Day 58: God, is it over yet?

Shower Thoughts:  Being proactive is rarely rewarded because if your actions avoid a tragedy, there is no tragedy to prove your actions were warranted.

Hello.  Whatcha up to?  Do you ever stare at the popcorn bumps in the ceiling and try to find shapes?  Sometimes I do.

This morning the sun is sleeping behind the clouds and doesn’t want to come out.  The traffic by about 10 a.m. is normal levels, minus the Canadian shoppers.  People are very anxious to get back to normal.  The hardware stores are busy, some taco trucks are open again.  Yep.

Mt. Rainier seen from the Puyallup Valley, Washington.

I decided to begin putting some words down on this idea for an essay.  I’m hoping to effectively use a childhood experience to explain how important good vegetable and fruit field workers are.  I’ll share a section with you.

When I was growing up…

In the Pacific Northwest, hundreds of kids from the suburbs were sent to the valleys to pick berries. One summer, my brother, two cousins, and I were among the unfortunate to learn lessons, gain skills, and save our parents some babysitting money. We were 10, 11, and 8 year old kids, too young to be left alone all day. You see our parents were from the mid-west.  In the early 60’s they, like thousands of others, left their childhood farm homes right out of high school to move to Seattle for good jobs and a new life.  As small business owners, they sold the idea of berry picking to us as an “easy way” to earn pocket money for the summer—but it was a trick.  We heard it in their voices.  When we fought and push came to shove, finally, the truth came out, “We want you to learn good work ethics like we did milking cows before school! It’ll be good for you!”  Our parents have lost their minds. Come this Tuesday in a warm 1978 June, my brother, two cousins and I were being bussed to hell.

Before sunrise, the grownups put us on a bus that conveniently picks kids up at the local school. We each have a sack lunch with our names written on it with a thick black sharpie. The oldest has two dollars in quarters in his pocket in case of trouble.  We are completely unprepared.

The story ends when we are fired from picking strawberries and run into town to buy popsicles.  Suburbanites transferring from an agricultural lifestyle into the true consumers that they were born to be.  Our parents raised us in the sidewalked communities, not the dirt clodden American farmland.  What did they expect?

Here is my mood expressed by meme.  I’m seeing more and more folks meeting up outside this month.  Take care -Shannon

Day 14: It Gets Real

This is Monday.  Normally I turn on my cell at 7-7:30 am and within 60 seconds various tones notify me of new emails or texts.  Working a Saturday to Wednesday shift, Monday is when most of my contacts respond to various communications from the previous week.  EVERYONE is in the office on Monday.  Today, all the organizations I work with are sheltered in place some since the week of 3/16.  The flow of work and communication is showing a noticeable difference.  It’s no longer a racehorse jumping out of the gate at 7:00 am.

This morning my silent phone feels a bit eerie.

1) an observed joy- Enjoyed the Palm Sunday live stream with the church; many of the parishioners displayed clipped fern leaves, a palm-like stalk found in almost every Northwest yard, for the occasion.  Later that evening Zooming with my family, a phone call catch up with a writing friend, was touching as well.

2) a real concern- Two of my friends believe the lockdown will be extended into June or July.  I REALLY hope they are wrong. As a social worker, I understand that people and families in crisis live in a pandemic-like state constantly, with no foreseeable end.  The common suburbian- in crisis -is an unstable animal.

3) a personal challenge- I want to increase my walks from 4-5  a week to twice a day.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)-I’ve tackled my file cabinet, and I’m doing better about leaving a pile of dishes in the sink.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- How long in lockdown before I vacuum behind the bookshelf? There is a spider web back there amongst the dust bunnies and a forgotten hair tie. It is a guardian of all things hidden and forgotten.

Here is my current mood expressed in a pandemic meme.  It’s a shout out to all the ‘effin’ people over 70 I see in the grocery stores rocking the isle without a mask with a “death can not touch me” attitude, meanwhile…