Let’s stay six feet apart

These are some crazy times. I keep thinking of sitting down to write something, anything, but then I never do. So much is going on and my thoughts are like the pollen floating through the air in this city I call home. I wonder if the thoughts, like the pollen, will land some place worthwhile. I wonder a lot.

Someday someone will write the story of how, in 2020, there was a pandemic that overtook the world. And the readers will wonder and marvel at the ignorance of some, and the sheer fierceness of others. They will look at photos with captions about how the playgrounds at the community park were closed, but families still could be found with their children climbing on the playground equipment and swinging on the swings. Or they will read about the church that refused to stop having services. Putting so many at risk. Will they also read of the people who reached out to one another in this time of need, or the medical staff, all the hospital staff, who kept working day by day knowing that they might be the next one taken down by this virus? I will purchase that book when it comes out, but I may not read it.

To think this all could have been, not prevented perhaps, but knocked down to a much lesser degree. So many people have lost their lives to this—so many more will. I take issue every time someone tallies up another death using the words; they had underlying conditions. It bothers me more and more. Let’s put it this way. If the virus hadn’t been able to take such a stronghold, all those with underlying conditions would still be here. They would be alive. Their families would not be in shock, trying to wrap their heads around how something like this could happen. Let’s never lose sight of that fact. This didn’t have to happen.

We have experienced epic failure by our government. It isn’t the people in the United States who failed in this; it is our government who failed all of us by not being prepared. And we will never be ready as long as we value money more than lives. For preparation, we would have to stockpile needed items waiting for the possibility of a time of mass crisis. Such preparedness would cost money and require an ongoing investment. Investments in a place to store the items, in the things themselves, and in the workers who need to be in charge of rotating stock and keeping track of the assets. If everything works the way it should, we won’t need all those stockpiled supplies, all the masks or ventilators, or other protective gear. But that means we are putting money into something without getting an instant monetary return on the investment. And it might happen for the next few years that we do just this. But then someone in government will decide it is a waste of money or a waste of resources because money is always worth more than people.

I work in a hospital, an inner city hospital with level one trauma care, supporting a variety of computer/software/who knows what items and people. Seriously, I support people too. It is not in my job description to be sure. But the stories I could tell which were told to me… I never tell those stories. But I always sit down and listen to the person telling them. I always listen.

This past Friday, I was in the ER, and it felt so unnerving to me. It’s March, and the ER was full. Usually, that thing does not happen until May when the Trauma season begins. Trauma season is when people get out and try to do chores such as tree trimming or cutting the grass (and running over their foot) or driving fast, enjoying the weather, and then ending up in the ER with injuries. Friday, when I was in the ER, I saw machines labeled non corona use and some people in masks and most with no protective gear. I saw people putting their lives at risk to help those in need and still laughing and smiling. I miss the days where I would think the worst thing I needed to look out for was blood trails leading into the ER. Or the unknown bodily fluid trail. I have washed my hands so much and used so much hand sanitizer I wonder about long-term effects. I am aware, constantly aware, that all these people who I work with, some I have worked with for the past eight years, are all in danger. And that we may put others in danger without knowing it. It is now mandatory to have our temperature taken each day using a no contact thermometer. I warily check the results each time.

We are practicing social distancing here in this state where I live. Our Governor holds a press conference each day to tell us we will get through this. He says it will be hard, and it will get worse. The Governor is losing his voice, and no longer wears a tie or sport coat. Most days, he wears a button-down shirt and jeans. The Governor has closed everything except essential businesses. We can get delivery or carryout from restaurants. Grocery stores are still open. The liquor stores are open. I guess that is an important business. Schools closed two weeks ago. No one knows when the end will be in sight. What we know is, if we don’t take make changes now, more people will suffer.

Let’s be a good neighbor and stay six feet apart as Andy Says.

“The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl”

-Counting Crows

Ground Hog Day – 93 years ago and 4 years ago

On this day 93 years ago my mother was born in Cleveland Ohio. Her family did not live in Cleveland, they moved around quite a bit. But on this one day that is where they were. Hard to believe she did not live past the age of 45.

She was 40 years old when I was born. I was the last of the 6 children she would have. And I have very few pictures of her. But on this day by luck and by cousins sharing photos on Ancestry, I have this one. This one picture of her as a baby being held by her Aunt.

Throughout the years I have done much family history research. I started by using hand written letters she herself had received from relatives back when she was doing family history research.

Also on this day, 4 years ago, my Dad passed away at the age of 87.

I remember the times when he would pull out this little wooden box with two drawers in it and look at pictures. He might show us kids some of the pictures if we asked, but mostly he would sit at the kitchen table and look through them by himself. Here is one picture of him during the Korean War.

It’s new and used.

I was lucky to happen across this piece of furniture while out wandering the aisles of a furniture consignment shop. I wasn’t planning on purchasing anything, it was more of a hey lets stop here and look around sort of thing. The furniture that this piece replaced was old, and dark brown and peeling wood veneer. It may have been a piece my Mom had when she and my Dad moved into the house together. But the drawers never worked and the veneer was peeling. And it was brown. I am not a fan of brown. I like color. And this has color. I have a house which is pretty close to 100 years old. We have no storage in the house. And this heavy solidly built piece checks all the boxes. And it is heavy. I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to get it up the steps and in the house. Even after removing the drawers and the shelves. Still heavy. But here it is. And every-time I walk past it , everytime I open it to remove a bath towel I smile.

Snippets

if it is badly written
if it is poorly said
should it be kept quiet
or do we throw it into the wind
and wait for it to come back to us
silence is not really a virtue
not all the time anyway

——————————–

trying to write
it’s the facts that cause me to stop
I have never really been
factual

———————————

I have the alphabet forming disjointed sentences leading to open ended paragraphs traveling though my head this morning. And this is what it is like when change is afoot. 

Funny.

I keep thinking I should write something. However, thinking and writing are categorized separately within my brain. I think a lot. I mean a whole lot as in I am always turning ideas over in my mind. It never stops. And for some who have been a part of my life, this fact has not been welcomed. At any rate.

I was thinking about the time I was taking my Dad to a doctor’s appointment. It was probably February since it was actually cold enough to have iced the wheelchair ramp. Of course, I did not know that the ramp was iced over until I was wheeling the Old man down the ramp. The ramp is a metal contraption with the base being mesh metal. I never thought ice would develop on the mesh. I was behind his wheelchair coming to the realization that my feet were sliding with the weight of his body and the wheelchair pulling us along. And all I could do was laugh. Because that is what I do. When faced with a situation that I find unbelievable, I laugh. It doesn’t matter if I am trying to stand up in a dry stream bed with my bike atop me after falling off a small wooden bridge while mountain biking or trying to get my Dad to his doctor’s appointment. When things look like they are going wrong, I laugh.

The sound of my laughter must have alerted the old man because he tightened his grip on the arms of the wheelchair and asked if everything was okay. I assured him everything was fine. Because that is what I do. I assure all those around me, no matter what, that everything is fine. And we made it to the vehicle none the worse for wear. And he never knew that we slid down the wheelchair ramp that day. It was controlled sliding and it is still funny.

And everything was fine.

Odds and Ends

I have been on the lookout for a place locally that had Fish Tacos and thankfully we found one. Within a 5 minute drive from the house. Its been years since I had my first fish taco in San Diego. That was one really good Fish Taco. It has been hard to find anyplace since then which had anything close. Kinda like trying to find a Shrimp/Oyster Po boy that is half as good as the ones I have had in Galveston. Just isn’t happening.

Now every time we go to this restaurant I never get tired of ordering Fish Tacos. Seriously they are that good. And we can order them and eat them at home. Which is a nice way to go these days.

On the last trip to the restaurant we had our order in and as I waited with money in hand (a $20 and a $5 for the $24.10 bill pay attention this is important) to pay the nice attractive dark haired lady behind the counter, I noticed she was making an odd face. I immediately leaned in and asked her if there was a problem. Yeah. I can be that fast. She replied that she had thought I was going to hand her 2 twenties. Obviously she had input into the cash register that I was giving her $40.00 for a $24.10 bill. I quickly did the math and then went into she is really cute and I must fix this mode, and handed her $40 instead. She told me she was so relieved that she did not have to get a calculator. And wow was she cute when she smiled.

As we made our way to the car with our order my SO said to me, “She is cute but…” And all I could do while I got behind the steering wheel was smile.

Sunday musings

The city says that three times a year, we can put out larger junk items for garbage pickup. I live in the city, and it is one of the perks of paying taxes. I guess. An oh the three times a year is more of a fiscal year, not a human year. But you get the point.

Have I had the house in my name for two years now? It was my Dad’s house and the basement, and the second floor is still full of his junk I mean collections. There is just so much to go through. And to add to that, the old man would be sneaky and hide important papers in a box of trash. Seriously.

A while ago, I signed up for junk pickup email reminders. And usually, I would see maybe one email reminder. This time around, I have received multiple reminders. It is as if an email bot somewhere has decided I need to get moving on getting rid of stuff like it thinks I need an extra push or something.

The universe tips in mysterious ways sometimes.