Saturday, April 04, 2020

Life in Limbo

Everything seems sort of purposeless now, doesn't it?  Cliff and I really don't go a lot of places, but somehow knowing we can't leave home now bothers me.  Of course we could go for a drive, but as Cliff said, we wouldn't want to go very far or we'd end up having to use a strange, virus-filled rest room, because one of us always needs to go.  We went to Odessa the other day to get some things for the garden, simply because I hate to make somebody else go looking for some item they've never bought before.  Odessa has two stores selling the same kind of products.  We arrived at one store, and rather than go in, I called them from the parking lot and asked if they would send someone out to load some 40-pound bags into the pickup bed; I asked if we could just drive up to the front of the store afterward and meet them at the door to pay; that was fine, the lady said.  We waited and waited, but nobody came.  My cell phone rang.  I answered, and the lady I had just talked to said, "Ma'am, I don't think you are at our store."

I wasn't the least bit surprised at this news.  Nothing I do surprises me any more.  But since we now knew the other store had what we needed, I suggested we just drive over there and buy it from them.  It's only about two blocks from one to the other.  Once we got there, we found out we were saving fifty cents a bag on our purchases, so all's well that ends well.  Except that I did go inside the store after all, because as I stood at the door to pay the lady, I saw right inside the store a rack full of every kind of garden seed I might need.  In I went , and came out with my seeds.  I told the woman,  "Just put me down in the system as Crazy Lady, since I'm the one who got the two stores mixed up."  One of them let me use her hand sanitizer, and then I washed my hands thoroughly when I got home.  

I will be going to the other store next time, though.  I ordered three Buff Orpington pullet chicks from them on the phone (I hope it was them), and they're going to call me when the chicks arrive.  So I'm looking forward to that.  Yesterday it rained and turned cold; last night we had a freeze that probably nipped the peach blossoms.  If so, there'll be no peaches for us this year.  I think yesterday was the only day this week I didn't take a walk.  Next week sounds very spring-like, so maybe I'll be in a better mood.  

We usually catch the news when Cliff gets up in the mornings, but lately the only subject on the news seems to be this COVID-19, Cornonavirus, or whatever name you want to give it, so we turn it off after hearing the weather.  I generally check the numbers of new cases in our county, Lafayette.  For three days, we had 20 cases, but today it jumped to 26.  That's a higher number than most of Missouri's rural counties.  I can understand why our numbers might run higher, since a large percentage of people in this area work in Independence and Kansas City, and would be more likely to have been exposed to more people.

I guarantee you I am going to appreciate our freedom when we get it back!  I don't like the feeling of being unable to visit people or go to church or do my own shopping.  I'm going to appreciate how good we have it, if I live through this.

Oh sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

What's the worst that can happen?

That phrase is what Norman Vincent Peale once suggested that people going through a scary situation should ask themselves:  What's the worst that can happen?

When Cliff was out of work for an extended time many years ago, we discussed that scenario and felt better about things.  At that time, the worst that could happen would have been that we could lose our home: the kids were grown and no longer with us, so we only had to worry about ourselves; just the two of us, but we had one another and liked one another.  We agreed that we probably wouldn't starve to death, so the worst thing that might happen at that time was we'd lose our place.  But we could start over, settle into a different home, even live in town if it became necessary.  Cliff was trying hard to find a job, with no luck, but as long as we had one another, we'd manage somehow.  Knowing what the worst was made us feel better and we got through it.

The phrase "what's the worst that can happen" doesn't make me feel better about the pandemic at all, because there are many worst-case scenarios I can conjure up, depending on how long it lasts.  I'm sure it bothers all of us that we don't know how long this thing is going to last, which means we can't see a light at the end of the tunnel.  We like knowing, don't we?  We can handle it if it doesn't last too long, right?

I go out of my way not to think about that, but it's hard.  I wonder what things will be like when it's over.  How many companies will close permanently?  How many jobs can exist after being closed down for months?  They're printing up money like crazy;  inflation can already be seen in the grocery store prices.  Will the high prices stick around when the pandemic is over?  Will there be no funds for Social Security?  Will we all lose our homes?

I wonder if all the rich people will be poor, so we could all be poor together: That sounds nice, but from the hoarding that's already going on, I don't see us all sitting around singing "Kumbaya" together when things get real.  

When I allow myself to worry a bit, those are the things I go over in my mind.

No matter how long it lasts or how bad it gets, though, there will be good things come out of this unique time.  I will appreciate my freedom to go to church, or to get in the car with Cliff and go to a grocery store safely.  I will remember to appreciate my relatives who are willing to go shopping for me in order to keep the two of us safe at home.  I will always appreciate the fact I have my husband here to keep me company through the "social distancing" phase of this.  

And if, by some stretch of the imagination, we ALL have to start over because we are ALL poor, let me paraphrase something my Uncle Leo said:  If someone were to take all the money in the world and divide it up equally among the entire population, in one year the same people who were rich before will have most of their money back.

For now, I'll settle down, take a deep breath, and hang on, because it's going to be a wild ride.