10/18/2021 of COVID-19 Life

These current COVID times are odd. We live as if the disease does not exist, with constant reminders that it does.

During the worldwide shutdown, you see, our family shuttered into itself; not eating out, not going out, not accepting human interaction or even packages. Our norm is to eat homemade most of the the time but I felt too scared of the risk to try any food prepared in a restaurant.

Contrast to now: we get takeout at least once a week, go out for shopping or school, and visit family and friends and receive them. I no longer make the kids wait a whole day before opening boxes we’ve received. Our new norm is whatever we need based on energy level and access to the kitchen from unpacking/organizing.

I see friends and relatives going on vacations, attending school dances, and watching sports from a crowded stadium.

A football game at the University of Utah stadium.

I feel like everyone thinks and acts like we’re all normal. Then… every time I have an OB/GYN appointment, I must mask, sanitize, and declare my cleanliness from COVID at check-in. Many businesses require their employees to wear a mask; many politely demand or request the same from clientele. My Twofacebook feed hosts shaming and statistics messages against unvaccinated folks OR staunch personal freedom and risk messages in favor of never complying with vaccine regulations.

Unfortunately, I also see occasional posts about this person who has passed away or that person who is struggling in the hospital and could use prayers. Fortunately, I have yet to experience a close family member’s being sick with COVID.

I have had one coworker test positive. She was vaccinated. She described her experience as, “having a bad cold that went on and on;” she’d also lost her sense of taste and smell.

Still, Utah’s case numbers look good:

The biggest side effect of Sir ‘Rona is in this U.S. nation’s response and subsequent inflation and shortages.

Necessities like lumber and cement are quite expensive and often rationed out to contractors. McDonald’s was out of root beer for our Happy Meals last week. KFC said they were out of breasts. Shoppers keep exhausting our local Costco stores of toilet paper (again!!) and bottled water. When I applied to our mobile windshield repairman for a replacement, he said he couldn’t get a windshield for our minivan. When I applied to the body shop for a small repair on our pickup truck, they said we could come in mid-December.

Everywhere has Now Hiring signs for entry-level positions. I’ve read articles about supply ships gathered at ports without workers to unload or with strict regulations for the crews. No one seems to want these low-paying jobs, including positions like bus driver or trucker. Point fingers where you may, but current government ‘support’ seems to be contributing; in the words of Percy Blakeney of The Scarlet Pimpernel, “Sink me; if everyone isn’t so equal in your new society that no one wants to do the driving anymore.”

I’m grateful we have more on our side to combat this respiratory infection. I wonder when we’ll consider it finally absolved. After all, they’ve only just approved a childhood vaccine for malaria….

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©2021 Chel Owens

Life’s Lost Instructions

Life is a collection of reminders.

“Socks before shoes -wait! Fold seams inside the socks first…”

Every moment is a list of instructions we pull from the linted clump of a cranial pocket. Frowning, we take it out, straighten it, and make sense of the blurry pen marks and dog-eared corners.

“Put the car in Park before turning the engine off…”

How many notes; how many memories end up in those pockets? Once they’re full, is that when we discover -to our confused dismay- a hole in the lining?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

©2021 Chel Owens

Ted and Trudy

Ted and Trudy had been married forever; four years, in fact. Each still said he or she was in love. Still, each found himself or herself dreading the drive home after work.

Their marriage counselor tried. “What you need is to find and speak each other’s love language,” she said.

Ted and Trudy tried.

Physical intimacy didn’t touch on the issue. Spending quality time together made the evening drag on and on. Neither received gifts presently. Words of affirmation didn’t speak to either of them. And we won’t even mention how self-absorbed each became when performing acts of service.

It wasn’t until Ted finally snapped and complained about it all that Trudy felt an unexpected spark.

“Ooooh. Say that again, Ted,” she cooed.

Ted blinked. “Uhhh… the counselor’s charging way too much for something that’s not working?”

“Yes, Ted! Yes! What else isn’t working?”

“Uhh…” he thought for a minute. “That plumber we hired this morning was late, incompetent, and left a mess.”

Trudy sat up and perked up. “What else??”

“No one knows how to drive anymore?” He was starting to get excited as well.

“Yes! Yes!”

“Whenever I go shopping, I can’t ever find a good clerk! How difficult is it to know where the polos are?”

“Ohhh, Ted.” She drew right up to him. “What else?”

“The governor’s an idiot and this country’s being run by imbeciles!”

“YYYYYESSSSS!”

…..

Their counselor was surprised to see them practically bouncing at their next (and last) appointment.

“We did it!” Trudy gushed. “We found our love language!”

“Oh?” the counselor asked, intrigued. “Which is it?”

Ted and Trudy looked at each other, smiled; then, in unison, answered, “Complaining!”

©2021 Chel Owens

Oh, the Blog.

Y’know, I never thought I’d feel this way. I read others who wrote about leaving blogdom for one reason or another and thought, “Why?” Why leave when you have followers, a creative outlet, and interesting posts from all your friends?

Now I know: life.

Granted, my life has not been interesting before this point. I haven’t had much to do. Further, I had no one to talk to about it. I can’t say the same is true anymore -which is, actually, a very healthy thing. No longer alone in a large house with only my dishes and children; I now have a smaller house, a job, at least one friend to whom I can say anything, a good marriage, and waaaaay too many things to do all day. Oh, and I still have the children.

…In terms of organization, this post is getting ahead of itself. Let’s start with an updated list:

  1. I’m still pregnant. As far as I know, the baby is doing swimmingly. Perhaps he’s doing kickingly.
    Thanks to my delivery history, I will schedule a C-Section. We’re looking at November 2. This date draws ever nearer each day.
  2. We’ve moved house and sold our other. I don’t talk about where I live, specifically, much. I’d like for angry mobs to not be able to find us. It is very important to tell you all that our new digs are much less finished or updated than our last, however. In fact, our last house was BRAND NEW and this one is more along the lines of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, pre-remodel.
  3. I still work as a lunchlady assistant but will be retiring soon due to being due.
  4. I have even less time for blogging than I’ve ever had before.

In light of these facts but despite what I said at the beginning of this post, I will not be running away.

Repeat: I’m staying.

Out of necessity, I will be changing my writing schedule. This, sadly, includes not running a poetry contest. I feel the greatest loss at this conclusion, since I love encouraging poetry and love all the excellent writings you have shared.

And for you, Carol: fajita, frijole; hickory (in my defense, you and your followers named every food that has ‘k’ in it); galia (melon), scallion; edamame, jambu, mamey; tinda, ortanique, pignoli, uni; (and for this week) mahonia (berries), roe, and acorn….

©1948 RKO Radio Pictures

©2021 Chel Owens