Tuesday June 9th, 2020
From the desk of Amanda Eichstaedt…
Time has gone pretty quickly over these past 12 weeks of broadcasting at KWMR (we took the first week to sort it out). I thought I would share some of my experiences during this time with y’all.
Before the Shelter Order was issued, Ken and I noticed a nest in a eucalyptus tree across the road from our house. We were curious and speculated on which species of bird might occupy the nest. One day we saw a bird in the nest, and figured out that it was a red tailed hawk. A few weeks later there were some floppy muppet looking grey fuzzy babies. We observed that there were two, one bigger than the other.
Despite the competition for food, both fledglings have continued to mature, and these days they can be seen testing their wings out on the edge of the nest and attempting to make “big bird” noises. The parents are still bringing them food, and any day now they will fly. We set up some deck chairs out by the back door of our place and often sit there with our binoculars, watching the birds. It is an excellent and satisfying way to spend time.
My other meditative activity is weeding. I have not planted a single thing this spring, but have found great satisfaction in pulling up unwanted plant life in the yard. It’s kind of a wild rambling “garden.” We have some lovely established flowers and bushes that have been there for decades, and the few things that we have introduced have gone gangbusters. Grass seems to primarily grow where we don’t want it to grow.
A really nice view on a hike. photo: Amanda Eichstaedt
And walking. Been taking some very long walks. I’m talking talking 5 or 6 hour rambles. Visiting trails that I frequent, as well as some that I have not hiked since the Trails Challenge in 2012. It has been satisfying to identify some plants, observe wildlife, eat minor’s lettuce, seasonal berries, and chew on the end of pieces of grass. To clear my mind, and make my body tired.
It is important to take breaks, leave the news off for a while, and spend some time staring at birds or a plant, or just into space. Self care is very important during times like these. It’s easy to get plain old freaked out by things like global pandemics, systemic racism, and suspect leadership, while trying to verify news sources, maintain civil discourse, and adapt to covering our faces and obsessively washing our hands. Not to mention worrying about the availability of toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
I can tell you that the kindness of so many of your notes, cards and messages that came in to the station during our May fundraising campaign to celebrate KWMR’s 21st Anniversary, warmed my heart and lifted my spirits. Thank you so very much for your support!
When you are out and about, be sure to thank all front-line workers. Grocery store, gas station, pharmacy, and take-out restaurant workers, as well as first responders, and medical workers need encouragement and appreciation for doing their work.
And lastly, a plug. I was asked at the end of last week if I would emcee the Red Carpet celebration for Kids Musical Theater’s performance of “The Show Must Go Online.” I was a bit nervous to attempt to interview multiple child actors via Zoom, but I cannot say no to Melissa Claire, and it was being put on by our fellow non profit, the Dance Palace. It was really fun, and the performance was amazing. Here is a link to the pre-show’s Red Carpet portion. But be sure to spend the time watching the actual performance (below). A big thank you to Ken Adams who did all the tech (he also produces the wonderful Commonweal Conversations that you hear on KWMR.)
Hang in there folks, this is a marathon, not a sprint,
Amanda Eichstaedt, Station Manager and Executive Director
p.s. If you are an essential worker (or have been working with others during this past several weeks) you can sign up HERE to get a COVID test.