2021

Good Morning ALL. How are you today? I am well. Everytime I typed “2021” – I feel as though I am living in the far future. But yet here we are and I guess when I was a little girl in the early 1960’s – 2021 would have felt very futuristic. I also cannot believe we are less than four years away from 2025, which is another year that always interested me. Not quite sure why. Anyway. Got slightly sidetracked. This morning I am going into the office. We have quite strict protocols in place when we go to the office. I had to submit an online self assessment which I was finally able to do. At first I get receiving messages that my password or server weren’t something or other. Did not work. After many attempts I was able to complete the self assessment. YAY, me. This not very tech savvy “woman” was able to download the APP if that is the correct terminology and then actually get signed in and do the assessment. Well it is just over thirty minutes before my daughter picked me up. She is in my “bubble” or “pod.” I am not sure which term to use as I have heard both used. Guess it really does not matter. Mr. Alvin is feeling that something is up. It will be a long day for him without his Momma. Thankfully our neighbour Sonja will pop in and check on him. Let him outside and give him a treat or two. Then she will feed him at supper and let him out. He is used to eating around 4:30 p.m. and I won’t make it here by then. So grateful to have such great neighbours. I can smell the coffee perking as I am making some to take to work. I have my snacks or rather my breakfast on the go which consists of almonds and grapes. Usually I have oatmeal with cinnamon and cranberries but I didn’t want to eat this early and I also did not wish to take that to the office where I would have to warm it up in the microwave. Just want to keep my contact down to a minimum.

Well it is Friday and that is a good thing. I am looking forward to the trip to work chatting with my daughter along the way. I am excited to see the handful of staff including my Manager and a gal that is retiring and today is her very last day. I will have an opportunity to personally wish you all the best. We had a virtual Retirement party for her yesterday ….. no food, no card, no gift to hand to her. That part was sad. Some of us including her Management team had lots of nice things to say. She worked for our company for almost 39 years.

Okay time to go and finish getting ready. I am thinking I can get away with only wearing shoes instead of boots. Not much snow. I will be brave.

Have an awesome Friday. Continue to live our lives with kindness, respect and compassion.

Always, Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning ALL. How are you? I am well and happily settling into my new bras. Happy Woman here. Well last night ….. earlier, much earlier this morning up and down as per our normal routine. It would seem that whenever we go to bed whether early or a bit later we are always up six hours later. That six hour mark could be at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. or anything in between. Depending on the time I either give Mr. Alvin his glucosamine chew OR the chew and breakfast. I don’t want him to have breakfast before 4:00 a.m. Too early. Then we head to the sofa for a few more zzz’s and when we get up depends on whether or not it is during the week or the weekend. What a life! This morning I am going to have a “coffee visit” with my friends Gillian and Signe on TEAMS. So excited to see them and catch up.

I also had a pretty nice surprise when I went into my office (where I am now) to turn on the computer …. I found that my African Violet had some pretty purple flowers. She did not have them yesterday and there are several buds as well. A very deep rich vibrant purple. A royal purple if you will. I cannot remember how long I have had this plant and she has never bloomed but I think that she does like being in the office on my desk. I have placed two smaller Spider plants on the desk beside her for company. Even plants need company. They were babies when I moved them into the office and she was older so a good match, I thought. Miss Violet’s leaves are finally becoming larger and stronger looking. I am so over the moon happy about this plant and all of my plants as they are all doing so well. My Geraniums are blooming …. beautiful pink flowers. Three other plants that I have are also blooming and I am not quite sure what there names are … Since I am home all of the time now, I give them a lot more TLC and they appear to be liking the extra attention. Yesterday morning I spent about one hour fixing them up and moving them about. They do all seem to love the southern exposure whether in my kitchen or in the office. Although yesterday I tried something by moving my large Spider plant to the 1/2 wall that divides the kitchen and living room. I moved Spidy because my plant area is getting so crowded with plants. I will see how Spidy does and if shows signs of stress I will move him back to the window area or perhaps even upstairs to the office where there is more room. My daughter brought me a Poinsettia from her office on Friday thus overfilling the space. So I will keep an eye on them. Plants are so good to have around. I am grateful that several of them seem to bloom all year round. Now I have my beautiful Violet plant blooming. So grateful. Also I have two geraniums that my friend Pauline gave me last fall which are becoming massive in their small pots and need to be transplanted. So I will have to put out a call for someone to pick me up some potting soil and two medium sized pots.

Last night I spent the evening speaking to my friend Linda who lives back home. We worked together, were neighbours and are friends. She recently celebrated a birthday. We chatted about our lives, the world and the pandemic for close to three hours. What a great way to spend a Saturday night. Perfection.

Now this morning I get to chat with two of my girl friends. YAY.

Well time to get dressed and put on the coffee and have breakfast before our get together.

The sky is partially overcast this morning as the sunrises. I love the colours of the morning sky as the sun begins to rise in the sky.

This has been a great weekend thus far. Alvin and I also had the best walk yesterday afternoon. The air was so warm and there was no wind. I could have walked forever. Who would have thought it was almost mid January.

Wishing you a great Sunday.

Continuing to live with kindness, respect and compassion for all.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Second Half of the NEW YEAR – last quarter.

Good Morning All. Finally the snow has stopped here in Edmonton or at least in my neighbourhood. So much snow has fallen. The sticky heavy stuff making shovelling difficult and time consuming. My neighbours and I shovelled the front sidewalks several times yesterday and there was still about a foot to shovel this morning. Thanks to my neighbour Sonja for shovelling the front. When we got up about 1.5 hours ago I went outside with Alvin so that I could pick up his poop from earlier in the morning (it had stopped snowing by that time) and that’s when I decided in my pj’s to start once again shovelling the deck and Alvin’s grass area. There is so much snow that it is hard – where do you put that snow? As I was shovelling I realized that Sonja was in her backyard, yes that is Humphrey and Bogart’s Mom. She was shovelling away singing to some tunes on her earphones. I got her attention and we both thought this is just the beginning. So much snow. She was further ahead of me and after a few minutes went into her garage so that she could shovel her driveway. Our garages are detached from our homes. After a few minutes I decided that I would go and join her and shovel the driveway. It is the place that is not visually noticeable from the house and better to do it now than later. Of course, she’s younger and in better shape and had a head start, not that it was a race but she finished ahead of me and said that she would go and start the front and see how far she got as she was also getting tired. I said “thank you,” of course and carried on shovelling the driveway. Oh, Alvin had been cold several minutes before so I put him into the house. It was shortly after I started shovelling the driveway, I found my mini gloves were not keeping my fingers warm so back into the house and into my big girl MITTS and also put on my high warmer boots. Back out and finished the driveway and then the deck. By the time I got back into the house, removed my boots and walked to the front door, my neighbour was heading up my front steps as she had almost finished the shovelling. What a workout we girls had this morning. She is almost on her way to look after some horses of a friend. The horse shelters have to be cleaned so she will be getting lots of exercise and really building up those arm muscles. To all my friends in Alberta and elsewhere – be careful shovelling. The snow is heavy. Take your time. Be safe.

Well it is definitely time for some COFFEE and I actually have earned the appetite that I now have ….. for a change.

Happy to see that the United States will have their first female Vice-President. It is about time. Congratulations to the new leadership team.

Well time to get this day going although I am feeling a bit tired after all that shovelling. I have vacuuming to do up and downstairs. Bring up the laundry that was drying in the basement. I want to bake some scones using the Steeped Tea mix. I think that I am going to make pancakes for breakfast as I have milk to use and do not wish to waste it. Also have to work on a project for Christmas but cannot reveal at this time. I am going to place a Pampered Chef order from a friend’s online party which will bring my Christmas shopping close to being done. I have Alvin, Aspen and Milo left and some stocking stuffers for the kids. I will do some baking in the early part of December and hand it out to friends and family. I did write up most of my Christmas Cards yesterday but still more to do. A few letters to do as well.

Have an awesome Sunday. I am so happy to see somewhat clear blue skies this morning and the sun was shining earlier, wasn’t it? I thought so??? Well at least it is not snowing. I am so relieved that it stopped.

Take care everyone. Be safe and I hope that you are in good health.

I/We shall continue to live our lives with kindness and respect for all living creatures and the environment. I guess after all it holds life including ours.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Second Half of the NEW YEAR – last quarter

Good Morning All, We were up and down as per usual but up to stay just before 8:00 AM. I marvelled at the way some of the leaves are hanging on as if for dear life on our tree out front. They almost look like upside down umbrellas. These poor pods of leaves almost appear to be social distancing as they hang in groups every so often on the branches. Our tree has almost dropped all of its’ leaves. I can definitely see some raking in my future. The colours of the leaves on the ground look so beautiful against the lighter green/yellow grass as it prepares for winter. The contrast to the sidewalk and street is gorgeous ….. reds and yellows to gray.

The last half of this week has been well should I shall lousy. Likely just as good a word as any. Lost a friend that I used to work with at BBW at the MALL and have others who are awaiting the results of COVID19 testing. Work is off the charts, busy, which is slowly eating away at my “patience” and heart. I like to be busy but not so busy that you cannot see the light of day. This morning I looked inward for some guidance, for perhaps a thought that may get me back on track. There are many blessings in my life and I am truly grateful for each and every one of them. I know that I am extremely lucky to have a decent job in this landscape and that this time. But that does not help me but feel anxiety. Anyway, lots to do this weekend. Today is going to be a particular busy day once I finish this post, start the laundry, already started the coffee, have breakfast, give Mr. Alvin a haircut, boil potatoes and eggs for tomorrow’s potato salad, make a fruit pizza for tomorrow, dust and clean bathrooms, wash floors, pull more flowers that have gone to the other side, bring up the FALL and HALLOWEEN decorations and whatever else I can squeeze into this day. Perhaps the best thing for me right at this moment is to get busy. I know that life is life and there are things beyond my control and that I can get through anything. There might be stop signs and potholes along the road but I will keep on walking until it is my time to leave this earth. Sorry not meaning to be dark. I am so grateful to have my Alvin with me and for my life.

I am going to see later today or this weekend if I am now able to upload photos from my phone to the computer. That would be nice.

Well my friends, I hope that life is treating you well. No matter what is going on in your life and mine, we “got this.” No one ever said it would be easy all of the time but we can in our reactions to the situations determine our joy or sadness or anxiety. I am learning each and everyday and hoping to become more wise as the years go by.

Take Care and Be safe. Live with kindness and respect and laughter. I am going to add laughter to our mantra. We need to laugh. Find the funny in something each and everyday. We must.

Happy Saturday.

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

Second Half of the NEW YEAR.

Good Morning and Welcome to Saturday September 12, 2020.

Overcast and cool with a slight breeze this morning.

We were up at our usual about 4:00 a.m.

Alvin had his glucosamine chew and ate his breakfast, peed and then we were back to sleep to the sofa.

We did not stir until just after 8:30 a.m.; I guess we were tuckered out.

Or at least I was.

Alvin did well while I was at work yesterday.

My neighbour came over at noon to check on him.

They went to the backyard but Alvin would not pee.

Not sure why.

She gave him a biscuit …. guess he never says “no” to food.

Work went great.

It was so nice to see the girls.

There were four plus me on the main floor at the office.

One of the girls I did not see.

But did see the other three.

We all wore masks when we were not at our work stations which were well over 6 ft apart.

In fact we were in opposite corners from each other.

I got everything done just before 1:00 p.m.

My daughter had to cover for a lunch break so she picked me up at 2:30 p.m.

In between I took a lunch break in between and cleaned out my desk.

Nice to have a chat with the girls whom I have not physically seen since March 19, 2020.

Went through papers as there had been a few things that needed to be scanned to client files.

Nothing life threatening.

I sanitized both workstations before I left.

It was a reminder that others have been experiencing large volumes of emails when arriving back from vacation.

I felt not alone in that respect.

Reminder that we are more alike than different.

That things will get done.

I was happy that I was able to work quickly and get my task completed – now one of my teammates won’t have to go to the office on Monday to finish up.

I was in my zone and it went fast.

 

We went to COSTCO after work.

Oh my goodness that place was busy.

I have not seen such a long line at the check-out in years.

People were wearing masks.

Some still had a thing about keeping proper distance though.

 

Now the fridge and pantry are stocked for sure.

 

Alvin was surely happy to see us ….. he was so excited he forgot to go pee until I urged him to go.

I pretty much had to stop what I was doing and say “Alvin go pee” about four times.

What a guy.

 

Perhaps that is why we slept in this morning.

Busy day yesterday.

I folded and stuffed so many envelopes that I rubbed the skin off my hands in two places.

ARGH.

 

Well no real sight of the sun coming out.

Time to get this show on the road.

I have housework to do.

I want to rearrange and clean out the pantry again.

Laundry as usual.

Clean the main floor.

Walk at some point.

Vacuum …..

Write ……

Relax ….. for sure.

 

Living with Kindness and Respect.

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

 

 

Second Half of the NEW YEAR.

Good Saturday Morning,

Yesterday was our Humphrey the Cat from next door’s 6th Birthday.

He is a great friend to Mr. Alvin.

I didn’t realize it was his birthday until later in the morning so I missed mentioning it here.

He is quite the character and we love him dearly.

 

I was thinking about how blessed both Alvin and I are to be surrounded by so many friends.

Both of us have a great many friends.

Do I have friends because of him?

Does he have friends because of me?

I don’t know for sure.

Perhaps a combination of our personalities and his cuteness, of course.

I am grateful that Alvin has a great home.

Alvin endured a rough beginning but the majority of his life has been great despite a few health hiccups along the way.

Nothing serious health wise.

I would always wish that both him and I continue to be in good health.

My wish would be when it is our time to leave this place that we simply go to sleep and not wake up.

Okay off that subject.

 

We slept in this morning …..

As usual we were up earlier and Alvin had breakfast and went outside for his morning “constitutional.”

After that we laid on the sofa and both dreamed away.

I did wake up at 7:30 ish and looked outside to see it was still dry even though the sky is filled with rain clouds.

Thinking that perhaps we should get out for a walk before it rained.

But then my body and mind …. said “no way” and then ….

It was after 9:00 when Alvin and I got up and really started our day.

The sky is overcast and it just started to rain a bit ago.

We will find a spot during the day to go for a walk.

Yesterday we walked at lunchtime and then again after work.

 

So what is on your plate for this Saturday?

Mine, I think will be doing laundry and washing the main floor.

Bit of cleaning.

The blinds still glare at me each time I open and close them.

They are the one thing on my list that I did not complete during my vacation time.

So they do need to be cleaned.

Procrastination, perhaps.

I don’t mind cleaning them but ….

They will get cleaned at some point.

Have to be cleaned before winter for sure.

I think that it is the whole job that now seems so daunting.

There are blinds on every window in the house so that is a lot.

But maybe if I do the main floor one weekend and the upstairs the next, it won’t seem like so many.

Also it won’t take all day to do them.

Yikes, now it is all about the blinds, lol.

 

Another item on my agenda is another haircut and bath for Mr. Alvin.

Man, it seems like only yesterday that I gave him a haircut.

Because he is not a huge fan of getting a haircut, okay not a fan at all, I am trying to trim a bit from his paws each day.

That will help when I do give him a haircut.

What a guy!

 

Writing I am writing my book.

I have not been writing every day, I will not tell a fib.

But I have made some great progress.

I have a lot of material already written which helps.

I have to get it all in one place to edit and then write in the missing pieces.

This happens when you write everyday for most of your life.

The work has been done in some cases (depending on what you are writing, of course).

But I do have a lot of material for this book.

The book about my life with Alvin.

Photos.

I have them, too.

I love looking at photos in books.

So definitely will include some of them.

I also have our “family photos” that my daughter takes every year of me and Alvin.

Alvin really has not changed at all.

Me, on the other hand, well that is a different story.

 

So to end this post, I will post some photos of our dear Humphrey.

A belated Birthday Tribute.

I did post some photos on Instagram yesterday.

 

Happy Birthday Humphrey

I searched and searched and was not able to find one of my favorite photos of Humphrey and Alvin sitting on our bed looking out of the window.

Always realized how many photos I have of Humphrey.

When you are looking for something specific through 40,000 photos …. not easy to find.

Also a great reminder to clean up my photos on the computer and on my phone.

I found duplicates and bad shots.

Oh my goodness ……

 

I hope that you are having a great Saturday.

Time for coffee and breakfast before you know it …. it will be noon.

ARGH.

Oh well …..

Blustery day so good time to get things done in the house.

Just got a text …. coffee tomorrow morning with one of the girls, the other is away.

Always nice to have coffee with a friend.

 

Wishing you the best Saturday filled with kindnesses and respectfulness.

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

 

Second Half of the Year

Good Morning,

Before I get started I would like to send Birthday Wishes to two of my friends.

My friend Carolyn, I have known her since High School and

Our friend Iris, meeting her after I moved to Edmonton.

Both wonderful people and great friends.

 

We are halfway into a beautiful Sunday morning.

Alvin and I have been up to stay up for about two hours now.

We went for a nice walk.

Not too many people out and about until about halfway through our walk.

We saw our friend “Sadie” who was out with her Dad usually we see her with her Mom or Sister.

I love Sadie, she is a white/yellow lab and reminds me of my grandpup Miss Aspen.

So lovely and kind.

The air is so fresh that I had to make a promise to both Alvin and myself that we would always go for a morning stroll.

I think it is the nicest time of the day.

Not too hot or cold.

Usually quiet.

A good time for reflection.

I snapped some photos when we arrived home of our backyard which is our happy place.

They are still loading.

I guess my poor computer is telling me that I MUST get through those almost 40,000 photos and delete the ones that we do not need.

It is one of those jobs that is overwhelming.

But as I tell Alvin when he has problems crossing the doorway …. put one paw/foot in front of the other and soon you will be walking cross the floor.

I remember that line from a song, I think.

Alvin does not really enjoy walking on the laminate floor.

Looks like I will have to do a separate post with the photos as they continue to load.

 

I do wish to report that I am well into Chapter ONE of my book.

Writing is coming easily and I am happy for that.

Likely there will be several edits but I am on the way.

 

Well time to go and have breakfast.

I started about a week ago, actually a week ago today to fast for at least 15 hours between my night meal and morning meal.

I have noticed that I am feeling better.

So that is a good thing.

 

I can hear the computer working to save the photos.

Just wished that they would finish loading soon.

It has been awhile.

Also my dear computer is getting older as far as computers go.

I appreciate her every single day and hope that she will work for me forever.

 

The coffee has been ready for a few minutes and I do not think that I can wait any longer.

I apologize.

I need COFFEE.

When you sit and smell that delectable aroma wafting from the main floor to upstairs …. it is almost mind bending.

I need COFFEE.

Okay, perhaps a bit over the top but I do love a good cup or two of coffee.

Likely should be enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck in this beautiful weather.

 

Okay I am going to go and have that coffee, some toast and fruit and will post the photos later.

I have laundry to bring up from the basement and wash the main floor.

Also I want to trim the paws of my boy (now that is a big job).

 

Be kind and respectful of all around you including yourself.

Enjoy each moment the good with the not so good.

Take time to smell the roses.

Even Mr. Alvin was stopped to smell them this morning.

Yes, he loves roses.

 

I wish you the best Sunday.

May your day be filled with great joy, much love and laughter, feeling great and abundance.

Happy Sunday.

 

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Mr. Alvin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Half of the NEW YEAR.

Well Summer VACATION 2020 is winding down.

Today is the last actual day of vacation and then I have the weekend before heading back to work.

Heading back to work …. to the computer beside me.

I changed my computers around and I think that having the work desk closer to the window will work out better.

As it is by the window …. and the computers are on the desk to my left …. I think it will feel like I have more space, more room.

I did sign onto my work computer just a few minutes ago as my curiosity got the better of me, I needed to know how many emails I had.

Well it was still loading at 183 when I turned it off.

Anyway work is Monday.

 

Today is the 15th Birthday of my eldest great nephew “Azlin.”

I cannot believe he is almost old enough to have a Driver’s license.

He is in high school – how did that happen?

I remember his first sleepover at my home in the apartment.

We had so much fun in our adventures that weekend.

The days, the months and the years somehow seem to slip away as we live our lives.

Wishing the boy …. the young man …. a Very Happy Birthday.

 

Well I have planned for Alvin and I to go on our Annual Summer Adventure.

We head out ….. on our hike past 62nd Avenue which is the border of our neighbourhood.

To the Northlands ….. to the area further north of us.

It is not called Northlands, I am calling it that because this is our adventure and it is the lands north of us.

We will head out to “Goose Island.”

The park has a small island in the middle of the park where the geese and ducks nest.

There is even a couple of walking bridges to check out.

There is a nice area to sit and have a snack.

The wooded area is very cool.

When you walk through it is as if you are walking in a huge forest with a paved path.

I do not remember if we actually went on our hike last year or not.

We will pack some essentials like treats for both of us, water, a mask for me, kleenex, maybe a bandaid or two, my cell phone to take photos and pooping bags for the boy.

I have a nice medium size cross body purse that will hold everything nicely.

Our only block at the moment is the weather.

There are clouds in the sky so I check the weather channel and see what is what for today.

The plan was for this morning but we can always go this afternoon.

I don’t think it is to be a hot one today so early afternoon would work as well.

 

This Pandemic has certainly shown us different ways of doing things.

I had planned to host a Fifth Avenue Jewelry party for tonight at my home before all of this but now it will be on Facebook.

I invited people just as though I was having the party in my home.

Unfortunately no refreshments or treats.

Amber will do four live spots where she will talk about the jewelry and model different pieces.

The first spot will be tonight, two on Saturday and the final one on Sunday.

Very cool idea.

I think more people can take part on their own schedules.

Which is great.

 

I hope that life is treating you well.

If we all could treat ourselves and all others with kindness and respect, the world would eventually heal.

What a great place it would be.

Imagine.

We are sending positive, good energy out to the world on this Friday.

Alvin and I will continue to live our lives with kindness and respect.

Be safe, be healthy and be kind.

 

Take care.

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

Second Half of the NEW YEAR

Good Morning,

Hard to believe after getting up and walking early every morning for a week that on the coolest morning, I want to and did sleep later.

Alvin woke me up just before 4:00 a.m. so downstairs we did go where I gave him one of his glucosamine chews and then outside to pee.

Back in the house I managed to convince him to lay down on the sofa with me.

We were up at 6:22 a.m. and it was breakfast time for the boy.

Outside again.

Now why when it had not rained – did we not go for a walk, I shall never know.

The clouds are deep and heavy in the sky and the wind is gusting.

No rain since we were up the first time.

We could have walked.

We should have walked.

Now it is 8:33 a.m. – the rest of the week, we would have had our walk in, this post done and breakfast done and started doing things around the house but not this day.

So I decided to write this post first and then get dressed and if we are lucky enough not to have rain – then we shall go for a walk.

The windows are open and it has cooled down significantly within the house.

Perhaps with the heat of the week and the huge change overnight in the temperature that provides the reason for me being tired this morning.

Anyway, what can you do.

Besides it is vacation time.

Even on our early up and out we still were sleeping in compared to a regular work day.

Okay, I am dwelling far too long on “sleeping in.”

The wind is certainly blowing something in.

I am grateful for the cool air.

 

So today.

Clean the main floor, literally the main floor.

The bathroom on the main floor and dust a bit.

Otherwise the house has been cleaned.

Laundry is done.

Most of my TO DO LIST is complete.

 

Tonight my kids are coming over to celebrate my birthday early.

They are bringing supper and that is a surprise.

I am not fussy.

 

Yesterday I had a great 1.5 hour video chat with one of my dear friends back in Regina.

Thank goodness for technology.

The next best thing to being in person.

 

Ending the day with a nice visit with Humphrey and Bogart’s Mom over the fence.

The advantage of living in a duplex you have two neighbours that you can chat with over the fence.

My neighbours in the other half …. it is a bit of a stretch to talk over the fence …. literally but can be done.

 

Still no rain.

We better get out there.

Get some exercise.

 

I hope that you all have a great Friday.

Continuing to live with kindness and respect.

Stay safe and in good health.

 

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Mr. Alvin

Second Half of the NEW YEAR.

Good Morning,

Thursday August 6th, 2020.

Three days until my 63rd Birthday.

Yesterday I received a birthday card and letter from my Aunt & Uncle.

I did read the letter and was happy to hear their news and that they were okay.

 

Cannot believe how quickly the time passes.

Yesterday I wrapped and had ready to post the birthday present for my friend back in Regina.

I was going to “phone a friend” to see if someone could go and mail the parcel.

But then I thought …. why?

Instead I asked my neighbour if I could borrow her car and go mail the parcel.

We have a strip mall less than a five minute drive away complete with a drugstore and post office.

For the next bit before I actually went over to grab the keys, I felt a bit sick to my stomach.

At first I blamed it on the heat and then I realized that I was feeling a bit anxious.

This was my first time since March that I had been out in public, in a retail store where there could be many people.

I do not count the VET as they were only allowing one patient at a time.

Occasionally someone would come in for supplies.

The staff were always wiping down the doors, handles, windows, counters and debit machine.

Any place where a human could touch.

They always had sanitizer out on the counter so nothing new.

As I gathered my purse, shoes, sun clips, phone and checking to see if I had my debit card and of course, the main reason for going out, the parcel.

Picked up the keys and shortly thereafter I was on my way.

When I arrived at the parking lot I was amazed at how many cars.

Every person I noticed had a mask on.

There were the disposable light blue ones and many home sewn ones of every description.

After parking I grabbed my purse, the parcel and of course, the mask and locked the car.

As I walked to the drugstore, I slipped on the mask.

I have worn it before at the VET just because it is the right thing to do.

It felt hot on my face as I breathed in and out, momentarily fogging up my glasses.

Once instead I saw friendly faces hidden behind the masks.

I called out to the girls in the cosmetic area.

It is an odd feeling not seeing someone’s face when you are speaking to them.

I had a quick chat with the girls, telling them this was my first time out since working from home started in March.

First retail experience.

The young gal that I know the best “told me not to worry, you have your mask on.”

I felt kind of silly.

Then I was on my way.

First stop “Post Office.”

I noticed the arrows on the floor that no one was following.

There were several people in the store and everyone at that point had a mask on their face.

At the Post Office, I was happy to see only one person ahead of me.

The mask was hot on my face as I spoke to the Clerk in the Post Office asking this and him answering that.

I remembered to pick up stamps.

Once I had mailed the parcel, I decided to pick up a few items as I was at the store.

Walking down the aisles, I spotted the hair colours and walked over to them.

The first thing I did was to pick one up.

Then I placed it back like a hot potato.

Realizing what I had done.

What is the protocol for this?

Is there one?

Do you just look and only touch what you are purchasing?

After that I only looked and picked up what I intended to purchase.

 

At the checkout there was a woman with no mask.

No one knows why?

Perhaps for medical reasons, maybe she did not have one or perhaps she did not care.

When it was my turn at the cashier, I saw in front of me, this plastic wall, a shield protecting the cashiers, with an opening at the bottom to push through the products you were buying.

I must have looked stunned for a moment – I think you can tell that even if your mouth and most of your face is covered.

I had heard from others that most retail stores had this kind of setup but to see it in person, is quite another story.

Seemed like in a bank or in our old office before the renovations or in a New York taxi.

I had a quick chat with the cashier as she rung through my items.

I felt compelled to tell the cashier that this was my first public outing since March, my first retail experience.

Also, I commented on how hot the masks were and asked “Do you ever get used to wearing them?”

She said “No.”

This gave me a whole new appreciation for those folks who work out in the public.

Whether in health care or in retail or anywhere really.

 

Then I was done.

As soon as I was away from the building, I whipped off my mask.

Deep breath.

Into the car and back home.

A sense of accomplishment and relief.

 

I wondered how many folks were in a similar situation to mine?

I have been so blessed over the past few months to have friends and family that pick up my groceries and such.

After this, I am not quite certain if I am ready for grocery shopping or not.

If there were only a couple of people, maybe.

 

This morning we were up a bit earlier than the past few mornings and actually left the house at 7:00 for our walk.

I was surprised at just how many folks were out and about.

Riding bikes, walking with a friend or like me walking with their dog.

Another hot day so I must get going.

Time to have coffee and breakfast before getting some housework done.

After lunch it is just too hot to be doing much inside the house.

 

Living with respect and kindness.

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

 

 

 

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