, will our little village survive a “new normal.”  Somehow I think there are parallels to the old rural way of life of the 1800s giving way to the agribusiness models of today.  But I can’t quite wrap my head around it yet…  I’m still stuck on missing out on a visit from Alex and Katie.


  1. Jane Smith

    Hi Sydney, Russ and I are in Ocean Park this week, leaving tomorrow. When first planning the trip I was going to ask if you would be interested in meeting for coffee, but in light of the current surge I thought it best not to, even though we are fully vaccinated. Maybe another time. Sorry about the cancellation of the trip with your cousin. We are totally avoiding Long Beach this trip. Very crowded due to kite festival and NO MASKS! Sid’s and Jack’s seem to be well stocked, but Okie’s has long empty shelves. I don’t think we will ever give up our trips to the Peninsula, though we want to be part of the solution, not the problem. Back home to Ridgefield tomorrow. Disappointed to have missed Vespers, Jazz and Oysters this year, but disappointment is minimal compared to the reality of what could happen from those gatherings.

    • sydney

      Jane, Thanks for being so “mindful” and even more thanks for thinking of us in the first place!!  All I can say is, “Damn!  Damn!  Damn!”  I surely hope we can live long enough and stay in fine enough fettle that we can make up for all we have missed!

  2. Mary Louise Lyons

    The disappointments are really hard after all these months, aren’t they? I told a friend of mine the other day that I’m suffering from PTPD: Post Traumatic Planning Disorder. I though for a week or so that I FINALLY might make it to the Kite Festival.. but not this year. Cowlitz County numbers are climbing again….sigh…Patience is a virtue…


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