A Shot in the Dark – – –

Jack hits the spot a day early for the first time ever – – –

I’m scheduled for my first Covid 19 vaccine shot next Wednesday and the second twenty eight days later. I feel pretty euphoric about it! I should be safe to be around folks a week after the second shot.

It will have been about a year after going into strict hibernation when I emerge and it’s interesting to look back on how I’ve survived, how life changed and what kept me (relatively) sane during that time.

Wendy and I live in a rural area that, for various reasons, didn’t sign on to the advice and rules regarding controlling the spread of the virus; very patchy mask wearing or social distancing. So she kept me in the house throughout except to take the trash for re-cycling and filling the cars with gas – these were my luxury outings, but wearing a mask and gloves. And once we went to view Christmas lights! She did all the shopping, chose her times of day carefully and was meticulous about changing clothes, sanitizing bought stuff and getting even the floors in the house mopped with a bleach solution where she had walked in the house. 

That might seem like some kind of jail term but it wasn’t. Because she has been able to work from home I’ve been busy with lots of domestic chores – a house husband. So I mowed our yard, did most of the meal planning and cooking, did various long delayed house repairs etc. We have five recalcitrant cats and I’m the cleaner up of their litter trays and accidents (because I’ve no sense of smell), and a very lazy dog and they provide lots of diversion. I’ve also continued to record my radio programs and to interact on-line with friends and old colleagues, so I haven’t felt trapped or depressed at all. I also, like many musical friends, videoed many songs and stuck them up on YouTube for posterior (SP?).

I wonder what the world will look like post Covid 19? I suspect it will be very different, but sometimes, the more things change….

A famous British Prime Minister once described the uncertainty of political life as having far less to do with planning and policy than “events, dear friends, events” (Harold MacMillan). The same has been true for everyday life, this year. Wendy has to wait in line until she can get the vaccine shots – we may have to separate – –

Although several times during this year we looked at each other and said what is now our tag line: “We’ve been locked in here xx days/weeks/months now and I still love you.” Twenty three years and one quarantine later, that counts for something.

Leave a comment

Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, folklore and ethnography, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch


The Monday Book will return next week.

I’ve watched it multiple times, the video of 12:53 Wednesday Jan. 6, when a group trying to get into the capitol heaved broken security fencing at five officers trying to keep them out.

You can find it everywhere online. Since FOX, CNN, Politico, and NY Post all have it, one can safely believe it actually happened.

Watch the right-hand corner. As the people trying to get in shake the fence to break it, and as enough of them get their hands on it to be able to literally pick it up and hurl it at the officers, one officer falls down. And he stays down. The only word that accurately describes his body language is “cowers.” (No judgement here.) He curls on the steps, covering his face. His shoulders are heaving. Based on body language, the officer on the stairs seems to be a young man. Can’t tell for sure.

The bulk of the guys trying to get in continue toward the other four officers, and their efforts seem to divide into two parts. Some want to crush the officers under the fence, push them against the steps with the metal until they… what? Leave it there. Others are done with the fencing and the police the instant they can get through; they rush up the stairs into the building.

But in the right-hand corner, as the camera (iPhone?) swings left to see the violence, a guy in a red ball cap (one assumes it is a MAGA hat) reaches his hand toward the cowering officer. It is a “here let me help you up” hand.

Everybody was making decisions in that moment. None of us can know what MAGA said to Officer as he extended that hand, but his offer of help signals one thing: for that guy, not all his decency was lost yet, because he recognized the moment when “protester” turned into “terrorist.” In that moment, he was not so caught up that he could not see through anger to reality. He had participated in trying to hurt people, and now he chose not to.

Where did integrity enter his decisions? Did he know ahead of time, and think that violence was merited because it was for a good cause, then back out when he saw the actual person curled against the concrete? Did he believe that he and his fellow patriots could never devolve to a level of violence reserved for inferior countries (put quotes around several of those words, please)? Did he not think about it too hard; he had time off work, bus tickets were cheap, his friends were going and yeah, he had some vague unease about the sanctity of the election? Was it supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a steam valve for anger, or a coup?

We’re all making decisions. They will get harder to parse in the coming months. And believe me, they are coming from both sides. That hand will be characterized by his friends as “aiding the enemy.” It will be characterized by the left as “too little, too late. You shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”

We are all making individual decisions. They add up to our collective future.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life reflections, Uncategorized