I’ve been keeping track of my daily tarot card pick for a month now, and though I don’t see how the cards affect my life, there are certain things that show up again and again, such as sixes, which represent moving away from conflict, light after dark, and harmony. Another frequent card is the ten of weapons, which can mean anything from misfortune on a grand scale to a reminder that we can’t control everything.

Today’s card, the queen of pentacles, is also a frequent card, showing up about once a week. The queen is sensible, hard-working and domesticated; loves the comforts of life and displays splendor of life. She’s kind and affectionate; generous and forgiving, and prone to weight problems. Also, she depends more on her intuitive skills than her intellect.

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And oh, yes — there’s one other thing: the card represents the embodiment of feminine creativity.

I did have to smile at that, considering that I spent the morning decorating my garage, or at least one corner of it. I don’t like clutter, especially on the walls inside my house, because too much stuff makes me feel closed in. Over the years, though, I’ve collected some pictures I liked and painted others, and the garage seems the perfect place for them. I’ll be able to see them occasionally, and won’t get overwhelmed or claustrophobic.

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Maybe I shouldn’t post the photo of these bits of artwork because, as a blog reader pointed out, posting photos and talking about my possessions might put me at risk for break-ins. Not that I have anything that’s worth anything except maybe my car, but that garage door sure was expensive!

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Pat Bertram is the author of 【菠萝网游加速器】菠萝网游加速器 V6.4.190121官方免费 ...:2021-1-23 · 【概括介绍】 菠萝网游加速器是一款可以帮助玩家朋友流畅玩单机、网络游戏的软件,如果您在玩某款游戏的时候感觉网络延迟或者卡顿,不如使用这款完全免费还附赠邀请码的菠萝网游加速器,还你一个流畅游戏体验。 【基本介绍】 菠萝网游加速器是一款专业网游加速,网络优化工具。. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

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I spent yesterday morning moving my tools and such into the garage. You’d think it would be an easy task, because an unhandy woman shouldn’t need a lot of tools, but I’ve ended up with a slew of things. Some I bought. Some I inherited from various folk. Some were gifts. Some came from people who thought I should have a tool collection. And so now I do have a collection. I have way more screwdrivers and wrenches than I will ever use, more hammers than I have hands, a power drill I used once, an electric screwdriver. Long-handled garden tools, of course. Oh, so many things! (I have a hacksaw and a Japanese pull saw, but I don’t have an electric saw. I might need to rectify that omission.)

Now the tools are nicely arranged in the post-WWII steel kitchen counters that apparently once resided in my kitchen and now sit comfortably in my garage. This opened up my utility/sun/exercise room. And what a difference! Ever since the old garage was torn down, all my tools and storage items were stashed in that room, so now not only do I have a garage, I have my sun room back. Unfortunately, since that exercise equipment has been freed from the confines of all the storage, I no longer have an excuse not to use it.

I spent the morning giving the room a thorough cleaning, and have mostly reclaimed it. The only thing still in the house that doesn’t belong there is my battery-operated lawn mower. (Though maybe I’m wrong here? Maybe all houses need an inside lawn mower?) Because of the steep drop out the back door, I can’t move the mower to the garage by myself, so next time the builders come, I’ll ask them to do it. And then, the room really will be mine again.

After that cleaning stint, I went out to the yard to pull weeds. It’s not a chore I particularly like doing. The problem isn’t that it’s a never-ending job or that it’s hard work or that it seems futile. The problem is that I can’t help wondering who am I to decide what plants get to live and what have to die. But I overcome my nicety and do what has to be done. For a while, anyway, until exhaustion sets in.

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Still, the mundanities — sorting and cleaning and weed pulling — all help to create a better home and garden (and garage!) for me.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Posted in home, life. Tags: deciding what plants get to live and die, exercise room, lawn mower in house, mundanities, seven of pentacles, tools, 旋风sub加速器, weed pulling. 3 Comments »


I’m not a great gardener. At least not yet. I am a great learner, so there is a chance that one day I will have a garden showplace. One of my favorite pastimes in the morning before it heats up too much to sit in the sun is to relax on my beautiful bench and dream that garden into being. A plum tree over there. A honeysuckle vine or two behind the gazebo. A hydrangea between those two bushes.

For now, though, I’m grateful for every bush or plant or transplant I can keep alive.

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Although some people don’t like toads in their gardens, I like the little creatures. Not only do they eat copious insects, but they tickle me the way they turn their backs and wait motionlessly for the big bad human to pass them by. I’m sure they aren’t as pleased as I am. The poor things are probably terrified, but except for a couple of hours a day, they have the yard to themselves. The feral cats might find their way inside at times, but no dogs or other non-climbing creature can disturb the peace.

Mostly, they make themselves scarce, so I seldom see them, and certainly not long enough to take a photo.

I wonder if the toads would like a house? Some do, apparently. I was thinking of ordering a toad house, but while I was debating, the house sold and an alternate seller wanted way more than I thought it was worth. I could make a house, I suppose, but then I’d be getting away from a cute decoration into the whole messing with nature thing. It’s probably best to let the little creatures fend for themselves and count myself lucky they are doing their fending in my yard.


蚂蚁海外加速器永久免费版Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

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I’ve done well adapting to being a homeowner, but I don’t think I will ever adapt to the sudden and unexplained noises that come with owning an old house. I always imagine the worst, though often, the house is simply sighing or creaking or settling into a more comfortable position.

The search for the source of the noises isn’t always successful, but it has always been benign. Until the other day, that is, when the search led to a rather uncomfortable situation.

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On the off chance that something else caused the noise, I went outside to look around the house. And saw my neighbor. And stopped to chat. And got bitten by red fire ants.

Although I am always interested in new experiences and adventures, there are some, such as that one, that I could have done without. I am truly glad I wasn’t aware of how abominable those bites were back when I was reading the sort of books where people were staked out over red ant hills and left to be ravaged by those hideous beasts. Even just thinking of it, now that I know how excruciating and hellish those bites are, gives me the willies.

If the cover to the electrical panel hadn’t sprung open, I would still be blissfully unaware of what a red fire ant bite feels like. (I’ve had other kinds of ant bites before, and they burned for a few seconds, and maybe itched a bit, but nothing like the big red sadists.)

It just goes to show . . . something. Maybe the vagaries of life.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Posted in Adventure, life. Tags: creaking old house, sub网络免费加速器最新, house settling, old house noises, red fire ants, searching for the source of noises. 9 Comments »


Dear Neutral Gender, Anthropomorphized, Parental-Unit Nature:

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Oh, sure — I do use mosquito repellant (a natural one, not something poisonous like Deet), and I have knocked down wasp nests to keep those kamikazes from dive-bombing me as I enter and leave my home (my home, not theirs), but otherwise, I’ve let your creatures do what they will.

But yesterday, as I was standing innocuously, talking to a neighbor over the fence, a red fire ant attacked me. Oh, my. What a horror! The pain was like a hot knife sliding into my flesh. Even worse, it bit me not once, not twice, but five times. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

I’ve been stung by hornets that didn’t feel as bad. I’ve been bitten by dogs that didn’t hurt so much. I’ve been splashed with boiling oil, resulting in second and third degree burns that didn’t burn as hotly. I’ve had bee stings that didn’t swell as much. I’m battling dozens of mosquito bites at the moment, and the totality of those bites, as horrifically aggravating as they are, can’t compare to the brutality of those ant bites all up and down my leg. Even after I iced the bite sites, even after I applied insect-bite soothing creams, even after taking a pain pill and an antihistamine, the agony stayed. And stayed. And stayed. The pain is not as harsh this morning, but still, I’ve had enough.

I’m through. I’m through with being your plaything. Through with being a victim of your casual cruelties.

No more!


So take heed! This human you’ve treated worse than a worm has turned.


Fed-up in Colorado


sub永久免费加速器下载Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Posted in life. Tags: ant bites, declaring war on mother nature, sub网络加速器官方下载, getting rid of ants, humor, letter to mother nature, mosquito bites. sub永久免费加速器下载

New Friends

I accidentally made a new friend today. The woman is a friend of a friend, and she’s taking on a full time (as in 24 hours a day, seven days a week) caregiving job, so she’s looking for someone to fill in a few hours a week to give her a break. Anyone who has been in such a position knows that no matter how much you love a person, those breaks are very much needed. The problem, from what I understand, is that there are too few hours to really tempt someone who needs work, and too many hours for those who need just a bit of money because the extra income might jeopardize their main income. Somehow, my name got bandied about. At first, I said no because . . . well, because I’m out of the habit of saying yes, which has been The Bob’s main effect on me.

As I got to thinking about the request, I realized it would be good to have a bit of income to help fund some of my house renewal projects. (I just contracted for a few tons of rocks, both ornamental and practical — some will go around the house and garage to protect the foundations, some will be used to create pathways about my micro estate to make walking safer in my old age, and some will be used for a driveway.)

Even more than that, I don’t see myself going back to the senior center to just hang around once the restrictions are loosened (although I really enjoy being around most of the people I met there, I don’t especially enjoy playing games, which was our main activity), and except for the Art Guild, I don’t see myself continuing with the rest of my volunteer activities. In addition, one of these days, the contractors will be finished with all the projects that we’ve slated, and then what? Total isolation forever? I don’t see that, either.

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One thing that’s really fun about meeting someone from a small town, especially one who has lived here all her life, is that she knows everyone I know. I think she was a bit surprised because apparently, the people I’ve become closet too are among the best the town has to offer. Special people, for sure! And somehow they gravitated toward me. Pulled in by my tractor beam of charm, no doubt. I’m only being halfway facetious with that last comment because it truly is astonishing how many really good friends I’ve made in the short time I’ve been here.

And now I’ve made another.

The final decision about the job isn’t hers, though her recommendation will be given great weight. I still have to meet the woman I will be caring for (visiting with?). And I will need to talk to the daughter. (Though that might not be necessary, because all she has to do is google me or check out this blog, and she’ll know more about me than I even know.)

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We’ll see what happens this weekend when I meet her. If nothing else, I’ll make another new friend.


旋风sub加速器Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

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I was out pulling weeds, battling grasshoppers, and feeding mosquitoes (albeit unwillingly), when a when a white pickup pulled up to the house. The driver got out and started questioning me about my garage. He looked familiar, so I wasn’t unduly concerned, then it dawned on me — this was the building inspector.

He’d been checking on the garage occasionally, even after all the structural elements were in, which is where I thought his authority stopped, but apparently not. So I showed him the garage. To be honest, even if he was a stranger, I might have shown him the garage anyway — I do like that little building! In fact, I was talking to a friend the other day and when she asked about the garage, I said, “I love my garage.” She laughed and responded, “I bet twenty-five years ago you’d never have been able to imagine yourself saying that.” I had to admit she was right. Even as little as two years ago — or even one — I couldn’t have imagined saying those words let alone meaning them.

Well, that’s not true. I mean, it is true about my fondness for the garage, but I doubt I’d have let a stranger in to see it. Too many felonious fellows around here.

I was amused by the way the inspector studied my fake window. I’m not sure what he thought — that the builders had changed the plans after his last inspection? I told him it was just a decoration, a bit of artwork. He didn’t seem impressed, but he did say that a fake window was one sure way of keeping out thieves. (So see, I’m not the only one who is aware of the way things — tools especially — go missing around here.) He questioned about the electricity since he hadn’t inspected it before the walls went up, but the state had inspected it, and state supersedes county. I didn’t have a printout of the inspection report, but I offered to send him one, but he said he didn’t need to see it.

He also studied the framework of my gazebo. There was a fairly new concrete pad in front of the old garage, and after the garage was torn down, there the pad sat, screaming out for a roof. So I’m obliging. The lumberyard had overestimated the amount of materials for the lumber pack we’d ordered to build the garage so basically, the gazebo is free. Well, except for the labor.


The inspector questioned me about my plans for the gazebo, so I asked if we needed a permit since my understanding was that we didn’t. “Not really,” he said. Whatever that means. Maybe that if he decided we needed a permit we did? He seemed satisfied when I told him the railings were all the walls there would be, and that it just needs a roof. (Apparently, it’s the enclosing of a space that makes it a building rather than simply something that is built.)

He might be back to inspect the gazebo when it’s done, but I don’t see a problem. I’m sure the contractor will make the roof windproof, using the hurricane connectors as he did with the garage. Because, yes, winds up to 90 miles an hour have been clocked around here, and yes, people do lose their roofs. (Rooves? As in hoof/hooves?)

Oh, I almost forgot — he said he was signing off on the garage and would be sending me the signed report.

There are still a few things that need to be finished, such as the gutters fixed, gravel poured in front of the garage to bridge the gap between the alley and the apron, and hangers need to be hung on inside walls for my tools, but apparently, for all practical and official purposes, the garage is done.

P.S. As I was writing this, one of the workers stopped by to move the counters I rambled on about yesterday. They really are too heavy for one person, even a strong person, otherwise he would have already moved them, but my knees are healed enough that I was able to help get them inside the garage. Yay! One more thing accomplished.


sub网络免费加速器最新Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Posted in house, life. Tags: building inspector, garage, gazebo, hurricane connectors, love my garage, old fashioned counters, SUB永久免费加速器官网. 3 Comments »


It’s raining again, as it has been on and off for the past few days. Usually the rain comes in the evening when it’s barely noticeable, but it started raining this morning just as I set out for a walk, and now it’s pouring. The cloud cover is so heavy that it seems more like twilight rather than barely afternoon.

Can you tell I have nothing to say? I mean, really, what can one say about rain? The moisture is desperately needed in this dangerously desiccated and drought-ridden area, of course, and it’s a nice change of pace from the dry heat we’d been suffering through. And it’s great to see my yard greening up. But other than that, rain is . . . rain.

Shortly after the dark clouds moved in, the local tornado siren went off. A quick look at the clock reminded me this was the weekly test — every Monday at noon, we’re blasted with three minutes of an unspeakable sound. Which led me to question: considering the weather, if a tornado had been in the area, how would we have known? Perhaps they would have let the siren finish its cycle and then started a second cycle as a warning?

Not that it would matter to me — I probably wouldn’t go down the basement. Stairs. Bum knee. Not a pleasant combination at the best of times, though come to think of it, I did manage to creep down those steps the other day to replace the furnace filter. When the contractors come, they would be glad to do such a chore for me, but there are always way more important things for them to do. Such as fixing the stoop outside the back door, putting in a sidewalk from the house to the garage, dragging the old counters into the garage instead of letting them rust and rot in the backyard. (It takes two people — strong people — to move them, and only one has been coming here at a time when anyone does come.)

The counters were in the enclosed porch when I got here, and they put them in the garage so they could redo the porch foundation. Then, when the garage was torn down, they were stored under the carport. And when the carport was finally hauled away, there the counters sat. Normally it wouldn’t matter, but I worry about them out there in all this rain. If nothing else, when the rain stops and the counters dry out, I’ll cover them. Oh, wait. That will guarantee no more rain! Such a dilemma.


It will all work out in the end, I’m sure.

Besides, I did tell the workers the garage was the most important thing, and it is fabulous not having to worry about my car out in inclement weather. (Is that proper English? Out in? It seems contradictory when I look at it.)

It is funny . . . rainy weather. Rain brings humidity, so even though it’s cool, it’s uncomfortable because of the humidity. I know . . . all you people who live in humid climates are looking askance at me (or giving me askance thoughts if there is such a thing) because you often have to suffer uncomfortable humidity levels, but when one is used to single digit humidity, 80% is ridiculously high.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Posted in house, life. Tags: building a garage, dangerously drought-ridden, out in, rain, rain and humidity, stairs and bum knee, SUB旋风免费加速器. 4 Comments »

Dreaming a Garden into Existence

I used to wish for nice trails close by that I could ramble along for my daily walk, but now I’m grateful just to be able to walk up and down the street in front of my house. It’s approximately a quarter of a mile from my house to where the street ends, which means I am never more than a quarter of a mile from finishing, so feel as if I can push myself a bit. (Today I did two miles!) I still remember days when I’d go out in the desert walking, and sometimes I didn’t gauge my strength well enough, and I’d end up practically crawling back. It’s nice not having to worry about that, especially with a knee that’s still healing. Another benefit is that there’s no real danger along that stretch of road. There is little traffic and what dogs there are mostly stay inside.

In a way, it reminds me of where Jeff and I lived. We were bounded by farmland and highways, so the only place to walk was the country lane in front of our house. It was a third of a mile long and scenic enough, but back then, I was walking three miles a day, so that made for a lot of loops! I used to keep a pile of stones along the side of the road and would take one from one pile and drop it in the other to keep track of my laps. That’s also where I learned to look for the little things on the side of the path to keep me interested, such as a small flower or pretty stone or the way the light hit the water in the irrigation ditch. The main drawbacks were the horrible drivers. There were only a few houses along that dirt road, but the residents all drove as if they were on a race track. Eek. So much dust!

But that was then.

Now I walk on a city street, and what traffic there is has to move slowly and carefully because of the deep dips at the crossroads. If I look around as I walk, I’m sure I could find interesting things to see, but mostly I let my mind drift. And today it drifted toward the plants I’d like in my yard. The things that do best are those that plant themselves, and as long as they aren’t tall weeds or other undesirable vegetation, I let them do what they want. Still, I did order a few flowering shrubs to plant this fall.

When we went to Colorado Springs the other day, I kept seeing clumps of lush green with pink daisy-like flowers along the side of the highway, and the closest thing I could find on Colorado wildflower websites were echinacea purpurea magnus. So I ordered a plant. I suppose I could have gone back to that road and dug up some plants, but I’m sure they’d miss their friends. At least this way, I can see if the plant will grow here and either order more for next year or take my chance with seeds.

I’m given up on bulbs — they like me even less than seeds do. Even though I enjoyed seeing the bulbs that did come up, they flowered for such a short time, and then they were gone, so it seemed almost futile. Maybe, though, if I’m lucky, a few will be hardy enough to come up again next year.

The biggest surprise is that because of the rains we’ve been having, grass is growing. It almost looks like a lawn! Apparently this grass — Bermuda, I think — is a good ground cover for me. It doesn’t die if isn’t watered — it simply disappears underground, and any moisture brings it back to life. I am noticing several other types of grass in the yard, so I’m letting them all go to seed just to see what happens. There are some big areas that are bare dirt, such as where the carport and the garage used to be, but the grass is creeping into those areas, too.

Who knows, maybe by walking and thinking of my yard, I’ll dream an awesome garden into existence instead of merely an isolated flower or two.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

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Faceless Folk

I was offered a special treat yesterday — a visit to the big city! No, not Denver, but close: Colorado Springs.

Some friends were going to do some shopping at Costco and the Asian Market, and they invited me to go with them. The only drawback was that they were also going to the commissary at the base, and because of The Bob, the military has some sort of Defcon number in place, which means no one but authorized personnel were allowed on base. (It’s just as well — on the way back home, we saw a freight train heading our way loaded with all sorts of army vehicles and machinery and shipping containers transporting who knows what. And that in itself was enough to get my imagination going about military actions — I certainly didn’t need the extra stimulation of being on an army base to turn that imagination into actual fears.)

While my friends did their shopping at the commissary, I stayed at the Asian Market, which gave me plenty of time to watch all the faceless folk. It really is spooky seeing all sorts of people hidden behind masks and sunglasses. (Almost as spooky as seeing the army materiel on the move.) I mean, anything could be hidden in all that facelessness, and it wouldn’t have to be anything nefarious. Smiles and other signs of goodwill and connection were also hidden. No one seemed to be spending any time on the courtesies normally afforded when passing by others who were shopping. (People don’t seem to think the 6-foot rule applies to grocery store aisles. And apparently, if you take a step back and bump into someone, it doesn’t count, either.)

I did end up getting a few things at Costco, using my friend’s card (dried cherries, pistachios, cherry tomatoes and figs, if you’re curious), but mostly, things at places like that are not for women who live alone, or at least not this for this woman. I’m not fond of stocking up, for one thing, and for another, I generally can’t get through large stocks of food before it becomes outdated.

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It’s sort of interesting, but in each of the two days before we went, I got the ten of swords card for my card of the day. If you know anything about the tarot, you know, to the extent that any card is a death card, it’s the ten of swords that presages tragedy rather than the death card itself. The death card generally means a change of some sort, perhaps the death of the old you, but the ten of swords is more ominous and speaks of death, sudden misfortune on a grand scale, betrayal, and anything else not good. But since we can read anything we want to into a card, I tend to think it means that no matter how much we try, we cannot control everything, which can either lead to a defeat of the spirit or a letting go and accepting our present circumstances, no matter what they are. But, even in acceptance, we can take precautions. And, like the death card, the ten of swords ultimately can mean change and renewal. (Because nothing stays the same, any disaster almost by definition will eventually bring about a renewal.)

Considering The Bob and this ominous card, I must admit I was a bit worried about going on the trip — after all, at home by myself, I am safe, but out among the faceless folk? Not so much. Still, I took precautions — stayed away from everyone except my friends, and wore a mask out in public.

A side note — on the way back, after we saw the military train, we passed a mural of a group of people waiting for an old-fashioned train. I had to laugh at the painted fellow wearing a black bandanna as a mask because so many people I’d seen earlier had worn that very thing. Such masks sure mean something different today than they did a hundred years ago! Oddly, when I saw that mural, I had a brain hiccup, and for just a second I thought we were driving through Delta, three hundred miles to west on that very same highway, because Delta is the self-proclaimed “city of murals,” and I’d driven through that town perhaps a thousand times over the years.

Now I’m back to isolation, and grateful for it. At least when I’m by myself, I don’t have to wear a mask, and oh, do I hate wearing those things. They give me sinus headaches because they block off even more oxygen that just the stuffed sinuses do, and it’s hard to take deep enough breaths. And just as bad, they make me so very hot, which is not fun when it’s almost 100 degrees and humid besides.

Am I complaining too much? I don’t mean to. I really did have a lovely time. And it really was wonderful being not isolated for a day, even if it meant being around too many faceless folk.


sub加速器官网下载地址Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

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