What I Forgot

What I Forgot

I got my Covid vaccine six weeks ago and was ready to take on the world. So I went out to lunch with a couple of friends at an actual restaurant.  Immediately, I noticed that things were different. My two friends sat across from me and actually talked. Unlike my two cats who sit across from me on the couch and just stare. I had to make conversation with regular adults.  And I needed to do so without offering them little tidbits from off of my plate. I forgot that humans need conversation, not desiccated treats.  

Because of virus concerns, we sat at an outside table.  It was so wonderful because the hot, humid weather allowed outdoor seating. I had eaten at other restaurants during the winter part of quarantine, but that required several layers of clothing, near an outdoor heater and wait staff willing to bring a constant supply of warm drinks. This summer outing was infinitely better because we could sit two inches closer to the table without all the outerwear.  I forgot what it was like to sit that close to a surface I was eating from.

Sitting at an actual table instead of sitting on a couch made me realize that my posture was upright. I wasn’t slouched on the sofa and I wasn’t bending over six layers of winter clothes. I could just sit up, face my friends and eat like a regular person. Well, kind of. After 14 or 15 months of eating alone on the sofa, I was unpracticed in using a napkin. For some time I had become accustomed to letting things fall where they may – down the front of my sweatshirt, onto the floor or in between the cushions of the couch. Of course I’d clean it up but eating at a restaurant doesn’t offer the perks of sloppiness one can acquire when there’s nobody to notice for over a year.  I had forgotten that out in public I had to, as my grandmother used to say, “Sit up, young lady!” In following those childhood instructions, I realized that sitting upright requires a different set of muscular contractions, whereas slouching requires almost none. By the end of the two hour lunch, certain muscles that I won’t mention, were sore.  Who knew that sitting was so much work? I guess I forgot that too.

I realized that we are no longer socially distancing, we are socially contracting. That means act nice, be polite, speak up, but not too loud. Use things like plates, silverware, and napkins. Pay attention so food doesn’t fall down the front of your shirt. I was no longer eating from the pan on the stove and using the back of my arm in case of spills. Beverages out in public typically come in attractive glassware, not the old Tupperware tumblers I bought at a garage sale. It dawned on me that I would be required to pay attention to what my friends were saying and to interact with them. That’s part of the social contract that I forgot.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable lunch. Old habits were resurrected, new habits were forged.  I am committed to rejoin civilization as we once knew it. Or even civilization as it will become. As Phoebe Snow and then Aretha Franklin assured us, it’s a different world from where you come from.

A Purse By Any Other Name

Even though I didn’t need one, I went ahead and bought a new purse. There was all kinds of rationalizing behind the purchase: I hadn’t gotten a new purse since last March, which was over a year ago; I needed that particular silhouette for summer outfits; summer was coming and I needed a new purse to go with shorts and warm weather clothes. I suspect that most of you reading this know the real reason for purchasing a new purse. I just wanted to buy a new purse. It’s been eons since I strolled through a mall, credit cards burning a hole in my wallet and small confection and pretzel stands calling my name as I passed by. We used to refer to it as “retail therapy.” I was sorely in need of therapy but alas, this is not prudent right now. So I looked up the shopping channels that hawk purses for the homebound and I found what I was looking for and I bought it.

After the transaction I began to think about the cost of a woman’s purse. Advertising tells you that it’s a good investment because it’s leather. Features that are included in the purse make this worthy of the amount submitted for the object itself. Things like a lining in the purse, a zippered side pocket, plus two pockets that will store your cell phone and another small object. I thought that a Snickers bar would be the ideal candidate for the extra pocket. A couple of brand name makers also include a leash for your keys. Good thing. Those purses are typically large enough to hold a small British sports car. My keys always get lost sifting through errant receipts, sun glasses, old shopping lists, crumpled work orders for things done to my car, loose change and face masks. Once I found several Bit-O-Honey’s that were quite hard, so I ate them to protect anyone else from having to risk broken teeth. What a sacrifice!

What really struck me about the purchase was the cost of the purse and how little I was offered in return. Yes, they are stylish but really, aren’t they just stylish grocery bags? For the amount of money charged, purses should at least offer the traveler’s friend, RFID protection. You can buy purses with that feature, but they are a separate fashion line costing slightly less than leather and vegan-leather options. By the way, it nearly drove me crazy until I figured out that vegan leather was plastic that was man-made to look like leather. They like to charge as much, but don’t offer RFID protection either.

Another thing I’d like purses to offer for the price they charge is some kind of service, like refrigeration. That way I could keep a sandwich cold while out and about. Or perhaps they could include a portable USB charger so that I could plug in my phone and not worry about losing a charge if I’m running errands. There is one brand that offers more storage than a U-Haul truck center. It’s typically got a zippered flap on the front that opens up to rows of credit card storage, a mirror small enough for any mice that might want to live in there, coin storage, dollar bill storage and pen slots. Inside you could almost maintain a wardrobe on hangars because the purse is so big. There’s room for a tablet, a phone, work papers, umbrella, water bottle and, in a pinch I suppose, a very small child. They could play with the mouse in the outer compartment. For expensive purses, this brand is at the lower end. The leather isn’t vegan, it’s actual plastic. But even with all those zippers, features and gewgaws, there still isn’t any RFID protection.

Why am I railing about this? Because my credit cards have been hacked several times over the past six months. It happened at a department store I was visiting and they incurred several charges over $300. There are some purses that cost that much and I for one would like to think that if I’m paying that amount, they should offer super-sleuth protection as I walk around with their logo on my arm. If I’m going to advertise for them, they should offer protection to me. I’ll let you know when that happens.

Se habla?


Spring is here! At last the weather is warm, winter gear is no longer necessary, days are longer. There is also a plethora of outdoor activities that present themselves. Long walks in the neighborhood, hikes in  State Parks, bicycling along trails, and when the Covid quarantine lifts, there will be outdoor café visits with friends. In the land of 10,000 Lakes, we also await the thaw of all the waterways. Along with that there’s an increase in various flora, fauna, ichthyoids, and testudines. No, that doesn’t have anything to do with male anatomy. Less formally, testudines are turtles. Ever since Dr. Seuss opined about Yurtle and his hard shelled friends, I have been in love with the domed creatures.

One of my hobbies is to visit various lakes to find them. Back when it was permissible, I even owned a couple of them. Fact is, turtles are adorable. I love everything about them. Their shiny, faceted shells that gleam in the sun. Their splayed paws with the long fingernails, their ability to hold their breath underwater. I’m in awe of their ability to sleep without breathing for an entire season. Don’t even get me started on how magnificent sea turtles are!

In pursuing my love of turtles, I often go in search of a peek at them basking in the sun. Turtles sun themselves on logs near the shoreline of ponds and some smaller lakes. The sight of them laying in a row or stacked upon each other is more endearing than I can say.  I have spent hours walking slowly along trails and through shoreline undergrowth to catch a glimpse of dark half circles lined up on a tree branch in the water.

To preserve my citings and to share them as well, I purchased a new camera that has a very long lens. Alas, while I love looking at turtles, they aren’t always fond of my approaching them. Typically what happens is a very soft ‘plop’ into the water and the silent ripples that follow. This occurs more frequently earlier in the spring when the turtles are re-acclimating themselves to the world outside their muddy den below the surface. When they lose their camera shyness, I have been able occasionally to take pictures of them sitting in all their glory. I was using the camera on my phone. This is a perfectly serviceable piece of photographic equipment, but it was difficult to get close up.  So I bought the new camera.

It came with a camera bag, two lenses, one of which would surely enable me to see the turtles painted undersides at long range. In addition to the camera, the lenses and the equipment bag, I also own a tri-pod. With all that paraphernalia and my trusty waterproof hiking boots, I imagined myself as intrepid a naturalist as David Attenborough. For my first outing with the new gear, I wanted to prepare my camera, lenses, and the tripod to be ready for any photos that I’d be quick enough to catch. I got everything out, laid it out on my kitchen table in neat rows and put the camera bag on a chair out of the way. So exciting, so professional. I have to admit, there were images of being a famous turtle photographer dancing in my head.

Holding the camera in my left hand, I got out the instruction book. My primary objective was to understand how to set up for the long range close-ups. Feeling very proud of myself for having saved the instructions, and being humble enough to realize I needed the instructions, I flipped to the first page. It was all in Spanish. Not to be dissuaded, I flipped to the back, thinking the English instructions would be on the reverse side. Nope, just Spanish. While I remember a few phrases from 6th grade Spanish, I am by no means fluent enough to interpret a camera manual. There I was, the sunshine of Spring abounding and a camera that I wasn’t sure how to use. I was devastated. After a few moments of chagrin,  I resigned myself to trial and error with the new lens. Maybe I could get a shot of turtles worth looking at.

Where was the English manual? I have no idea. I had purchased the camera over the winter and fastidiously thrown out all the packing materials and anything that seemed unnecessary. What did this teach me about photographs of turtles? Nothing. I did learn that I don’t have to listen to others when they insist on that it’s important to throw out things you don’t need.

Just Don’t Say Anything


It seems Instagram is after me again. This time they sent me a notice saying that some of my content goes against their policies for reasonable speech, I guess. They’ve already closed one of my accounts and I promptly responded by adding a number to my previous account name to get back on the ‘Gram. Of course I had to go through all the nonsense of trying to remember who I was following and do a search-and-follow check. I lost a few ‘friends’ that I wasn’t terribly interested in anyway. Gone was “Tips 4 Home.” It wasn’t exactly a favorite. I’m not entirely sure how that account landed in my feed or how I ended up following them. They had uber-charming photos of things like professionally decorated farm house back porches, or metal plows against a sunset painted with flowers. You get the idea. Additionally there were the homey, mid-western-grandparent captions, such as “It’s better to rust out than wear out.” I wanted to send them a note saying there are anti-arthritis drugs now, so wearing out doesn’t have to be an option. Not sure if they were terribly interested in what others had to say. I suspect sometimes that those kinds of posts are either Russian bots or some anonymous corporation looking for my data through my phone. Either way, I culled out some accounts and added others.

Typically what I added were political satire, social justice commentary and a few politicians that benefit greatly from the posts I forward to them or comments that I have about their performance. I also follow a few accounts related to the #MeToo movement, because misogyny is everywhere you don’t want it to be. My comments typically had to do with being less tolerant of previous social conventions. I post about politicians and their verbal gaffes, question the wisdom of allowing gigantic corporations the latitude they seem to enjoy in the current political climate and, just as important, pictures of my cats. It’s hard to say what the Instagram censors found offensive about any of that. In talking with friends, I shared my feeling that Instagram, like so many institutions, has a long history of expecting women not to cite white males as part of the problem.

Therein lies my difficulty in life. I am not now, nor have I ever been terribly deferential to men. I have spent parts of my young working life picking up odd jobs for a summer, or a semester, in the “pink collar” sector. That means I sat at a desk, answered phones, shuffled papers, and often typed words or calculated numbers on behalf of a male that made significantly more money than I did. That was irritating enough, but the fact that they seemed to need so much more help for simple functions was really off-putting. When I say simple functions, I mean things like getting coffee, finding small items on a desk, explaining reports I had put together that they didn’t understand, yet got credit for, and making healthcare appointments. Did I mention they made A LOT MORE money than I did. Most of them were shut away in offices by themselves. Presumably a time out from the real work being done outside their doors by the bevvy of women engaged in the same activities that I was.

Women who do this kind of work have careers that are replete with stories about training men in offices, hospitals, board rooms, factories, etc. on how to do their jobs. These women continued getting the same salary while the men got promoted. Early on I came to a decision that I just couldn’t be deferential to people who knew less than I did and capitalized on my better than average abilities so they could get ahead without acknowledging me. Trouble is, I often said so. This is perceived as bothersome in the overall social schema and I have been “talked to” more than once about my prevalent attitude. I knew what was really required: I should shut up, do as much as possible for very little pay and pretend not to notice how things were. You’ve probably guessed that those kinds of jobs didn’t work out terribly well for me.

Now here we are in the 21st Century and the specter of not noticing how things are shows up on Instagram. I have openly posted phrases specifically related to  not being deferential to old, white men. Based on my experience, their position and power was acquired based on the efforts of women who, like myself, were also not well paid and expected not to notice how things were. I say let’s just cut to the chase and skip the carve-outs given to mostly old, mostly white, mostly men, just because they showed up with a certain set of genitalia. I suspect there is a certain group of people at Instagram who would like me not to notice that they too operate under the implied contract we have for men. I’d like them to shut up, do their work and not notice what I’ve been saying.

Running with Aargh, Not with Scissors

The tedium is starting to get to me. I am having a hard time finding new challenges in cleaning out a closet, developing an existing hobby or searching for meaning in emptying the litterbox. There are just so many “new” and “exciting” things to be discovered in my apartment and I think I’ve been over them twice now.

When quarantine for the pandemic started, I was coming off two years that included a divorce and a bout with cancer. It is resolved, and I still hate my ex-husband. I’ve had plenty of time to ponder,  meditate, and journal my feelings. That’s why I’m comfortable saying that I still hate my ex-husband. For god’s sake, is there not a man alive who understands the phrase “my side of the bed.” Recent musings have been in the direction of considering dating again as I am no longer feeling disposed toward bodily harm when it comes to the masculine sex. I decided to give that a few months to simmer before I checked out any kind of singles app, silver or otherwise.

What I really want is an end to the boredom. The tedium of talking to the same people, engaging in the same routine, sitting on the same couch. I’m also tired of searching the internet for new ways to do anything. Please spare me the diatribe on how wonderfully well your exercise program is going. If I had more space, I’d have my own home gym too.  Part of the fallout from the divorce was that I didn’t get the condo, which had a gym in the building. Working out was always within reach. I keep thinking about that guy who logged in something like 31 miles walking around his kitchen table while in lockdown. How absolutely boring! It certainly made me wonder just how interesting his sex life was. Thirty-one miles around a table? Nothing was heard from the wife.

I don’t have a dining room big enough to walk around let alone clock in some miles. I don’t have an extra room for hobbies, crafts or the like. If I choose to engage in any kind of activities for entertainment, I have to get out the supplies, complete the tasks, put the supplies away and then clean up from whatever I was doing. This is so I will have enough room just to live in my apartment. As someone once observed, it’s kind of like playing Tetrus here. They said that before lock down and I’d like to find them to offer congratulations on their incisive assessment. When I get frustrated with all of the things that I have to move, I try to remember that line, hoping I’ll trick my brain into thinking that I’m playing a game.  Even that has become tedious.

As an extroverted extrovert, a typical day used to involve generating three or four hair-brained schemes that would be wildly funny if I had the time or wasn’t in some place where adult behavior wasn’t pervasive. Being unable to let my imagination run like that adds to the tedium. It seems that quarantine is nothing more than endless adult behavior so that we don’t touch anyone, or breathe on anyone or infect anyone. It reminds me of when we used to have meetings at work. The expectations were that we didn’t laugh, didn’t make faces at anyone, didn’t snap rubber bands and then look away. You know, act like adults. They’re so boring, which is why everyone hates meetings. Now that meetings are shirts on top and pajamas on the bottom, it sucks the fun out of thinking about how to disrupt these get-togethers. With everyone in sweats and/or pajamas, there’s no fun to be had. More tedium.

Quarantine will end. More and more people are being vaccinated and some people are beginning to travel. Especially older folks who are less vulnerable and less obligated to jobs, children, and making money. In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for searching the internet for new ways to do, well, just about anything.

The Bathroom Sink

What is up with the bathroom sink?

What makes it so dirty, I continue to think.

Why doesn’t all that water and soap make it any cleaner.

All that scum and stain just gets meaner.

I wash you and rinse you, to no avail.

Why don’t you stay clean, I continually wail.

I rub you and scrub you, then pat you down.

Like a baby’s clean bottom, you soon turn brown.

Your appearance gets worse, it seems on the daily.

Where do you get all this dirt if I so much as dally.

Your penchant for grime seems a little bit shady.

I’ll just have to give in and get a cleaning lady.

Hands Down


One of the things that has puzzled me throughout my life is that other people seem to believe that I actually want to put my hands into the kitchen sink strainer and scrape out all that stuff that gets stuck in there.  Have you ever looked at that stuff? It doesn’t resemble anything ever cooked in my kitchen. Somehow going from the cooking stage to the rinsed stage and landing in the sink strainer has rendered it unrecognizable. At which point, it must be dealt with. Yuck!

I have never lived with anyone who has offered to clean out a kitchen sink. No roommates, children, husbands or distant relatives have stepped up to the plate to say, “Hey, don’t put your hands in that mess. I’ll clean it out for you!“ Cleaning out the kitchen sink strainer is another level of a dirty, lonely job. Yet if it isn’t done, complications multiply rapidly. Not the least of which is a malodorous kitchen. Or a sink that won’t drain because of the dreaded gook that swirls around as if it’s laughing at you. I’m supposed to put my hand in there and get it out? Yet it must be done.

Because I live alone, the logical candidate is just me. I don’t have a cleaning person for my small apartment and even if I did, they wouldn’t come daily to empty the kitchen sink strainer of its contents. At least not without an exorbitant fee. Stuck with doing the job myself, musings on the reason for being forced into this disgusting job abound as I scrub and rinse. Is there a legal requirement that I must do this? Is there a prohibition in the child labor laws that kept my children from doing this? They grew up unscathed in the art of emptying kitchen sink strainers, so I guess we won’t know the answer to that one. What about any of those husbands I used to have? Why didn’t they step up and save a damsel in distress from the slime monster lurking in the above ground plumbing? None of them ever evinced the slightest interest in intervention strategies needed for kitchen cleaning warfare.

Glaringly obvious is that this task is relegated to the quaint catch-all “women’s work.” If you think that we are more enlightened as a society, I beg to differ. Possession of a uterus is nine points of the law. Because of that I, me and my comrades in kitchen gloves, continue to make more meals, scrub more pots and pans, empty more dishwashers and, you guessed it: clean out the kitchen sink strainers. This is ignominious work. No recognition, no awards, no rewards. Lest it go undone, there would be plenty of notice from those orbiting the kitchen. Comments ranging from unkind to negative would surely abound. I believe that science should be tasked to find a way to keep the kitchen sink from becoming in need of constant attention. Better things to do are waiting. They won’t get done until the kitchen sink strainer is emptied.

National Holiday

While I don’t know much about football, I do celebrate the annual paean to it called The Super Bowl. They had another one this year and celebrate I did. You see it’s been a little over a month since we’ve had a good excuse to ingest a days worth of empty calories. Super Bowl is that day. Most years, I typically  make a large pot of jambalaya and take it to a gathering with friends. Usually, those people have also prepared snacks, sides and snippets of goodies to share with everyone as well. And it’s all waiting to be washed down with festive beverages. 

The gathering was smaller this year, owing to the pandemic and social distancing considerations. I spent time with two other adults in my family and their children. I didn’t make jambalaya for the first time in memory, but I did order and pick up chicken wings. All of us enjoyed the wings, along with queso dip, something referred to as “crack” dip that no one could get enough of, two kinds of chips, fried rice, celery sticks, a fruit plate, a veggie plate, various cheeses, some olives, diet Coke and white wine. There was enough food and variety for a party the size of the neighborhood and the five of us managed to put a good dent in all of it. Despite our best efforts, there was still enough for me to take home left overs.

That’s why we need to have the day after the Super Bowl declared a holiday. After a day of sampling everything in sight, I was too full to get to sleep, so I stayed up even later than necessary. Yes, I noshed on a few items while watching more tv.  The next day, I was wiped out from all that eating. My body hardly knew what to do with itself, so I took not one, but two naps. Each meal of the day after was comprised of the aforementioned leftovers and as a snack in the evening, I ate popcorn because, you know, Super Bowl.

Not only did my body need more rest, but I was hungry. Not the real hungry you get from working and doing things like an adult, but the hungry you get when your stomach has been fed too much and it just misses more food. So I ate some. 

Throughout the day after, I was tired, hungry and out of sorts from eating food that didn’t have a strong relationship with nutrition. I had done my part in watching some of their activity with a football. Mostly I really just enjoy the commercials. Those things are highly entertaining and I hate to miss even one.  This is the occasion that calls for all this food after all.  It’s a party on TV, so it should be a party at my house. They make it seem like the real reason for all that eating anyway.

I did need to rest up from the workout of all that overeating. I’m sure others felt the same. So I’m going to begin a petition to have the day after Super Bowl declared a holiday. We all need the rest and those leftovers aren’t going to eat themselves.

What’s APP’nen

The title of this week’s tome is not a reference to the television show from the late 1970’s.  Nor is it a reference to the Church of What’s Happenin’ Now.  (Readers are encouraged to check listings from their local church of the month club program for more information, if they wish.)  The title refers to the activity that is going on for all of us, which is downloading more apps.  We’re getting everything from groceries, except toilet paper, to pharmacy prescriptions and pet supplies  via the app related to that product.  Most of the time it works rather smoothly.  While being sheltered in place,  I get my groceries delivered  within a four or five days of ordering them.  It works great.  Cat litter and cat food arrive all boxed up at my doorstep, neatly packaged in one box.  The strength of Hercules is needed to get it from the front door of my apartment building up the stairs, to my apartment door.  Thankfully, though, it’s here.  The cats will not starve or drive me out of the apartment if their litter isn’t changed.

Increased use of electronics at home meant ordering a few supplies that couldn’t be conveniently obtained from the grocery store, the local pharmacy or Pets ‘R’ Us. They were Double AA batteries and printer ink.  Sometime back our society converted to the binary system of one Double AA battery or two Double AA batteries for every device possible.   I can’t go anywhere and wander around looking for these items, so I chose a big box store that was certain to have these things in stock.  Who else but Best Buy.  If they don’t have them in stock when it’s ordered, the store will be getting more soon. Especially the types of common items that I needed.

Wanting to be cautious about not making an extra trip when we’re still sheltering in place, I made sure I had the correct order number for the printer ink.  The TV remote was in need of new Double AA batteries and I confirmed that by opening up the back to make sure that’s what was needed.  Got it.  Two Double AA batteries would restore ease of use in my quarantine-induced binge watching.  Pulled out my smart phone, downloaded the app and scrolled through my choices.  Each item was easily located, added to the cart and paid for with a credit card.  Not the Best Buy Credit card, which would have given me ‘rewards’, just a regular credit card that gets me the merchandise I need.  Ordered, paid for, done.  They will send me an email when my order is ready and I can drive to the store.  I ordered things on Sunday evening and anticipated picking them up on Monday.  This assumption was confirmed with the promised email.

What didn’t work out so well were the parking and pick up instructions.  Before I could tell them I was coming, I had to read through a page of disclaimers.  That’s hard to do on those little phones.  Then I had to tell them I was on my way.  Information had to be entered, and then another email would be sent, containing the code I would have to use.  Instructions followed about how and where to park my car.  I tried reading them but it was confusing.  Upon arriving in the parking lot, I just pulled in to one of the spots available.  I think Best Buy wanted the number of the spot, but that wasn’t clear.  I clicked a button on the app to say I had arrived and waited for the identification code that I would have to provide to the sales person.

It was like buying State secrets.   Erroneously I believed that the app for orders from Best Buy would be easier to navigate and get through pick up.  They are, after all, a successful electronics company.  They must have some idea about how to move things from order to fulfillment in a logical fashion without having to constantly go back to an app that gives vast pages of  directions for the next step in the puzzle.  Guess not.  I left the parking lot feeling dazed and confused.  Somehow I had obtained accurate instructions.  Then I blurted out the correct recipient code at the right time to get the products I ordered placed in the back of my SUV.   I’m really not clear how it all happened because I wasn’t sure what the instructions were saying.  I would have checked further, but I don’t even think there’s an app for that.


The current Shelter-in-Place order has been difficult for everyone around the country and the world.  Personally, I believe that it is harder for Minnesotans than anyone else. We might even be more special that Californians in this regard.  The reason is this:  In Minnesota, we shelter in place for about eight months out of the year.  We think of Ground Hog’s Day as just another reason to make a hot dish casserole, because we know that spring is a long way off.  Minnesotan’s are a faithful lot and believe in their hearts that spring really will arrive and it always does.  Sometimes in May, sometimes in June.  Don’t worry, there hasn’t ever been snow in July.  At least in my lifetime.

So it is that we wait for the opportunity to go outdoors, walk around our thousands of lakes, bike along our hundreds of miles of bike paths, sit at outdoor coffee shops without winter garb on and enjoy the sunshine and balmy temperatures.  Anything about 40F degrees is considered balmy.  Today as I was completing my allotted outdoor walk, I happened past three individuals chatting on the sidewalk.  Appropriately six feet apart, they were all dressed in sandals accompanied by ankle pants, leggings and the like.  No socks, just sandals.  It was 45F degrees with a stiff wind, making it feel a little cooler.  Sandals are part of a uniform of sort for the heartiest of Minnesotans.  Worn with shorts and an enormous puffer coat, the outfit is considered haute couture.  Often we are so desperate for warmth, that we run to the mailbox or take out the garbage in slippers and bathrobes that brush freshly fallen snow.

Given this longing to be outdoors after a long winter’s nap, the shelter-in-place order feels like the unkindest cut of all.  Our governor prudently decided that our citizens should shelter-in-place until the middle of May.  How can this be?  After all these months (it hasn’t been as high as 70F degrees since September) we need sun, warmth, sidewalks unfettered by snow mounds.  I can only take so many Vitamin D tabs.   In the winter, there are times when going outdoors means that the expedition could end in death.  We have exposed skin warnings, insulated insulation pants, shirts, gloves and hats.  Thus Minnesotans opt for life indoors for extended periods of time.   It is the wisest course of action.  Now that spring really is here, with its longer, sunny days and warmer temps that we knew would arrive, we are prohibited from spending time in the great outdoors lest we contract, or spread, a virus that could be as deadly as the worst winter temperatures.  We are used to staying inside and we are good at it.  It shows in our lower rates of contracting the disease and our lower fatalities, all of which is still sad.

In this time of pandemic, my part of the bargain is to stay indoors as much as possible.  I’m in a high risk group due to health issues I highlighted a few articles ago.  So I stay in, make masks, order groceries so as not to come in contact with possible sources of the virus, binge watch the same things others do and I stay in touch by phone.  I appreciate that others are doing the same.  It is the wisest course of action.  It will help contain, and eventually stop the spread of this terrible virus.  Hopefully in time for me to go get coffee dressed in my puffer coat, shorts and sandals.

Stay home and stay safe everyone.