Pondering a pandemic and July 4th, 1966

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July 4th is almost upon us. Hard to believe isn’t it? I plan, Lord willing, to have my front porch all in red, white, and blue by mid-week. I do enjoy this special patriotic holiday and it has a two-fold meaning for our family. July 4th also happens to be Michelle’s birthday. She was born on one of the hottest July fourths that I can recall. When she and I went home from the hospital five days later the heat had only intensified. It was 105 degrees. 

She and I were living back on Hughes Hill with Mom and my maternal grandparents while Ruble was serving in Vietnam. Michelle was the one bright spot in the year of 1966 in general, and of that hot, miserable summer in particular. So, Lord willing, this coming Saturday we will celebrate this great country we live in as well as the birthday of our first-born daughter. So far, this summer has been nothing compared to the one 54 years ago. 

The corona virus continues to hover over us. For the past three months it seems that no matter what plans are made they must include special plans because of this pandemic. Maybe things are getting better. Dawn, Anna, and Kennedy loaded up masks, Lysol, Clorox wipes, surgical gloves, and swimsuits and headed for Gulf Shores last week to spend a few days. From the pictures they have sent they seem to be having a good time and are following health rules as best as one can on such a trip.

I continue to stay put, for the most part. One of the grandest things that has helped me so much since the sheltering in place order is the fact that our local grocery stores are allowing “elderly” such as I to call our order in. They fill it and all that has to be done is to drive by and pick it up. That has made life much easier for me. There is a line in my all-time favorite song by the country singing group, Alabama. The song is called “Angels Among Us.” The line that strikes me most is the one that says, “Now it’s kind of funny, how at the dark end of the road, someone comes along with just a single ray of hope . . . oh, I believe there are angels among us.” 

During this very unusual time our grocery stores being willing to take phone-in orders is one of those “single rays of hope.” That same wonderful song goes on to say how the angels among us wear familiar faces and show up in the strangest places. How true that is! One of those “strangest places” where some angles have shown up since sheltering in place has been my rule is my mailbox. I have received cards, notes, comments on columns I’ve written, and even cookies and a pound cake (and may I say a very delicious pound cake). Wow! I am so blessed.

I have told you many times how I find it impossible to throw away mail I receive, especially cards and such. I have a new file now that I’m keeping called “Ponderings During the Pandemic.” In it I’m keeping mail received and a journal of day-to-day living. I have told my grandchildren that in the future perhaps they will delve into that file and find how we passed our time as we sheltered. 

Well, I have really meandered today! I’ve gone from the Fourth of July all the way to angles among us. And, as I get ready to close for this week, I keep hearing the late comedian Jerry Clower saying, “Ain’t God good!!” The resounding answer to that is YES! Thanks to all who have been in touch and Happy Fourth of July, everyone!