Thoughts

I spent over twenty years in the military, 1974 to 1995. The Cold War was underway. The U.S. and U.S.S.R. and the allies of each were constantly ready to fight a war. Stationed in Germany for several years, we used to practice wearing our hazmat suits and gas masks, taking shelter as we were attacked. I did the same during war games in Korea and Egypt.

Wearing the suits and masks wasn’t fun. That experience rendered it much easier to wear masks during the pandemic. These masks over our mouths, attached to our ears, are much easier to wear.

I’ve just finished reading The Splendid and the Vile. This book by Erik Larson covers Winston Churchill’s first year as Prime Minister. World War II had begun six months before. The London Blitz began that first year, 1940. The tales of deprivation are stunning. Larson uses multiple sources to weave a narrative not just about Churchill, England, and the Blitz, but about Hitler, Goering, Goebbels, Hess, FDR, and the many people around Churchill coping with him, helping Churchill, and hunting for the way forward.

Imagine those times in the United Kingdom as bombers flew overhead through the night skies, dropping incendiary devices, and then bombs, feeling the ground shake with violence as buildings were shredded and people were killed. Imagine being one of those people in London and other cities, enduring as food and tea was rationed, gas, electric, and water services were interrupted, fighting fires, worrying about unexploded bombs if you survived the raid, then going to work. Imagine sleeping in air raid shelters in squalid conditions. Imagine the black-out demands where lights were left off, forcing all to stumble through darkness.

And so many here, in 2021, complain about social distancing. They won’t wear a mask, because fake news. Freedom.

They know nothing. They should have been in London or any of the other cities around the world that experienced these conditions. Then maybe they’d realize what sacrifice means. A mask? Six feet apart?

Really. It is nothing.

Wear the mask. Stay positive. Test negative. Get the vax.

Sorofloofmist

Sorofloofmist (floofinition) – International service organization made up of females dedicated to improving the lives of animals.

In use: “Sorofloofmists often work behind the scenes, quietly organizing fundraisers to help animal shelters with food and spending shortfalls, or finding the funding for animals who need surgery.”

Traces

Different floofs leave these places

with bits of fur and other traces

bite marks, claw scratches,

round dimples in furniture

where they made their beds

their scents fade

and the signs disappear

but we remember these floofs

which we hold so dear

Defloofciation

Defloofciation (floofinition) – 1. The loss of love and caring for an animal, such as a family pet.

In use: “Pets often suffer from defloofciation, becoming abandoned as families move away, leaving them behind, a situation that often angers, sickens, and disgusts true animal lovers.”

2. The reduction of animals in a home.

In use: “Once she had several cats and two dogs, but her declining health soon forced defloofciation, and now she had many pictures of former pets, and just one who lived with her.”

Sunday’s Theme Music

Spring has a solid grip on this Sunday, May 2, 2021. Clouds tinker with the sunshine. Mountain breezes manipulate the temperature. Snow remnants haunts mountains on the valley’s other side, above shadowy stretches of green that turn into deep jade.

Sunshine first broke cover at 6:05 AM, and will flee for the night at 8:11 PM. Our highs will seek now familiar ranges in the lower sixties.

We ride the unending roller coaster of COVID-19 news around here, up one day, down the next. Vaccinations have stolen past 28% of Oregon’s population. Jackson County, where I call home, had shown a disturbing trend, with the seven-day averaging climbing. It peaked at 49 a few days ago. Now we’re down to 41. We’ve been through this before. After Christmas and New Year, the cases had been declining. Then they rose to levels not recorded since last November.

We visited Curry County last week. The seven-day average had increased from three to four cases there. A relatively remote location on Oregon’s coast, reached by Highway 101 going north and south, they haven’t suffered many cases, but have experienced the morale of businesses being shut, lockdown, and social distancing. Disappointing to note that some businesses had signs up requiring masks, but weren’t enforcing it. On the whole, though, masks were worn, usually correctly, and distancing practiced.

Today’s song is the 1981 Stray Cats song, “Rock This Town”. The song arrived on neurons’ back, their origins unknown, joyous vagabonds stealing through my brain with their musical message. I like the song, so I went with it. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get that vax. Cheers

The Sentencing Dream

I dreamed I’d been caught doing something wrong. Although I can’t recall details, it wasn’t major, like killing anyone, but constituted a significant failure on my part. A short trial found me guilty. Punishment was forthcoming.

I sulked, alone, although surrounded by others, none that I knew of as family nor friend. Returning to where I was staying, I discovered everything being rearranged. My room had been changed, which infuriated me. The whole place was dimly light, very dark, full of shadows. Seeking the common area where I thought I’d read and watch television, really, do anything to distract myself, I found a man there re-arranging everything. “Part of a big project,” he explained. I wanted to know more about this big project. Everything familiar was gone. The books and television had been removed, as had the chairs. The windows were covered, along with every exit except one door. Maroons and dark blues dominated. There was an old carnival funhouse feel to the room.

My exasperation leaped. “What’s going on? What’s the point of all of this?” The guy working on it, snide, young, smug, white, and bald, refused to explain anything, acting as though it was all above me. I had little grounds to do anything because I’d lost my authority as I awaited sentencing.

This drove me to attempt to leave the room. Extricating myself wasn’t as easy as it should have been, as others were coming through the door. Taking initiative, I found a panel which resembled a stylized red and white question mark. I was able to swivel it up and to the left, then leveraged myself out through the small opening.

Although I was outside my shared quarters, I was still in a building; it was buildings in a building. I was wondering when my sentence was going to come down. Maybe the delay was good news. Maybe it was bad. I walked around, spotting some familiar faces, including the judge who’d sentenced me. A few years older than me, he’d been boss and casual friend. Seeing me, he smiled and waved, but the turned away. Others, though, who’d been cool, were suddenly friendly. I’d been feeling like a pariah, I realized, but now they seemed to be letting me back in.

It was giving me hope. The dream ended on that note.

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