Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Time goes on

I wrote someone a letter yesterday, someone I actually know; she lives about two miles away.  

The day I started attending the Methodist Church in town, I sat down in a next-to-the-back pew directly inside the door.  I don't get around much these days, but there are people in the small group of Methodists that I sort of know, so I didn't feel too much like a stranger.  In the pew directly behind me, an elderly lady sat, alone.  I'm not great at introducing myself to strangers, but it felt awkward sitting there with that same little lady behind me, not saying anything beyond "hello".  So on my third Sunday, I turned and said to her, "Since we're going to be sitting this close every Sunday, we may as well get acquainted:  I'm Donna.  What's your name?

Her name, she said, was Pat, or Patty.  From then on, in the five minutes before services began, we got to know one another a little.  She is a widow in her 90's, never had children, and used to be a school teacher.  She remembers when there were three grocery stores in our little town and every church building was full on Sundays.  Her father built some of the houses in Wellington.  Patty has a dog... or maybe she doesn't now, because the dog was very old, blind, and deaf.  One time she mentioned to me that most of her friends have died.  She still drives around town, but very slowly.  One Sunday there was light rain falling and she offered to take me to the Baptist church so I wouldn't have to walk in the rain.  I took her up on it, even though I had an umbrella with me.  I sensed she wanted to give me a ride.  

During the first Covid lock-down, I sent her my book of poems, which she enjoyed very much.  But lately, in this self-inflicted lockdown I've been on since before Thanksgiving, I have hardly given her a thought until yesterday, when it occurred to me that she would be a perfect person to write a letter to.

Why not just call her on the phone, you ask?  Because I hate talking on the phone.  I'm not good at small talk, or trying to keep a conversation going.  Besides, there's something about a letter, something tangible.  You can pick it up and read it again, or put it in your keepsakes and dig it out fifty years later, as my mother did.  You can't do that with a phone call.  I explained to Patty that I'm learning to write with my left hand and need practice every day if I'm going to get better at it.  I asked her about her dog and mentioned Gabe.  And I told her I hoped to be back at church Sunday.

It's a start.  I'm going to ask a few people around here for suggestions of people to write letters to.  I will continue to write to my sister, who has been shut in since the pandemic first reached the midwest.  She started doing her own grocery shopping at some point, but is still not going to church because nobody there is social distancing or wearing a mask.  She does see her son, grandsons, and their families occasionally, I believe, but they take precautions.  My sister is one person I do talk to on the phone occasionally, but I can still write her a letter sometimes, maybe even weekly.

Meanwhile, I await the day when the village idiot who is president exits the office and lets a regular, old-fashioned, crooked politician have the job.  I can at least hope he won't embarrass us as a country, unless he's caught sleeping through some important meeting; he looks pretty drowsy sometimes.  But hey, President Reagan took naps in public every once in awhile.

Meanwhile, I drift farther away from my Republican roots; I've said it many times:  The Republican party left me behind.  I sometimes pray that somebody younger and more capable, from either party, will be nominated next time.  I am so very tired of having to vote for the lesser of two evils.  

At my age, though, I won't be worrying about it long.  Beam me up, Scotty!


  1. "and lets a regular, old-fashioned, crooked politician have the job."

    Thanks for the laugh!

    I have never politically identified with either party though I am registered in the republican party just to take part in the caucus system here in Iowa. During the last caucus, at least in my precinct, there were about 50 votes for Trump and one for an alternative candidate. When they announced the results, everyone glared around trying to identify who the traitor was among them but I certainly slept well with my conscious that night.

  2. Good for you on writing a letter. They are a joy to receive. I can't remember the last one I got, but I do have several I've saved over the years. I'm sure you made that lady's day!

  3. Northern AB gal11:23 AM

    I miss church hymn singing!
    As for your regular, old-fashioned, crooked politician - good luck with that. I believe he will be relieved of his duties shortly and Ms Harris will be your president, I hope I'm wrong but that's what I believe. In Canada we don't have any old fashioned politicians, just crooked ones, lol. Hard to believe that with the population of the USA, two old farts is all that can be persuaded to run for office. Like you, I am happy I am closer to the end than the beginning, can't imagine what the next generation will have to deal with.
    Your friend Pat will be so happy to hear from you. Interesting that you don't like phone calls yet you converse so well on paper. I wish I wrote as well as you.

  4. I understand why you're fed up with the GOP. In my state, they used to be fiscally conservative, ethical and believers in the Constitution. Our current president (and his followers) have changed all that. Biden seems like a nice guy, but he is too old. He wasn't my choice, but I would never vote for the nutcase we have now. I do feel sorry for my kids and the messed up country that they will live in, if they decide to stay. Hoping for the vaccine soon so we can get back to some form of normality.

  5. Love Fanny’s Crosby’s songs, especially this one.

    And it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by."
    Exodus 33:22


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