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Ten Things I Miss Because of Covid-19 (In No Particular Order)

1.Donuts Until recently, doughnuts/donuts were not available on the choices available for online ordering from my grocery store. I crave walking into a bakery and buying freshly baked, hot from the oven donuts. 2.Grandchildren My five grown children and their families are sheltering in place, and out of caution and respect, we all took care to stay virus-free. We recently let our guard down but, because of the uptick in the virus, we are back to limiting our visits, wearing our masks, and keeping our distance. 3.Eating Out HoneyBunch and I would treat ourselves and go out to eat once or twice a week, and I would intentionally schedule my weekly errands around mid-morning so I could bring home take out for lunch or dinner. The virus put a stop to all of that. 4.Shopping Sprees Online sources have greatly reduced my impulse buying. My food budget and bank account are grateful for the discipline it provides. 5.Hugs and Handshakes I miss human physical contact. 6.Licking my Fingers I never …
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Seventy Days Later

Every Sunday afternoon for the last ten weeks, HoneyBunch and I have rebelled against the pandemic shut down by risking a drive in our car. Radicals that we are, we jump into our trusty steed, roll up our windows, and lock our doors. We arm ourselves with two bottles of water so we don’t have to leave the safety of our vehicle and two masks in case we do. In March, the first month into the statewide “sheltering in place,” we would encounter few other anarchists out and about, but with the start of May, we’ve witnessed an increase in the numbers of fellow malcontents out there. The congested streets, the full parking lots, the packed shopping malls are all examples that a rebellion is a foot – and those who are a foot refuse to wear masks! Yes, we can attest to this since we’ve spied it all from the safety of our car. Seventy days into this edict and the citizens are ready to shed the chains of bondage. Before we return to our previous lives, may I suggest something? What have we learned…

Tom Hanks, Wilson, and Us

An overweight, workaholic who made time and money his priority, suddenly finds his life turned upside down. The lone survivor of a plane crash, he finds himself on a deserted island. Not knowing when he will be rescued, he has to make it on his own. His possessions are whatever he can salvage. The plush life he took for granted is gone, but he still has a strong human instinct to survive. With courage and fortitude, he scrambles for food, shelter, clothing. As time passes and day after day slips away, his character strengthens and there comes the day when he realizes he cannot live like this forever. He decides, against all odds, to leave the safety of the island, take his chances against what awaits him, and return to the world he was forced to leave behind.

Yeah, I’ve watched Cast Away with Tom Hanks one time too many, and yes, I cry every time he loses Wilson, but one thing I always take away from this movie is the universal message of the strength of the human spirit.
We were happ…

Polite Conversation

When I was very young, still at home with my parents, Dad expected us to have what he called “polite conversation” at the kitchen table. Everything was a learning opportunity, so he delighted in having a captive audience while we sat for meals. We said grace, kept our elbows off the table, and were expected to “converse” while we ate our cold cereal, our afternoon sandwich, or our casserole at dinner. Topics got more difficult in high school and college. Gone were the days of discussing what we had learned in school that day; we were expected to discuss the news from the front section of the newspaper, something Walter Cronkite had reported on the Evening News, or the many uses of math in one’s life. It may sound like a drag, but it stuck with me, and I likewise expected my three to participate in “polite conversation” during our sit-down meals. Likewise, my grandchildren cringe when I subject them to inquisitions about their everyday life, their progress in math, and the latest book t…

Turning Seventy

On my fortieth birthday, the “morale” committee at the middle school where I worked decked the teachers’ lounge with black crepe paper, black balloons, and black cardboard cutouts of head stones announcing I was “over the hill” and “older than dirt.” I realized I shouldn’t have been so forthcoming about my age. As I slunk away to the teachers’ parking lot at the end of the day, I found my silver convertible covered in more birthday graffiti. They left a bull’s eye open on the front windshield so I could drive it home, but I stopped at the first car wash and erased all of it. That was thirty years ago. I don’t remember my fiftieth birthday nor my sixtieth. My birthday amnesia stems partly from a divorce when I turned fifty, and I was wiser when I turned sixty and kept my age a secret from everyone but a close few, but this one is big. It’s real. I can no longer pretend to be “young.” I may never be older than dirt but I am definitely “over the hill.” I don’t feel old nor do I have regre…

Mankind Was My Business

“Mankind was my business; . . . charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all, my business.” I scanned past the many videos on social media of people fighting over things during Black Friday sales. People elbowed others to claim televisions or rice cookers. They trampled each other and wrestled dolls and video games out of outstretched hands, then they laughed derisively as they headed for the checkout counters. *** The term Black Friday has a long history –before it came to represent the big sales day after Thanksgiving where stores vie with each other to attract sales, it used to refer to the Wall Street Crash of the 1860’s. It all has to do with money and economics. Merchants willingly go into the “black” to meet sales quotas, but don’t let that fool you. If done right, they do not lose any money. They make up any loss by selling in volume, and often, once customers have been lured into their store, they buy other items. I think we should take the evolution of the word Black…

Just Yesterday

Just yesterday, I was twenty years old. In college. Getting my teaching certificate. The world ahead was wide open. My dreams were finally blossoming. Just yesterday, I was in my forties. Married. Three children. A career that I loved. Things weren’t perfect and my dreams had taken a 180, but I wasn’t complaining. Just yesterday, I was in my sixties. Divorced. Remarried to someone who understood me better than anyone. Kids grown, married, with families of their own. One wonderful career accomplished; a second one just beginning. Just yesterday, I couldn’t hurry fast enough to get everything done that I wanted. Now I am here, at this stage of life. I look back to yesterday and it is full of memories, people, family, good times and bad. Just yesterday, I started with a list and now I hold this scrapbook in my hands. It is full, pieces stick out of the pages, stuffed full of memories. Every picture, every entry, every tiny scrap, good or bad, reminds me of trials, hugs, laughter, experien…