Life in the time of the worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic, also known as the Coronapocalypse.
(I made up the word “Coronapocalypse” because it is a fitting description of the situation. Feel free to use it.)
Congratulations! You have finished Netflix!
At the time of this writing, I have been sheltering in place for over six weeks. I am a bit of a germaphobe so I started March 1, a couple weeks before the state shut down. I’m only a so-so prepper, so I got a mask and as much food and water as I could store in my small space, which isn’t much. I had the gloves (an RV tank necessity). I did not horde TP, cleaning products and hand-sanitizer. I already had plenty of cleaning supplies, not that you’d know by looking at my place.
I enjoyed the first three weeks of utter solitude, peace and quite. The world is blissfully still. Traffic went from insanely full of Spring Breakers and people who were now “working from home” but vacationing here, to virtually no traffic at all. I did not miss people – at first. But, wait! There’s more…
I’m currently at the gulf coast, near the Florida-Alabama border. Yes, near the infamous Florabama. I’ve been there a couple times, but tend to stay away when there are large events and crowds. It’s mostly a massive bar that serves food, and has nightly entertainment. And church on Sundays.
Wait, what? Church in a bar?
Welcome to the south!
This is not the only church in a bar in this area. There are two that I know of.
You must have questions. I know you have questions. I did.
Yes, they server alcohol during the service and many people go grab a drink before taking their seat.
No, the seats are not your traditional church pews, but rather uncomfortable seating with a bar in the same area.
In the case of the Florabama, it’s those uncomfortable plastic folding chairs. The service is large by local standards and held in an open-air tent that covers a large patio area off the bar. I have been to this service twice.
The other, which is a Unity Church that has moved between several bars/restaurants in my scant time here, the seating is whatever the bar/restaurant offers, be it uncomfortable wooden bar stools or worn-out booths. I attended this one on several occasions, but found the atmosphere most distracting. I don’t drink and don’t mind if I’m around it, but it was just weird to be in “church” with the constant noise of bar sounds competing with the sermon.
While taking a bite out of the Big Apple, several bucket list items were checked off: Times Square, eating NY-style pizza in NY, The Top of The Rock, Central Park, and The Met. (If you missed it, the first post on my trip to New York is here.)
Sculpture in Times Square. This is a depiction of the famous 1932 photo “Lunch atop a Skyscraper”, which chronicled a moment in time of the steelworkers eating lunch high above the ground.
It was a decent walk from Times Square to Central Park. Central Park was not at all what I expected. I’m not sure what I expected (likely based on scenes from TV shows), but it was huge, very pretty, and full of fellow tourists, and excellent street performers, occasionally interspersed with sellers of maps and overpriced filtered bottled water.
I wound my way through Central Park to The Met. The Met was incredible! It, too, was huge. I’m still not sure I made it to every room.
All in all, I walked several miles through NYC from the hotel in Times Square, to Central Park, to and through The Met, and then back.
My first time as a tourist in The Big Apple was amazing: Times Square, NY-style pizza, Top of The Rock, Central Park, and The Met! It was another business trip on which I followed Jeff but, but unlike Minnesota, it was warm and we had a blast! (In case anyone is wondering or even paying attention to my dear neglected blog, I’m still behind on my posts, so this one was just over two years ago, a little over a year before Jeff passed. Currently, I’m still enjoying the FL/AL gulf coast for the winter.)
We stayed in a hotel on Times Square – and it was there that I finally understood why they call it “the city that never sleeps”. No matter the time of day or night I looked out the high-rise window, the bright lights illuminated throngs of people mingling around the Square: people walking to and from some unknown location, street performers, people sitting on concrete planter walls or leaning against building walls, city maintenance workers and street cleaners. One thing I expected to see but did not was hookers and drug dealers. (Clearly, I watch too much TV.)
Times Square selfie
Many Bucket List items were crossed off on this trip, not the least of which was to have NY-style pizza in New York. I took the proverbial (and literal) bite out of the Big Apple… But, wait! There’s more…
While I have posted since this trip to the frozen tundra, I am more than a bit behind in posting some trips in chronological order. In all honesty, it was about two years ago I went to St Paul and I have about two years of sightseeing posts to catch up on. So, without further ado…
It was a crisp, cold day in St. Paul, Minnesota, the kind where the air is so clear that you can see for miles. And there was nothing to do – all. day. long. It was f’n cold out, too cold to go outside for long. And that was almost the only notable part of the trip.
I had tagged along on a business trip of Jeff’s, some big annual chicken convention. Er, I should say “poultry” convention if I want to be fancy about it. But I don’t. It was a chicken convention. I had hoped some of his coworker’s wives would come, but none of them were as dumb interested in attending the chicken convention as I was. Apparently, they had been to one before. One is enough.
We were only there for three days, and I can amuse myself just about anywhere. Day one consisted of eight hours of sitting in the hotel room. No, really. I. didn’t. leave. the. room. once. in eight hours. Just working on my computer, I spent the day in blissful peace and uninterrupted quiet, except for the TV and the occasional knock on the door from room service.
You may be wondering why I didn’t go to the big mall. The Mall of the Americas, kind of on my bucket list, was too far away by cab ride to make it worth the trip. I didn’t feel like going by cab and by myself just to see a mall. In the snow.
However, the highlight of the trip was a brisk – and chilly – walk around the neighborhood. Those of you who’ve followed this blog, know how much I love ornate churches. Oddly, I’m not religious. I admire the churches for the amazing works of art which they are. Art inside of art inside of art. That, and they all have a wonderful, peaceful energy about them.
Today, I present the Cathedral of St. Paul: 43,500 square feet of gilded opulence. And some bunny foot prints. Everyone say it with me: SLIDESHOW! But, wait! There’s more…
I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Amazon has hookers and drugs for sale!
No lie. AMAZON the online bookstore/everything store – has hookers and drugs listed for sale. And this post is not safe for work because of nudity and pictures of drug use – Thanks for that, Amazon. Now people will have to wait until they get home to read this.
With Father’s Day approaching, I have been searching for a gift for my dad. He isn’t easy to buy for because he buys himself most anything he wants that’s anywhere near the price-range I can afford. However, as you will undoubtedly wonder as you read the rest of this article, I was not planning to get him a hooker or drugs. He is happily married and doesn’t even like prescription drugs, let alone illegal drugs.
So on Amazon.com, I searched for “military equipment and accessories”. He is an avid gun collector, occasional hunter, and lover of all things tactical. (I am grateful he taught me to shoot when I was a young girl.) After an already lengthy search, I was suddenly hopeful that this category would end my long and previously fruitless search.
Let me first explain how I sorted the results: I first sorted by “lowest to highest price”. A bunch crap for one penny came up – clearly those common “click bait ads” made to lure you in to clicking on a product that is actually much more.
So then I sorted by “highest to lowest price” figuring I’d quickly scroll to a suitable price range. And this is what I got… But, wait! There’s more…
Not for lack of trying, I didn’t see any vampires while I was there – at least that I know of. My friend and I toured Lafayette Cemetery (which was likely FULL of vampires), the French Quarter (any vampires were hiding from the daylight or well disguised), and the Basilica (where there were no vampires, probably).
The French Quarter…
When in Rome NOLA, do as the locals do (and probably every tourist within 100 miles). This was my first time in NOLA so our first stop was the famous Cafe Du Monde for benigets and coffee, of course. Fortified with sugar and caffeine, we were ready to do NOLA take on vampires, and ride in a pimp-driven carriage.
Joan of Arc, Maid of New Orleans. The shiny gold statue greets you on Decatur Street as you enter the French Quarter.
(I started writing this post a few months ago. It has been the hardest post I’ve ever written. Certainly not my best work, but definitely the hardest message to articulate.)
Time stopped for me today.
Jeff, my best friend, my love, my partner in crime passed away. That one person who cared about the minutiae of my day isn’t here anymore.
And time has stopped for me.
You all know him, to one degree or another. He was a “background extra” in many of the photos on this blog. He was shy and said he didn’t want to appear in photos. But he secretly enjoyed it and later came to face the camera head-on putting aside any lingering self-consciousness. He was also the occasional subject of posts: some about our travels, some about his support, and some briefly mentioning our highs and lows or the struggles of alcoholism.
Jeff had the bggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known.
Y’all know how I don’t like to be on the gulf coast when big storms are coming. Until the hurricane passes, I usually go up the road a ways to Mississippi. On one of those trips, I stayed at LeFleur’s Bluff State Park right in Jackson. It’s a beautiful park right on the Pearl River.
When in Mississippi, I go see stuff. Which brings us to a brief slide show…
Most of you are aware of my penchant for rescuing stray cats (and wounded men, but that’s another post). Pye was a stray cat before she adopted me. Her extra long frame and large body belie the undersized, sickly stray kitten she was when she arrived on my doorstep six years ago.
She turned six years old this past March. For her birthday, I got her a “kitty tent” with attached toys. She can hide inside it, stick her head or a paw through openings, play with the hanging toys. She loved it for about two hours. Now she is bored with it. (But not the other toy I got her!)