Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Life in the Time of Covid

   One of my favorite poems by the American poet Langston Hughes starts out, “
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on...”

    That’s how I’ve been feeling these days of the Covid-19 Shelter-In, or whatever it will come to be called in the history books someday.  I’m finding it hard to sit down and write a blog or even read a book.  On the other hand, the freezer has been cleaned and organized, the oven excavated and shined, the windows polished.  I have mended and ironed and washed, weeded and trimmed everything in sight.  It seems it’s my feet and hands that need to be always moving. My brain is on vacation.    

    For excitement, besides Rosie unexpectedly dying we had tornadoes one morning this week, with one touching down just miles from our house.  I’ve never experienced a tornado warning without a basement shelter to retreat to. 

  Apparently, the place to be is the bathroom so you toss in all you can, including pillows to put over your head (see right), and squeeze in with it all.  

    The safest place of all is the bathtub (??) which Bob seems to instinctively know because it’s where you can find her any time there is a thunderstorm.

    Nine people died in this line of three or four tornadoes (they’re still counting) 160 miles long along the coast of South Carolina. The nearest touchdown was only a few miles away.   We are thankful we were spared.

     Until this week we have been able to continue hiking but those days are coming to a close with heat, alligators, and bugs. This week we have stuck to exploring the historic district of our town which is fun, too.  

  Last week a little 4 inch amphibian posed for a picture on a trail through the Santee Delta Preserve.  



Just a short walk farther on we spotted a 10 foot reptile in the water a few feet off the trail! 

    Nearby, between water on either side of the trail, we were on the newly trampled path of a large alligator crossing from one side to the other.

Standing (very briefly!) on the hiking path, looking to the right 

   And to the left, the alligator trail ...

“Frequent use make the runs appear well trampled.”

  This one appears well trampled, no doubt about it!  We had to cross it to get back to the car, which we did right smart!  So, we will probably wisely be leaving the paths at Santee Delta to the gators until next winter.  
   I will leave you with one more photo, sent to me by my daughter with the caption,

“Me: Trying to work.
Mason: LOOK!  HI MOM!  LOOK AT ME!!!”


  1. I am impressed with Mason's climbing ability. Maybe when the crisis is over he could join a climbing gym. Sad about the tornado near you and good to hear you are fine. Yes, this social isolating is a tough one, but we can think "this too shall pass".

  2. My goodness a tornado so close, so glad you are safe if a little under par. Great climbing ability Mason but I can imagine your daughters reaction. Stay safe.

  3. How did Mason get up there? New skill for climbing I guess.
    Tornados, no fun. We got a warning here on iPhone but we could tell from weather map it was farther north. Nothing touched down but high winds took out trees.
    I wouldn't be joining you on that walk among the alligator paths.
    Finally I know what you mean about reading. It isn't the attraction it used to be. Three times a week I FaceTime with youngest granddaughter. I created a puppet show on Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Now I'm committed to doing the Three Pigs story by Friday. Something to take up the time.

  4. We hope to enjoy a few more cools days here before heat and humidity hit. Relief from heat, humidity and GNATS may come by October, I hope. The last photo brings back memories of youngest son's similar antics, now 40, at that age. Stay safe!

  5. We didn’t have a basement when we lived in Alabama when our kids were little. They were used to taking meals into the bathroom when the tornado siren went off, which was frequent in the summer. Must have been fun and not scary because when we moved to Michigan, they would ask if they could eat in the bathroom.

  6. I like Langston Hughes. I always used a few of his poems with my middle school kids.

  7. Bob has the right idea! So glad you are safe, as if you don't have enough to contend with you have bad weather too :( Stay safe! Those gators would scare me!

  8. Mason is a talented climber and would probably frighten the life out of me. I thought you might be having it a little easier than myself when it comes to getting out for a walk but I got that wrong. Tornadoes and alligators! No thank you.

  9. Clever lad climbing up there.
    Gosh didn't know about your tornadoes. How lucky were you then.
    Take care.

  10. I have never been directly affected by a natural disaster, but I have seen the aftermath of a hurricane, a tornado and an earthquake. It is difficult to take it all in when you see the scope of the destruction so you were wise to shelter as best you could and I am very happy that you escaped harm. Now you will have a mere heart attack watching your grandson climb!

  11. You have a complete different nature overthere as here. Hurricans, alligators it sounds not nice to cope with. But I suppose you are familiar with it.

  12. Oh I get it Cynthia - I feel like I am wading in treacle. I'm not going to be the one who will be able to list all her Covid-19 achievements! Blogging is such a lovely hobby though and does keep us connected which I love. Here's to weekend hikes in the sunshine (without the alligators!) and to us all having the energy of Mason!
    Take care.
    Wren x

  13. Well, you still do write the most interesting posts. I think we all feel like climbing the walls. Mason is actually doing it. I laugh thinking about your daughter trying to work and look at mason too. Oh Cynthia, I was so afraid the morning the storms came through. A line of storms with a tornado went through Orange and Durham counties and on up through Person county. Lynn and my grandchildren, and my sister, are all scattered about those counties. We had severe thunderstorm warnings here. Everyone was safe though. Glad you all were safe. There is no way I could cross an alligator path. :)

  14. Aah, Alligators, scary. Well trampled it is. I would be scared to death.
    I remember when I used to do the same thing in the doorway as your grandson. So much fun! Cute little boy with that sweet smile!
    I know it had to be scary with a tornado so close by. My daughter and her husband and my grandson when living in Big Rock Tennessee, had a tornado go over them. The were lower lying. After it was over, house behind them and on one side was ripped apart. Their home was not touched. Animals are smart like your dog. They will warn us of danger.
    Well now I have to excavate my oven I like you did. So many have been saying how much they have done and I wish I was the same way. I just stay outside and pull weeds. I feel trapped inside lately.
    Happy Week end to you

  15. Wow those alligator tracks look a bit scary. somehow 'Stay home stay safe" makes a lot of sense in more ways than one. Those tornados are scary too. As if the virus isn't enough to deal with. Take care.

  16. That Photo is Priceless! Alligator Trails would scare the crap out of me... tho' to be sure, the Desert has it's fair share of dangerous critters, I Hopefully can see them better without all the overgrowth, tho' many have camouflage! *LOL*

  17. Oh gracious! Mason looks like a really fun, active young man. I’m taking a break from mask making for a while. I did organize my freezer which is slowly emptying. This is such a difficult time, but so far, I’m grateful for friends and relatives who check up on us. How scary to worry about tornados at a time like this. I’m worrying about hurricane season which starts in June for us. We have been eating out of our hurricane supply.