Jun 30 2020

Day 106: What Might Have Been

During our video chat a couple afternoons ago, granddaughter Ember was asking little brother Jesse to turn off the sprinkler so it wouldn’t get the phone wet. I couldn’t see where the faucet was, so I asked Ember: “Where do you turn off the water?”

“Same place we turn it on,” she replied quickly, probably wondering why I would ask such a dumb question. I mean, where else would she turn it off? Further questioning revealed its actual location.

As long as we’re talking about communication challenges, I’ll tell you a random vignette that I just remembered from my own early childhood. I think I had accidentally knocked over and broken something. I apologized to my parents, assuring them, “I did it on purpose.” That’s because I thought “on purpose” meant “by mistake.” I didn’t understand why, the more I tried to profess my innocence, the more annoyed and confused Mom and Dad became. Finally we got to the root of my lexical confusion and all was well.

On this day last year, Molly and I were exploring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland. On this day this year, we were supposed to be winging our way back to see Ma in Delaware.

Of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been.’

A quote from John Greenleaf Whittier, cited by Ma today

Speaking of adventures I didn’t have, I just discovered three fraudulent charges on my almost-new credit card: one from Ireland and two from Colombia, totaling around $500. I have no idea how my information got compromised. This is a huge pain and will take a while to resolve. Further, I just noticed that the bank has deleted the last two weeks of transactions on my now-closed account. I sure hope they didn’t go against my explicit instructions not to cancel any of the existing authorized charges. I’m tired of feeling powerless against bureaucracies. And corrupt governments.

I realized several nights ago when cooking my dinner that when the oven is on, it gets dangerously hot—too hot to touch—on one part of the outside, where it’s pressed right up against the particle board of the counter. I don’t know how long it’s been like that, but it’s a fire hazard, so a new stove is being delivered tomorrow (unless the credit card people voided the transaction). It is super-cheap and basic, with only analog controls. The kind you’d get for a rental unit. But it should be adequate, I hope.

Via e-mail I whined to Molly the other day about my profound boredom. She suggested I draw a quokka to pass the time.

Quokka drawing

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Jun 27 2020

Day 103: Gone but Not Forgotten

Published by under Coronavirus Journal

You may remember, from the early days of my time with sweet Bessie, my concern about her possibly being a pit bull cross. Then (as now) I acknowledged my flaw of being breed-phobic. I also told you that my mother bought me a doggy DNA kit (from a company appropriately called Embark), to find out if my concerns were warranted. The results arrived today, far too late to make a difference, but fascinating nonetheless.

Not a trace of the lab that the rescue guessed. By the way, Staffordshire is another breed I don’t trust. I was very surprised by the husky relation, but when I looked at dogs with nearly identical breed percentages, they resembled Bessie remarkably. And Molly pointed out that, though Bessie’s coloration isn’t husky, her head-shape is similar.

Check this out: a possible snapshot of Bessie’s lineage.

That might be too small for you to see. If so, you can go here and check out the “Family Tree tab.

I wrote to Bessie’s new parents almost a week ago and never heard back. I’ll leave them alone now, even though they promised to keep in touch and send pictures. I just hope Bessie is happy and stable. I won’t ever forget her.

In other news, in a number of states (including Arizona, Florida, Texas, California), coronavirus numbers are spiking. I’ve been so careful for the past three months, but because many others haven’t, we continue our shelter-in-place. I completely understand everyone’s desire to move the hell past this, but it’s still too bloody early. Encouraged by the Administration’s denial of the advice of Dr. Fauci and other experts, selfish-dick-Trump-followers and others aren’t taking the necessary precautions. Because of them, I can’t see my mother or my pregnant older daughter or my beloved grandkids in Chico. I am resentful. Actually, I am irate. I can’t even imagine how I’d feel if my life were actually touched by the virus. Imagine if I’d lost someone. Someone who might not have died if the U.S. government had done so many things differently, and sooner.

Everything annoys me these days, politically and personally. We have a mask requirement here now, but people disregard it. On my walk yesterday, I encountered—count them—six people walking up the busy commercial street, arms swinging by their sides, masks in their bloody hands. And a number of others walking by me with masks around their necks. I wonder, sometimes, why I bother protecting them when they don’t reciprocate.

Better stop writing before I continue snarking.

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Jun 22 2020

Day 98: Bessie Update

Published by under Coronavirus Journal

I said I would stop counting the shelter-in-place days on this blog, but I changed my mind.

Yesterday I did go ahead and donate the rest of my dog possessions to Amanda, the woman who runs the rescue from which I got Bessie. I’d sent her an email asking how Bessie was doing, and learned that the fosters have decided to adopt her. That is the best news I could have hoped for. But it’s bittersweet. Looking at the picture Amanda sent, of the young couple with their arms around Bessie, I was both relieved and sad. It looks like they love her as much as I did, but she still appears uncertain.

And then today I received another photo, this one with this rather pointed message from Amanda: “Bessie is doing great. Loves the dog park.” Pointed, because she knows that the reason I gave Bessie up was for her social awkwardness around other dogs.

She looks totally happy, and not one bit socially awkward. Frankly, I’m amazed. I never would have attempted a dog park. I knew she could learn to adjust, but more gradually. Well, she is in better hands now: those of people who trust her more than I did. I’d say they got a pretty perfect dog. That is to say, I gave up a pretty perfect dog. It still hurts but I still think it was the best choice for her and me. She’s found an outstanding, accepting home.

Now it’s just me and the squirrels again.

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