In Kansas City they have these flowering plants called naked ladies. They are so odd looking to me. I’m used to spiny things that warn you to keep away. If we humans completely mess up the earth (which seems inevitable), the plants are going to take over. They’ll fill all the crevices, infiltrate the buildings, cover the streets. I hope they like it hot.
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I miss picking out the restaurant we want to go to. I miss choosing a movie from a long list at the multiplex. I miss flying to the coast to see family. I miss hugs. I miss playing music with people. I miss chatting up the folks in my exercise class. There’s a lot to miss during a quarantine. But it isn’t as hard as missing the people who’ve been caught in this pandemic. Missing the people who are missing. The trauma and grief from so many missing people will last long after this is over.
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The kitchen was Where I talked to mom, The kitchen was Where we were all together, The kitchen was Where we played table games, The kitchen was The place to sit and stare, The kitchen was Full – filled – with life.
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I opened a new pack of Clorox wipes to clean up the load of groceries I’d just brought in the house. Ah, life during corona virus.
After, the smell on my hands took me back years. Back to an elementary school where I used to teach. Back to a school where the janitor polished and waxed the floors so regularly they gleamed. The wax, or the cleaning fluid, that he put in the machine he pushed up and down the halls, smelled like my hands.
I was back in the hallways of that building, thinking about all the kids who passed through them – probably still will when this pandemic is over. Back in a part of my life that was as natural as breathing.
Now, each time I use those wipes, I’ll go far away. Funny how a smell can do that to you.
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So many things we are thirsty for in America today. For truth, which is hard to find. For justice, which is even harder and more dangerous to find. For an understanding of the constitution and the guarantees we have a citizens. We’re thirsty for freedom from the oppression of capitalism and the way it holds most of us down. We’re thirsty for just a trace of human kindness from the folks who hold the reins in this country.
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Things are all akimbo in the world right now. Taking care of yourself while trying to do the right things is so important. May I suggest a few moments with music and dancing? It lightens your spirits and refreshes your soul. You can dance like nobody’s watching, because they probably aren’t! Turn up the music, please.
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Think about all the alert sounds you know now that didn’t exist a few years ago. Alerts for games, for Facebook Messenger, for emails and voice mails and Marco Polo talks. Then there’s the horrible one for civil defense alerts or tornado warnings. What we don’t hear is the old timey ‘ring ring’ of a landline. Now phones ring with songs or chimes or clown horns. Modern day smart phone create a lot of interruptions. Don’t pay any attention. Keep writing.
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I don’t miss the traffic and the noise. I don’t miss the crowded parking lots and the lines. I don’t miss the pushy people who seemed to be everywhere. Thanks to Facetime and Zoom and plain old phone calls, I don’t miss my friends and family too horribly. Sometimes I wonder what I do miss and the number of things I’d name is very low. We adapt. We make the most of it. Stay safe.
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Air so thick, it’s like inhaling clouds. Sky a dirty grey, tree leaves dark matte. Bird song hovers near the ground, Unable to rise. Airplanes make an unseen roar above us. I feel soaked through, as if I could sweat Cool water.
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