Wear Shoes and Give a…Whatever.

Here’s a tip: When using the brush roller on an upright vacuum (you know the one you use to suck up the stuff embedded in the carpet?), don’t run it over your bare toes. They will get sucked up into the roller.

I’ll spare you a photo, but the purple color is telling me that I probably bruised, in a fine manner, the tendons and ligaments along and under the first three toes, and I probably broke the toe next to the big toe. Nothing ER worthy, but walking has been interesting the last few days.

In any other year I’d say, “Gee, that was random.” This year, however, it seems fated that I’d crush a few toes in a vacuum cleaner.

Aside from that, I have much to be grateful for this year, and especially this Thanksgiving weekend. My family worked together to make Thanksgiving doable with masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, and carefully planned handling and distribution of food. The weather helped out, too. If it hadn’t been a balmy 54 degrees, we would have cancelled.

Of course I would have preferred a full-on T-day with big hugs and hot kid breath in my face as they show me their latest school projects or coloring book masterpieces. But I have caught many viruses from them over the years and I do not want to catch this one. Just in case they were mini symptomless carriers, they stayed away from Grammy, which took more restraint than any of us is used to, but we did it.

I know many of you could not and did not see your families and friends over this long weekend, and some of you are mourning loved ones lost to the virus or other causes. I’ve lost a few, too, and it breaks my heart when I see someone without a mask in a public indoor space. Such a simple act of kindness, and yet…

I didn’t have to hug my grandchildren for them to know I love them. I got to see them and talk to them from a distance, and that was OK. I don’t have to know you in real life to love you, too. And I do love you because, like me, you need the same air as I do, you have family you care about and friends who love you, and in the end, you don’t want to leave this place angry, fearful, or filled with regret.

Right now, I regret vacuuming without wearing shoes. Don’t be like me. Wear shoes when you vacuum. And most of you reading this already know this and do this, but for those of you who are on the fence, who are consumed by politics and/or are unsure of the science, take a deep breath. Please take a chance and make the choice to give a whatever.

The yearly “olive eyes” photo was different this year.

Waiting

I’m not the world’s most patient person, god knows, but I’m pretty happy with how I’m handling my impatience this week. My checkbook is probably not so happy – I’m a stress shopper – but mostly I’ve been buying Christmas and birthday gifts and cards, candles and dog treats, so at least it’s useful shopping. 

I like to write in the kitchen when I’m stressed, and not because it’s where the refrigerator is. My kitchen has a lot of windows and some nice views. It’s cozy. There’s a bluetooth speaker on the baker’s rack and this morning I was vacillating between the 70s and the 80s stations on SiriusXM until I wandered over to The Coffee House when I saw they were playing a new Ray LaMontagne song, “Highway to the Sun.” Within a few notes I was leaned over crying into my hands, not for one particular reason and yet for all the reasons. 

Tea makes me feel better so I made another cup. Random recommendation: If you like loose leaf tea, I can’t recommend this tea maker enough. No more tea specks and dust lining the rim of your mug or floating at the bottom. 

Along with tea, I made a batch of suet for the birds because watching birds at the feeders is more calming than scrolling through news feeds. I also made marinade for fish tacos that I’ll have for lunch at some point this afternoon. The marinade is a combination of olive oil, spices, sriracha and lime juice. Another random recommendation: Like the tea maker, I can’t recommend this citrus squeezer enough. It’s easy on the hands and wrists.

Back to writing and finishing this short and wandering blog, I’m listening to Steve Martin & Steep Canyon Rangers’ new album The Long-Awaited Album. No tears, just reminding myself how lucky I am that I have a kitchen with windows, the means to make suet and a perfect cup of tea, and that I can cry at a song and feel pain and yet still hope that peace and empathy, and not anger and hate, dominate the days ahead.