We’re almost halfway through 2020 already. Can that be? Being homebound for more than two and a half months made that time simply vanish from the calendar. All I have to show for those days are a couple of homemade masks, a collection of recipes I tried, and a lot of steps recorded on my phone’s health app. This may be the reason it doesn’t seem like June should be right around the bend: we lost half of March plus all of April and May. *Poof*
Lost may be the wrong word to use, however. My calendar pages for those months are as full as ever, but not with traditional appointments and work schedules. In place of those events are notes to myself, reminders of the little things I’ve discovered each day.
Prior to the COVID interruption, I might have noticed that the gutters are full or how water pools in that one spot in the driveway. But with no time table to keep me on the go, no obligations to rush off to, no job, no gym, I’ve become aware of the details. I recognize that the clock chimes faster right after it’s been wound. I note with keen interest the new (and occupied) cardinal’s nest we discovered in the euonymus bush out front. I jotted down the unfamiliar word we recently looked up (pursy means short of breath when referring to a horse, or fat when describing a person). I pay attention to the plethora of songs one mockingbird calls, and jot down ideas I have for yard art, and try adding a whipped concoction of instant coffee/sugar/water to my coffee. My senses have been awakened (or, as e e cummings says, “now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened”). My “little things” calendar notations prove it.
I’ve observed that there is a whole lot of bickering going on about the simple choice to wear a mask or not. It is disheartening, this way we can’t get along when we most need to pull together. But there is also an abundance of humor out there to offset the disturbing vitriol. I have taken liberty to share some with you here. I take no credit for any of them, nor do I give credit, except that I pulled them all from the Internet.
• 2020 is a unique leap year. It has 29 days in February, 180 days in March, nine months in April and six years in May.
• I’ve been making coffee at home instead of getting it at Starbucks for the last two months, which according to economists should’ve made me a billionaire by now. So where’s my newfound fortune?
• Can I call you back in three hours? I’m cleaning my groceries.
• I need to social distance myself from the refrigerator so I can flatten my curve.
• There are multiple moods of the pandemic: One day you’re loving your bubble, doing workouts and baking sourdough. The next day you're crying, eating ice cream for breakfast and missing people you don’t even like.
• If you see my kid on Zoom in the same clothes he’s been wearing for the past five days, mind your own business. Our homeschool has a uniform.
• I might sleep on the couch to cut down on my morning commute.
• Of all the things I learned in grade school, trying to avoid getting cooties was the last one I expected to use.
• Before you complain about your situation, remember, someone is quarantined with your ex.
• Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d go up to a bank teller in a mask asking for money.
• Marijuana is legal. Haircuts are not. It took 50 years but the hippies have finally won.
• 2020 came out looking like a warm chocolate chip cookie. Then one bite and BAM! Oatmeal raisin.
• If we’re going to have one-way grocery aisles then I’m going to need a passing lane.
• Department of Health is looking to hire couples married for seven years or more to educate people on social distancing.
• Parent: You have school tomorrow.
9-year-old: Real school or school with you?
Parent: School with me is real school.
9-year-old: Real teachers know math.
• The world is now Las Vegas. Everyone is losing money, it’s acceptable to drink at all hours, and no one has any idea what day it is.
• Everything for summer is canceled. Might as well put up the Christmas tree and call it a year.
• So, these murder hornets. Do I send them a list of names or what? How’s that work?
• At the store there was an X on the floor for me to stand on. I’ve seen too many Road Runner cartoons to fall for that routine.
• When this is all over we’re throwing the biggest St. Patrick’s Easter de Mayo of July party anyone has ever seen.
My glass has been half full through this pandemic. I’m grateful that I have a yard that needs attention, windows that need cleaning and those gutters are full, because that means I have a home.
I’m grateful for the parking spot I found at the far end of the lot because it means I’m capable of walking.
I’m grateful for the taxes I pay because that means I am (well…was/will be) employed.
I’m even grateful for the complaining I hear about our government and president (and bickering about wearing masks) because it means we have freedom of speech.
And I’m grateful we get to vote in November. We have the freedom to choose who leads this country. Until then, and always, follow your bliss—as long as it doesn’t hurt others.
You may let The Thunker know what you think at her e-mail address, email@example.com.
© 2020 Sarah Donohoe