2020 has truly gotten off to a weird start. The whole Corona virus or is it Covid-19 or is it Wuhan virus or my favorite term Kung flu has the entire world in an uneasy state. But make lemonade when the world gives you lemons. |
Here in Montana we have lots of open air and open space and no sickness. Hooray for the rural life!
So keep in writing everyone. The fuel is there and the fire is raging and needs fed.
|"This entry begins my first entry into "The Bard's Hall Contest" ."
So I wondered what I should do for ten entries. The first thought I had was to do the Ten Commandments. But then I thought, oh darn, that's already been done. And I cannot improve on the original. The author's had many awards for that work.
Then it hit me. I don't know who on this site is from Roundup, Montana. I may be the only one. I will give the goings on from the front porch of Norma Jean, today released from Quarantine by her Governor.
It is currently 11:33 AM. The sun is shining. The temperature is about 70 and there is a slight breeze. A robin is singing in an ash tree. I think the bird lives there since it sings every day nearby.
Since this morning, I have attended a board meeting, worked on the irrigation in my garden, worked on advertising for a thrift store in town, posted information on my church's Facebook page, learned I won an award for an entry in a contest, and now am getting ready to take my daily walk. After we have our midday meal, I head to church to do a Bible study and then a radio show on Facebook.
The mailman, Will, just dropped off the mail. He is a pleasant young man. We always exchange pleasantries. I sit at a small table on my wonderful porch. I've always wanted a house with a porch. Finally, at this late stage of my life, I got one.
So off I go to adventures during the rest of the day. The sun is shining, the day is peaceful. I love my life in Montana.
|I had surgery on my right eye. Cataract surgery. It was a non-event as everyone said it would be. But since it is your eye, it is not a non-event.
It was like looking into a kaleidoscope. Really. Look at the light on the left, Norma. Okay, I look at the light on the left. You will feel some liquid on your face during the procedure. Okay, I felt liquid on my face during the procedure. You will now hear my machine breaking up the cataract. Okay, I hear some strange sounds. You will now see the new lens going into your eye. Okay, I now see some new strange lights and I guess this is the lens going in. Like I wrote, like looking into a kaleidoscope. Strange lights and colors.
But it was all done professionally and with great dispatch. The whole ordeal was over in less than half an hour.
When I came home, I experimented while watching TV. The whites are whiter, the colors more vibrant. The cataract had dimmed and yellowed all my sight over the years. But it happened so slowly I never noticed. Strange.
Today I went for a post-op visit with my regular eye doctor. All is fine. The exam was normal. The majority of the time we spent talking of diet and how important diet is for eye health. Hubby and I have been eating better the last few months, more green leafy vegetable and avocados for my macular degeneration. Then we discussed the horrid diets most everyone in America has now and how important diet is as we age. Strange thing to discuss with your eye doctor! But then again, I guess not.
One thing I am finding a bit weird though. I keep wanting to find my glasses, put them on. Adjust them. Push them up my nose.
They are not there. They won't be there anymore. Weird.
|I am going to get my cataracts fixed starting tomorrow. Now I've known about this problem for some time, about five years now. And just recently I started developing problems. So I get to have the surgery.
I have to tell you having this done is not making me comfortable. I'm trying to be okay with this. I'm trying to be all light and airy and "oh it's okay and it'll be fine" but hey, you only have two eyes,
Then today someone comes to see hubby. He is helping us remodel the house. So he had eye surgery. It didn't go so good, He called after to say "It's not going so good," and they say "Well, it's just something you have to live with." Well, now he's had a detached retina and now has worse vision than before. Like I needed to hear that the day before I go to the eye doctor!
I am someone who likes to write. I enjoy working on the computer. I love to read. I enjoy doing knitting and crocheting, sewing. What if I can't do those things I most enjoy again in the same way? I gotta tell you, that would send me straight to the loony bin. After all my medical stuff, brain surgery, car accidents, yada yada, this would be the icing on the cake with the cherry on top.
But then I have to trust in God and the surgeon. I have to trust that whatever happens it is all in God's plan. As a Christian, He has my best interests at heart and I have to believe that.
So that is what I will be thinking and praying about tomorrow. When that laser hits my eye and there is no turning back.
|So it is on again. The heat that is. Yes - it is Memorial Day weekend. The official weekend to the start of summer. And my furnace is running. And I want to run. I want to run to a beach. To warmer temperatures. Anywhere there is sun and seventy degree days.
Montana has such a small window of nice weather. It seems like July 4th may be nice this year. Perhaps then it will be in the upper reaches of the thermometer.
But I shouldn't complain. It was a dry winter. And now we are getting some much needed rain. So I guess my garden is thanking God for the moisture and I should be thanking God for watering the lawn and saving me on the water bill.
I still would like to have some warmer temperatures, though. Just a little warmer would be nice. Maybe tomorrow.
|I heard a little blurb on NPR radio the other day. "Rare medium well done." That stuck with me. What a curious phrase and how simple but yet, how wonderfully said.
Of course they were directing that to their programming. Rare medium, well done. But I thought it would be a great little phrase to tuck away in the back of my brain to use some day, some how. In a story, in a title, somehow maybe someone would say this. Or perhaps someone would hear this on a radio in the story. Or they would read it and wonder on it.
Anyway, clever use of terms.
|So my doorbell rings. I answer it and the guy says "I have a tool that Dave needs." He is holding a tool. Luckily, there is someone named Dave in my basement with my husband working on the heating ducts. So I let the guy in. He looks vaguely familiar.
Only in small town Montana would I, a reasonably older woman, open a door willingly to a younger man wielding an evil looking wrench just with the secret words "I have a tool that Dave needs."
Yes indeed. Dave did know Jeremy, the local plumber. Yes indeed. My husband had dealt with Jeremy in the past. The three men spoke for a time in the basement about manly things. Plumbing and heating and instant hot water heaters and furnaces. You know the types of subjects that come up in houses that are being remodeled in small towns in Montana.
But later, as I write this, I thought. What a great idea for a story! A guy knocks on the door. He has a cryptic message. You let him in. What happens next is totally up to your evil, or benign, imagination. I'm sure this plot has taken many a twist and turn in many a book or short story.
I'll for now just file it away and see when it pops up. You never know when real life deals you a wild card. Then you will have that full house or flush and be able to finally finish that story.
|Weird things in the store today. I live in a small town in Montana. You don't often see weird produce in our local grocery store. So today when I saw rambutan and jackfruit sitting beside the cabbage and cauliflower, well, I did a double take.
Rambutran look like strawberries with spike hairdos. They taste like lychee nuts. Weird but fun. They gave the cashier fits as she tried to price them.
The jackfruit was huge - about 30 #,. It looked like an alien agg. It supposedly tastes good. And as I read about it, you can use it as a meat substitute. Weird. I was walking, and couldn't justify taking that bad boy home. Plus it cost $1.79 a # so I couldn't justify spending a full week's budget on groceries on an alien egg.
|I take a walk every day. It is usually a walk around the block around my neighborhood. I vary it most days. Never the same route twice. I go North one day, South one day. Then I'll veer off and go Northeast or Southwest. I like to see which houses are sold, which are for sale. Say hello to people and dogs.
The other day, however, I had to stop and process what I saw. Now I know my eyes aren't the best anymore. In fact, I know I have to have cataracts repaired soon. But I know what I saw was not a weird vision.
I turned the corner. My friend Pastor Dave lives there. Then there is the house that always has a cluttered yard. And a new addition to their porch - they have two upholstered chairs on it. I have the thought - why would you put indoor furniture outside? I walk on. Then I saw in the next yard some hay next to the garage. And in the hay is a black animal.
'How nice.' I think.'They put out hay for their dogs,' Then the black animal turns its head. This is no dog. It's a calf, a baby cow, a farm animal.
Hmmm. As far as I know, we are not allowed to have farm animals in our town. Granted, you can have 2 chickens with a permit. No roosters, just hens. In a pen. But a cow?
I have to check this out. I note the address and continue my walk. When I get home, I call the city.
"Hi there. I was out walking and saw a cow in the yard at ....street. Are we allowed to have farm animals in town?" Then I had the faint feeling of being a snitch. The evil neighbor that calls about every infraction. But first a cow over there, then a horse or pig next to me.
The city clerk that answered the phone was amused and agreed, "No, we don't allow farm animals in people's yards. We'll send someone over to check that out."
As I hung up the phone I thought, well I am just going to file that incident away in my brain. It sure would make a good story idea someday. You never know when you may need a calf in a backyard in the city.
Queen Norma Jean
|Okay - so I am in one of those states that is 'opening'. Montana has the distinction of being on the outer fringes of the virus epidemic. We are rural. We are a generally law-abiding people. The town I live in has about 2,000 persons. And as far as we know, we had only one case of this sickness, and that person has recovered per popular rumor.
We are glad things are trying to get back to normal here. But to tell you the truth, nothing really changed here. The grocery stores were always open, the hardware store was always open, the banks were always open, the pharmacy was always open, the restaurants still had carry-out. You could still go to the post office and still get gas. So really the only shops closed were two thrift stores and a flower shop. Oh, and the two hair salons.
Very few people are wearing masks.
Now just 50 miles down the road you have the biggest city in Montana, Billings, and things there are very different. Many people wear masks. Many more people mean many more risks and many more that have had or still have the virus.
We all pray this craziness will be over soon. I saw many children playing at the playground today. Seems staying in the house on this 1st day of May when the sun was shining in Montana and it wasn't snowing was just too restrictive. Can't blame them. I was out there walking and enjoying the day as well.
Stay safe everyone.
|I was looking through my books yesterday and come across a curious little book. "A Journal of the Plague Year" by Daniel Defoe. It was written in the 1700's about the bubonic plague in England in the 1600's. As we all should know, the bubonic plague was spread by rats infected by fleas. The fleas bit people and so the infection spread. But then it spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing, much like the Corona virus.
This plague, the Black Death, killed 60% of the population at that time. Heck of a deal. Makes this virus seem minor. We have conquered the plague around the world, there are very few outbreaks of it now. I saw there are a few cases every now and then. But we have no idea about this current nemesis. We have no idea what will happen with this killer. Since it is new, will it keep on killing? Will it come back once it dies down?
Unknown how all this will play out. The new normal is yet to be established. It will be curious to see how this all plays out. And it will also be curious how we, as writers, sift it all out and record it for history. Just like Defoe did it for his journal.