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My Calistoga in the Age of Covid

We did not know what to expect. This was our first post-Corona hotel stay and we were apprehensive. We had booked two nights in our favorite go-to place, the Calistoga Spa. Calistoga, a little town, nestled in the Napa Valley holds a huge place in my heart. Calistoga  is rich with  memories of my youth. It is the only place we went to for family vacations when we were kids. For my parents, it was not far from San Francisco (around two hours depending if my father got lost), and we were guaranteed wonderful, usually hot summer weather. My mother’s goal was to get her little brood out of the fog belt of San Francisco, and we would get tan like browned chickens

We stayed at a no-frills resort, then called Little Village, for around $60 a week, running in to the same families every year. My mom did all the cooking and  managed to make the best meals for us. The kids had a ball playing hide and seek and shuffleboard. We entertained ourselves with comic books and cut out dolls. The highlight of every afternoon was swimming in the huge geyser-heated public pool, Patchateau’s. We would trek over there through a  field with prickly weeds holding our inner tubes. When we got to the pool,  my mom paid the maybe fifty cent admission. She would coat us with Sea and Ski, and then we were off for a glorious afternoon playing and splashing in the tepid water. My dad would join us on weekends driving up from San Francisco on Friday afternoons. Those weekends were rejuvenating for him. He could look forward to taking a hot mineral bath in our own cabin. The sulphur in the water smelled like rotten eggs.  In later years, Little Village put in their own pool which had cold water so we preferred swimming there in the heat which could reach over 100 degrees.

 Jeff and I continued our family tradition and brought our children to Calistoga as well. We have also had some terrific times with our grandchildren there too. The magic is the same, lazy days in the swimming pool. Patchateau’s now is Indian Springs, very upscale and not open to the public as it once was,  when it was a veritable international swim party on Sunday afternoons. We currently go to the Calistoga Spa, bring our own little barbeque and I manage to whip up great food in the tiny kitchen. When my grandchildren are there, I am like a short order cook making five different breakfasts from French toast to omlettes, to scrambled eggs.

at the Patchateau’s pool with my sister, around 1960

This time when we had made the reservation for the spa, we were almost reluctant to go with the new rules and restrictions. We could not arrive until 3pm where we had always been able to use the pool early in the day. We had to check out at 11AM where we had hung around the next day until maybe 2PM. Masks were required to walk around the resort though we did not need them in the pool area if we were sitting at a lounge chair. The rooms would be rather bare and no maid service available. The chairs around the pool would be spaced, and the rooms would be vacant the day before we came and the day after we left. Of course, the spa would be closed so no massages. We never did mud baths anyway, but an occasional massage was a special treat. Whew…this was the new reality, take it our leave it.

Initially we canceled then thought about it and said if we stay for two nights and bring most of our own food we will avoid the grocery store. We decided to give it a try. It was sad to see how many restaurants  and businesses had closed in town. In some cases a favorite restaurant had moved out, and a new name had taken over the space.  Calistoga had previously suffered the effects of the huge Napa Valley fires which spared the town thankfully but had also affected the tourist business. We walked around wearing our masks which was really strange and felt suffocating. We had dinner one warm night out at a patio restaurant with masked servers. It was a lovely creekside setting so it was pleasant.

One of our mornings I was out at 7AM getting us coffee and slipped off my mask. I breathed in the delicious air. This was the Calistoga I remembered. How do you describe the smell of a place? I don’t even know the right words, but that early morning took me back to how  it had always been. We really enjoyed our two days there… lazily floating around in our noodles in the pools, reading and relaxing. It was good to get away from the constant barrage of scary news. The best parts of Calistoga are still the same, the sweet air, the total relaxation, the warm sun. We will go back again and pray for when we can be there without masks.

the upside down sign at this restaurant which was closed somehow felt like a metaphor for everything else…

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Super Nova

dedicated to Amanda Gorman

Yellow breasted, red crowned

“descended from slaves

raised by a single mother ”

she overcame a speech impediment

to stand tall at the podium

not intimidated by Presidents, Gaga or J-lo

she captivated a spellbound audience

reciting with a pounding pulse and lilting rhythm

even echoes of Hamilton could be discerned

her hands speaking too, like an ethereal conductor

and with verses of reconciliation and consolation

she brought solace to a broken country

deeply in need of healing

as we watched  and listened awestruck

she streaked across the sky

like a super nova

leaving contrails in her wake

of possibility and positivity

declaring “we will rebuild, reconcile and recover”

and once again the power of poetry

rising transcendent

forever endowing our ailing nation

with a lasting, empowering gift

A Winter’s Day

Taking a walk

 on a stunning Northern California winter’s day

a teasing, tantalizing morsel of spring

the sky a flawless blue,

the sun inviting and healing

a day begging for short sleeves and sunglasses

barren tree limbs practically stretching

like purring cats basking on a window seat

I pull down my mask stealing a breath

treasuring this break from reality

seeking to forget the incessant news stream

as our country poises precariously

on an inflection point

haunted by the recent events in the Capitol

will they remain a tear in our fabric

which can never be mended

or can we as a nation unite

striving in common purpose

a time to reflect and pray

for our country

for our future

dangling over a precipice

on a sunny winter’s day

This was the Year

This was the year we will always remember but not with photos or mementos. It will be forever marked by pages left blank in photo albums and on line collections which used to chronicle our most important life cycle events and the mundane ones as well. All the celebrations and important events that never were from birthday parties, weddings, graduations to funerals and memorial gatherings. And the ordinary stuff…that fills our days when we are with other people enjoying bbqs, sporting events and just plain hanging out.. It was all missing or diminished in our lives in 2020 from when the virus struck.

This was the year we won’t be able to remember what we did in the summer because we did not do anything. Gone were the lazy carefree days at the beach and pool. Gone were the family get-togethers, the reunions and picnics. Gone were the big trips writ large on bucket lists. Gone were the little getaways too. Passports stayed in the kitchen drawer or file cabinets and the suitcases stayed in the garage or closet. Bucket list travel dreams were not checked off. They remained distant pipe-dreams to ponder over when we could not sleep at night… and there were many nights like that.

This was the year of our undoing when worry and stress burrowed in to our hearts and minds and took a room and didn’t pay rent and decided to hang around as unwanted visitors.  Daily corona virus tolls and death counts were overwhelming.  It became almost too much watching the rolling statistics or hearing the individual stories of the ordinary people lost to this virus, cutting across all ages,  ethnic, and social lines, from a senator to a greeter at Walmart. The corona, the spiky invader, showed no mercy.

 We learned how to fear everyone and became experts at dodging our neighbors on the street, masking up to go to Safeway. We could no longer see a smile, just troubled, worried eyes rushing through the aisles. We learned to fear an enemy  we couldn’t see which stole lives and livelihoods every day. We had to surrender to this enemy following the guidelines we heard repeatedly  from the experts. In an Abundance of Caution dot dot dot became our every day mantra.

This was the year we craved being with our families because we were told not to. We missed human contact the more they told us to stay away and keep our distance. We waved at mail carriers and UPS delivery men. We got in touch with distant cousins and long lost friends. I reconnected with several friends from grammar school. We missed hugs and touches and kisses on the cheek.

This was the year going on  Zoom became as ubiquitous as  taking a shower, between zoom classes, synagogue services and zoom parties; kids on zoom for school, zoom zoom zoom. My sister even got married on Zoom. We became mavens at Zoom get togethers and birthday parties. I zoomed my book launch and celebrated my 70th birthday with my family on a Zoom call. We have to be grateful for this technology because that is sometimes all there is keeping us tethered to other people, warding off loneliness and depression.  

This was the year we got down to basics learning way less is more. I learned to explore my own neighborhood, walk in the redwoods, see the magnificent trees that were so close but I was too busy with I don’t know what to notice. We let our hair go natural, learned to do without mani/pedis…all the little things we took for granted that we can live without. This was the year we re-discovered cooking….eating at home became easier, safer, less hassle.

This was the year we learned that the integrity of our sacrosanct election system, the foundation of our democracy,  could be questioned and maligned.  This was the year when truth was so beaten up it had to go on life support. This was the year that racism reared its ugly head on too many occasions and the rest of us had to take a hard look at our attitudes and our conscience. This was the year democracy was rent and torn.

This was the year we had to face ourselves in the mirror  because there was no place to run and hide, and nowhere to go. We had to learn how to grasp time and spend it wisely because even though we had all the time in the world, it felt like time was speeding by like a runaway hourglass. This was the year we had to face reality and look our own mortality in the face because especially as seniors there were no guarantees of anything.

I so look forward to putting this year behind me,  being with my grandchildren and not worrying about kissing them from head to toe, reuniting with my family in Israel, having normal family events and holiday celebrations all the little and big things we have been missing but hopefully be able to do once again.

This was the year we will never forget.

Thanksgiving Reflections 2020

Thanksiving 2020 for all of us will not business as usual. Who would have ever believed that this beloved holiday as so many other milestone events and celebrations in the last months  will be curtailed. I have already gotten over mourning my favorite holiday which is not going to be the same this year for my family. For me, Thanksgiving has always been special for several reasons. First, my birthday falls on Thanksgiving or around it. This year, it is a big birthday ending in a zero. I’m used to being surrounded by family to celebrate the holiday and my birthday at the same time. My daughters are planning a virtual Zoom birthday party on Thanksgiving morning. Oh well….I know it will be fun, and I am swinging with this new reality.

Thanksgiving was also a holiday where I felt, as a first generation American, part of the mainstream. My parents had immigrated to the United States fleeing Nazi Germany and met in San Francisco at a dance for servicemen. They had much in common and got married while the war was still raging. Fortunately it ended before my father could be shipped out of the country. They settled in San Francisco. My mom wanted us four kids to be “good Americans.”

Pilgrim tchotchke

My mother went all out for this holiday, setting a beautiful table with decorative tchotchkes  little pilgrims and ceramic turkeys, flowers and baskets with fruit. It was a holiday we could fully participate in which made us feel like full fledged Americans. We always had east coast cousins staying with us on Thanksgiving. They loved my mother’s wonderful cooking which included a big turkey and all the trimmings, stuffing, sweet potatoes and four or five desserts, though she never made pumpkin pie.  She was a great listener and they could talk to her and get her advice, and she loved to spoil them with her cooking.

I didn’t have to act “dumb” which I did when I was in a grocery store after Thanksgiving and well meaning ladies would ask the cute little blond kid what Santa was bringing me. I knew Santa wasn’t going to be stopping at our home. We had a brass menorah on the mantle, no tree,  and celebrated Chanukah, but it was not a major holiday for us.

Over the years, as my mom got older, I took over the holiday. I have my own box of  cardboard decorations I’ve accumulated which I would put on the tables and hang on walls;  pumpkin-shaped candles, brocade  tablecloths I  save just for this holiday. I have a binder with a Thanksgiving recipe section. I make some items every year like my squash soup, my mashed yams with crushed pineapple and try to add a few new items to the menu. Where I used to buy cooking magazines, now I scour the internet. Though my parents and in-laws have long passed away, our immediate family has expanded now with grandchildren and my daughters’ and their husband’s families. It is always a festive occasion with lots of good food and lively discussion. Thankfully the election will be over.

So this year, how are we going to manage? The warnings of Dr. Fauci resonated,  and we definitely did not want to take a chance on spreading Covid within the family. We decided to limit the dinner to just my daughters and their children. We are also going outside in my daughter’s yard so it is not going to be at my house. Living in California, this is doable and we will start earlier and tell everyone to bring jackets. We will pray for no rain! The little ones will have an area they can go off by themselves, and we will do what we can to be mindful and stay safe.

 I know, it won’t be the same but I tell myself just get over it. . We will start our meal out going around the “yard” saying why we are grateful. I am grateful my husband and I and my family are healthy. That is the bottom line. So many families have suffered or are still dealing with the virus. I am hopeful that there will be a vaccine available soon on the horizon in 2021. Maybe this year will be a time to really take stock, to hone in on what is valuable, meaningful, and important in our cluttered lives. That is what will give new meaning to Thanksgiving 2020.   

Flo at the Diner

Flo Strauss, compact and efficient in her spotless pink uniform, strides briskly to the lone burly policeman sitting in the last booth on the right. She’s in a good mood. It looks like it is going to be a beautiful May day, pink clouds crowding in the sky visible through the plate glass windows in the front of the restaurant, the usual morning fog absent. Officer Joseph Douglas is here for his favorite, lox, eggs and onions with a poppy seed bagel, and she always remembers to bring strawberry jelly to the table which they get from an orchard in Sebastopol.

Flo has been working in this same restaurant for thirty two years. At sixty-two, it is getting harder mornings when the throbbing arthritis in her left hip acts up. Even though she could, she doesn’t want to stop working. It’s all she has and everyone in the restaurant feels like family. Outside of poker two nights a week, she isn’t much for hobbies. Retirement terrifies her. Edgar died four years ago; they never had kids, and she can’t imagine herself watching daytime soaps and crocheting blankets.

Flo is surprised Joseph isn’t with his partner Eric. They come in together after their shift one or two mornings a week. Flo notices everything. He sits slumped with red eyes, the weariness pouring off him, in his regular booth facing the front door, ever watchful and on alert no matter how worn out he is. It is 6:25am. The staff is used to police walking in through the back door to the kitchen when they get off shift. Harry, the original owner, now his son David, gladly accommodates San Francisco’s finest. They in turn routinely monitor the restaurant.

“Hey Officer Joey.” Flo never calls him “Joseph.” “ What’s shaking? Ready for your LE and O.”

The young officer shakes his head, “I don’t feel much like eating.”

“Bad night?”

“Yeah, you might say that.”

“Let me get some coffee.”

Flo returns with two mugs of freshly brewed coffee in old, thick, cream-colored mugs. She sits herself down opposite the police officer and grimaces from the twinge of her touchy hip.

The young officer looks at Flo intently. “Why do you still take this early shift Flo? Don’t you want to sleep in?”

Flo frowns then softens her face. “Ahhh officer. Not that it’s your business, but I love this job and the people here and my customers too. What else am I going to do? Take Zumba classes?

Flo takes a sip of coffee. ”Joey, Where’s your better half, the matzoh brei guy? I have a bet going with him that the Giants are going all the way. He’s going to owe me.”

Joey puts down the steaming mug and hesitates little too long before speaking. “Eric got shot last night. He’s out of surgery, and he’ll be OK.”

“Thank God. What happened? I haven’t seen the news.”

Joey speaks like he is giving the report about the incident all over again. “ It was a 10-16, uh..reported domestic violence call from a neighbor. Came in around 7PM. We thought we were going to be breaking up an argument. Address in the Castro.”

Flo chews on her thumbnail.

“We assumed it might be a gay couple since that neighborhood is…well you know heavily gay. When we got there, it was one of those Victorian’s, meticulously restored and worth a fortune.”

Flo nods, “Yeah. Real estate in that neighborhood is through the roof.”

“We were joking that maybe they were fighting over paint colors, but we learned in the Academy that domestic violence calls can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable.” Joseph toys with wrapped the sugar cubes on the table.

A few neighbors had gathered. A bald-headed man holding a yappy dog came up to us very excited. He told us he had made the call because of the ruckus. It sounded violent.”
I pounded on the door, heard loud voices and breaking glass. After we identified ourselves, we were ready to kick in the door, but when I tried the handle, it wasn’t locked. We came in to a stairway and ran up. We had our hands on our guns but didn’t pull them. Two women stood in the living room facing each other The place was fancy, but there had been a major scuffle; an overturned chair on its side, a broken lamp, a glass of red wine shattered and spilled on the hardwood floor.”

Flo sips her coffee and sighs. She has heard her share of too many bad stories from young cops like Joey.

“They were maybe in their early forties. One was dressed in a gray pantsuit. I noticed a briefcase on the hardwood floor. The other woman had a short spiky hairstyle and an elaborate tattoo of a snake on her upper arm. She wore black cargo pants and boots and a leather vest. She was small, wiry and muscular. They were breathing hard and standing apart.”

The pantsuit woman said, “we’re OK. Had a little disagreement. She had a raised welt under her eye and a fat lip. You can go.”

The other woman glared at us, “Get the fuck out of here.”

My partner answered her calmly.” Uh, we’re going to take a report. Need your names…”
He had just taken out his notepad when the woman with the spiky hair pulls a small revolver out of her baggy pants pocket and shoots Eric in the shoulder, completely unprovoked. He shouts, and clutches his shoulder, bleeding badly.

I pulled out my gun and shot her. It happened so fast. She fell on to the sofa, her partner screamed, and it was chaos. I called it in requesting two ambulances and back up. Paramedics took them to San Francisco General. It was too late for her. I nicked her carotid and she bled out. After I left the hospital I went to the station to give my report. I’m on leave pending an investigation. They told me my shooting was most likely justified but…I shot on instinct, the way we’ve been trained. ”

He shook his head.“ First time I ever killed someone. Why did she pull a gun?”

Flo tsk tsks, then pats the young officer on his hand. “Rough Joey.” The silence is broken by customers coming in and the morning rush starting up, the front door banging.

Flo calls to one of her regulars. “Morning Tommy, your shirt is wrinkled. Don’t you own an iron?” Everyone expects her sassy remarks. She winks at Joey.

“Let me bring you some matzoh ball soup. My bubbe… uh, my grandmother, taught me that matzoh ball soup has magical healing powers”

Joey smiles. A tear rolls down his cheek. “OK Flo. That sounds real good.”

Interlude in Trader Joe’s Parking Lot

A man playing a sax
sits on a makeshift stool
in Trader Joe’s parking lot,

scrounging for his three kids
his sad story splayed
on tattered cardboard,

his reedy notes
a brass confession
soulful, plaintive,

squandered in this shitty parking lot
with the bouquet of urine
drifting in from dark corners.

I’m pulled in by the music
like a rogue wave,
and he has no idea I’m drowning
in long-forgotten memories…

Two kids under the spell of young love,
slow dancing under swaying palms,
rum and cokes with paper umbrellas
a pony-tailed sax player spewing pure honey.

I’m still clutching my cart,
loaded with organic what-evers
lost in sweet reverie.

I give him a few dollars,
carefully placed in his open case.
He nods, I quietly clap
in this ersatz concert hall.

Don’t stop playing sax man,
take me with you
somewhere, anywhere,
to when the promise of our young lives
was still dancing in front of us.

This poem appeared in California Quarterly, Spring 2020

This poem appears in My Runaway Hourglass

The Cuervo Gold and Clorox Blues

It’s not a good sign when you’re
mesmerized by the Westminster dog show.
Got to get out of this place.
Yes, even a well-planned foray
to Safeway will suffice.
I know I shouldn’t go, but I can’t relinquish
this last vestige of my old life.

Grocery list clutched in my gloved hand,
mask in place, fogging my glasses,
cart wiped down.
I try to keep myself from weeping.
We are all actors in a bad dream,
that doesn’t go away in the morning.

Will we ever get back to before?
Oh, the little joys I took for granted,
like my grandsons sleeping over.
I’m frenetic, rushing through the aisles,
cowering behind my mask.
I don’t look anyone in the eye.

I score a big win, paper towels.
But do I really need four more cans
of tomato bisque soup?
The masked man in red sweatpants
joyfully unloads big bottles
of Cuervo Gold and Clorox on to the belt.
He makes me smile.

This poem appeared on the Editorial Page of the San Francisco Chronicle, April 21, 2020

This poem appears in My Runaway Hourglass

Photo: Vox Efx from Baltimore, United States / CC BY

“…we’re not in Kansas anymore”

Dorothy’s line in the Wizard of Oz, I’ve a feeling  we’re not in Kansas anymore, delivered to her beloved Toto when they arrived in Oz has become a classic. So many times lately it runs through my head, because we are not in Kansas anymore either. Life is not normal and many things we experience are uncomfortable and unfamiliar. I don’t think I will ever get used to seeing people wearing masks though it has already become routine. We live day to day with an underlying fear that the virus is out there and until there is a miracle vaccine we will not be getting back to whatever “normal” was. All we can do is adjust to the “new normal.”

In the interim for the next months, we have to accept that life has irrevocably changed for us in little ways and big ways though maybe in some instances it might end up being for the better. We are challenged to be flexible.  I have to say I’m enjoying my two writing classes on Zoom. My Wednesday morning memoir class is great as is my Friday morning poetry. The most important part about these classes is that they encourage me to write every week as well as engage with the other class members.

No one could argue less Bay Area traffic has been a positive outcome though it signifies less people going to work. It also means a fundamental change in more people being able to work from home and spending less time on the road. My son in law tells me he has gotten used to working from home despite the distractions of the children. It will be interesting to see how working from home will continue.

I miss not being able to attend my synagogue the way I used to on a regular basis. It is opening gradually in phases, at first only on for limited attendance daily services, though one must reserve  a spot in advance. Because I am a “senior” I need to get permission from my doctor to attend.  Oy vey. That sounds daunting, and I probably just won’t even try. I love getting dressed up with a nice dress and one of my many hats, going to services on Saturday morning, seeing friends, sharing a bite, socializing, and of course getting my spiritual fix hearing the rabbi speak and even from just being in the building. It is what I have done my whole life and it is difficult to not be able to do it.

I’m already fretting over the high holidays. I can’t imagine what they will look like. My high holiday traditions run deep; attending services, get-togethers with family and friends. I know for certain this year will be radically different, and it is doubtful we can even attend a limited version of services. Because we observe the Orthodox traditions, we won’t be on Zoom as other denominations will be. It will be very strange and I’m trying to wrap my head around it now in advance.

Another new phenomenon to cope with was getting a call from my husband’s doctor’s office and being informed his visit would be a tele-visit. We were not really happy with this latest change. How can there be a real check up just talking?  It seems very inadequate and I fear the beginning of a new trend.  One of my doctors is doing the same thing. I think back to when I was a child, and our pediatrician, Dr. Wolf, would make a house call if one of us was sick and sometimes come twice in one day. I still remember he would give us penicillin shots for everything. Ouch! Oh my Toto, those days are long gone .

My husband’s gym which is especially geared for cardiac rehab that he relied on and attended faithfully is closed for the next months. They don’t know when they are reopening. It’s just another reality of this current situation.  My gym is opening with pages of rules and new procedures. I’m not even sure I want to go back. The good news is that Jeff and I walk  several times every week usually around three miles at a time, and we have a list of places we like to go to now. Most of the time these locations are not crowded, and we can leave off our masks. We have discovered many wonderful scenic locales, near the bay or surrounded by magnificent redwoods. We are so lucky to have incredible natural wonders and delights very close.

I salute my sister and her new husband for adapting to the Covid 19 crisis in an amazing  and flexible way. They were supposed to get married in the summer and were planning a big celebration. Their children would be traveling from the East Coast and Israel (where my niece was spending the year with her family.) It would have been a real bash with family and friends coming from all over. Then came the virus and all their plans were derailed. These two lovely seniors, were not going to let the virus stop them. True love prevailed and they got a last minute slot to have a Zoom wedding with one day’s notice conducted by the county of San Mateo. They called their rabbi to be there remotely, informed their closest family and friends and my nephew set it up a computer and speaker in his backyard in San Carlos with his family the only people close by (but still social distancing.)

 The rabbi had told them they would exchange rings, and do the rest of the traditional  ceremony when they could have everyone gathered. They got rings from Costco the night before (which didn’t fit )and my sister put together a bouquet. Her beautiful dress was still at the dress salon, but in the end it didn’t really matter. She was a radiant bride.

The suspense was provided by the registrar from the county who kept going back and forth with them until the marriage certificate was correct which meant sending versions of it on their iPhones. I was holding my breath watching from my screen, but my sister and her husband were as cool as could be. This makeshift ceremony could not have been envisioned by my sister in all her worst pre-wedding nightmares. Finally the certificate was accepted, they said their vows, the Rabbi said a few sweet words and blessings, and they exchanged rings. Everyone all over the world  yelled Mazel Tov from their screens. In the end it was perfect and certainly a wedding to remember.

No Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore, but we are in that new place, somewhere over the rainbow. We have to emulate the happy couple, make adjustments, work around what we are able to do, accept what we can’t change for now, and above all, stay healthy and let love prevail.

Pancakes for Dinner

During the past months of all the tumult brought on by the Covid-19 crisis, I’ve felt a little off kilter. I know I’m not alone in this feeling of discombobulation….(now that’s a three cent word!) It’s just knowing that things are not normal nor will they be for a very long time, if ever. We are settling in to a “new normal” whatever that entails. Now I grab a mask every time I leave the house. I have become used to seeing people on the street and at the store in masks and no longer look at them as if they are aliens.               

My how things have changed. I remember before we went in to lock-down seeing news showing people in China wearing masks. I used to be amused, think how quaint and how ridiculous. Do they really need masks? I also assumed a virus thousands of miles away had no relevance for me. We have learned a harsh lesson that we live in a small world which has no borders. We are just one big dysfunctional family. I think of that song you hear in Disneyland, “It’s a Small World, which stays in your head for days. The ride is fun anyway.               

Have you noticed in these crazy days misplacing things? Here is our saga which is pretty funny anyway. First my husband misplaced his hearing aid which he had put in the console of my car. He takes them out before putting on his mask because they are easy to pull out. I’ve already lost three earrings. When we are back in our car after our hike in the redwoods he goes to put on his hearing aid and one is missing. Then the hunt ensues with flashlights looking in the crevices of the car, underneath the car seats which we do for several days. The good news is he could reorder a free hearing aid (saving maybe $800) from Costco on a one time basis which comes with the warranty for the hearing aid. The caveat is if you find it, you can’t cancel the order so be sure you lost it.

Certain that his hearing aid was lost, he put in the order. The next event was losing his car keys. He had come home from a fast food stop when the person handing him the food sneezed though covered his mouth. Nonetheless my husband was totally rattled and came home shaken. That was when his keys disappeared. Then the hunt for the keys began. We looked everywhere…in garbage cans, in every pair of pants, under the bed, in sofas, turned the house upside down. They were just gone. I decided to look in his jacket pocket one more time digging way in. What do I find? Not the keys, but the hearing aid. Yes, this is the truth. However, you guessed it. Though we tried, we could not stop the re-order of the hearing aid.               

Anyway, we are trying to not be distracted but it doesn’t always work. I lose my cellphone maybe once a day. I lost it at home one morning and spent a half hour going upstairs and downstairs looking for my phone under beds, in furniture, in all the bedrooms. No phone anywhere. I go out to my car and it looks like it is in the car based on my Bluetooth message. I’m frustrated, Out come the flashlights again and my husband is helping me look under the driver’s seat.

Guess what he finds? He sees his old car keys though he has no clue as to how they got there. I blame this disquietude on the Covid-19 crisis. And do you know what feels good and soothing? Pancakes for dinner. There is nothing like mindless carbs to soothe and comfort one when life feels out of sorts. Moral of the story, try to put your keys and phone back in the same place and get a case for your hearing aids and keep a box of pancake mix on hand for emergencies.