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September 20, 2021 – WDIIA

What Day Is It Anyway?

What Day is it Anyway was started by Linda Hill sometime after we entered the pandemic. We were all getting so lost in the muck and the mire of a new complicated way of life it was hard to know what day it was. It’s been a while since I wrote one of these posts, and I think it’s time.

556 days ago, I left the mountains of Georgia where I had been tucked away with family enjoying a last family vacation. When we left each other to return to our respective homes, we had no idea what we were facing.

So, here we are, over 18 months later and we are still in the pandemic. We have come a long way, yet we still have so much further to go. We are no longer in lockdowns, and many people have returned to work and school. But so many people’s lives have changed. In the United States alone, over 666,000 people have died. Those are families whose lives have been forever altered. And that does not take into account the long-haulers who suffer long after the primary phase of infection has passed.

This morning, Pfizer announced the vaccine appears to work well and safely in children aged 5 to 11. They will move quickly to get FDA approval to begin vaccinating that age group. It must be tough to be a parent in the midst of this, trying to make the right decision for your children in the midst of so much misinformation and distrust.

We now have effective vaccines to fight the virus, but there is still so much hesitancy. The Delta surge is still ravaging the country, seemingly targeting the unvaccinated as its primary target.

I have taken one airplane trip. It was after I was vaccinated and before Delta. I doubt I would fly now unless an emergency warranted it, but who knows for sure unless the opportunity presented itself. I have seen all our children and grandchildren with the exception of one family we have yet to see. 18 months is a long time to be absent from their lives.

In this time, things have improved I think, but getting life back to normal – well, what is normal now?

According to my good friend Siri, it’s 69 days until Hanukkah and 96 days until Christmas. I am hopeful for a little more family time this holiday season.

So, tell me, how are you doing? Has your lifestyle changed for the better this far into the pandemic?

(It’s also time to think about getting your flu shot.)

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Monday Missive – The Last Day of August #WDIIA

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What day is it? August 31st. The last day of August already! How can that be? I feel like Rip Van Winkle with two major exceptions. First of all, I did not get to sleep through this mess and wake on the other side to a changed new world, and I did not suffer the alcoholic stupor which brought on his 20 year sleep. I sure hope this thing does not last 20 years. I truly want to live again, out and about with the people I love.

  • Saturday was our oldest daughter’s birthday. We sent flowers and chocolate on Friday for fear they had plans on Saturday. They did not, so we also had the opportunity to drive down to say hello to the whole family. Her sister was there, too, so it was a real treat even if it was standing on the driveway, socially distanced.
  • On Sunday, we went to the apple orchard. We had not been at all this year and we wanted to get some Honey-crisp apples before they were all gone. We did not go into the orchard to pick, we selected our apples from those already picked. Our daughters drove to the orchard as well. We were all masked up and there was hand sanitizer everywhere outside the shed.  Afterward we sat outside, and visited for a while. It is odd to carry on a conversation with people you love through masks. Such a strange time.
  • After the orchard, we drove to the Asheville Farmers’ market in search of fall plants. Our cucumber vines are yellow and exhausted, along with most of our tomato plants. The heat and the rain was hard on the garden.  The peppers are all producing like wildfire. The plan today was to tear out the old plants, amend the soil, and plant the fall vegetables, but it is extremely wet out there.
  • We had another severe storm roll through just after midnight last night. Another inch of rain by the time we woke. The temperature was only 70°F, but of course the humidity is still at 99%.
  • I am just realizing I did not take any photos all weekend. I usually leave my ohone in my purse when we go out and I think I was so caught up in seeing family, I did not even think about photos. I may try to take one of the breakfast I am looking forward to. In addition to apples, when we visit the orchard, we always pick up a few apple cider donuts, a couple of apple fritters (my anticipated breakfast), and a couple of fried apple pies.
  • On our video chat with our three year old granddaughter, she said Santa would not come this year because of Corona Virus. Of course we told her Santa and the reindeers could fly up high and still drop off presents, not to worry. I think her parents were quite surprised to hear her say that. Such a tough time for the little ones.

That’s it for me. How are things going in your Corona World?

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Taking Some ME Time – What Day is it Anyway?

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I have been very lax these last few days in keeping up with blogs or even writing much. It seems like there has been a lot going on, yet nothing at the same time. So, let’s get to it.

  • Last Sunday I hit a wall. The first time I’ve felt really down since this whole pandemic started. Not bad considering, but I did not like the cloud I was living in.
  • There is a lot that may be contributing to my blue feelings. I think it helps to acknowledge what brings on these feelings so we can move them along.
  • A young woman I worked with was just diagnosed with breast cancer. That makes two young women in a week receiving this diagnosis. After having lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer, I am prayerful they found it early and can get into remission.
  • Two of my grandchildren were exposed to someone who had Covid but did not know. They were very frightened to have the test, but thankfully they tested negative. Too much worry for this old grandmother’s heart.
  • Our internet was out 4 times in the last week due to downed trees. This can probably be attributed to our crazy weather. We had thunderstorms roll through almost every evening. It is so frustrating especially when this is the primary way we stay in touch.
  • We had our first social interaction since March this week. We went to our friends’ house and sat on their deck – social distanced with separate snacks and drinks. It was nice to feel somewhat normal again.
  • It started raining early this morning. We have had 4.1 inches of rain since midnight last night and it is not quite noon. This crazy weather has impacted our gardens. Many of our tomatoes are splitting before they ripen. Our pickling cucumbers have just about exhausted themselves.
  • We went to a new local Farmers’ Market yesterday. We bought Cherokee Purple tomatoes, some bi-color corn on the cob, some snap beans, a few pickling cucumbers, and some Cubanelle peppers.
  • My mood is much improved, but I still needed a few days. I have not written my writing challenge pieces yet, but I will get there! It’s not too late to join in. Just follow the link.

Stay well and stay safe everyone.

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5 Months In – What Day is it Anyway?

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It is so hard to believe we are 5 months into this pandemic — at least from when I stopped living a normal life and started to live my life shrouded in the fear of a virus that has killed so many people. In this five months I have seen my country torn apart from the inside out. It is disturbing to say the least. And when we think it cannot get any worse — BAM — Another lead shoe drops.

  • Our governor extended our “Safer at Home” order until 9/11. So, technically, we are still in Phase 2 of reopening meaning our bars and gyms are still not open. In addition, face coverings are mandatory and restaurants can no longer sell alcohol after 11:00 pm.
  • The early signs of fall are peeking into view. The last of our Rose of Sharon blooms are dying out. The dogwood leaves are turning that familiar pink color heralding an early warning of what lies ahead.
  • The bluebirds disappeared from the feeders for a while, but they are back in full force now. I am suspicious these are the juvenile birds born this season. We have seen lots of juveniles of all different breeds. Since most of the blooms have disappeared, the hummingbirds are now fighting for their place at the feeder, too.
  • Speaking of hummingbirds, yesterday I saw what I thought was the smallest hummingbird I have ever seen. Well, turns out it was a hummingbird moth. That’s a new one for me folks.
  • The garden is doing ok, but I fear the tomatoes have been hit by something. I found a hornworm on one plant and an army worm on another. No major infestation though.
  • Our pickling cucumbers are struggling a bit. Not sure if it is uneven watering (we have had a lot of rain of late) or excessive heat. The slicing cucumbers are doing well, but I prefer the taste of the pickling cucumbers
  • I made a batch of spicy refrigerator dill pickles and a batch of bread and butter refrigerator pickles. They are SO good!
  • I am waiting on the chair I ordered for my workspace. It is being shipped from California and has now been delayed by weather.
  • Our internet is down so I popped on my phone to try and finish this. Looks like it will be mid afternoon before it is repaired.

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Dreaming of a Corona Sabbatical – WDIIA

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These days I find myself wishing I could take a sabbatical away from anything corona related. I miss the nuance of living normally, as I had for 65 years. Exchanging smiles with strangers, bumping into friends at the supermarket, and just spending time with family. It has been over 4 months since I returned from our girls’ trip in the mountains and I find myself longing for the days we spent sitting on the big back porch staring off into the mountains.

It will soon be a year since I returned from the women’s retreat in New Hampshire. Another glorious getaway swimming in the color of a New England fall. I remember the day I arrived, it was rainy with dire warnings of severe inclement weather which, thankfully, did not come to pass.

I long for conversations which do not include numbers, fatalities, testing, masking, protests, and discussion of anything related to the virus. It is impacting everyone, including our children. Last night, my seven year old grandson FaceTimed me. He asked “Grandma, do you think this corona virus will ever end?” It broke my heart.

I wonder how long it will be before we can safely travel and gather without the fear of creating a devastating impact to our families and friends. Yet, I dream of those days. I long for those days.

I cannot imagine being a parent and worrying about the options in front of me for schooling in the upcoming year. I worry for not only my grandchildren, but all the teachers and staff that will be impacted along with the children and parents wrestling with this decision. Our governor seems to be very amenable to individual school districts implementing what works best for them. You know what concerns me a lot? This may be the first time many of these children will ultimately know someone who loses their life because of this virus. So far, most have been protected from this reality.

I have been in a slump. I have tried writing a short story, but my mind is just not working in that way. I spend my time working on odd things around the house, or working in the garden or reading. Maybe by releasing all of my mind clutter today in this post perhaps it will clear my mind.

I am tired of it. I echo my grandson in wondering if this will ever be over.