Pandemic Ponderings

To you this might seem a collection of spontaneous thoughts scribbled on various post-it notes, napkin corners, envelope flaps and receipts, but nope. There ARE those, but I am not bored enough yet to resort to that scavenger hunt. The jottings of song titles and/or artists, rhymes, cool phrases, names of NPR interviewees, gotta-read-that-one-book titles and possible column topics are sensible only to me, maybe, on a clear day when I can see the reasons for their existence.

*The jottings that follow are random experiences associated with this pandemic life of mine outlined in solitude, filled with music and smelling a bit like clorox – and brownies. Appreciation is the link

*The clink of ice cubes in a favorite cobalt blue glass. I associate that sound with barbecues and Koolaid, Saturday night TV viewing with RC and popcorn, sweet tea on the porch or swing, and full ice cube trays! I cleaned out my freezer, threw away some unrecognizable stuff from the last century, and filled the trays. Nothing says home like making yourself an iced drink. Even water seems fancier that way. Hooray for ice cube trays and the discipline to keep them filled!

*The ringing of a phone. When did we morph into a talkless society, relying on texts to communicate all things stern, serious, sorrowful and silly? During this time of physical distancing, I get to craving the human voice, even my own. I read aloud sometimes, and the cat listens, but there is a bit lacking in all that one-sided jabbering. Hooray for the phone which means there is a human voice calling to connect!

*Print – all things written for me to read. My brain doesn’t feel like it is stagnating, though my limbs might offer a different perspective. I’m a person who prefers to read print on paper but these days I am practicing having an open mind toward print on screens. That means my crap-o-meter is getting a workout, but hey, I have the time and am developing quick delete/swipe skills. So hooray for all those who write or have written so I have infinite reading resources!

*Colors – They are perking up my downtimes, piquing my interests in flowering plants/trees and motivating me to plant more. Autumn is my favorite season, but this spring has provided a refreshing and much-revered panorama across the spectrum. I took a drive to rekindle memories of the former Dogwood Trail that the Forest Service once had maps of. (Let me know, please, if you run across one). A 1971 Prospect-News article briefly outlined the route. Dogwoods may not have peaked yet in their magnificence, but my Thursday drive out 160W to Ripley County Lake, across Buffalo Creek, down V highway to Fourche Lake and back home via 142 thrilled me with both redbuds and dogwoods vividly featured in the early April landscape. I don’t want to downplay man-made hues. I love them, too! I hit the jackpot on my drive through colorful nature, wearing a long-sleeved tie-dyed tee and accompanied by my favorite passenger. It was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, for I crossed paths -appropriately distant – with my son Anthony at work on one of the Forest Service roads. Hooray for Mother Nature’s palette!

*Screens – I have praised and cursed all devices with technological secrets I can’t decipher, with more cursing than praising going on, metaphorically speaking, of course. Often I felt like I was fiddling with a safe’s tricky combination when facing a screen on any device, even the car’s dashboard. Since he was eight years old and assembled our Tandy computer, my son has been telling me to “chill, take a deep breath, it will be okay” when I encounter frazzling screen dilemmas. He has thwarted many a breakdown with a simple “See the _? Hit that, Mom.” He is either a wizard or he just knows his mom’s craziness. Now those same screens are keeping me socially connected. No distance requirements there. Screens, too, are also helping me worship at this holy time. I am appreciative of those who make use of the technology and are patient with me as I am introduced to apps like Zoom, which allows worship together in real time, or Facebook Live, when again I can see, hear and learn in real time. All is then posted for later reference. God knows I’m here. I so appreciate fellow humans using their connections and knowledge to remind me of that. Hooray for the love that screens make it possible to share!

About Teresa Pearson Lee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. You might still find me at the reservation desk when spring rolls around. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content coordinator for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist/stringer for the local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness. The material in this blog written by Teresa Lee is her property and cannot be used without express written consent to do so.
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