I have to run earlier and earlier, to avoid people... and to avoid heat.
But it was lovely, when I ran this morning. I took my phone, to snap a few pics.
It was a little creepy seeing this burnt sign, in front of our neighborhood store.
Last night while we watched the fires and looting on TV, I got a text. A neighbor had heard that the grocery sign was burning. I still don't know what caused this. Some say electrical. But there is something eerie about seeing this image... when fires have been burning in cities around the country.
In the news, we've had pretty much non-stop Coronavirus coverage, for 3 months. For the past 3 days, the focus has shifted to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. My heart aches for Mr. Floyd's family.
I sit in my house and watch the protests on TV. Almost every major city is involved. What happened in Minneapolis, is really a National problem.
There are people protesting peacefully, wearing masks, holding signs. But the images that stay in my head are the ones that show fires and looting... tear gas, rubber bullets, anger and violence.
It's scary to watch things unfold. Those protesting for justice, have been overshadowed by outside instigators.
From Riots to Space Travel
It was quite a contrast, seeing the launch of SPACEX, later this afternoon. Watching the countdown, took me back to being a kid again, in 1967. In fact this whole day, took me back to being 10 again.
In the summer of '67, we lived in Kalamazoo. I remember our family constantly watching the news on our black and white TV. They were covering the riots in nearby Detroit. It was a worrisome summer, in our odd rental house.
But at the end of the summer, we moved to Tallahassee. The world suddenly seemed exciting. The house we bought had belonged to a NASA astronaut and we were suddenly living not so far from Cape Kennedy!
So today, was a worrisome day, with a bright spot.
In the past 3 months, so many new words and terms have become a part of my vocabulary. This new Pandemic Language is not my favorite, but I tried to make it fun. I thought I could make up a game with pandemic words. I looked on line for ideas.
Melania's Word Search
I found this little ditty on the internet. It's a White House Word Search, that Melania created a couple months ago. It was meant to offer up some family fun time. Hmmm? I wonder if she's made any new ones, lately. I don't know why this cracks me up.
Pandemic Word Search
Here is a list of words that could be used for a more up to date word search. Very few of these words and phrases were ever spoken by me, before 2020.
I don't think I'll bother putting these into a word search, right now.
I think I'll avoid pandemic talk and focus on Italian, instead.
I bought some Italian language CDs in February, to prep for our Italy trip in October. Chances are pretty good, that our trip will not happen. But just in case, I might do a little Italian lesson today.
Hey, I just noticed the word ESSENTIAL on this booklet! Maybe our trip will be essential too!
Four Years Ago
Today is my 76th day of griping about Covid. It was on this day, 4 years ago, that I began complaining about Cancer.
Today, this Facebook Memory popped up. It's actually from 3 years ago, but it's a good reminder that someday, we'll be looking back on these worrisome Covid Days.
2016 and 2020
Four years ago, I was breezing along happily, when I suddenly got my breast cancer diagnosis. It felt like an abrupt intrusion, similar to the invasion of Coronavirus in recent months.
Covid and Cancer, are both rude, stubborn, powerful and scary. But at least with my cancer, the doctors knew what they were dealing with. There's incredible uncertainty with Covid, but at least we have a world of people who share our worries.
Sharing With Friends
Hunkering down at home, was something I did a lot of 4 years ago. After the initial jolt of halting plans and canceling travel, I learned to appreciate a slower time. I've always been a cloud watcher. I did a lot more of that, then.
I'm enjoying the clouds now.I also learned to appreciate family and friends. I was touched by the people who reached out to check on me and I've tried to remember that.
Connecting with others has been important for all of us, during these recent months. Back in March, there was a lot of comfort, knowing that we were all in this together. For the first time ever, most of us knew where all our friends and family were. We could text, email or call and know someone would be there.
Cancer and Covid
I never had to deal with Cancer and Coronavirus concerns at the same time. But many have and do. In April I communicated with a dear friend who had just learned that she had breast cancer. The news broke my heart.
In early April, she faced her scary news, at a time when elective surgeries were canceled and walking into a doctor's office was considered dangerous. She was also navigating the new world of working from home, while overseeing the online education of her 3 kids. When she looked to me for advice, I was at a loss. How could I begin to understand what she was facing?
In early April I sat around in my comfy clothes, just like I did after surgery and chemo days. I tried to think back on what I remembered.
...I thought back to when I first got the news, four years ago.
My good friend and nurse practitioner, spoke with such a calm voice,
"It's hard to believe right now, but this really will just be a bump in the road..."
I remember thinking that was sort of ridiculous.
But oh how right she was!
I was 59 at the time. I was retired and had no young kids to juggle. But 7-9 months seemed like a huge chunk of my time. And those months with surgery and treatments went pretty slowly. But suddenly I was looking back and it was all behind me.
So thinking back, I realize that period of my life was good. The kids were able to visit and there was no such thing as social distancing.
I told my friend that you need to be with people (or communicate those) who lift you. It becomes very evident who lifts you and who drags you down. My family... our kids and extended family, lifted me more than I ever could have imagined.
Since my friend is very independent and strong, I knew she would need to be reminded about being open, to help and advice. Ignore when you need to, but be thankful that people do care.
We both have strong and caring husbands, but you never know how they will handle their new role. I chuckled as I shared about Don's humor, helping me during my "Big Haircut" and chemo treatments. Luckily Don also knew how to keep things quiet, when I was not in the mood to laugh. It's a tricky job, being a helpful spouse.
I'd like to think that in exactly 1 year, my friend's cancer treatments and all this covid worry, will seem far, far in the past. Maybe we'll both be looking back and even laughing at some of the positive or funny moments that occurred.
What will be my best memories from Covid 2020? Time will tell.
Beach and Pool Crowds
This morning's news was filled with cringe-worthy photos of crowded beaches and pools, over the Memorial Day weekend.
I can't imagine anything less fun than gathering with these crowds, all celebrating post-quarantine freedom!
Something tells me, these folks probably didn't get the memo about self-quaratanting, after partying at Lake of the Ozarks.
I'm all for celebrating the beginning of summer. We did last night in the yard.
Don made a batch of tiki drinks and we dragged the turntable out to the patio.
This isn't the first time we've gotten a little kooky with our quarantine holidays. But we seem to be getting a little sillier with each celebration.
For the record, it was just the 2 of us... and a camera timer.
We needed a camera to capture our tiki attire. I'm wearing flamingos and Don's wearing hula girls... although they seem to be hidden.
The combination of Lapu Lapu Cocktails and Exotica music, was very inspiring.
Don did some drumming with metal straws and I did a flamingo dance. Not flamenco.
I started this post, griping about the crazies out there celebrating. Well, we may not have been spreading our germs, but we were definitely having our own crazy time.
I know today is not only about barbecues. I know that it's a day to honor those who have sacrificed to serve our country. But this Memorial Day feels odd.
Our neighborhood flags have been getting a little battered by rain this weekend. That seems to add to the feeling that this holiday is different, than in past years.
This quiet Memorial Day weekend, reminds me of 4 years ago, when I began this grumpy blog. I was waiting on news from doctors. There was lots of uncertainty about the future of my health.
I remember feeling distant, knowing people were barbecuing and gathering for a holiday, when I wasn't in the mood. Today I also feel a heaviness, hanging over this day. While much of the country is still struggling to keep safe and close to home, others are celebrating the easing of restrictions. Many beaches and pools are jammed. I'm so glad to be home. I find this whole period confusing.
But luckily, I have this goofy guy to spend time with, this weekend.
And luckily, we have some goofy kids who are game to enjoy some oddball, stay at home fun.
A week ago, we mailed the kids some Lotteria bingo cards and some blinking accessories. A little mix of Mardi Gras and Cinco de Mayo!
Don called out the Spanish words. Everyone got to pick prizes from a list of mostly nonsense Amazon goodies... to be mailed. There was an extra prize awarded if your "LOTTERIA!" line up, included La Corona!
We had a good time and we also got caught up. It's nice to know our kids in California and Oregon, are making wise decisions as we face more options about getting out in this post quarantine world.
I'll end with this fine pic, that I stole from Heidi's Instagram. Oh how these kids and their sweet pets make me smile!
The Sunday Times
I called my dad early this morning to remind him to watch CBS Sunday Morning. He's been staying away from the TV news lately and I thought the show would be a nice balance... current information and subjects, along with some uplifting and even funny moments.
But he sounded distracted on the phone. He asked if I'd seen the front page of the New York Times.
I hadn't, so he read it to me.
I knew we were nearing 100,000 deaths, but it was grim to hear that landmark number. It was even more sobering to know that the names of 1,000 victims were listed. That was a reminder that we aren't just talking numbers, we're talking people.
So Dad and I talked a bit about how glad we are that we have the option of staying in a safe place, away from all this Covid worry. But he and I both know that this virus is mysterious and unpredictable. Dad was tested the other day, along with his entire assisted living community. Another resident is in the hospital, with Covid. Now I'm back to worrying again.
This New Yorker is sitting on my kitchen table today. It's reminding me that this is Graduation Day, for University of Texas students. They are graduating virtually, from home.
I can't even imagine how challenging it has been for college seniors these past months.
The stresses of finishing a thesis, or taking exams is difficult anytime. Add in the sudden jolt of being booted from an apartment or dorm, moving back with family... then struggling to finish, with no certainty about jobs or future.
I only know a couple of seniors this year. It was tough knowing what to write in their cards. It would be a lot tougher being the parent of a grad this year. I remember how it felt to watch my kids graduate. I can't imagine missing out on that.
Senior Year of High School
A week ago I watched the virtual graduation special on TV. I wonder how it felt to be a high school senior, watching. The show was about as uplifting as you could hope for. I was glad they kept a positive focus. We didn't need to be reminded of what the kids are missing.
Missing out on a real ceremony is sad, even for the kids who say they don't care.
I've been thinking about those special seniors this year, who are first in their family to graduate from high school. I'm thinking of the valedictorians, eager about giving their speeches. I'm thinking about the kids who had been looking forward to proms or sports banquets or music concerts. Or the kids that just needed closure, after 12 years of school. They had no idea when they started their final semester, what was ahead.
I've spent a few days, thinking a lot about students and graduations. I've thought about my own kids' ceremonies. There were no pandemics interfering and I didn't know to appreciate that.
But today, I allowed myself to stop and recall my own last semester of high school. There was no global crisis, but a change hit my household as suddenly as a virus.In March of 1975, my world turned a little upside down, just like the students in March of 2020. My parents out of the blue, announced they were splitting. Our family crisis came with no warning.
When I look back on how I navigated those next months, I feel like I can relate just a bit, to some of the kids today.
For me, everything had been breezing along beautifully, when suddenly my home had a whole different feel. My plans for college suddenly shifted and the focus was not on Beth's prom or graduation. Our house went on the market and my future was totally uncertain.
The last months of my senior year weren't what I expected, but I made it though. My "home virus" didn't affect anyone besides my family. There was no Twilight Zone World outside the house. No deadly virus, sweeping the nation. All the end of year activities went on as planned and I attended, with a slightly different perspective. I was like all the kids every year, who happen to participate in a celebration, while dealing with loss or crisis of some kind.
Trying to compare my 1975 to the struggles of the 2020 class, is a huge stretch. I won't try to pick which crisis I would have preferred. But I must say, the kids who graduated this year, will always be an amazing bunch. They'll have a bond with 2020 grads from all over the world. What an accomplishment for these young people. Their parents should be extra proud!
In the Present
It's been frustrating, not being able to plan ahead. Don and I indulged ourselves, imagining travel possibilities this summer. The thoughts got worrisome. Then we thought ahead to Christmas. Will the kids be able to fly home? We went back to living in the present... watching the birds in our yard and the people walking on a nearby sidewalk...
It's not healthy to "live in the past" all the time, but I've been doing more of it lately.
An ad popped up on Instagram, offering a year subscription to Reminisce magazine. $7. for 7 magazines! I ordered a subscription for my dad and one for me. I figure once we get them, we can talk on the phone and chuckle over some of the spotlighted features.
In the Moment With Dad
Every time I talk to Dad, we start out talk about NOW. He tells me if there are any birds at his bird feeder. He tells me what the headlines say, on his Springfield paper.
I tell him about the progress on our latest puzzle or what sounds I hear in my neighborhood at the moment. He knows, I'm not stuck in one room, but I want him to know I'm restricted like him.we are all restricted.
Food in the Future?
I often ask Dad what he had for lunch. He's never overly enthused, but he often adds, "I can't complain. I don't have to cook and they deliver my meals to my room!"
The other day, when we were talking about food, I dared to ask about the future. "So someday, when we're past all this and you can dine out and have the feast of your choice...?"
I guess that wasn't a good question.
Dad answered me quickly, without any real emotion.
"Oh, I don't think we're ever getting out of this."
And that made me pretty sad. We went back to talking about the past.
I never tire of asking about the plays that I remember Dad directing. Dad likes talking about the past, when he was doing creative, important things. Don't we all.
When I was a kid, I didn't understand or appreciate most of the shows Dad directed. But I'm curious about all of them, now. One play that I don't remember, was the first play he ever directed. He told about the local production of "I Remember Mama". He directed it when he was still in high school.
On Mother's Day, Dad told me the movie version was showing on TCM.
"It's pretty sentimental. he added.
"You mean like, sappy? Or corny? Or good sentimental?" I asked.
"Oh a real tear jerker. It's good." He said.
I love old movies, so I was happy to watch. It was nice to be able to talk about the movie with Dad the next day.
Mostly, the movie made me think back to the past, with memories of my own mom. Thinking back to the past is a lot better than living in the past.
I turned on the news this morning and allowed myself to absorb some of the devastating facts, that we've been dealing with for months.
More than 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. 38.6 million filed, in the last 9 weeks.
On May 9, the New York Times showed these words on their late edition.
I began thinking more and more about the past. How different it was for our country, in the 1930's. Job loss is devastating anytime.
People fretted over the headlines like they do today, but they gathered around the radio for updates from President Roosevelt.
CBS Sunday Morning on TV
A few weeks ago, I was touched by piece on the Sunday Morning program. They compared images of the Great Depression, to photos of today.
There were bread lines in the past and drive through food banks, today.
The famous Depression photo of the woman and her children, was similar to this image of a worried woman, today. If both were in black and white, the mask would be the only reminder of the date.
I was moved by the show and ended up calling my dad.
What do you remember?
My Dad was born a year before the Depression started. I asked what he knew about the struggles of their family.
He's told me before about the loss of the family business, that his father worked for. But I he had never talked about anything else. Dad thought a moment.
"Mother got a job for a while." Dad recalled. She sold flour and she actually really liked working." He laughed. Maybe it was a nice getaway from a house with so many young boys.
"We always had food. No one talked about money worried."
Then he paused on the phone, as if a memory was coming back.
"We did have fun. We used to go for long drives. My dad would take us in the car out in the country and we'd drive and drive and drive. One time we were gone so long, my brother cried because he thought we were lost!"
Dad thought that was funny. Then I remembered the summer drives our family of 6 took, on warm summer nights. Dad and I went back and forth a while, remembering the wonderful smells that poured in our open windows... Colonial Bread factory and mowed grass and the greasy aromas from drive-in burger joints!
I like the way our discussion of The Depression ended happy.
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast CANCER and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. This time it was the invasion of COVID and it affected every person. I ranted for a year, until I got my COVID vaccine in March 2021.
CORONARY Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was my hubby Don, who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!
Navigating This Mess!
The most recent post is at the top, from coronary posts in 2022, back to cancer posts in 2016.
To find past posts, look below the "Archives" section, to find "Categories".