Imagine

In mid-March, a group of celebrities posted an online video singing their rendition of John Lennon’s classic song Imagine. The stated purpose was to “raise morale” as the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the globe. (Their effort was not well-received.)

In the midst of this situation, imagination isn’t our primary aim. Reality reminds us daily we’re smack-dab in a real-life global pandemic. Things changed overnight. People died and countless others have been hastily quarantined. We don’t have to imagine grocery shelves picked clean nor the bewilderingly low supply of items like toilet paper and paper towels.

With amazing prescience, Netflix released (on January 22, 2020) a 6-episode docu-series titled, Pandemic:  How to Prevent an Outbreak. Though I haven’t watched it yet (too soon), I’ll probably do so eventually. One reviewer called it “visually stunning” and “a great piece of storytelling.” The series features caregivers who work the front lines when crisis occurs.

Since the dawn of time, mankind has faced disasters, some caused by disease, famine or flood. However, if there’s anyone with personal experience in dire circumstances, the biblical record of God’s prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, lays it out perfectly in I Kings 17. Continue reading “Imagine”

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The End of the World Has Arrived

If you’ve been stuck on a cruise ship in the mid-Atlantic (or alternatively, locked in video-game-quiescence), you may be blissfully unaware, so I’ll break it to you as gently as I’m able:

APRIL  IS  CANCELLED

Thanks to suspended schedules and cancelled seasons, sports fans may find their only social-distancing alternative is Tiddlywinks. Concert-goers don’t get a pass. Business owners won’t be conducting business as usual. Conferences? Nope. Spelling Bee? Nope. Any pretense of normalcy? Are you crazy?

No matter who you are and what your areas of interest, it’s safe to say the time has come to crawl back into the groundhog hole now and make yourself as comfortable as possible. We’re in this for the long haul.

It’s not a question of seeing one’s shadow. Despite the arrival of Spring-like weather assuring us of Winter’s end, it’s contrived. It’s a cruel fiction. The lush and exhilarating month of April is officially, unceremoniously cancelled. Continue reading “The End of the World Has Arrived”

New Year – New Me?

The year is now 2020, a New Year (as well as a new decade) which frequently signifies the proverbial fresh start. This new beginning presents a chance to modify one’s behavior, an opportunity to “turn over a new leaf” or begin again (by establishing new habits, resolving to eat healthier, exercise more, reduce screen time, etc.). Many of us find we’re captive to at least one bad habit and we’re anxious to exchange that bad habit for a new – and preferable habit, am I right?

In this New Year, there’s also a subtle reference to sight. Think about the common term for visual acuity – 20/20 – which widens the opportunity for reflection. In my view, 2020 is more than a particular year on our calendar; it’s an invitation to embrace the year ahead with clear-eyed thinking … and doing. Continue reading “New Year – New Me?”

Random Vicissitudes

Most people understand – at least in a theoretical sense – how quickly life can change. In the two months since I last posted, the silence hasn’t come about due to a lack of blogging material. No, no, no. Furthermore, every single day without a post brought a deeper sense of unease … the pattern of my life seeming slightly upended! Red-Pencil

But the respite from my daily pattern was necessary and welcome … necessary because life demanded I attend other matters and welcome because it freed me (somewhat) from my irrational obsession to slavishly maintain daily posts – no matter what! With each day that passed, my figurative pencil grew more insistent and red-faced. Much to my surprise, people continued to drop by and read previous posts. (I am gratefully humbled by your interest.) Continue reading “Random Vicissitudes”

Raising Canes . . . Maybe

Back in February, I posted about a day when I made a specific appointment to prune the raspberry bushes in my garden. I mentioned my reluctance to perform the task because I believed the productive plants might – given my notoriously purple thumb – take offense at being pruned and simply refuse to produce another crop! About two weeks ago, I took a hopeful gander at the raised-bed garden. I’m afraid it wasn’t good news.raspberry 1While I can’t confirm that said canes have actually given up the ghost, I’m beginning to worry. While the usual complement of weeds have begun to flourish (and propagate without any assistance), if there are new canes sprouting, I have not spied them. I will go out tomorrow and confirm. Granted, the temperatures may be fooling them into thinking it’s still late winter! Continue reading “Raising Canes . . . Maybe”

Mairzy Doats and Dozy Doats

From the time I was born, I had feeding issues. Those were the days when breastfeeding was on the decline and my parents had difficulty finding a milk-product I could digest. Cow’s milk made me sick so they began testing the potential of other similar milks.goatsEventually, they settled on goat’s milk which enabled me to thrive. Those were also the days when goat’s milk wasn’t sold in every grocery store. I’m not sure where they found goat’s milk in our relatively large city because I doubt it was readily available … I’m just glad they found it!

Once I graduated to solid food, my belly matured enough that I didn’t have serious food challenges. However, there were plenty of foods I didn’t care to eat. (Truthfully, my daddy was a picky eater and I know I must have watched him turn up his nose at multiple foods, especially vegetables. I learned from him … but then I ventured out on my own. He’d eat peas and lima beans, while I’ve always gagged on them!) Continue reading “Mairzy Doats and Dozy Doats”

The Shocking Lure of Celebrity

Usually, I take less than minimal interest in the ways congressmen or women choose to decorate their DC offices. It’s mostly trivial to me. However, when a congressman decides to go with the Downton Abbey motif (at a cost of $40,000), that piques my curiosity (and causes me to question his wisdom). The unfortunate revelations surrounding U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) have gradually surfaced, leading to his resignation announcement today.

FROM:  http://tiny.cc/6o0nvx
FROM: http://tiny.cc/6o0nvx

Schock made a pretty big impression in the nation’s capital. He recently was described this way by Politico:  The guy might just be America’s most photogenic congressman. The Men’s Health cover (above) dates from June 2011. The congressman rose quickly through the ranks and enjoyed wide margins of victory in his most recent elections. Continue reading “The Shocking Lure of Celebrity”

New Wrinkle in Care Packaging

For as long as I can recall, sending a “CARE package” meant you were sending a parcel of food or supplies (toiletries, socks, lotion, shampoo, etc.) to needy people in distant lands, mostly during emergencies. Under the CARE trademark, this humanitarian organization was originally named Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe and adopted as its mission (in 1945) sending food relief to hungry Europeans following World War II.CARE-37Over time, the organization continued its core activity but revamped its name to the more encompassing Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere. Today, CARE is active in 87 countries and engages in fighting poverty and assisting during emergencies. Continue reading “New Wrinkle in Care Packaging”

Live and Let Live?

Nobody needs to be reminded of the horror that took place last week in Paris. The uncertainty of possible copycat episodes in other places around the world causes each of us to doubly consider where we go, what we do and what we say. It’s not an ideal way to live, trying to think two steps ahead in anticipation of potential dangers. I’m not normally a worrier but I’ve known people who were. They can wear me out quickly!

lashesFailure (even unwillingness) to describe what occurred at Charlie Hebdo (and other places over the last several years) as Islamic Extremism or Radical Islam has lit up Twitter feeds and apparently surprised people around the world.

The twisted verbiage used to avoid such terms is laughable and maddening … for me at least. One State Department official tried to explain they were “… going to focus on all of the different kinds of extremism” and when challenged to identify other specific forms of extremism they’d be focusing on, the official replied:  “… there are people out there who want to kill other people in the name of a variety of causes.”

Oh, I get it. This walking on eggshells is because lots of unspecified other people (with their unspecifiedvariety of causes“) want to kill us. Perfectly clear. Should we just cede now that being liked by everyone is our chief goal? Close up the State Department offices. Close up the White House and Congress. Maybe Joel Osteen (with his feel-good, positive message) would step up and get all the various world parties together for a group hug? Continue reading “Live and Let Live?”

Reach Out and Touch

My mother-in-law phoned this morning. For many people, this might be an ordinary event. More often than not for me, phone calls from her send a tremor of worry through me.

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With one of her granddaughters, 2010

Because of her various life challenges, using the phone has become a complex operation; her dementia makes communication problematic, plus her hearing has diminished so she can’t always hear information clearly through the receiver. When I receive a call from her, my first thought is she needs emergency care or she’s fretting about an imagined crisis. (Prior experience has borne this out.) Continue reading “Reach Out and Touch”