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. . .  at a prescribed distance.

Six feet, to be precise.

We are in a stay-in-place order here in Illinois. Self-isolation and self-quarantine divine our spaces in ways we never imagined. We are not alone. Many of you who are reading this are hunkered down as well in these days and months of this beastliest of invaders – COVID19.

I hope and pray that you are all safe and well and that you have enough provisions, comfort and faith.

We are doing well, here on the Cutoff. Oh, we have our anxious moments, worry about each other, our family and our friends. We fret and ponder and offer prayers of faith and gratitude while holding, tight-fisted onto hope.

Lest you think we are wallowing, please know we are not. Tom and I try to take a long walk each day together. Even while socially distanced, the fresh air in March is invigorating and the exercise good for our overall health. Our daughter, Jennifer, has joined us on a few walks during fast spreading menace. We meet at a forest preserve equidistant from our homes. While we share no hugs before walking the paths at Fullersburg Woods and maintain a 6 foot distance, I find it amazing that we three wanderers can have such chatty conversations while still keeping our mandated distance.

Social Distance

(Methinks the shortest one should not have been taking this selfie. Trust me, there is 6 feet between the Antler Man and me, and the same between him and Jennifer.)

The other day, I took advantage of the designated shopping hours offered to senior citizens. Both large chain stores and small independents have stepped up to give older shoppers designated, early hours to shop. I needed some, er, feminine products and my B12 vitamins and a few grocery items. I headed out early to my neighborhood Jewel/Osco. The store would be opened from 7- 8 am specifically for the elderly set.

Half way between 7 and 8 am, there was a gaggle of gals looking in the pharmacy section and a bunch of old men who didn’t seem to  know why they were there. Three women of a certain age, myself included, stood 6 feet apart, our shopping carts parked where we were sure to forget them. We stared at a wall of incontinence products. It was lined with sedate wrappers. None of us could find what we needed. It was hilarious. One woman would point and say, “is that the one you want? “No, but, is this the one for you?” We finally just stood there, stranger, laughing, made all the heartier when one said “we’ll probably all wet our pant”s.

We each went on our way, I picked up some canned fruit (so in case we need it) as well as one package of the coveted toilet paper, which I might need since I couldn’t find my feminine product.

It was at the check-out lane that silliness left me. While the lines moved well, the visual of the 6 foot rule was apparent. I was the last one in line. The checker scanned my items as the bagger put them in paper sacks. As I finished my transaction, I looked at the bagger, a woman about my age. She smiled and I said “Thank you for being here.”  That was all I said as she looked into my eyes and burst out crying. “No one ever thanks us”. 

It was a simple thing to do – a reminder that we all need to be kind and remember how precious those two words can be.

Thank you.

 

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