This Old World Keeps Spinning

Remember when April 15th meant tax filing day? And every year, the local news would have a reporter standing outside the post office for all those Filers-Come-Lately, invariably asking them why they waited till the last minute. (And they invariably responded with boring, predictable reasons–time got away from me, always file on the last day, etc. etc. etc. A real news story would have been someone saying something like, “Well, sir, first I had to rob the bank and then I had to launder the money and then I had to fill out all these dad-blamed forms.”)

Anyway, I watched the news last night and nary a word was said about filing a tax return. I think the world has sort of forgotten about filing in the midst of a pandemic, as you do, I suppose. I’ve forgotten all kinds of things…

Isn’t it funny how quickly we adjust to a new routine? It seems like I’ve always sanitized my house before going to bed: wipe the counters and doorknobs, spray the TV remotes, let Libs the Tiny Terror out–

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A view from the door

But hold on, y’all! Last night, when I opened the kitchen door to let out Libs, I stepped outside to close the screen door to my deck and there she (or he) was again: the possum! She (or he) was a bit bigger but it was the same possum, boldly eyeballing me from the rail of the deck. I screamed–you would, too, with a possum just a few feet from you and nothing but air in between–and there was no fetching the phone to get a picture because the two of us were locked in a staring contest. Until I finally had the presence of mind to slam the screen door shut and the possum turned and waddled down the deck rail, presumably grabbing a hold of the post and making his (or her) way down to the ground and back to the woods.

And you would think that a dog who lives to terrorize every human being and/or dog who walks within 50 yards of my house would have barked to beat the band but no. There was nary a yip out of Libs, who was apparently more interested in doing her business than keeping me safe.

Which brings me to you. I sure hope you’re staying safe and keeping well! I pray every day for this pandemic world we’re living in now, whether it means we forget all about tax-filing day or that we continue to sanitize every inch of our home before bed. We’ll carry on.

But may you have a possum on your deck–real or metaphorically-speaking– to remind you that some things in this old world never change.

(Um. Totally forgot that I started this post to cleverly tie in my post over at the Muffin, “Plato Would Be Proud: Crafts and Games for Children’s Magazines.” Which has nothing to do with tax day, sanitizing, or possums. But there is a pandemic connection, so I think that counts.)

What To Do Instead

I feel like a lot of us are doing a lot of stuff instead.

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Except for Libs. She’s living her best life.

Instead of sitting around in a restaurant, eating and talking with friends, we’re wearing out our stoves. Or maybe just our microwaves, but still.

Instead of cheering our favorite teams from the stands or galleries or even our couches, we’re yelling at loved ones who insist on jumping on our couches.

Instead of going to church for our soul’s sustenance, we’re stuck inside, looking for something to keep us sane and/or serene in books or music or art or hilarious made-at-home videos.

So I’m not writing much, but I’m doing other stuff instead, too. And I managed to get those words on the page for my Muffin post, Things to Do Instead (Of Writing).

But I left off a few things…

Sitting down for Sunday dinner and propping up the cell phone on the table because Darling Daughter and her hubs were eating, too. They joined us via Facetime and somehow, we still managed to laugh and fuss and I’m sure I probably said at least once, “You kids behave.”

Taking advantage of all the freebies out there from those in the arts community. A friend called and said she had to set up a spreadsheet to keep up with all the webinars for writers and artists that are available. I mean, sure, I can’t write much but that doesn’t mean I won’t write again some day.

Singing and watching music videos and listening to CDs…when I saw that Kenny Rogers died, I had to listen to all my favorites and apparently, I was still singing “You got to know when to hold ’em” on the way to the mailbox and Youngest Junior Hall heard me all the way inside the house. He should just be happy that I know the words to that song. (I’m notorious for putting all kinds of  wrong words into lyrics and it has driven the Junior Halls crazy for YEARS.)

I also know all the words to “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” And I’ve been listening to Perry Como sing it because Perry is pretty special to me. So instead of worrying and letting my heart get filled with fear, I’ve been singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.

It’s kind of like a prayer, that song. And praying for us all through these challenging times is at the top of my “Things to Do Instead” list.

Stay well and stay inside, friends!  And as Saint Thomas More wrote to his daughter, “Pray for me as I will for thee, that we may merrily meet in heaven.” (But not for a long while yet!)

Toilet Paper and Lincoln

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So. It’s been a week, right?

I was supposed to be at a writer’s conference this weekend but we had to cancel it, due to coronavirus concerns. Just in a span of a few days, we’ve gone from “not too bad” all the way to closing down conferences, concerts, and now an entire continent.

And though we can practice “safe distancing” and stringent sanitizing, when all is said and done, we just have to ride out the COVID-19 storm. And hope that we have enough toilet paper (Will that be in the history books, do you think? Americans stocked up on toilet paper during the outbreak of coronavirus and caused a deficit in that industry that lasted for years. Even as late as 2035, storage units were filled to capacity with toilet paper.)

But on a more serious note, please consider a little extra checking on those who live alone. And a few more prayers wouldn’t hurt, either.

Meanwhile, I’m reminded of that old joke. “But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” Dark humor, I know, but it also ties in with my post today over at The Muffin: “Even Lincoln Needed Likes.”

abraham-lincoln-administration-adult-art-290150It’s a pretty interesting tidbit (from those wacky collections at the Library of Congress) that might take your mind off the news. And since we all might be hunkered down for a while, hoarding toilet paper and eating a lot of peanut butter, reading interesting tidbits might be a good option.

Take care of yourselves, friends! And as Saint Thomas More wrote to his daughter, “Pray for me as I will for thee, that we may merrily meet in heaven.” (But not for a long while yet!)