The Morning View

Yesterday Moxie woke me up at 4 am, with indications he had to go outside. I whined for a second, but he wouldn’t let it go. So, being the good papa that I am, I got up and went into the other room to put on my sweatshirt and slippers. Moxie didn’t follow.

In the other room, next to Mrs C, Moxie was lying on my pillow. I swear he grinned at me in the dark and mouthed “sucker.”

I flipped on the coffee and fired up the PC.

Dog 1 Tom 0.

I intended to do some writing, but I did some reading instead. I finished Suzanne Craig-Whytock’s magnificent coming-of-age dystopian science fiction novel The Dome. I started a worn paperback handed to me by a neighbor titled Ecotopia. I read a few chapters of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run. I even rifled through a book I read 15 years ago, by Bill Bryson, to find the section where he talks (more briefly than I had recalled) about viruses.

Viruses. I’m suddenly remembering, or trying to remember, everything I’ve ever read about viruses.

Reading is a fascination I lost somewhere last year, about the time Marvel was old enough to never sit still. I found it again last month, about the time Marvel was finally old enough to want to go back to bed with Mrs C, Moxie, and Ludo after his morning pee. Time. I have undisturbed time in the mornings again. I don’t remember ever loving any unliving thing as much as undisturbed time in the morning.

Me. Coffee. Books. Computer.

By some estimations there may be a lot more of that kind of time in the near-to-distant future.

The future.

I read yesterday that one rather panicked Wall Streeter said this will be the end of America as we know it. That seemed extreme. Just in the last 25 years we have survived the election of a buffoon president (2016), the Great Recession (2008), 9/11 (2001), Y2K (2000), and Pauly Shore. And that’s just the big ones off the top of my head. America prevails.

Besides, what does that mean “as we know it”? The America as we know it has produced rampant economic inequality, an unsustainable ecological footprint, apocalyptic-level nuclear stockpiles, and Donald Trump. America “as we know it” could use a makeover.

Of course, the current disaster we face isn’t like any of the others that I can remember. It isn’t just hitting America either, whose population is less than 5% of the world’s total, it’s everywhere. Entire nations are shut down. Iran is getting massacred. Close to 10,000 people have died in 176 countries and, if we are to believe the experts, this is just the beginning.


The experts can be wrong, want to be wrong. Donald Trump was made fun of for saying this thing could just magically vanish in the Spring and everyone laughed. Only Bill Bryson said it, too. It happens. We don’t know why but sometimes these viruses pop up, attack, do some serious harm, and then vanish as if they never came. Or maybe they pop up again later, mad as hell. It’s not the most likely scenario, but it is certainly possible. Sometimes, most of the time, things don’t end up as bad as we think.

But sometimes they do.

You know my philosophy, by now. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. That describes it as well as any. Be cautious and sensible. Don’t panic. Continue to delight in life but be wary. Practice social distancing and even shelter in place when you can.

Read some books.

Scoot the dog over and go back to bed.

But don’t dwell on it. Don’t monitor the newswires all day or wake up in the night wondering if you have enough food, enough money, enough wipes, or ammunition. Don’t overthink the sudden, mild sore throat. Don’t stress.

Take your coffee and go outside. It’s fine.

Enjoy the morning view.

23 thoughts on “The Morning View

  1. Ha! I’ve been duped by that doggo move many times! Here at the small cog household we are trying to navigate down the middle of this crazy river. You know, somewhere in between IT’S ALL A HOAX! and WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE! Hope you and yours weather the storm safely Tom.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, I won’t fall for that one again (this week)! 😂 That’s what I get for calling him the “smartest dog ever.” It’s gone to his head!

      That middle road is the right one, Ari. It’s bad enough out there to be really, really cautious, but we don’t know how bad (or not) it truly is. We won’t, as a matter of fact, until later.

      Those last 9 or 10 sentences sound like good advice for everyone, but the person I was really trying to reach was me. Hope it works. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen to that! I’m so tired of the constant gloom and doom.
    I hate to say it, but this too shall pass.
    The world will still turn…. and dogs will still steal our place in bed. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, you’re gonna love Born To Run if you don’t already. Although it did hold an extra layer of personal interest for me since it contains so many descriptions of 1970s-1980s New Jersey. As far as the COVID thing goes, how about a little love for this poor, struggling pathogen just trying to survive like all of us? Remember, if we were to eradicate the entire grouping of organisms we call viruses, the population of the world would increase to catastrophically unsustainable levels. I don’t even consider them to be “necessary evils” — just necessary, in the grand planetary/species scheme of things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I do love it already! My quite-recent obsession with all thing Bruce Springsteen is at all-time high and not yet peaked. Great talent, great music, great book!

      And, yeah, we humans tend to obsess about we humans (and our dogs), but viruses have purpose, too. It’s all a part of being in the ecology of this magnificent blue planet we are intent to destroy.


      Quite the opposite of viruses, humans may be evil but not really necessary. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I have been limiting my reading of news to twice a day to avoid despair. I don’t know if it is working. Many depend on me, so it is a lot to be concerned about. The more we test, the more we find out how bad it is. We will have to do what China did and what Italy is doing I guess – lock down for weeks.

    “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” Is a good philosophy. The Trump administration only did the first part in my opinion. So, now we are scrambling. Now China has to panic that it will be returning to their country from abroad.

    I have begin to wonder if the cure is worse than the disease. We are shutting down the global economy. This is terrifying. More terrifying that millions of dead? Yikes.

    I usually drink a bit in the evenings for relaxation. I have banned myself from drinking during this because I think I could sink into it and not come out. So, the stiffest thing I am drinking is coffee for the duration.

    I try to think of my blessings at least a few times a day and I stopped looking at my stock portfolio days ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, those are good plans. I can’t stay off the news feeds, either; it’s too important. I’m a news buff, anyway, so it almost doesn’t make sense to look at it LESS in the face of this crisis. But still … I oughta …

      The halted economy is as frightening as the virus, but I think they go hand in hand. The economy was artificially stimulated and high, anyway, so the break was due. Hopefully it’s a short downturn (and a short contagion). Hope does spring eternal.

      In the meantime I’m gonna try and get some more things done. I work better with beer. So much for THAT plan. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for your kind words about my novel–I really appreciate it! As for Moxie, Titus does the exact same thing and then I look at him and ask, “Would you take my grave as fast?” which is something my Scottish dad always says. Titus invariably responds, “Sigh. No” and moves over to accommodate all of us:-) I also remember Y2K and how it was going to be the end of everything with people hoarding food and water. At about 5 minutes after midnight on New Year’s, we ran outside with our friends and screamed “We’re alive!” From down the street, we heard neighbours yell back in the dark, “So are we!!” Let’s hope it all works out the same way with this:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! That was a happy ending. I think this time we’d all run into the street and elbow bump, then run back in to be on the safe side. 😉

      I LOVED the book, and the characters were richly imagined with depth and distinction. I’ll say as much in my review when I get over there. Any chance of a sequel?

      Titus is a smart dog. Moxie probably would have moved for me, too, but I’m not as smart as these dogs. At 4 am, I should go back to bed. Instead, the coffee, the books, the comp. I regret that around mid-afternoon but, hey, we can’t all be smart dogs. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I’m actually on Chapter 2 of a sequel called The Rock, but I need time to write! I’m working from home and I’m busier now than I was in the office—I’m exhausted and it’s only Thursday. Long distance high five to you and thanks in advance for the review!❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A science comedian–a specialized field if there ever were one–had this great explanation of viruses: imagine someone takes over a sneaker factory and switches it over to making Twinkies. Now imagine that person also just happens to be a Twinkie.
    The funny part of that is Moxie has gone viral.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As good (and funny) an explanation as I’ve ever heard, Chris. Our bodies are being transformed into twinkie factories by the hundreds of thousands, and no one is laughing. Well, that’s not true. People on social media are laughing at memes by the millions. Laughter is still winning. Hopefully, it always does.

      But, all kidding aside – stay safe, brother. You and yours. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You have a beautiful puppy dog! I love all animals, even my two pain in the butt cats that enjoy pouncing on me first thing in the morning. It isn’t like they have to go outside to use the bathroom, they are just rude. I do still think my cats would be able to run this country better than that moron who only lies! I have been wondering if him and his little friend VP think they would burn in flames if they actually told the truth. It is scary because I immediately think they are lying, so when they do tell some truth, I dismiss it. I hope you and your family are staying safe!!

    Liked by 1 person

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