By Kimberly Mayer
Approximately four miles off the white sandy coast of Coronado Island in Southern California, sit cruise ships, including Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Eclipse, in anchorage. They’ve been part of the view from here ever since the CDC suspended cruise ship sailings around the US. Every couple weeks one will go into the Port of San Diego for supplies, otherwise they are not going anywhere. On overcast days the ships appear like small far-off islands, and on clear days, like beach toys that floated off.
Beach toys with all the amenities. Beach toys with staff at a minimum, mainly engineers and captains. Also, ship doctors on board as well as medicines. Beach toys with booming foghorns when they need to make their presence known to other ships at sea. Beach toys waiting out the pandemic in an outer anchorage area managed by the US Coast Guard.
“It kind of harkens back to the 1800’s,” notes Adam Deaton, cruise business manager for the Port of San Diego, “when ports used to provide a secondary function protecting communities and protecting infections from other locales.” (The Coronado Times, 9/01/2020)
Interesting he should say that, for I’ve been feeling nothing but nostalgic during my stay on Coronado—back to a time when my grandparents first began to winter in Naples, Florida. Back when traffic there was light and elderly ladies wheeled big Cadillacs about like boats. My grandmother wore Lily dresses and brightly colored beads there, and when they built their home in Naples, she specified all pink appliances for the kitchen. While my grandfather clad in cardigans insisted on a massive brick fireplace and hearth in the living room, like no other house around. Florida: where every garage was immaculate, and poinsettia plants grew into shrubs or trees, much to my amazement. Where people risked their lives to live where coconuts could fall on their heads and kill them, or so I thought. But somehow it seemed worth it.
Coronado is much like that. The traffic is slow and crosswalk lights, extra long. The children all ride bikes and scooters, residents drive golf carts on the roads, and every dog is picked up after. Where all the ice cream is gelato, parks are aplenty, and everybody’s got the beach. And now I’m the grandparent.
This is the pandemic pause. We’re all on these ships lately, stuck in time and not going anywhere. We can choose to mask up or not, vaccinate or not, but we’re all in this together. The same boat.
10 responses to “The Pandemic Pause”
The view in the picture is astonishing. Those hundred million dollar behomouths sitting there not earning any money is just a sign that the pandemic is with us for ever (It seems). A beautifully written response to the affects of the pandemic on ourdary people. I have such fond memories of meeting you and your husband at dinner many years ago. Im glad you are in a place like Coronado for the winter. It is a magnificent place to find yourself appon.
It is indeed beautiful here and I’d like to bottle it for our return to the Pacific Northwest shortly. And you in the Boston area, I hear, are about to experience “the most disruptive blizzard and snowstorm in several years!” Stay in, keep warm, and healthy.
And thank you for following my posts, Don.
Kim, wonderful post. Evocative, elegant with a very neat ending. Give our love to the younger generations.
Thank you, means so much to me. This is what happens when we write, isn’t it?
I only looked like I was in Coronado. I was in Naples in the days of old.
Stay healthy. XXO
Flood gates opened with wonderful memories of visiting my parents in Naples in the 70-80’s at their home in Port Royale. A great winter escape from small town upstate New York. Warmth of sand & water, shelling, biking by the most magnificent homes (maybe your grandparents), shopping at Marissa Collection (not a Lily in sight) nor cruise ships. Island boat awaits your return!
Who knew we both had Naples in our past? Certainly not us! All I can say is, whatever happened along the way, I’m so glad we both wound up on a little island in the Salish Sea.
Hi Kim, Just read your post and enjoyed it. What times we are going through… Hope all are in good health at your end. It’s been ages… I have also read some of your previous posts but couldn’t reply on it.. Let’s see if this works. Happy New Year to you all!?? Sheela Misra
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Thank you, Sheela. Yes, one day we’ll look back on this and wonder, how’d we do it?
I know for me, I cannot stress enough the importance of reading, writing, and walking…
Let’s plan a hike somewhere extraordinary in the Pacific Northwest. I remember our walks so fondly.
I just love this❤️ Your descriptions of Coronado sound heavenly and a bit like Marco Island when my husband first started vacationing there. We went every year and watched as it morphed into something unrecognizable. What I would do to have those first days back. So happy to have the memories and so happy your writing can bring me back to those times.❤️
Thank you, and how I wish I really could bring us back to those times, those places.
It’s getting easy to think like Leonardo DiCaprio’s final line in the film Don’t Look Up, “We really did have everything, didn’t we?”