All Better

I have a faint recollection as a young child of my mother spraying Bactine on a skinned knee, saying, "All better now." Well, I don't know if my recent illness was coronavirus or not. I tend to think not.  But I'm all better now.

Life has settled into a routine, and it's not too exciting.  Five mile walk in the morning. Firewood processing in the afternoon.  I'm just trying to spend as much time outside as I can.  When I'm cooped up in the house too long with the revised family unit (4), I can go a little stir-crazy.

In the beginning of this shelter-in-place event, I was spending lots of time reading as much as I could about the virus and steps to combat the virus.  That was helpful in the beginning.  I like to educate myself  as much as possible about something like this.  Beyond a few important known facts, there is still a lot that nobody knows, especially for a virus that has changed everything for the entire world.

Now, I scan the news for new developments, but most days there really isn't anything new to learn.  This thing is going to take time.  Back when the kids were young and challenging, I used to make a lot of firewood to reduce stress.  I have a feeling that my piles of firewood are going to get a lot bigger this year. 

I go into Lodi about once per week to do our family grocery shopping.  Our grocery store doesn't offer delivery or curbside pickup.  The produce isn't always the freshest, and the inventory can be limited, but I can find enough for us to eat and the basic essentials for living.  I'm very grateful that the store exists.

 When we first moved to this area, there was a period of time when Lodi didn't have a grocery store.  The nearest store was more than fifteen miles away.

There's also something about shopping local in a small town.  On one of my recent trips to 'The Pig," I  put all of my week's groceries on to the conveyor belt and then reached into my pocket for a wallet that had been forgotten at home. When I told the cashier that I was going to have to run home to get my wallet,  the store manager rushed over and told the cashier that it was no problem because I was a long-time customer.  She told me to take my groceries home and then call in my credit card for payment.

The store manager knew my face, but didn't know my name or address or anything about me, except that I'm a regular shopper.  She didn't ask for my identification.  She trusted me to go home and then pay for my order over the phone.  When I called in with my credit card, I thanked her for her trust.  "Anything we can do to help," she responded.

That's the kind of place that Lodi can be. 


  1. A couple of years ago, as I was about to make my usual late-afternoon move, I heard the one and only "click" that signaled a dead battery. It was Sunday and nearly 6:00 o'clock when the guy at the O'Reilly's in the town about 20 miles away answered the phone. He asked where I was and, as luck would have it, he passed the spot on his way home. In addition, he said although they didn't normally accept credit cards over the phone, he'd make an exception.

    I once read an article from the '40s that said the media only print the bad, so it's a good thing they invented blogging.

    Fortunately, it was only about a mile out to the highway. I got there in time for the sunset; he'd said he'd be a while as he had to close the store. As the dark settled in, I felt as if I was playing "chicken" as I danced on the shoulder trying to make myself visible while avoiding being hit by the occasional passerby.

    Eventually he showed up and with heart-felt gratitude, I gave him $10.00 for his help. The return trip to the car took a while as, even with my headlamp, I lost sight of the faint track I'd followed in. Peering across a wide arroyo I KNEW I hadn't crossed, I went cross-country in the direction I thought most likely. Eventually, I found the track...and Phoebe. The stores only offer a battery good for one year, so I put a reminder in my calendar and THIS year saved myself a walk...and $10.00.

    But I don't need my calendar to remember his kindness.

  2. There are genuinely good people in the world, despite the divisions promoted by our media.


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