Yesterday I was on pins and needles wondering how Matt and Tom were facing their journey back to Britain, having been forced to do so due to the new travel restrictions


They traveled to Phoenix, several days earlier than planned, to board a flight to Chicago, and then on to London. All day I was wondering about what they were facing. Not a word from them until Bruce finally texted and got the scoop. Wakening this morning, checking his phone he found a text from 2:30AM that they were home. A parent's worries are never over are they? So now my concern for them is coming back only to find empty food shelves. Probably silly on my part but, as that overused phrase goes--it is, what it is! Early on, while the trip was being planned, I mentioned to Matt that it was going to be a trip they would remember for the rest of their lives, with seeing the Grand Canyon one of the many highlights. Sadly, they did not make it that far, but they certainly will remember this trip for the rest of their lives, won't they?

It is like a wildfire out there with no putting it out in sight.

We are now in about day six of the panic and I fear it is going to get way worse before it gets better. Yesterday afternoon I received a long note from a friend in the Seattle area and she painted a grim picture of what we will be facing. As such, I went to Publix in order to shore up my pantry and freezer. Oh my goodness, what a sight those shelves were!
They say a picture paints a thousand words, so here's yet another to document what this is like.
In Florida, along with some other Southern coastal states, we are somewhat accustomed to panic shopping for hurricane provisions, but this is that, and WAY more. Generally, because we eat most meals at home, I'm pretty well stocked, but I needed to fill some holes. While there, with the mindset of making meals that would last for some days, I picked up ingredients for lasagna, mac and cheese, that sort of thing. Sounds outrageous I know, but so has everything else up to this point. I learned last night that they were even closing the Florida State campgrounds. And here I thought we could go camping to get away from this madness!! I've yet to confirm it so today I will try and do so.

Another thing she mentioned was getting more library books ASAP because all of the libraries are closed out there. She implored me to take this seriously and pointed out some hazards we might face, such as one of us getting sick with something else and the hospitals being overwhelmed. Carol said to make sure all of our prescriptions were filled, and get ready for a quarantine which is what she thinks they are facing next!!!

Bev reminded me, when thinking about our new vocabulary during these troubled times, of "flattening the curve", one that I left out the other day. Jane said her friend is calling it, "desocializing" and on the radio yesterday I heard this term, " boomer eraser", which is just plain mean! At first I thought they meant boomers money, which we are certainly experiencing in an unprecedented fashion, until it hit me that it is referring to folks like me that are dying. Gulp!

Carolyn called yesterday afternoon saying there was a duck by her front door that just would not go away and she was concerned that said duck would get run over by a car. Walking down to check out the situation, we were able to corner her and head her back to the lake. Good news! Walking home I ran into other neighbors, including David and Michelle out walking Grace. Dave said, "Mom, I know this isn't like you to be able to sit still and stay home, but it seems as if you should be taking this seriously." Oh how right he is, if we really have to stay home for weeks I will go mad. The funny thing is, most of us are not even thinking of getting sick, we are just stunned by the measures to keep us well!

Saturday Bruce wanted to support a local restaurant, so we went for lunch. Like those empty shelves, we were the only patrons there.
So sad seeing this, but in a bright spot, my sandwich from Delaney's was delicious.

Sunday, instead of going to church, we met up with folks at the Pickleball court, watching for a time and then getting some instructions from Greg and Leslie who have been wanting to get this going for a while. Now that both tennis courts are painted with the special lines, there were at least ten people  there, having fun. I guess yesterday new guidelines were announced about gatherings, limiting it to ten. Does this affect outdoor gatherings?

Let's get past the doom and gloom for a bit, shall we? Of course the photo below is part of it, but I promise only this last one is a downer!
Yesterday morning I accompanied Bruce when he was going to check on the painters at the church. Tree trimmers were there as well. Bruce and John made the stand to place out front and it was moved for the workers. From there we went to Mead Gardens for a walk, and as we were leaving the car I said, "honey, let's go find the owl!" Both of us were trying to remember which tree it was as we walked the path, coming along a scene just made for Bruce. A little boy was fishing, caught a turtle instead, and his young Mom was doing her best to remove the hook. Offering help,
she was thrilled to take Bruce up on his offer. In return she said, this is without prompting mind you, there is an owl over there with her baby. OH MY GOSH!!
Actually she was in the same tree as her owlet earlier, but while watching them, Bruce saw her fly onto this branch in the wide open! Always anxious to share the wealth, we pointed them out to another young Mother with her children, both of whom had little binoculars. Turning away a bit to focus on the little one,
the young boy called out that another one flew in!! We could hardly believe our luck.
Mom and Dad at either end of the couch is what comes to mind, except it is a tree branch. (an attempt at lightheartedness on my part) When you are standing beneath trees staring at birds, inevitably people stop, wondering what you are looking at. In this instance, a woman stopped to see and chat and were we ever glad she did because she was, get this, wait, I can't remember what she is called! I do remember what she does though and that is remove birds from places where they are not wanted, such as warehouses or think, the garden center at your local big box store. Seriously, she gets paid for it! Only too happy to share how it works, we listened in amazement. As well, she said she walks most days in Mead Gardens and had not seen the owls for a while so we felt so lucky to have seen three.

There were irises in bloom along the lake another very welcome sight,
and as we were returning to the car we saw the reddest Northern Cardinal I think I've ever seen.
The gardens were looking lovely on this gray day, no harsh light to wash out the scene.
Returning to the church for one last check up, Bruce moved the sign back onto the grass where it will remain for who knows how long. While there we saw this going on.
Yup, washing down all of the chairs from the fellowship hall. Folks like these, who do cleaning for a living sure not worrying about their jobs while the same holds true for our Publix workers, several of whom I spoke to yesterday, thanking them for working so hard to restock the shelves.

Soon, the question won't be what is closed, it will be what is open? If Seattle's experience is anything to go on, the answer will be almost nothing, a thought so surreal that at this point, I can't wrap my head around it. Today is primary day in Florida and that show is going on as I type. Bruce popped over already finding only one other voter at our polling place. Wonder what the turnout will look like in these strange times.

I shall leave you with something beautiful to contemplate-- nature never disappoints.
You might recall our new motto, "doing all that we can, while we can" which I adopted after Carol's death.

Never could I have imagined it would take on new meaning in the following days. Your thoughts?

your friend,

Gail #Owls #EmptyShelves #CoronaVirusHysteria
Owls EmptyShelves CoronaVirusHysteria

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