All People

It’s hard not to write about it cuz it’s hard not to think about it. It’s the topic of the day, every day, for everyone. It’s the first thing I check in the morning and the last thing I check at night.

I’m not obsessed about it, mind you. I have my distractions. The narrator in the one book I’m reading is currently lamenting his inability to get laid in free-love Ecotopia. Bruce Springsteen, in the other book, has no problem whatsoever getting laid, he’s just struggling to rise above being “legendary local axe-man” despite two hopeful excursions to California. But he just met Clarence Clemons so I’ve a feeling shit’s about to get good for him. Here’s a spoiler: he gets really famous later. I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that William Weston eventually gets laid, too.

But neither 1969 Bruce nor 1999 William have any inkling about the 2020 -19.

Read the dash out loud and that sentence might make more sense.

But for me it still feels like this is something happening “out there” and not here. We still have very few cases in my town, in my county, and absolutely zero in my orbit. I hope it stays that way. I hope it suddenly and miraculously stops altogether.

On Sunday we held a church session in a garage in the neighborhood, but we all kept our 6-foot distance and kept the parishioner total under 10. I guess that’s the law. But we laughed and cracked a mountain-full of blue mountains and some people drove by real slow to see what the commotion was all about. We probably won’t do it again for a while. We probably shouldn’t.

Mrs C was against it. She’s always had a touch of the asthma and when she gets sick she has a tendency to get real sick so she has more personal concerns about the whole pandemic than I do. I went 320 words into this thing before I said “pandemic.” That’s not bad. I wondered when I started if I’d use the word at all. From the Greek pan- and demos, with a long e. There’s a way to make that long e on the keyboard but I’m too enthralled to look it up just now. ALT-something*, I think. You get the drift. Pan- (all) and demos (people).

“All people.” Without context it doesn’t sound so bad. I love all people. I hate pandemics.

But Mrs C’s feelings trump override my own. That’s the way it should be. Most likely I’ll suspend church services altogether until this thing isn’t affecting all people or at least not Mrs C, emotionally or otherwise. Or, if I do hold services, we will all stand 12 feet apart and be limited to 5 beer drinkers. Marriage is about compromise.

Work is steady, believe it or not. It’s definitely slower but there are enough appliance buyers during the day that I still make a living. The refinance on the house is going well and I found out a couple of days ago that I’m coming into some money. About $1200. Government cheese.

It’s important that you talk to someone about how you’re feeling. It’s important that you move about. Read things, and not just things about virology. Look at history and astronomy and, I don’t know, Deuteronomy if you must. Exercise your mind, your body, your heart, and your spirit, whatever that means to you. Physical, mental, emotional, and directional health, I call it. Keep an eye on where you’re headed, because this does not end here.

At any rate, here’s some dogs sitting by a fire.

From left to right: Ludo, Moxie, Marvel

Stay safe and stay sane. I love all you people.

(*ALT-0275. That makes the long ē. ALT-0275. Pretend I did that above. 😉)

40 thoughts on “All People

  1. Oh Tom, somehow, you always make me smile with your writing. I agree with you, one needs to talk about how their feeling in these kinds of times. Those times being holed up in our own homes until further notice. I, tend to dance. That’s right, I spent 45 minutes yesterday (after work) dancing around my living room to Selena.

    Hey, nobody saw me and I didn’t care if they did. I had to have a mood breaker to help me get through a hectic day “at” work, lol. Those puppers look pretty healthy and happy, great family photo in front of the fireplace. I just think their showing off now….lmao.
    You and Mrs. C stay safe Pastor Tom!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If by “healthy” you mean “heavy,” you’re right! This winter they’ve put on some pounds. Especially Ludo! 😲 But, hey, the sun will come out soon, and the other thing will pass and we’ll be out getting back into shape. In the meantime, cutting rations and playing ball. Diet and exercise, golden-style!

      As for us, the dancing. I put on some Billy Idol, open all the shades and dance with myself. I figure other folks are trapped in their homes, too, so they could use the laugh. 😉

      Safe is priority one, Sister V. You, too! ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Do any (or all) of your dogs seem to sense that something is off? Jesse does, which is odd because our routine hasn’t changed one iota, but perhaps all the neighbors being home or the lack of traffic on the roads tells him that something is going on? Whatever it is, he knows and he’s become far more clingy. Not that I mind but it is something that once again has me fascinated with the canine mind.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. To be honest, Paul, it doesn’t seem like they notice or act any differently than before. In fact, to be honest, it didn’t look to me like most people I know were acting much differently than before, until just about now. Maybe because it is so removed. I’m noticing now, in people. I’ll look for signs from the dogs, too.

      Tell Jesse everything is going to be alright. How about you, Paul? How’s your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual state right now? I’m a little more out of shape, a little more scattered in my thoughts, more emotional (but I’m repressing), and I feel like my direction may be irrevocably altered (though I am hopeful it is not). I wonder at times if I’m overreacting. I wonder at other times if I’m reacting too slow. Thoughts?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks, Tom. I’m doing better than I probably ought. Who could have guessed over a year ago that my decision to spend most of my time alone on the couch watching children’s programs and taking bong hits would soon make me a genuine survivalist? All joking aside, this is FAR easier for me than it is for most people and I never lose sight of that. Online school is online school whether there’s a plague raging outside or not. I think you’re reacting in the only way you can: according to your own perceptions and values. Imagine if everyone were as perceptive and realistic and optimistic as you? We’d be doing MUCH better than we are, that’s for sure. In other words, in my opinion, you’re reacting better than most. And I think I can speak for a good percentage of your readers when I point out that this is exactly why we keep coming back to read your thoughts. It’s nothing short of therapeutic.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a beautiful thing to say, Paul. I took a great online test some 10 years or so ago that ranked my top, middle, and low attributes on some scale or such (it cost money, so it was a professional one) and one of my greatest realized strengths was “centred” (it was also from the UK, thus the spelling). I was surprised to find that out, but I’ve sort of hung my hat on it ever since. That, and apparently I’m efficacious. It’s probably all BS, but it’s my BS, right?

        Stay safe, my brother. And keep that puppy safe, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Today was the day that my core project was supposed to go live and it among many other things was cancelled, so I was feeling a little sorry for myself. But there’s the sun, and Titus wanting a cuddle (yes, he senses that there’s something off), and friends like you, so it’s not so bad😊

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It was warm over the weekend and now it’s gotten cold, so a picture of dogs by a fireplace was exactly what I needed–I would say “just what I needed”, but that’s Ric Ocasek, and I’d rather keep Springsteen in my head for the moment. Also I just realized that all these years I’ve been spelling the name of one of Mars’s moons, Deimos, incorrectly. Deimos is “terror” and demos, as you pointed out, is “people”, and there’s something fitting about that given how afraid people are right now, but Deimos is moving, and soon its orbit will take it below the horizon.
    Well, that’s all I’ve got. I’m gonna walk around now and pet some dogs and talk to them about how I’m feeling, and maybe we’ll listen to The Boss and Ray Davies sing a duet of “Better Things”, the best version of one of my favorite songs.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We could use some sunny days out here, I think that would help. I tend to not mind seclusion when the day is warm. More outside projects keep me happy. Demos. Deimos. Amazing how a letter can change a thing. Or maybe those two words are exactly similar because, in these times, people are in terror. Maybe “pandemic” was meant to be “pandeimic” and the original writer forgot the “I.” Forgetting the “I” is something we all should do right now. Better things are ahead. ✊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to congratulate you for managing to mention government cheese in a post in the year 2020. Brings back memories, and not fond ones, of Ronnie Rayguns. I don’t think that I ever received my allocation but then again I wasn’t in dire need of an orange doorstop.
    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Paulie! Oh, we had it, we had the government cheese. Reagan, Bush, Trump. Seems there’s always some anti-socialist, conservative Republican administration handing out government cheese … 🤷


  6. Being holed up for a week, I went out today to take someone to the doctor in Austin. Traffic in my town was at a normal, busy, and slow just like an ordinary day. People aren’t changing their behaviors at all. We have no chance of slowing this thing down because the American course of action is to arrogantly and stupidly deny a problem until it is too late and then panic. That is what is coming to Central Texas real soon.

    If I could only find some more paper towels, I’d be all set.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For some reason, my wife kept going shopping in January and February and forgetting we already had toilet paper, so she kept buying more. As a result we had too much. She must have had an accidental premonition.

      But you’re right. Our stubborn asses have to change. That’s the message Mrs C tried to signal to me on Sunday. I’m gonna have to learn to trust her premonitions (AND admonitions). 👍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. On a different topic. I think my dog is now afraid of her bed. She lays on the floor next to it most of the time. Or maybe she has forgotten how beds work. She is a very strange dog.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Same with our dogs! We have a big one and a little one for them, but they sleep on the floor (or with us, which can be problematic when all three get a notion 😂).


  7. Hi Tom. Finally getting a chance to check you out. Your dogs are insanely cute. That one at the front sits like my dog. We call it silly sitting and you are free to use that.
    Please don’t do any more gatherings! I’m worried about you and especially your wife. It is not worth the risk.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed, Kristine! And welcome!

      I think all of us, this Sunday, sensed it was the last hurrah for some time. I think that’s why, despite our inner voices, we all showed and gave it a go. It’ll be lockdown from here on out, for quite a while. 🛑


      1. That’s me, I see a dog (even in a pic) and just lose my mind..

        Could a quiet good ‘listener’, also apply, in the blogging world?! 😉Not sure

        Great post.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s nice to be late in these comments; not too many to be a burden, most poignant and apropos.

    I’ll not defeat the psyche of your post with some rationalizations. I’m finding few if anybody appreciate them anymore.

    A few random thoughts:
    • Families, used to living separate parent/child lives — now being forced to deal with each other, will either remember this period with fondness or bitterness.
    • Along with the ecosystem breathing a sigh of relief from the dearth of human activity, creatures used to human dominance seem to be venturing forth to investigate the silence.
    • The rapacious rentier elite are about to go to war with municipalities who insist on rent-suspension or pardoning. Those most capable of weathering the financial fallout may be forced into an ironically timed jubilee — the ancient rite of debt forgiveness.
    • Apparently cats can transmit coronavirus, cat to cat, and perhaps through zootrophic means. Dog, not so much. So I think you’re good there. Although, that Marvel looks like a carrier, or retriever at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, this is a hard time for families “trapped” together. Mrs C is rolling her eyes at the MIL a lot. In Mrs C’s defense, the MIL comes up with some random ass shit all the time and we’re, like, what the HELL is she talking about now?! 😂

      I’m not as stuck, working 5 days a week, 9 hours a day still. But I’m kinda getting sick of the old fellers that can’t seem to understand their spittle is toxic. I guess, at some point, you just don’t care anymore? 🤷

      I’ll take the rationalizations, or any feedback at all. I do this for the fun of it, and to spread a little cheer. 😉

      PS, my little town went from 7 to 11 cases on Thursday, got one more on Friday, and then zoomed to 17 cases last night. Stay safe, Anony.

      Liked by 1 person

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