SHELF LIFE: My Pandemic Diary: March 18, 20, & 24, 2021

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Are we just socially conditioned to walk around on the edge of explosion now? We’ve been starved of some basic human emotional needs after all this isolation, yo, and it shows.

Also, I can officially add ‘chicken wrangling’ to my resume. 

Last two nights, I’ve left it too late to lock up the girls and they’re on top of their coop when we go out. The roof is full foot about our heads which then required a two person assembly line. 

Soph jumped up and grabbed their ankles. They’d squawk and flap at which time I’d grab and stick them on the little plank leading to their roost. This flappy, squawky, feather-flying process x7 chickens. Let’s see if I can remember tomorrow because it’s decidedly not fun. It’s almost 9 pm and this is literally the first I’ve sat down today. I used my lunch hour to run Harvey to work and nope to that. Momma needs her lunch hour to decompress and read. 

I ended up eating a large bag of peanut M&Ms at 4 pm for ‘lunch.’ So tomorrow Harvey becomes acquainted with everyone’s favorite trusty pal, Mr. Public Transportation. 

Self-sufficience never hurt anyone. 

Can I get an amen.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

“Let’s go get a beer,” I said after work today. 

Weather’s changing and Covid restrictions are lifting which means a lot of people are no longer using curbside. After we pull holds there’s not a whole lot to do, so it’s super slow. Anyway. It was beautiful outside and I wanted to be a part of it. Kids were off at a birthday party so we had a few rare hours of freedom. Our favorite bar was packed and loud. REALLY loud because the lone musician had his speakers on full blast. Christopher and I found space at the bar, removed our masks, and sipped beers while the singer asked for audience participation. Even sitting next to each other, it was too loud for conversation. But we’ve reached that point where holding hands and sipping cold beer is just fine. Anyway. 

The music, although loud, wasn’t that great. Local Texan fare. Townes Van Zandt / John Prine inspired stuff droned on for quite awhile above the noisy crowd. But then the musician transitioned (somehow) into Amazing Grace. And literally one by one, like candles snuffed one at a time, people stopped talking. I found myself singing along, quietly of course, before I realized everyone else was, too. Even the dogs stopped barking. 

Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound. That saved a wretch. Like me. 

All our lips moved around the familiar words. My eyeballs got hot. And I looked around, understanding something my English husband cannot.

We were in church. 

And every person in there — I reckon at least 150 — had been through something.  That ‘something’ was a little different for every household, every family. But no matter which side you planted your feet, you went through IT. The big IT, this last year. 

Something happens to the air when everyone feels God at the same time. And in those few minutes mouthing/singing the words to Amazing Grace every Texan knows so well, we were called to that space of reverence and humility. And peace spread among us.

“Why’d it get so quiet?” Christopher asked, and I put my finger to my lips, closing my eyes. Grateful for this force that pulls me through all things difficult. 

After the song, the singer launched into House of the Rising Sun, slightly out of tune. It was a little painful if I’m being honest. But you never shame someone who has courage to stand before a crowd and give their best. We finished out beers, paid, and left. And my heart is happy because there’s frozen pizza and a Chelsea match in my not super distant future. 

Yay for Saturdays.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

With easing Covid restrictions, America is slowly returning to normal. By normal I mean mass shootings. This time Boulder, Colorado. Another senseless tragedy. More dead. Another reason to ban assault rifles. Seriously. The only reason anyone provides for the legality of these things is: It’s my right to have one. 

YES, Bubba. It’s your right. But for what. Regale us with the many ways an AK-47 positively impacts the quality of your life. 

American grief and outrage are measured on Twitter and Facebook. The memes will be clever, the statistics sobering. But what will be done? Not a goddamn thing. Even writing about it feels like a motion. 

May the victims’ families find peace amid the horror. Supporting civilian assault rifle ownership while weighing odds your kid, husband, mom or sister won’t be in the next batch of victims should NOT be the norm. Ugh. 

I don’t want to write anymore.


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