It is Fathers’ Day. My son Rafi is a father — a devoted, loving father and I am proud of him. Surely, he and his lovely Chandra are raising a son who will also be a loving father.
I remember when I’d be pushing little Rafi, dressed in red overalls, in his stroller and strangers would comment: ‘What a beautiful little girl.’ He WAS pretty with his soft brown curls and it didn’t matter to me. I’d just say: ‘Thank you.’ (Red is still my favourite colour.)
When Rafi was very little, we didn’t have the fancy olives displayed in the grocery markets today. I used to buy black olives in cans. He’d push one on each finger and march around the kitchen thrilled with himself. I’d chuckle. He was so much fun.
His sister Susan loved him, but couldn’t help but take advantage of him occasionally. When he was about four, she told him a nickel was worth more than a dime because the nickel was bigger. She was offering to exchange her nickel for his dime. I overheard the transaction and scolded her. Rafi, always the peacemaker, insisted he was the one who wanted the nickel.
I wish my son Rafi, who has given me so much pleasure through the years, all the best on this day devoted to men like him. I am also proud of him and of all his accomplishments.
While being spoiled rotten by my kids and loving it, a neighbour from home emailed about a new form called ‘ArriveCAN’ I needed to complete.
Son Rafi photographed all my papers, completed it and printed an important-looking page for me to turn in at the border.
Simple right? Wrong! Officials didn’t care about it. I think they hadn’t a clue what it was. I was glad I had carried all my documents.
The stupidest part? Flying from anywhere in the US to the U.S., no tests are required. (Daughter Susan did just that to join us.) I, however, crossing the Canadian border, needed another COVID test. Cost: $301. U.S. Why the $1.?? It SEEMS ridiculous!
My direct flight home being cancelled, I had to fly from San Francisco to Seattle. The plane was full. Those debarking in Seattle had NOT been tested. They wore masks, removed while snacking and drinking, etc. How safe was that??? My second plane from Seattle to Canada had few passengers. (How many nuts like me are there?)
Arriving at my own airport, I made my way past one guy after another (All male. In uniform. More intimidating???) showing each ALL my documents.
Finally one said: “You’re good to go,’ Yeah! I was tired.
The next guy, however, decided I must take another COVID test ‘tomorrow’. Exhausted, I accepted the box, dragged myself home and crashed.
Next morning: I read the instructions and panicked. I was to make a video of myself taking the test??? Are they kidding? I don’t know how to do that! Plus, I’m to take another test in 6 days.
I immediately called the number given and while a machine kept telling me how important I was, held for about 2 hours, thinking about that $5,000 fine someone got for not following instructions upon return. Finally, someone answered and asked me to hold.
‘Please, don’t disconnect me…’
He came back. He’d be putting me on hold again for awhile. He needed to find out what I was to do. I waited nervously. Finally, he said to take the test and dial 1-888-744-7123 for Purolator to pick it up. This I did. Purolator came and — refused to take it.
‘But that’s what I was just told to do! Please, please call your supervisor,’ I begged. He reluctantly did. No dice. Why? Why?
’We didn’t get the contract. FedEx did. You have to call them.’
Time was passing. I was getting terrified. $5,000??? I called FedEx.
They WOULD pick it up — that day!!! And did! Whew!
I ate some cold beans right out of the can, (fridge was empty) took the phone off the hook so I wouldn’t be disturbed, and slept.
It must be Thanksgiving in the States because I received a couple of cards in the mail today. As a kid I loved Halloween, but as an adult, Thanksgiving is my absolute favourite. I have much to be grateful for and don’t at all mind thinking of this holiday more than once a year. (In Canada, we celebrate it earlier, so I get to do so twice.)
I’m grateful for the love of my children, son Rafi, his loving wife Chandra and their son Remy, daughter Susan and her Michael, plus others I love who care about me here and in the US.
It’s been rough with much happening where I live (or perhaps it’s that much that should be happening hasn’t been happening) and I’m exhausted by it all. Thus, I haven’t the mindset to write the post I would have wanted to, so I’ll cheat and use another one of daughter Susan’s ‘Muriel Says…’ instead.
That my daughter thinks anything I say is worth using on her Facebook is absolutely astounding to me. Yes, I love her too….
I miss a lot of things these days. I miss my children who live in the U.S. — the border is closed. We love to laugh and behave nutty.
I miss friends I can’t see. I miss my book club. I miss using public transportation. (Protective loved ones don’t want me to.) My body, however, misses my Arthritis ‘Joint-works’ class I attended before the pandemic.
Dr. Google says there are about 360 joints in our bodies, and mine are loudly complaining about neglect, especially when I try to sleep.
I INTENDED to do them. I know how important they are, but somehow, it hasn’t happened as often as it should.
It ought to be easy, I’ve been good about using my Exercycle for years, but that takes little effort. Climb on, click on the DVD I’m currently watching, and viola.
Rebecca and Brian, my wonderful L.A. ‘kids’, exercise on their own at home every day. They never miss. But, too often, I do and my old bones aren’t happy. The ‘Joint-works’ routine IS complicated and requires many different movements, and I allow life to get in my way — much too often.
The class was also social and I miss that aspect of it. We all had Arthritis, had bonded, and often met for coffee afterwards. If I had been reluctant to go in the first place, I allowed myself to feel noble afterwards. It was all good.
So tell me why three weeks can now pass without ‘finding the time’ to do those exercises at home? I know they matter — I’m not totally stupid. Suggestions anyone???
Today is a very special day. I’m getting my first haircut in a long, long time. My curly hair has been having a wonderful time disobeying me and making me crazy by behaving like a hormone-crazed teenager.
It does just as it pleases and won’t listen to me no-how. Why should it worry? I still carefully shampoo and condition it no matter what it does. Maybe I should pull it hard until the roots hurt, but that would probably hurt me more than it would the hair.
Never imagined I could be so excited about something
Lynne braided my rat’s tail
so ordinary. Lynne, my stylist, will be able to make a braid with my rat’s tail and I’ll be able to send grandson Remy a photo of it. Yeah! I’m trying to act cool, but I admit to being anything but.
This project was front and centre when I awoke this morning. I purposely wore an old top because no matter how Lynne tries, I end up with itchy bits of hair under my shirt and tear it off as soon as I get home — unfortunately I can’t do that in the elevator. Decency requires I wait until I get into my own apartment.
Yup, sometimes I even groan.
Meanwhile folks, my new computer and I are doing a careful, uneasy dance around each other. I’m trying to learn more about dealing with the confusions (plural) it throws at me. It seems to endlessly enjoy seeing me in a state of despair. Yup, sometimes I even groan.
Last night that technological wonder gave me a new lesson on control. Dear Andrew had found a totally different game of solitaire for me. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the new challenge while I listen to ‘Ideas’ on CBC Radio. I like to do that and by my age I feel entitled to indulge.
I could sure use that…
When I finally turned in, my right hand and wrist ached and complained so much I found it impossible to sleep. I’ve already had surgery on that wrist so you’d think I’d know better, but no. I still have more learning to do — about CONTROL! No more than three games at a time from now on. Wish me luck…
I was content with my old computer. When the machine was about 11 years old, the Apple store which sold it to me refused to service it because, they said, it was too old. Ha. I just had it repaired elsewhere and managed my email, wrote my blog, and daughter Susan had just shown me how to take a photo with it although I’d already had it for about 14 years. Start over? What? Are you nuts?
This year I was told I could no longer do my tax return on it; and Rafi could no longer save my butt using TeamViewer, which
I DO get desperate
had been useful when I was desperate. Where computers are concerned, I DO get desperate — often. WWWEEELLLLLL, I had to rethink what I thunk. (I also admit I was terrified at having to learn how to use a new electronic device.)
Probably how poor Rafi felt
COVID:19 came along and thus Rafi is spending more time at home. He suggested this was a good time for me to take the big step. He chose a computer to suit my needs and promised to be helpful AND patient. He’s managed that — almost always. (Don’t be judgmental, I’m not YOUR mother. Lucky you!)
Because of everything else happening, our tax people gave us extra time to file, so the first thing I attempted on this brand-new machine, which can do 98% more than I’ll ever need, was to do my tax return. Well folks, I’m not totally useless — I’m just technologically challenged. I made it! I did my return and e-filed it! Congrats to me. Yeah!
Andrew, my priceless local ‘grandson’ ordered the computer online for me and set it up when it arrived. He spent oodles and oodles of time transferring information from my old computer. I never could have managed without him.
Wouldn’t you like to open your computer and see this?
Then, just to make me happy, he managed to find a beautifully-coloured hummingbird for my desktop. I love it! Wouldn’t you like to open your computer and see this? (I love Andrew and he is gorgeous, but I didn’t know how to take photos yet the other day when he was here.) I am, indeed, a lucky gal.
Vinson, keeping me sane
Today, Vinson, my other handsome and also priceless local ‘grandson’ came by and transferred the rest of what was left over. He’s keeping me sane. I am now exploring the possibilities of managing to function. However, the question is, will I be able to get this post out to you???
The last time my San Francisco crew visited, I teased Remy about his long braid. After admiring it, I suggested he not dare fall asleep at night because I would cut it off and glue it on for myself. He laughed. He wasn’t terrified. (I’m using his photo here with his permission.)
I had no idea it was called a ‘rat’s tail’. Why would I? It was my patient friend Celine, who made my first real braid and commented that’s what it looked like. I thought it was because my hair is grey and Remy’s is black, (like mine used to be).
Then, son Rafi told me it WAS called a ‘rat’s tail’. Imagine! I keep learning folks. Don’t we all NEED to know these things? Aren’t you glad I’m telling you?
I’m a determined sort. Ask my kids. It drives them nuts.
All I could do was make a small ponytail
So, I continued to let my own rat’s tail grow, but now I’m isolating because of COVID:19 and giving friends and others I love a break by not seeing anyone. I’m definitely not talented enough to make a braid for myself in the back of my head. Forget it. All I could do was make a small ponytail and hope for the best.
The lovely braid Samantha made
Then, finally Samantha visited wearing a mask, washed her hands 100 times, etc., etc., etc. but still beautiful. What a treat. She made a lovely braid for me. I loved it. The next morning, it was stubbornly curled up to the left and no way was it willing to straighten out.
Note the stubborn curl toward the left of photo
Want some good advice? Watch out what you wish for. You may get it AND regret it. I had straight jet-black hair and would have sold my young soul to the devil to have it curl. Well, now I’ve got what I then wanted so badly. My grey hair IS wavy. I hate it! It drives me crazy. It won’t wave the way I’d want it to. It is totally uncontrollable. Sometimes it looks like the 1920s. Oh, woe is me… I’m back to nothing but a silly little ponytail.
You mean I didn’t make you cry with this very sad tale about my tail??
Today I am proudly sharing my son Rafi’s thoughts on COVID:19. I think you will agree he is more able than I to express his heartfelt feelings about these troubling times.
I feel so lucky to have Rafi, his lovely wife Chandra, and my brilliant, wonderful grandson Remy, whom they are raising so well, in my life. (Do I sound like a grandma???)
Here’s what Rafi wrote. I thank him for allowing me to share it with you.
I tend not to pray
I hope, I wish, I ask, I wonder
But pray I have chosen to not
Today, however, I find myself hungering for a prayer
A prayer for the homeless and the housed, the young and the old, the unknown and the celebrated, the powerless and the powerful
A prayer for those less fortunate and for those who have more
This crisis brings us into balance, the fear heightens our commonality, and the unknown leaves us without answers. All of us. Together
As we face this adversary, we are all on equal footing – we sit in isolation, we work, we learn, we argue and love in virtual worlds. All of us. Together
Today tests our sense of accomplishment, our goals and ambitions for the future
For why be earnest if tomorrow never comes? Why begin when the end is nigh?
Why? Because we are in this. All of us. Together.
I hunger for and have found my prayer
It is in the sun that rises and sets, in the blossoms that are born in the spring, and in the “we” that perseveres
It is that hope is a harbinger of these cycles’ continuum
It is that in my wife, my son, and our extended families I find happiness when there seems none to have
It is that we can find community in friends old and new, and in neighbors who leave a loaf of homemade bread at your door
It is from the hugs that will be had and the glasses that will be clinked
It is from the fact that tomorrow brings with it the potential for more than what exists today
Chandra, Remy and Rafi
I tend not to pray
I hope, I wish, I ask, I wonder
But pray, I have been chosen to
I love people and miss seeing dear ones ordinarily in my life, but I’m also aware I owe many a big thank you. Some are friends and neighbors, and others are strangers. If I listed all of them, this would be a book and not a post, so forgive me if I haven’t mentioned you, you matter too.
Thank you to:
Friends and family who keep in touch so often by phone and email.
The people in my neighborhood who write: ‘Things will get better’ on the sidewalks in chalk.
Neighbor Mairona and friend Chris, who, upon reading my post complaining about not having enough reading material, each delivered bags of books to my door.
Mairona and her husband Wayne, who are always willing to pick up anything I may need.
Garth, whom I miss seeing at my favorite local cafe, who sends me beautiful cards and notes.
My dear ‘daughter’ Amy who goes shopping for me, arrives at my door wearing a mask and hands me my groceries, and checks in often by phone.
Those who step off the curb to be at the proper distance when they see this old gray-haired woman pushing her walker on our narrow sidewalks. (It is more difficult for me to do that. I always thank them.)
Joe wearing his Vancouver T-Shirt
My dear Beverly Hills friend Joe, who understands me and regularly puts up with my nutty ideas.
The strangers who, after I thank them for giving me space, have chatted with me from a safe distance as we pass each other. It helps me feel less isolated.
My son Rafi, who calls me just about every day, and my daughter Susan as well, who checks in so often.
Alison, my ‘granddaughter’ who calls me almost every day too.
Alison’s dad, who took the time out of his own busy schedule, (he’s a medical doctor) to drive her over so Alison and I could have a SAFE chat in person, both of us in masks out on the sidewalk.
All my friends who check in with me.
The woman I don’t know, whom I told I missed hugs most of all, who offered me one from a distance. I returned it. It isn’t the same, but it helped.
And, speaking of hugs, if you know me personally, know that I’m keeping track of all the hugs you owe me and I intend to collect for sure when this is all over.
So you’ve been biting your nails, anxiously waiting to learn what you’ve always wanted to know — what I found in my junk drawer. It’s been an exciting project. I’m learning a lot during this solitary COVID-19 life, which I’m now passing on to you, my readers — free of charge!
Firstly, I was surprised at how pristine my junk
looks like mine
drawer actually was. My cabinets were installed 28 years ago and it had never ever been emptied.
Here’s a hint for you: Never work with food on your kitchen counters while drawers below are open. That way, no food or crumbs get into them. (Now, aren’t you lucky to have been given this brilliant tip? Also free of charge?)
My drawers ALL look like junk drawers
I learned that all my kitchen drawers LOOK like junk drawers and I marvel at how my loved ones knew which I was talking about when I used that term. Will they recognize it now?
It’s about a week since I neatened my junk drawer. It will take about a week until it’ll be back to it’s familiar mess. But that’s okay, I’ll then know whose kitchen I’m in.
Stuff I found:
Tin foil to sharpen scissors, rose made of wood, metal straws w/cleaning brush, and bottle opener from France
A beautiful rose made of wood (I think) by Dusty, a wood-wright who moved away. We used to have morning coffee at Benny’s, which is gone too. (Dusty follows my blog. I’m keeping it.)
Left over tin foil, to sharpen scissors. (Another tip! It really works. Cut foil with your dull scissors.)
Some metal straws with a cleaning brush, a gift from Alison. I’m enjoying one I use on my office desk. (You can’t have any, no way Jose.)
A bottle opener, from Paris, with Napoleon on one side and the Eiffel tower on the other. (Please take it.)
A butterfly pin, given me by a friend just before she checked out for good. It reminds me of her and it’ll stay.
Two items to split seed shells, used (I think) for watermelon seeds. Chinese students’ families used to give me them because I like them. (If you know where to buy them I’ll be your best friend.)
Four key chains, with lights. Friends know I like them with a light. (Up for grabs.)
One something to hold tea leaves. I don’t drink tea and have teabags for friends. (Also up for grabs.)
How long will it last???
This most exciting post about a thrilling COVID:19 project is my attempt to help you manage the current crisis. What next? Maybe I’ll find a way to get a hug one of these days. I miss them most of all. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know….