Too Many Words

I’m supposed to be keeping up with the blog in the following ways: a Monday book on, well, you can guess; Jack writes on Wednesdays, and on Fridays or Saturdays I come up with something pithy, insightful, bittersweet, funny, etc. to say.

too many words, not enough listening?

Even though I love to write, it has become a chore I will do anything to avoid, writing the weekend blog. I even color coded my t-shirt collection.

You know what? I’m so weary of words, and I bet many of you are too. Ecclesiastes 12:12 and all that. It’s been a year when people fling words at each other like mud more than decorate our souls with them. Reading for ammo, not relaxation.

I just don’t want to contribute to it more than I have. Three books this year: one on substance use disorder whose manuscript was turned in last December but disrupted by the pandemic; one on Conspiracy Theories, done entirely during the stay-home months; and one turned in for 2021 publication, an anthology of healthcare workers describing their COVID experiences. All of them are intense. All of them had things that needed to be said.

I’m tired, but not from the books. It’s fairly energizing to publish, in all honesty. I’m tired of trying to find the right thing to say. What else is there to say?

Maybe, peace out?

Can we lay down the crossed sword words, stop trying to find ways to jab and one-up one another, on line, on air, on your mark, get set, go because some pastor, some politician said we were supposed to or God wouldn’t love us and we might not get stimulus checks? Writers are supposed to observe, describe, and persuade in turn. To everything there is a season. Maybe this can be our season of peace, a time to stop throwing phrases and soundbites and nasty words at each other, and listen for a bit. Take the other person off mute these Zoomed-in twelve or so days of Christmas, and hear what they have to say. For love, for affection, kindness. Let them talk.

Isn’t this why God invented cocktails (just kidding, sorta): to keep family edges soft when the seams threaten to unravel from all those sharp jabs? Take a sip, count to ten, listen, keep your mic on mute, and enjoy. I have nothing to add to the collection of words that have accumulated this year, except maybe, God Bless Us, Every One. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Peace out, and see you in the New Year.

Wait, What Just Happened?

First of all, hello everyone, I am glad to be back. The COVID CONSPIRACIES book is with the publisher and I have a respite before the medical professionals anthology from rural COVID experiences goes off in October.

So I come up for air and realize my house is a tip and the garden doesn’t so much look like we planted things as tripped with a tray of seeds. There’s a cat in here I don’t recognize and two days ago my husband (at least, he said he was; I hadn’t seen him in awhile and wasn’t sure) came in holding up a bleeding hand.

“A turtle bit me,” he said.


It turns out, he was sitting in his front porch man-cave where he hangs out to watch the world pass by and talk to the neighbors, and, well, a turtle crossed the road. Slowly. Too slowly for my animal-loving husband, who went out to help the little creature along his or her way.

In gratitude for which, the turtle turned its long neck around over its shell and took a triangular chunk out of the fleshy part of Jack’s palm. The police sketch artist who worked with Jack after the incident suggests it mighta been a snapper.

My husband did not let go and neither did the turtle, until both were safely across the street. When Jack came in bleeding, I did what any good wife would do: took a photo for Facebook, and then spread the wound with peroxide followed by antibiotic cream. Then I got on the horn to a doctor friend. Once she stopped laughing, she said, yes, maybe Jack should get a tetanus shot as turtles, ehm, carry things.

Our good Dr. Ashley Blevins called in a shot, and after a wee bit of fankle with the pharmacy –“No, really a turtle, yes, today, sure we can come down there after supper”–we both got tetanus shots. It was a couples thing, like a pandemic date.

This eased my mind, because of all that I wasn’t prepared to deal with, trying to get the book in, my husband dying of a turtle bite during a global health crisis wasn’t on the list. Can you imagine trying to write that obituary? People would try so hard to be respectful of my loss, but end up giggling. “A turtle? Really? Did anyone see the rabbit?” “Why did the turtle cross the road, anyway?” Etc.

Thanks to a couple of doctor pals and our friendly neighborhood pharmacist (who did snort behind his mask but kept the laughter in) all is well at Chez JacknWendy. For the next ten years, because that’s how long tetanus shots last. Come at us, turtles.