FINE, JUST FINE
Hi, friends. How are you? Can we all agree that 2020 was a catastophe? Let's all give it a big fat kick! I was hoping for a Happy 2021, but we didn't get off to a very good start, did we?
So I was writing this post last Wednesday. The subject was how to take comfort during Covid-19. I had a great list of different items that might be entertaining or comforting for you to watch and then . . . and then all hell broke loose. After seeing a video of events unfolding at the Capitol, I decided I would NOT watch the news or social media. It was too horrifying. About 11 p.m. that night, I caved. I watched everything I could find. Then I couldn't get to sleep. I was furious. I finally dropped off at 4 a.m.
The next morning I scrapped my post. For a couple of days I couldn't function. Not only did we have Covid to worry about, now we had domestic terrorists attacking the Capitol. Just to make it clear, I consider the Capitol and the White House to be sacred buildings. I may disagree with some decisions that are made there, but the buildings represent the American people and the American democratic ideal and shouldn't be used for insurrection when the will of the people is known.
So, today I'm fine, just fine - on the outside. On the inside I'm a wreck. (Thank you Mary Engelbreit for the absolutely appropriate illustration.)
If you are fine but maybe want to feel better, here are some places that might help.
Penzey's Spices. Bill Penzey, the CEO of Penzey's Spices, started his company in the late-1980s as a mail order business https://penzeys.com. Penzey believes in the power of cooking. His passion for his business is evident in all his emails and in his catalog, but he also speaks up when he sees an injustice. For the last four years he has included his personal political opinions on his emails and in social media. He's lost customers, but he's also gained loyal fans. Here's what he said about the assault on the Capitol: "My advice is to take some control over where this last week has left you by getting back to the cooking that set our humanity in motion. Cooks are strong because we care. Please do what you can in the coming days to rejuvenate your strength . . . Long term this will get better. Short term I fear we are in for a bumpy ride."
Yo Yo Ma delivers healing and comfort. He is one of my heroes. He's kind and gentle, despite the fact that he is one of the world's greatest cellists. On this site, he talks about the feelings and emotions that went into his new album, Songs of Comfort and Hope. He also opens up about expressing himself in music while finding one's voice, a discussion that has real meaning to writers who are trying to discover their own individual voice in a sea of competition. He talks about music and how it can help us weather the storm of the pandemic: "When we need comfort, you know, we look for the touch points in our life, maybe it's baking, the smell of that pie is something you remember from your grandmother. The memories flood back and we look for things like that in the music."
Jungle Red Writers. https://www.jungleredwriters.com/
If you find comfort in reading mystery novels, check out the Jungle Red Writers. They're seven smart and sassy crime fiction writers who dish on writing and life. It's like The View. With bodies. They talk books (and not just their own) and sometimes include recipes. All of them write mystery novels. They've been friends for years and you'll love them - it's like talking over the fence with your best friend. Three of the Jungle Reds, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Rhys Bowen, and Julia Spencer-Fleming, will be appearing in a virtual Night of Mystery sponsored by the Key West Library on Jan 18, 2021 06:00 PM (Eastern Time). I've seen them speak before and they're a treat.
Feeling down? Listen to The Keep Going Song by The Bengsons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs-ju_L9pEQ
Abigail and Shaun Bengson are a married composing and performing duo. They have appeared at venues across the country and around the world. Their YouTube version of The Keep Going Song is delightful, like a tuneful hug.
For giggles, I'll leave you with this photo of how we do snow in the South. That's Thing Two on the sled. Last Friday was a remote learning day due to an expected 1-3 inch snowfall. P.E. consisted of one assignment -- go play in the snow, so Think Two was glad to oblige. She's riding on a plastic tub used for mixing concrete that I got at Home Depot because all the sled and saucers are gone and she's leaving a trail in the grass because there was maybe a centimeter of snow and ice but, what the heck, she had a great time.
I'll have some more comfort ideas for you next week. In the meantime, I'll try not to stay up until 3 a.m. worrying about things which are out of my control. All I can do is trust that the professionals in D.C. know what to do. As for you -- please say safe, wear your masks, and physically distance from others. Better times are coming. Vaccines are coming. Daffodils are coming. Keep going. Keep going. We'll get through this!