Thursday, May 14, 2020

Enlighten Me...

I stood at my front door this morning, watching the rain fall and enjoying all of the Spring pleasures of greens, pinks, yellows, reds, colors which we normally never see during our long winters.  While standing at the door, relishing the lushness surrounding me, I thought to myself, if I take a picture of what my eyes are seeing at this moment no one would have a clue what is going on in this world. I feel safe when I am walking outside, keeping my distance from anyone near me, but thoughts of going into a restaurant, being on a crowded beach, sending children back to school, even going to church has me frightened. It's difficult for me to wrap my head around this article that appeared in our local newspaper...

Their thinking, as alluded to in a Naperville Sun article, is that despite what medical experts say about prematurely easing stay-at-home orders, an educated population can figure out what to do for themselves. And, that continuing to go without park facilities is a bigger problem for the city's population than the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

This is basically saying, let's ignore what our national experts warn against, that opening up too soon could be deadly to many, but instead it's more important to open our public parks and our Naperville Swimming Pool and let the "educated population" figure it out. Our most educated population is saying "not a good idea". Getting people safely back to work would seem to me to be more important than having a fun day at Centennial Beach. I know everybody has their own opinions about this current "lock-down", many feeling it is taking away their rights to certain freedoms but I don't see it as taking away our freedoms, but protecting us for our freedoms.

I'm really deeply disturbed when I think that our leaders did not prepare us for all of this devastation, did not have enough protective equipment for our front line workers, did not warn us of the danger that was coming, and now want to rush back into "normalcy" way way too soon. Yesterday I actually saw friends I knew due to a surprise birthday drive by parade for a good friend's birthday for the first time since March 11th. Afterwards I stopped my car to chat with another really good friend, social distancing ofcourse. I so wanted to reach out and give her a big hug and I know eventually that will happen, but not for awhile. Maybe not for a long while if we keep ignoring the warnings that our TOP medical experts keep relaying.

I normally don't sound off like this, I am usually a very positive person, love life and all that it offers, but ignoring the warnings and hearing that Illinois public health officials yesterday announced 138 new deaths reported from COVID-19, among 3,239 newly identified cases. That makes for a total of 3,928 deaths and 87,937 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Almost 3,500 new cases as of yesterday and our city mayor wants to open our parks and swimming pool. Someone needs to enlighten me on the reasoning behind this. 

I'll stop my ranting, I just don't want to be one of those statistics. So I will choose to stay away from the parks and the swimming pools, will only go to a restaurant for curbside service, will wear a mask whenever I am in a public place, such as Walgreens and grocery stores, go the Morton Arboretum when it opens but remain a safe distance from everyone where it's easy to do with their 1,700 acres, and continue to pray that someday we will conquere this villian that has changed all of our lives. 

Until next time, stay safe, stay well,

Monday, May 4, 2020

Bloviating, A Message from God, and a Little Self Care...

A brand new Monday in a brand new month. May, one of the most beautiful months of the year. I debate with myself over which season I love more, Spring or Fall. Most Springs around here are "fairly iffy, usually not very nice weather. Many days are cool, cloudy, and rainy, lots of days are windy. Ever wonder why they call Chicago "the windy city"?  Well, actually it has nothing to do with the "wind" but a popular theory holds that it was coined in reference to Chicago’s bloviating residents and politicians, who were deemed to be “full of hot air.”  Don't you love that word, "bloviating" - the dictionary defines it "to speak pompously." Well, I do believe we have had our fair share of bloviating politicians and others in our history, recent history, very recent history, how about right now??!!  And I'm not speaking of our current leaders in Chicago, I commend our new mayor, Lori Lightfoot and our new govenor, Gov. J.B. Pritzker for being such strong leaders, making sound decisions and speaking honestly about our current way of life. 

I wish I could announce some good news or tell you about a great event I attended recently, but my events are limited to talking to neighbors as I walk with Lily. I've met a couple of new neighbors, seen some I haven't seen in months. Most people are friendly, they give a wave or say hello, others walk as if they are on a mission from God, like Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in the Blues Brothers. Can you believe that movie was released in 1980? That's 40 years ago and I can still remember most of it, especially the music. My communication is limited to those short visits with neighbors, a hi or a wave to others and ZOOM. Thank goodness for ZOOM. Not the optimal way to communicate but it sure beats no communication at all. We've been ZOOMing our Bible Study on Wednesdays, I meet via ZOOM with my photography buddies on Fridays, and a couple of weeks ago I started a Saturday Night ZOOM party with some of my girlfriends. We usually are tipping a glass of wine or another elixer as we talk about our week, ponder our existence, and dream of the day we can rejoin the human race.

A couple of weeks ago my neighbor messaged me with a "self-care" list that she had received from a nurse friend of hers. I obviously erased it because now when I want/need it I can't retrieve it. But I did google "self care checklist" and bunches of them appeared. After reading a dozen or so I think this one is fairly like the original nurse list. I think we all need to think of "self-care" during this extremely stressful time in all of our lives and just maybe this might help you with some ideas. A couple of asides...I drink coffee, not tea in the mornings, and nowhere did I see "enjoy a glass of your favorite wine" so feel free to add, subtract or substitute wherever necessary. And FYI, if you have an Amazon Echo you can ask Alexa to play "meditation music" or play "classical meditation music" which has been a bonus in seeking peace. 

Until next time....stay safe, stay well,

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Darn, He Knows I Fell Asleep...

Today I was scheduled to be on a photography trip to the Smokey Mountains, enjoying the Spring wildflowers and the view from those glorious mountain tops. Ofcourse I am not there, nor will I be on my scheduled river boat trip with Uniworld in June from Passau (Berlin) to Budapest on the Danube River. And at the top of my bucket list was a trip to Africa in August to marvel at the animal migrations, which also isn't happening. So many plans, dissolved in our new world. All these adventures, except for the Smokey Mountains involved airplane travel. I honestly don't know when I will feel comfortable on long flights that are required to tour those lovely places. Perhaps if all those brilliant scientiest that are working toward finding an effective vaccination and if they are successful, will bring comfort and confidence to once again resume a somewhat normal life . Praying. I know eventually we will recover, it's a matter of time, patience, and adhering to the safety guidelines.

On May 1 our govenor mandated that all wear masks when in a public place. I'm surprised it took this long for this to happen, altho my guess is that all will not obey. I told my girlfriends at least a month ago that the next biggest fashion craze would be designer face masks.  Not claiming bragging rights, but have you checked Etsy lately?  For literally a scrap of material, minimal elastic and voila a face mask for $20, $30 or higher. Creativity and resourcefulness at its prime. I've seen some pretty impressive fabrics made into face masks. Before this whole thing is over our mask collection may rival our jewelry collection. I just ordered the one below...
Cat  All Over Prints
I just returned from my almost daily walk with Lily, it's beautiful, sun shining 70 degrees, and blooms bursting. I was surprised by how much the neighborhood resembled a regular Saturday, couples working in their gardens, men mowing lawns, kids fishing at the lake, bicycles racing by, flowers in pots ready to be planted. You could almost forget for a few moments about the alarming world beyond.

A neighbor that I had not talked with or seen for quite a while called me this morning. It was so good to hear her voice. We chatted for over 1/2 hour, sometimes silly chatter, sometimes more serious. She tries to reach out to those she hasn't seen or spoken to in awhile to let them know she is thinking of them. I felt blessed to be in her thoughts. I am hoping that by writing this blog that I am reaching out to you, all of you that have read my blog in the past and those of you that have returned to read my ramblings.

OK now it's Sunday, I never managed to finish this yesterday, but today on my Lily walk with camera hanging around my shoulder I snapped some beauties as we traveled. With our spring-like temps and rain earlier this week, spring blossoms are in abundance.  I noticed quite a few neighbors have purchased pots of flowers ready to plant and I also heard that the garden centers were overflowing with customers this weekend. After Mother's Day is my start date for most of my plantings plus I really don't want to be in the midst of the masses on the weekends.

Our church has on-line services on Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM, most of the service like the music, the prayers, the readings from the Bible are all pre-taped. The only segment that is live is our Pastor Pat with his sermon for the day. He began a new series today, and today our focus was on Psalm 139, Pastor Pat asked us to close our eyes and listen closely to the words...."Oh Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me."  After reading it a second time, he asked us to open our eyes, but Deanna had unfortunately slipped off to sleep and did not wake up until Lily barked and Pastor Cindy was repeating the Lord's prayer.  I guess being in my PJ's and sitting in my comfy chair is not the wisest place to focus and listen to our Sunday morning service. Fortunately the services are taped and we can re-listen, which I did. The phrase "God knows everything about me...." darn He knows that I fell asleep. Next week I'll be better.

Until next time...stay safe, stay well,