cronechronicler

You don't know where you are going. You don't know how to get there. And you arrive just the same. Ghanaian saying

Unfolding of a New Lifestyle

Last Monday I received wonderful news that I did not have a serious health problem my doctor had tested me for. It was like I could begin the process of a positive new beginning. Then by week’s end the coronavirus arrived in Cleveland and life made an abrupt about-face.

This past Saturday the newspaper reported a run on toilet paper and other necessities at the big box stores. I dropped the paper, put on some clothes and headed to a nearby drugstore. I was able to buy a six roll pack of toilet paper and thought that would tide me over. I noticed employees checking partly empty shelves and making lists. Curious. The next day the Sunday paper did not include the usual advertising circulars. And there was a front page story of the empty shelves at drug stores and groceries all over the city. Empty shelves explained the absence of advertising. I went to the grocery store and got one of their last packages of toilet paper – along with bread, milk and grapefruit.

Sunday afternoon the usual six or seven women gathered to play our Scrabble-like card game. We decided that with so many of the places we regularly go being closed to help stop the spread of the coronavirus we would play our game every afternoon. We put up a flyer inviting others to join us, offering to teach people how to play if they didn’t know how. Finally, a bit of sanity and fun.

Checking my shelves for things I would need to stay healthy I found I had ninety individual packets of hand sanitizer left over from my travelling abroad days. And lots of toothpaste and soap. I found a silver lining to Amazon’s selling many things only in bulk.

My son told me his way of being safe in the grocery store. He suggested I use the hand sanitizer they have by the front door and then put on gloves to wear while shopping. I must discard my gloves and wash my hands after I leave the store. I tried this with only one hitch. When checking out, after I put my credit card in the slot, I must press “yes” to say I agree with the amount they are charging me. I couldn’t make the device respond. The cashier told me I had to take off my glove and press it. I did. So much for being germ-free.

Lastly, here’s a final note of changes to come as I live into my new lifestyle. I received an email from the person who cuts my hair saying she is closing her shop for the duration. I have worn my hair quite short for longer than I can remember. I’m really curious to see how it will look whenever the duration is over.

I am praying for people everywhere frightened of the days ahead and for people and their families who become infected by the coronavirus. I pray for myself to stay healthy, and to not become a carrier. I mourn the dead.

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Meatloaf Mystery Resolved

The other day as the word game ladies and I were playing our ever-fascinating game our friend Thelma joined us. She sat down next to me and asked about the frozen dinners she had left for me in my freezer. It was a totally unreal moment! I had begun to despair of ever unravelling the mystery.

My first question was how had she gotten into my apartment. Thelma replied that she rang my bell and then knocked. When I didn’t answer she turned the knob and found my door unlocked. She walked in and put the bag of meatloaf dinners in my freezer. OK. Then I asked her why she had brought me the meatloaf dinners. She told me that since our word game friend Mary had entered Hospice and moved into a nursing home, her daughter Carol was in the process of cleaning out her mother’s apartment. Carol found the frozen dinners and wondered what to do with them. Thelma had stopped by to help Carol and suggested that I might like the dinners. She knew that Mary and I share a love of Lean Cuisine and offered to take them to me. So Thelma put them in my freezer intending to let me know they were from Mary but forgot as she moved on with her day. If I had not just come from shopping and was putting away groceries when I found the mysterious blue bag of meatloaf dinners, I might not have been so unsettled and also sure that there was no way I had put the dinners in my freezer. I am relieved to know that I did not, and will continue to count on myself to remove groceries from the plastic bags before putting them away. Now I have a new action to worry about that I was certain I would never do. I would have sworn that I always lock my door when I leave home.

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Breaking Camp

Summer is slowly pulling up stakes
Bombarding acorns ping loudly
On iron patio tables
The weather grows chilly
Heat for the pool turned off for the season
Time for our word game to move indoors

Dear Belle who’s now gone
Kept our things in her closet
Pillows that cushioned the hard iron chairs
Red bag of stones that held down cards when the wind blew
Now need new lodgings until summer returns
Cards stay with us to play word games inside

As a call went out for winter storage
I searched my apartment and found just the thing
A shelf high in a cabinet I cannot reach
Empty and waiting to be filled with the promise
Of summer and joy of word games with friends
Also  memories of the season just passed

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