What’s that smell?

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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The Dream Birthday

My dream birthday takes place on a tropical island with warm water and clean beaches. Everyone is there with me. Even long dead people like my parents. We all have lovely rooms in a fancy hotel where the food is good and the evening entertainment is top class. The cake has real frosting laid on thick, the ice cream is really made with cream, and nobody cares if it’s fattening. Maybe next year . . .

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Dancing with the Devil

We’d been home for so long, missing friends, missing company, missing good times. We decided to take a night off and go out to the pub – you know, that one down by the university with the big dance floor. We danced a lot and drank some beer and had a great time. That was 2 weeks ago. Today we are sitting in line to get a COVID-19 test because we both feel really bad.

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Thirsty

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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Turn up the music

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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The pancakes

I stood, spatula in hand, semi-transfixed. The batter sizzled as it hit the griddle. I watched as tiny bubbles popped to the surface. The batter heated and solidified. The blueberries reached a boiling point and popped, shooting out blue goodness like tiny volcanoes. Then I flipped them over and looked at the perfect brown done side. Success was mine.

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All the Alerts

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

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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Humid

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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When I Was Out Walking

Daffodils
Spring flowers

When I was out walking
I felt happy for the sun
Warming my face.

When I was out walking
I admired the spring,
The flowers, the grass.

When I was out walking
I remembered how beautiful
Life can be.

I kept walking.

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