The other day I read an article about a woman who’d lost both her father and her aunt (with whom she lived) to COVID-19 in January. Her dad always enjoyed decorating their front yard with Christmas lights, which he did before he fell ill. It was more than a month later, and the daughter hadn’t gotten around to taking them down; partly because of her grief and also because the act of putting the lights up meant so much to her dad. One would think people would be understanding in these circumstances.
Then came “the letter” to her mailbox.
The anonymous letter excoriated her for leaving the lights up so long: “Take your Christmas lights down! Its Valentines Day!!!!!!”
She shared the letter on a Facebook mom’s group and asked that people show a little kindness and understanding because you never really know what other people are going through.
In response, her neighbors put their Christmas lights back up in solidarity with her.
This country is nearing 500,000 souls lost to the pandemic. Texas just had a near death experience with its power grid, which had the very real possibility of leaving all of us without power for months. I was one of the lucky ones who was without power for only 15 hours and didn’t have to boil water to be able to drink it. Many others weren’t so lucky. There are many tales of people helping their neighbors instead of berating them. Here is one, and here is another.
So, every year I’ve done a Snoopy gingerbread dog house at Christmas and usually leave it up until Valentine’s Day because it lends a bit of cheer to my home after all the other Christmas decorations are taken down. But just before that day, our snow storm hit so I had other more pressing concerns. But now, upon reflection, I’ve decided I’m going to keep it on display until this pandemic has been tamed and people stop dying by the thousands. And also in the hope I can eventually get vaccinated so I can be with my family here once again. Sometimes we just need a little Christmas.
That moment when you realize the Gravy Train you’ve been on for four years may be leaving the station soon.
Sent to me by my friend, Mary L., from an unknown author:
- I’ve been wondering why this entire country seems to be under a cloud of constant misery. Why we all seem to be Russians waiting in line for toilet paper, meat, Lysol. Hoarding yeast and sourdough starter “in case we can’t get bread”.
- Buying stamps so that one of our most beloved institutions might survive. Why we all look like we are in bad need of a haircut, or a facial or a reason to dress up again and go somewhere. Anywhere.
- There is no art in this White House. There is no literature or poetry in this White House. No music. No Kennedy Center award celebrations.
- There are no pets in this White House. No loyal man’s best friend. No Socks the family cat. No kids’ science fairs.
- No times when this president takes off his blue suit red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt khaki pants uniform and hides from Americans to play golf.
- There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation. No Obamas on the beach in Hawaii moments, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape. I was thinking the other day of the summer when George H couldn’t catch a fish and all the grand-kids made signs and counted the fish-less days. And somehow, even if you didn’t even like GHB, you got caught up in the joy of a family that loved each other and had fun.
- Where did that country go? Where did all of the fun and joy and expressions of love and happiness go? We used to be a country that did the ice bucket challenge and raised millions for charity.
- We used to have a president that calmed and soothed the nation instead dividing it. And a First Lady that planted a garden instead of ripping one out. We are rudderless and joyless. We have lost the cultural aspects of society that make America great.
- We have lost our mojo. Our fun, our happiness. The cheering on of others. The shared experiences of humanity that makes it all worth it. The challenges AND the triumphs that we shared and celebrated. The unique can-do spirit Americans have always been known for.
- We are lost. We have lost so much in so short a time.
From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
In his previous life, Meadows led the Freedom Caucus in the House, the claque of extremist conservatives in safe seats who made Speaker Paul Ryan’s life a living hell. However, Meadows’s unsuitability for his current role pales next to that of his negotiating partner, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
At one point during one of the negotiations, Mr. Mnuchin had inquired what WIC, a nutritional program specifically for women, infants and children, was, according to a person familiar with the talks.
The Secretary of the Treasury didn’t even know what one of the most important supplemental nutritional programs servicing some nine million of his fellow citizens was. And people say this is an administration without empathy?
“On any given day, you might say, why am I even talking to these people? They don’t care,” Ms. Pelosi said.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has aggressively pushed to reopen his state and flouted experts’ health recommendations, announced Wednesday that he is the first governor to test positive for coronavirus.
Stitt, a Republican, said at a press conference that he was tested on Tuesday and that he feels “fine,” other than being a “little bit achy.” He said he’ll be quarantining and working from home, and that he was “pretty shocked” to be the first governor to get the virus. He added that he would isolating away from his family, whom he said tested negative.
Gov. Stitt welcomes you to Oklacovid!
“Ninety-nine percent of [the Covid cases revealed by testing] are totally harmless.”
“We’ll be happy to debate the efficacy of masks with you when this is all over and you come in to sell your dead grandmother’s clothes. Masks required.”
— sign in vintage clothing shop in Phoenix