Focus on Jenise Harper

Jenise Harper Jenise Harper is co-chair of PLPA’s Booking Committee, moving to that position after a year as the organization’s secretary. Her narrative, posted below, looks at how she is spending her “pandemic time” with a humorous flair.

A 30-day cruise of Australia and New Zealand, the South Pacific and Hawaii, was cancelled. A trip to Colorado to celebrate with our children was postponed indefinitely; we’re waiting for a new date when we all feel safe enough to gather for a family reunion. The last half of PLPA’s season fell prey to the virus. Little did we know when we were listening to the nostalgic sounds of The Lonely, enjoying memories of yesteryear, it would be a significant wait until the PLPA concert season could renew itself. The High Kings, Will Martin, Birch Pierra and the Gin Joints — all dates were cancelled and they’re working with our organization to reschedule sometime in the future.

My husband Jim and I had just returned home from a two-week cruise that traversed the Panama Canal when COVID-19 reared its ugly head big time. Even though the virus had been “noticed” back in December 2019, it wasn’t until March 2020 that it became identified as a pandemic. That’s when all the additional plans we’d made to celebrate significant birthdays and our 55th wedding anniversary came to a crashing halt.

In addition, the Bookings Committee had lined up a dynamite 30th Anniversary Season for PLPA, featuring groups from all over our country, Canada, France … That lineup was never announced, due to the pandemic. Future concerts are in limbo. The huge gala planned to celebrate the beginning of this stellar anniversary was doomed before it came close to being a reality.

So what have I been doing with all the “spare time” I’ve been gifted? While Cheri and Chuck Gerstenberger have been walking the Port Ludlow Trails, and Sharla Erich has been busy running, bicycling, sailing and working with her church … and while Peggy Welker, our Zumba queen, ended up in a cast for a few weeks (Zumba had nothing to do with it) … and while BJ and Ned Luce sorted through years of paperwork, and Phyllis Waldenberg organized all her photos and enjoys landscaping … what have I been doing? I could go on and on about fellow PLPA board members, but all you have to do is read the narratives on our website (www.portludlowperformingarts.com) and you’ll get insight into how your concert planners are handling this pandemic. As for me … I write. I edit. I play with words and phrases to create images, to entertain, even to inform.

I’ve taken on the role of co-managing editor for the Port Ludlow Voice, where I’ll not only continue writing special interest features and editing the South Bay section, but I’ll be sharing responsibility for all aspects of the publication with Mary Ronen, the very talented and dedicated lady who’s been with the Voice since it’s inception.

I’ve also created the Bay Club Courier, an “occasional” email publication sent to South Bay homeowners. It’s light and entertaining, and I’m begging friends and neighbors for articles and/or COVID-19 jokes. And here I am, writing this narrative for PLPA. As a board member and co-chair of the Bookings Committee, we’re focusing on ways we can connect with our supporters, our audiences, when we aren’t able to fulfill our function of offering concerts and providing educational enrichment programs in our area schools. So, instead of meeting and greeting us in the lobby of the Bay Club, you’re invited to get to know us through these online dialogues.

Is writing all I do? Hmmm … You might ask my husband that question. I read (I’m a binge reader). We do take walks on our local trails. We plan an excursion once a week – Bloedel Reserve, picnic at Flagler or Dungeness (and other places to munch lunch while enjoying the water), a trip to the Hoh Rain Forest and another to Rialto Beach. Crescent Lake. Deception Pass State Park. We’ve purchased a bottle of wine at our favorite winery (Marrowstone), and enjoyed it at one of the tables with a view. Occasionally we’ll share Happy Hour with another couple, safely distanced. At first we overdosed on television news, wanting to wring every bit of information we could out of our favorite commentators. That soon gave way to more entertaining (and less frustrating) options, including MASH re-runs. We’re still waiting for Northern Exposure to hit the boob-tube once again.

So life goes on, and there is a certain amount of “sameness” that makes Tuesday feel like Thursday. Thank goodness for the Saturday Market – it lets me know what day it is! We talk with our family on a regular basis, and keep in close contact with “forever” friends. (One dear friend went bald years ago, but still carries an old comb with him. He just can’t bear to part with it!)

I’m grateful for my tablet for both reading and games. I haven’t played Solitaire with real cards in ages! Frankly, with this pandemic, I’m on my computer way too much. The other day I even entered my password into the microwave! And I know people are trying out all kinds of new recipes. I did find one that appealed to me … a COVID QUICHE. You season the eggs with SUGAR and CHOCOLATE, and add a little flour for texture! Mix well and bake in a quiche pan. YUM!

So that’s the view from here … albeit lopsided and a bit loopy. At times like these, a good sense of humor is vital … like when I overheard my husband talking to our son. “Hey Guy, I’m in the middle of an argument with your mother and she just told me I’m right! What the heck do I do next?”

Stay safe, stay healthy, dear friends!