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Expecting nothing in 2022

Supposedly it was Oscar Wilde who first offered the erudite suggestion, “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” I might agree if our modern intellect allowed room to admit that we have pitiful little control over day-to-day happenings.

If you unpack what he’s saying, it simply states that one shouldn’t expect. After recent events (or the past year), I feel the need to try to achieve some sort of equilibrium. Who better to share it with than my fellow Don Quixotes.

Case in point: Last year at this time I expected a supple 2021 to be a cascade of waning virus cases, which looked promising at first. But I never expected so many people to run interference — those who thought this unheard-of-strain would detect their stellar immune system and run, screaming in the opposite direction. Or that this virus was a card-carrying member of a certain political affiliation with powerful PACs behind every shrub. Or that the virus was a ploy by a deviant government force, even though the imagined deviants were also getting sick and/or vaccinated. It never occurred to me.

We are all in the same spikey soup. I didn’t expect such resistance to science for such a slew of reasons. The virus didn’t expect anything except maybe opposition, so it grabbed every opportunity to divide and conquer, then morphed for survival when egos and denial marched on. I expect I was naïve to believe common sense would prevail.

In the past couple weeks, many unexpected events have transpired — some pleasant and others unwelcome. For instance, when my sister in Phoenix, Arizona, went outside with her family to enjoy a particularly beautiful desert sunset, she did not expect to slip on the doormat, fall and fracture her hip. The surgery was relatively simple and quick, but now she has work to do.

I didn’t expect Cricket, the under-deck kitty, to come inside my house, make himself at home, and jump into King Edward’s favorite throne to begin grooming himself, but it happened that way. Eddie just watched in horrified disbelief while making chirping sounds.

When I entered my name in a raffle with several nice prizes, I never expected to win anything, but I did. I expect there’s another getaway on the horizon.

With the snowfall and freezing temperatures, I expected close friends to have issues driving back to Portland Monday. None of us expected a giant fir tree to slam across I-5 and hold up traffic, while not causing any injuries — none. There is a jaw-dropping video of the mammoth tree slowly descending and just brushing, with the tip of one branch, the passing truck of an ODOT employee, who captured the video on a dash cam as he just missed being crushed. They enlisted a willing logging crew nearby to dispatch the giant and clear the road. I mean, how much better (or worse) could this one have been? My friends were held up for about 90 minutes, but if they hadn’t stopped at In and Out Burger on their way home . . .

They drove cautiously, and arrived safely. The following night she rear-ended a truck with a bumper resembling the enemy robot from “Transformers” that ripped through her hood, smashed the front end, and totaled the car she loved. The truck had stopped to snag a parking spot. No one was hurt.

One could live under a rock, but what adventure is there in that?

Cheers to 2022, and to stumbling in with blinders on. So it begins.

PS - My apologies to Philip Reed for making him out to be his older brother, Aaron, in last week’s column. It was Philip who did such a fine job of warming us with tunes at Hummingbird. Hope I didn’t foment any sibling rivalry.

And, thank you to faithful readers Damon and Judy for braving a frosty winter night to greet me at Hummingbird and purchase a copy of Stone Revival. You are greatly appreciated.

Peggy Dover is a freelance writer/author who loves hearing from readers. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com.