Friday, May 14, 2021

MASKS OFF!! MAY 14

 Well, Well, Well!  The CDC says totally vaccinated may remove their masks in most circumstances. Must be masked in doctor's office, nursing homes, and where businesses require. Doesn't say how we're to authenticate. At least the number of deaths and new cases has dropped significantly.

Encountered a warning that this site may not be safe and may be phished. Not sure why? My understanding is that it is run by Google, yet Chrome warns to get the latest version so as not to be bamboozled I suppose. 

Just wanted to remember what day this year we received the news.



Friday, April 2, 2021

A FUTURE TO ANTICIPATE

 It's been a week ago that Lib and I received our final Covid jabs. I had no immediate reaction but the next day felt as if I had the slight flu, just achey, sort of weak, and didn't do anything except nap and then go to bed early. Next morning I felt much better, Lib had a sore arm from the stick and next morning felt very faint for about an hour. She  also felt do less for the day and seemed to recover a little more slowly. In another week we should be much safer ...though to tell the truth we haven't lost a lot of sleep over it. 

Last year we had no snow to speak of. This year we had at least 2 little snows and Spring has been more normal with weeks of warmth followed by some freezing temps. We've had a professional service treat our lawn and it has grown rapidly on the warm and wet days. I mowed for the 2cnd time this afternoon, March 3rd. 

As time goes by and the huge nationwide vaccination program continues to put jabs in arms we should soon be reaching a safe level approximating normalcy. At some point, society will no longer need to wear masks and hugs and other family interactions will not feel slightly risky. All along normal behaviors have not posed grave risks, in my opinion, but just as the polio epidemics of the 50's, those who DID contract the disease often paid with their lives or lifetimes of disability. I remember not being allowed to swim in public pools because that was a place thought to be a good breeding ground. 

So Spring is bursting out all over. Biden, not a perfect President is quietly getting things done, instead of "trash talking" the opposite party. More and more Americans see the efficacy of the vaccines and are beginning to see realities in many ordinary life situations. We are beginning to view our neighbors as other humans, not the enemy, and that cooperation helps us all achieve shared goals. America can still lead the world to a better place by listening to its better angels. To do so, we must acknowledge and relearn our histories and suppress the more violent streaks of selfishness that tempts us to put ourselves always first both individually and nationally. Our own Civil War, two World Wars, and the subsequent "police actions" have taught us hard lessons about how war, the scourge of humanity can eat us alive. We truly are as the slogan says "..in it together!!"

So here it is ...another Easter. Christmas is that incredible notion that the Alpha and Omega for whatever reason came to live among us to show his creation and mankind how to live peaceably together. Easter shows that mankind in part was ready to accept this notion, but a small minority needing to hold on to power lynched Jesus. 

His resurrection proclaims that the "I am" still is in charge. "He is arisen!"

 



Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Big Freeze-February 18, 2021

 It’s the 18th of February and nationwide we have experienced a bout of winter. Movement of the polar vortex has caused great tongues of Arctic air to move into the heartland for an extended time. In the great farmlands, there have been week-long periods of deep snow and subzero temperatures. We are still at war with the Covid virus and the treacherous icy/snowy roads have slowed down the delivery of vaccines and the administering of jabs. 


Most of the great state of Texas is without power because the intense freeze has curtailed power generators running on gas. It seems 60 % of the State gets its electricity from these sources and they were not winterized. There was no connection to the national grid because that would have entailed more regulation. Who would have thought that such a warm area would suffer such prolonged Arctic weather?!


News of Rush Limbaugh’s death from lung cancer is on all the news. His caustic comments about liberals propelled him to national prominence. He would sometimes remind his radio audience that he was an entertainer, but that his views could be believed. Over the years he became quite successful and wealthy by denigrating women, people living in California towns, those who were on the fringe of his self-made bubble whether college professors or “foreigners”. Rush was an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump and was surely instrumental in his reelection and the Senate’s inability to raise the 2/3 majority to convict at both of his impeachments. 


We, here in the Richmond area have managed to escape most of the side effects of the brutal weather. In my other writing place, I have memorable pictures of icicles on tree branches. If I put them here and then later delete them from Google pics they will be automatically deleted here.


President Biden, even older than Trump is busy getting things done that Congress will allow. Vaccine is getting into more and more arms.   Just as exponentiation made it grow, the same process is minimizing it in reverse. Our application is over 3 weeks old, yet we haven’t been called. 

Thursday, December 31, 2020

END OF YEAR THOUGHTS...

 So here it is the end of 2020! A year that began in innocence and ends in the midst of a pandemic that has upended our lives and put families and communities at variance. The impression remains that those in power at many levels lusted to remain in power rather than using it for the larger good.  Because there was an unprecedented flow of opinions and facts it was more difficult for the average person to sift out the truth. Whatever ideas were surrounding that particular mind reigned. For those engaged in the process of making a living, there was less time for research or reflection.  

The appearance of Covid in public perception occurred sometime in mid-February. One side said it was a horrendous danger, the other that it was like the flu and would be contained and soon be forgotten. These ideas were perpetuated month after month as a presidential contest evolved. Midyear it was generally apparent that it wasn't the flue and drastic steps were taken to slow it down. Those wrecked particular segments of the economy that were important to not only the poor and disenfranchised but to those who stood to lose great fortunes. 

At the end of the year, vaccines have emerged that create hope. The nation seems unable to discipline itself to those actions that may reduce spread. Unfortunately, in many communities wearing a mask is disparaged as a limit of freedom. When a significant number of loved members of that community become ill and or die then it is examined more seriously. Those in power find it difficult to make or enforce the requisite actions dictated by "common" sense. 

So good riddance to 2020! The one good thing you left us was exposing the numerous intellectual, medical, political, religious, and economic weaknesses that need to be addressed. If I live until this time next year, I hope that it will be apparent that America, "that great country on the hill" will have made apparent progress that I may report. 

Best wishes to all my readers, even if it is just one.


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Rachel's Wedding

 FRIDAY AUGUST 14, 2020


It is now roughly 5.5 months into the Covid-19 pandemic. Life goes on and today we watched our granddaughter’s marriage on Zoom. She was married in North Carolina in a small ceremony with just very immediate family in attendance. Her younger brother married this past October in a traditional Catholic wedding. Rachel, as many who chose this path, will attempt to recreate a more traditional wedding this time next year when they celebrate their first anniversary!





Sunday, April 5, 2020

April 5, 2020

Sunday, April 5   Even though we are living through Covid-19, life goes on albeit slower. We rise anywhere from 7:30-8:30 am, fix the breakfast for the day 
(we’re on a Mediterranean diet) and then begin our day. I like to watch “Smerconish” on  Saturdays as he always has timely discussion topics. Then I make our bed and answer email or comment on FB and Twitter. While I’m doing computer stuff Lib reads the paper.  


  There is a blog I’m writing. Hopefully, it will last sometime after I’m gone ....and be stumbled upon by some of our descendants and be instructive or amusing 
depending on whether they're experiencing similar circumstances.
Many of our acquaintances are avid television watchers. When our children were growing up and Lib was a home mom,they would entertain themselves by watching hours of this until I came home. Now we watch mainly news. Since all the sports teams are no longer playing until this plague blows over there is little of this genre for her to watch.

Lisa our oldest daughter living in Wilmington, Delaware called with FaceTime so 
we could see each other as we exchanged family news. What comfort! She is a new mother-in-law. 

I try to remember those years in our lives and can't. Lib, on the other hand, can recall distinct details of both daughter's weddings.
I watched our pastor “Livestream” his Palm Sunday message and then our Brandermill Church minister. Both had timely presentations.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

LIFE DURING COVID-19 Prologue.....

Jan 31-Feb 1 Lib and I played bells in the workshop at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church with the Branderbells. The bell director at Oak Grove just happened to be there, was looking for a slot to play and happened to see Lib and I and as we were missing a few, joined our table. How very nice! After our concert and as we were driving out from the church parking lot, Lib discovered she had left her pocketbook. Thank goodness one of our ringers noticed it, picked it up and we were able to retrieve it. 
This was the almost the last week of total life normalcy for Lib and me. 

It was maybe a week later that we heard the first glimmers of the virus in China. It was a fast-moving epidemic and though CNN  made some comment, it was felt that it was nothing to be concerned about. 

We were able to have a nice mini Flory gathering at a new restaurant in Dayton, Va,  about 100 miles from our home. We filled a table:Lib and I, Larry and Joyce, Abe and Ruth, Lillian, Marsha, Jim and Jodie on the 29 of February. We talked about our families. 
My wife Lib is the last of her line and the group we had lunch with were all her nephews and nieces. 

By the middle of February there were a number of cases in Washington State, on a cruise ship, and soon in New York City. Two main streams of public thought emerged. (1) It wasn’t more serious/dangerous than the flue, (2) It was a “pandemic” requiring unthinkable strategies to contain it and that all we had to do was see the terrible outcomes in Italy to understand where we would be two weeks ahead.

In March it began to be a serious topic in all the media. We had our last quintet early March and our last quartet on  Thursday the 12th. Governments were moving rapidly toward the unthinkable. I could see the trend and canceled other musical obligations. We attended our last church service in early March.

Then in rapid succession public schools were shut down, colleges and universities followed suit with the intention of opening later in 2 weeks just to close for the year and try online instruction. When the big athletic leagues shut down the public began to understand. More serious tightening followed. Only food, medical, and other essential services were to remain open. No gatherings were allowed of over 10 people. When in public for necessary activities, we were to maintain at least 6 feet separation. During the day we followed the spread of this plague on TV. We learned the true meaning of “exponential”.!

Around the middle of March, the Federal government began to face the real consequences of the shutdown and passed a 2 TRILLION give back, loan to, a program to put a band-aid on the economic hemorrhaging for shuttered education and nonessential businesses forced to close or temporarily shut down. Each citizen will be sent $1200 toward the end of April to help buy the necessities. I understand Canada will give each of theirs $2000 each month for the next 4 months!!  The stock market dipped way down then jumped up only to drop again. Smart brokers made zillions while less endowed lost zillions. 

At this writing around 4000 have perished in America and hundreds of thousands have tested positive and many are crowding the capabilities of huge metropolitan hospitals. The country seems to have been blindsided by this scourge even though many physicians and people who knew were warning that this train was barrelling down on us. It seems incomprehensible that this is happening.  

Tomorrow will be April 1. Lib and I saw our daughter Cathy and husband Jeff briefly 2+ weeks ago and grandson Devin when he mowed for us. We’ve gone for groceries about 3 times.  Several days ago our Governor called for a Statewide lockdown until June 10. Thankfully, the virus doesn’t appear to be fearfully active here, yet! A favorite TV commentator on CNN, Chris Cuomo,  contracted the virus and described a terrifying  night of fevers, sweats, and hallucinations.....