Right before dark

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Spread

Given the current pandemic, I thought it might be of interest to take a different approach to the theme of Spread… While the spread of a virus is not welcome, a nice dinner spread or bread spread or even bed spread might be appreciated!

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I love this time of day…

spreading clouds

…right before dark.

Even with clouds spread overhead…

…glimmers of light sift through.

I like to think of it as the blanket effect.

Comforting and safe underneath.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Fences & Gates

Inspired by Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Fences & Gates

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Everywhere you go these days, there is a NO sign.

No school. No work. No library. No restaurant. No coffee shop. No toilet paper…..

No. No. No.

We all back away.

When I attended the Newport Folk Festival in 2009, the site was surrounded by a fence designated to keep attendees from swimming in the harbor. Probably for their own good. Isn’t that what all good fences are for? Protection. Safety. Whether we like it or not.

It appeared to be somewhat flimsy, but a barrier nonetheless. I never saw a swimmer, so I assume it worked.

A visible barrier against a visible risk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Newport, Rhode Island

Empty shelves

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #88: Domino Effect

The dominos are falling. Where is this all leading? What happens when the dust settles? Thoughts? Examples? Interpretations?

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First it was hand sanitizer and wipes. Then toilet paper. Next…paper towels. Then Kleenex. One after another. Disappearing from store shelves. Worried moms…dads…kids…everyone actually…buying what they can…just in case. The unknown is a scary place.

The fear is palpable. The carts full. We are all in uncharted territory. I must believe this will pass…in time. We will someday look back and learn.

Yesterday was likely my last visit to the grocery store for the foreseeable future.

This is what happened…

empty aisle


Do you remember when the Berlin Wall fell?

I was leaning back against the shelves on one side of the paper products aisle. Finishing up taking a few pictures with my phone.

A man – probably in his 50s – had stopped his shopping cart in front of me to talk. His voice was tinged with a faint accent. He wore a camouflage patterned sweatshirt and jeans. Short clipped dark hair. Slightly balding. Medium height. Stocky.

I was trying to document the (almost) entire aisle of empty shelves. Which are usually crammed with assorted packages of toilet paper, facial tissues and paper towels.

Shelves now empty as panicked customers buy out the inventory day after day – sometimes within an hour of being even partially restocked. The virus is coming.

Shoppers quite frequently start random conversations with me in the grocery store. More often than not.

But this seemed more off the beaten track than usual – immediately capturing my attention as I answered…

Um…yes, I do.

Well this reminds me of it.

It does?

It was like this in East Germany.

You mean people buying up supplies when it happened?

No, this is how it always was in East Germany then. Empty shelves. I saw it. That’s communism.

Did you live in East Germany?

No, but I was there when the wall came down.

Wow.

The two of us paused and looked over at the empty shelves. We were alone in the aisle.

Is it upsetting for you to see this? I asked.

No…but what’s with all the panic about buying toilet paper?

I think people are worried about being quarantined. A friend of a friend of mine bought 120 rolls. For just herself.

That’s BS. All you need is enough for 14 days. But…he glanced at the empty shelves again…what if you ran out…

Well, there’s always napkins. I pointed to the few remaining packages of dinner napkins.

He nods. True.

There’s also no chicken left, I added. Shifting to perhaps a more important priority when stocking up for survival while stuck at home. If, of course, you are fortunate enough to have a home. And enough money to buy food…never mind extra food.

He nodded…No hamburger either! Ridiculous.

Shaking his head, he announced…Well…ya know…I really like guns. And people don’t like that I keep so many extra boxes of ammo stocked in my house. But I don’t care what they think.

Ahh…well we all do what we gotta do I guess.

Yes we do.

He began pushing his cart away to finish shopping.

Have a good day!

You too!

Hand sanitizer. Toilet paper. Paper towels. Tissues. Guns. Ammunition. We all are trying to prepare for an unseen enemy in our own ways.

The Berlin Wall…East Germany…who knew.

no chicken
No Chicken

Stay safe everyone.

 

Sunshine’s Macro Monday: Mushroomed

Sunshine’s Macro Monday #33

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birch tree mushroom

 

I don’t know if the warmer than average winter (so far) is the cause of this larger than average (as far as I know) growth on a fallen birch tree.

All I do know is it seems to mirror how life has been lately.

Mushrooming – everywhere – out of control.

At least that’s the way it feels.

How about you?

 

It was only a month ago

Inspired by Cee’s Flower of the Day

SixWordSaturday

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yellow roses
Six Roses – but one is hiding

 

Is it just me or does Valentine’s Day seem like a really long time ago?

Was it only one month? Four weeks exactly…on February 14th…when my husband handed me this stunning bouquet of six yellow roses?

Happy Valentine’s Day! We tried to figure out how many Valentine’s Days we had spent together, but settled on “over 40…”

Since that day, my life has taken off on an alternate trajectory. Or so it seems.

The morning of the 15th we discovered water had leaked into our bathroom from the condo above us. Our upstairs neighbor left her faucet running unattended into a clogged sink. Water poured through our bathroom ceiling. In condo land, she isn’t held financially responsible. And so it began…the reports…phone calls…repairs…cleanup…costs. The worry about mold. The hours I’ll never get back. Finished just yesterday.

There was a happy four day interlude during a trip – which may be my last one for a long while – to Washington DC to spend time with my children and grandson.

Reports of a new virus started popping up in the news during that visit – the 3rd week of February – but I paid it no mind. That’s happening in China after all.

Then a week ago, news of a crisis affecting one of my sisters activated an intense worry-filled texting chain and phone calls with extended family I had not been in close touch with for many years. However, as many of us realize, a crisis – a matter of life and death crisis – can open a space and lower boundaries – at least for a while. Because…it’s family and you love them. We reach across the divide…anxiously searching for answers. Solutions. Each day and night fraught with worry. Feeling helpless and intermittently hopeless. Emotional support can only do so much.

Today is looking somewhat brighter. Hopefully her crisis has passed enough to be manageable. For now. We cautiously breathe just a bit easier.

The texting chain has now switched to the coronavirus and its affect on all of our lives. Another serious and potentially deadly situation. More anxiety piles on.

Sixty four texts greeted me this morning filled with humorous memes, cartoons and reports of people searching for toilet paper. Long lines at the grocery store. Stockpiling in case of quarantine. The family texting chain continues. Desperate for connection. In a new crisis.

Four weeks ago was Valentine’s Day.

Six yellow roses brightened my day.