Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Giving Thanks

To view mask pics or place an order

On Thursday morning (6/25/20), I woke to the following headline in the Orlando Sentinel:

 Hospitilizations hit new high

Not at all what I wanted to see, but not a surprise. It was something I'd feared since the too-early re-opening of our state and a sudden drop in mask orders signaled that all too many people equated re-opening with "back to normal." Sigh. Florida moved rapidly ahead to Phase 2 of its re-opening. Then Phase 3, which included re-opening bars. And . . . well, I won't sully your eyes with the appropriate expression for what happened next. The Orlando area is far better off than the Miami area, but we are home to one of the largest universities in the country ( in MY county, alas), and partying exploded, followed by the virus. My county, which had been relatively quiet, Covid-wise, tripled its cases in 10 days. A disease only for the aged? Guess not. 

Note:  on Friday the governor finally conceded we had a problem and ordered all bars closed. Too little, too late.

Meanwhile, for something more uplifting—though with a sharp bite—my son passed along a remarkable new video by The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks). It is extremely well done, with photos dating back to the Suffragette movement at the turn of the 20th century. I heartily recommend you take the time to watch "March, March." For video, click here.
Scroll down to window with video triangle.

And from my daring daughter and grandgirls, Riley and Cassidy - on their "digging" adventures in the Carolinas . . .

Digging in South Carolina

Dug out of that vast pile of reddish dirt

More crystals dug by hand


Crysocolla - purchased in gem shop
~ * ~

As for myself, I attempt to do my bit—staying home, making masks, posting cautions to Facebook, never forgetting to ask God to save us from ourselves—but for this week's blog I decided it was time to list my thanks for the things that have gone right. And surprisingly, as I thought about it, I realized it's a remarkably long list.

I admit, however, that isolation is easier for writers—we're natural-born hermits—but nonetheless, I hope you'll all take a moment to think about what's good in your life instead of what's bad.

I give thanks for . . .

My family. My son and daughter both called me on March 16, urging me to isolate, and with only a few exceptions, I have. (After six weeks, my daughter also provided the first break - a birthday party with only close family that gave me a chance to see my grandgirls again.)

My writing. Thank God this challenge is not a hurricane. I have my computer, my legal pads, my pens and pencils. My wits stay sharp.

Squeak. What would I do without my constant companion, feisty as she is? She cuddles, she purrs, she follows me around. She bites, she scratches, brings in lizards, snakes, moles . . . But she's my buddy, my best friend.

My choir family.  We don't know when we'll be able to sing together again, but we keep in touch every Wednesday night (our rehearsal time) via Zoom. It's been a big help. What a miracle to be able to see and hear each other as if we were in the same room.

My church.  Struggling along with YouTube services and then dealt a low blow when lightning took out all the lights in the altar area AND silenced the organ. Took three weeks to restore the lights - organ now functioning on only half its pipes (a circuit board has to be rebuilt). Nonetheless, the services continued, even when there was only candlelight and a piano. I've forgotten whose motto this is, but "We persevere" definitely applies to Longwood's Church of the Resurrection.

The "little" things.  Like one of my first mask customers, who left me a huge container of disinfectant wipes (something that was impossible to find at that time, and still is). Where she got them, I'll never know, but I am immensely grateful. As I am for the many little kindnesses shown me, by friends, neighbors, and perfect strangers (on the few times I've been out and about).

Facebook. I have never appreciated FB more than now when I am cut off from all my "live" friends. No matter the many criticisms made about FB, it has been wonderful to be able to stay in touch with friends in the U.S. and on far-distant shores (all of us suffering similar problems in this trying time).

Publix Delivery. I am constantly amazed by being able to order online and have my groceries delivered to my door in less than two hours. Yes, I can't always get exactly what I wanted, but heck, I remember rationing during WWII. So, no complaints.

Jo-Ann Curbside Service. Jo-Ann Fabrics were pioneers in mask-making, offering free fabric, how-to videos when most people had not yet adjusted to the fact we were entering a whole new world. Jo-Ann's was also among the pioneers in Curbside Pickup. Just order & pay online, wait for an email that your order is ready, drive to the store, phone to say you're there, and someone comes out and hands you the bag with your order. Love it. How else would I have acquired all the supplies I needed for making masks? Or yarn, now that I'm back to making shawls again.

Staples. A writer also needs supplies. Paper, ink cartridges, etc. Staples has waved Minimum Order requirements for free delivery. Just order online and within a day or two, your order is dropped at your door.

Walgreen's.  A hearty thank-you to Walgreen's for making it possible to pick up various store items at the Prescription Drive-Thru window.

Restaurants. I haven't taken as much advantage of restaurant "Order online, Pickup curbside"  as I should have to help support them through this crisis, but the times I did - at Outback and Chili's - it was marvelously efficient. (And yummy.)

Fast-food Restaurants.  Through thick and thin, these have remained open, most finding more careful ways to take your money and give you your food. (Taco Bell the best at this.) I am truly grateful for them being there, giving me a break from preparing food for one, night after night.

People who wear masks.  I meet all the criteria for those "most susceptible" to Covid-19. But there are times I really have to go out. Thank you, thank you to all those caring enough to wear masks when in public, no matter how uncomfortable. And to those who practice social distancing. Why anyone—anyone, including those in government—would think they have the right to spread their germs to someone else is beyond my imagination. As my father used to say:  "Your freedom ends where the other fellow's nose begins."  If you're not wearing a mask when out and about, you are saying:  "I don't give a damn about anybody but myself."

Electricity.  Having been without power after a number of hurricanes (in both Connecticut & Florida), I am grateful to Duke Energy and to Spectrum for keeping my lights, my stove, my refrigerator, my TV, my computer running. In addition to being able to write, I am particularly grateful for my Roku access to Acorn (PBS).

I know I've failed to list many things I should, but the above is enough to remind me that even in these difficult times, life isn't all bad. Try listing your "thanks." Hopefully, it will bring a bit of light into the gloom.

~ * ~

For Blair's website, click here.
For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Smashwords (20% free read), click here.

For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page, click here.


Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (aka Blair Bancroft)


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