Falling

December 2, Buffalo, New York.  Of course, there would be snow and ice.

As Maureen prepared for work, she realized it had snowed overnight.  Only a few inches, but when she looked out the kitchen window, she could see that the newly painted porch was covered.  God, how she hated to wear boots!  But sneakers would be a death-wish (or at least a broken-bone wish).

Puppy ran out the door first, and slid right down the steps.  Thankfully, puppies bounce, and the dog shook herself off and scampered into the back yard to do her business. Not as brave, or foolish, as the canine, Maureen very carefully stepped onto the porch, felt her foot slip, and grabbed onto the railing to stabilize herself.

This was not looking good, but then again, this was Buffalo and it was winter.  Buck up, Maureen!

Fortunately, the chain-link fence had been built right up to the porch.  Maureen gripped the top of the fence and eased her way sideways down the steps.  One step, two steps, three steps.  Safe!

But Maureen was not taking chances.  Still holding tight onto the fence railing, she eased her right foot onto the two-foot-wide wooden strip at the very bottom of the steps.  Why the prior owners had not simply extended the asphalt to the steps instead of installing that wooden landing was unknown; Maureen could only assume they felt it was more decorative than black pavement.

Newly painted smooth wood holds black ice so much better than bumpy asphalt.  Maureen’s foot slipped out from under her and she began to fall.  Clinging onto the fence, she was able to avoid a full-out crash landing, but still wound up on her knees on the icy ground.  Unable now to reach the top of the fence nor the porch railing, and unable to gain traction on the black ice, Maureen contemplated her predicament.

How embarrassing was this?  Were the neighbors looking?  Was everyone now laughing at the silly old fat lady lying next to her own side porch?

Thank God, no one seemed to be around.  No bones were broken, and the pain was not severe enough for a sprain.  Pride only had been hurt.

But there was still the issue of getting back onto those feet.

Slowly, Maureen scooted backwards on her knees from the black ice on the wooden strip to the somewhat less slippery asphalt.  Sticking her fingers through the chain-link at the bottom of the fence, she ever so slowly pulled herself, inch by inch, up the fence and into a standing position.  Afraid to let go of the fence even then, she inched along the pavement to the snow-covered grass of the backyard.  Only then did she feel confident in her ability to walk without assistance.

Meanwhile, Puppy was having a great time running through the snowy grass.  Couldn’t that dog have helped out at some point?  Or did she think Maureen was merely playing as she crawled away from the porch?  Or were the squirrels in the trees at the back of the yard simply more interesting than the dog’s owner?

Having accomplished what needed to be accomplished outside, it was time for owner and dog to return to the house – back across that icy landscape.  A second fall would definitely not be amusing,  But thankfully, going upstairs was a little easier than coming downstairs, and re-entering the house was uneventful.

No work today, after all.  Maureen’s car was in front of the house.  No way was she going cross that ice-covered driveway to her car.  The fence did not extend that far; there was absolutely nothing to hold onto if she slipped.  She would be in full view of anyone looking out their front windows or driving down the street.  And she was sore from her fall.  Time for a pain pill and a return to bed.

Tomorrow would be another day.

[Hope you enjoyed this excursion into flash fiction.  May you all stay safe and healthy.  (And yes, the pulled muscles did heal after a day or so …)]

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

Posted in Humor, Photography, That's Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Zone Orange

“Marshmallow Sunset”

Sure, most of us understood we weren’t out of the woods yet.

After the New York State COVID-19 lockdown back in March, April and May, the pandemic curve flattened and everything eventually reopened.  Those of us not working from home went back to the office, stores and restaurants reopened fully, and even gyms and movie theaters were allowed to accept customers.  Come autumn, most of the schools also opened for in-person classes, or at least for a hybrid version (half remote/half in-person).

Many people became complacent and began ignoring the COVID guidelines.  Some blamed it on COVID fatigue; others simply felt that if they hadn’t already gotten the disease, they weren’t likely to.  There was no longer that fear of partying – after all, these were all friends and family, right?

The weather stayed warm and summery well into early autumn.  People took the opportunity to have outdoor barbecues and street parties.  After all, you can’t get sick if you’re outside, right?

Halloween was a big party time for many people.  I saw on Facebook that there were members of my own extended family who hosted parties for pretty much everyone they knew, including friends, families, neighbors, colleagues.  I don’t doubt that the pizza delivery guy was invited in as well.  But those parties were held in backyards and garages – that makes it safe, right?

Apparently, COVID-19 is smarter than the party people – and apparently COVID is very patient.

In the last few weeks, the numbers of positive cases and hospitalization have surged.  My county has the highest percentage rate of COVID cases in all of New York State.

Gov. Cuomo instituted new COVID guidelines for “hot zones.”  My county was declared a Yellow Zone, meaning somewhat tighter restrictions.  Restaurants and retailers had to limit the amount of customers at any given time, and of course everyone was required to wear masks (as they should have been doing all along), but otherwise it wasn’t much different than it had been since May.  Even schools were still allowed to have in-person classes, with the caveat that they had to start COVID testing both staff and students on a regular basis.

Yellow Zone status lasted only about two weeks.  The infection rate continued to surge.  Now we are in Orange Zone status.

11-22-20: Wouldn’t you love to dine outside today?

Orange Zone restrictions mean no indoor dining of any kind – only outdoor dining and take-out is allowed.  (It’s now November, temperatures have dipped, and even those restaurants with outdoor patios are unlikely to get customers willing to sit outside when it’s 35 degrees Fahrenheit.)  Schools are remote-learning only.  Gyms and movie theaters are closed, as are beauty salons.

At the moment, those of us who still go to offices at “non-essential” business can continue to do so.

But according to some reports I’ve heard in the last couple of days, that may change as early as next week.  We may go to Red Zone status – which means total lockdown for all except essential businesses.

Right back where we were in March, April and May.

Mostly because people just can’t be bothered with following some simple guidelines, like wearing masks in public and staying six feet away from others.  Or simply because some people simply can’t forego their socializing.

This time will be worse.  There will be no federal funds to supplement those meager state unemployment benefits, and there will be no federal funds to help smaller businesses weather another lockdown.

The holiday season is upon us.  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve overheard discussing their upcoming Thanksgiving plans with family and friends – just like every other year, they will host huge dinner parties, with absolutely no consideration given to COVID guidelines.  Come Christmas, a lot of those dinner guests may be too ill to care about food or gifts.

On the other hand, there are many of us who realize this is not going to be a normal holiday season.  I worried that my own kids would be upset when hubby and I bowed out of both Thanksgiving dinner and the annual Christmas get-together.  Imagine my relief when I received word from every one of my daughters that they also are spending the holidays in their own homes, with just their significant others.  It’s been decided that this year’s get-together will be virtual, and I’m all for that.  I even scored the very last basic webcam which our local Best Buy had in stock, and I’ve already set up my Zoom account.

The holidays will be somewhat different this year, but they’ll be enjoyable nonetheless.  And as a mother, I am very, very happy that my kids all have the sense to take the pandemic seriously.  There’s enough to worry about right now without having to deal with potential super-spreader events.

 

Of course, the annual cookie-baking party is also cancelled, but who really needs shared cookies anyway?  This year, I guess we’ll each bake our own.

 

Everyone just needs to hunker down and get through the next few months, until the much-touted vaccine is available.   Hopefully, by this time next year the entire COVID-19 pandemic will merely be a bad memory.  With luck, and a lot of common sense this year, next year’s holiday season will be a normal one – and probably a better one because of this year’s sacrifices.

May you all stay healthy and safe wherever you are.  This, too, shall pass.

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

 

Posted in Health, Holidays, Photography, That's Life | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Love Taps

Every young girl dreams of that elusive all consuming, fireworks filled love relationship.

But many of us learn that a union filled with unbridled passion, without underlying caring and respect, will not last.  My mother always told me that a lover should be a friend before becoming a spouse.  As usual, Mom was right.  Over the years, passion may tone down, but caring never does.

There are so many little ways to show love to your partner.  Perhaps it’s simply holding a door open or helping carry packages; maybe it’s buying, or baking, your loved one’s favorite treat; maybe it’s listening while your partner rants (or raves) about his or her work day.  Or being there while your loved one faces a medical crisis.

Or possibly, it comes down to something as simple as staying up late to dig out, and thoroughly clean, that old tea kettle because the microwave just died, and you know your wife will want her morning cup of tea.  How many husbands would even think of that?

Mine did.  And I am so grateful.  Guess maybe I should keep him.

To my readers:  Give a hug today to that person closest to you.  Say it’s from me.  Everyone stay safe and healthy as we continue to go through our current health and political crises.

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
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Image by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

 

 

Posted in Household Items, Photography, Relationships, That's Life | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

And That’s Why I Hate Turkey Soup

“Alone and Confused”

The marriage was over.  The last day on the job was done.  Tomorrow, Jessica’s dad and her brother would arrive to help her pack and move back to the family home.

Jessica could not care for both dogs on her own; by agreement, the ex had taken custody of the huskie and Jessica got the hound.

On his way out the door, the ex had grabbed the last of Jessica’s cash and her credit cards, declaring that he had to to support himself once she was gone.

(Years later, Jessica would learn that the ex had used the credit cards to buy big-ticket items, which he then sold to others for cash.  He sold the huskie to a dog-fighting ring.  All that money was used to fund wild drunken parties for his friends.)

There was still today to get through.  Jessica spent the time sorting through items she could take and those she couldn’t.  Her dad’s SUV could only hold so much, and she would have to leave a lot behind.  Jessica could not afford movers.  Except for her bed, her furniture would be abandoned.

The dog food had run out days before, and Jessica had shared what little people food she had with the hound.  After all, the poor dog couldn’t understand what was happening, could he?

The freezer contained a package of frozen turkey giblets, which had been intended for turkey soup; a search of the cupboards turned up about a teaspoon of uncooked white rice.  That would have to be dinner for both of them.

Once cooked, it wasn’t much.  The dog stared trustfully at Jessica as she spooned the “soup” into a bowl.  He was hungry, but his owner was in control, and he was a good dog.

Oh well, what was one more day?  Jessica had skipped meals before.  So many meals, in fact, that she had lost 20 lbs. in the last six months.  Her mother would not be happy.

On the other hand, her mother would have a wonderful home-cooked meal waiting for her arrival tomorrow.

The hound dog got dinner tonight; Jessica did not.

As she packed up the rest of the dishes in the cupboards, Jessica discovered one M&M that had fallen out of the bag at Halloween time.

Yes!   Jessica would have dinner after all.

[I hope you’ve enjoyed my rare excursion into flash fiction.  As all of us in the U.S.A. await the final results of our Presidential election, this seemed like an especially good time to simply entertain my readers.]

“United Against the Darkness”

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

 

Posted in Photography, Relationships, That's Life | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments