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I think this image of three dragonflies is quite representative of my brain last night. It was flitting all over the place. — Art by Pat Bean

“The community which has neither poverty or riches will always have the noblest principle.” – Plato

Morning Rant

Ever have one of those nights when your brain gets stuck on an endless circular track and you can’t stop its roar? I had one of those last night. It started with me thinking about the coronavirus and news stories about attempts to hack the vaccine studies.

The thinking is that a successful vaccine will be worth billions of dollars to its creators, so every little forward movement toward the goal is carefully hoarded and guarded. Perhaps, my little gray cells started calculating, if all that information were shared a vaccine might already have been discovered.

I call this little piece of art peaceful night. Mine wasn’t last night. — Art by Pat Bean

After being on that track for a while, my brain switched to the news story of Jeff Bezos making billions of dollars in one day, which had me thinking about all the hard-working people in this country who somehow exist on lean paychecks.

I’ve done that all my life – and am actually proud of it. I’ve always had enough food to eat, a roof over my head, and enough clothes to wear, even if the food was mostly basic, the roof not gigantic, and sometimes the clothes came from a thrift shop.

These days I feel rich because I can afford to buy books when I want them, although I admit I would do a bit more traveling if my pocketbook was heavier.

But how can one spend billions of dollars on themselves, I ask? As I look around at the richest of the rich, it seems they buy things more to show they are rich than anything else. I don’t deny them their extras and luxuries, but when is too much actually too much?

On the other hand, I’m not a bleeding-heart liberal. I don’t believe able-bodied people should be given handouts, but should have to work for their livelihoods. A welfare check needs to come with a job. Such a program worked once – Civilian Conservation Corps – and I believe it can again. Child care, teacher’s aides, road maintenance, litter clean-up, elderly companions, just to name a few currently being paid for with tax dollars.

But I also believe that the people at the top, whose riches depend on work done by employees, should start handing out huge raises to loyal employees. It seems only fair that the wealth be shared. Thus, went my brain last night. It finally ended up right back where it started. If researchers and drug companies shared their findings, actually caring more about ending the suffering then for themselves, would we already have a working vaccine?

You can read more about my visit to Scarborough Marsh in Travels with Maggie, available on Amazon.

Bean Pat: Nature: https://naturehasnoboss.com / One of my favorite blogs. Few words and always a great insight into nature, like today’s photo of a ruffed grouse. Such images soothe me after a sleepless night.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

 

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Home with a Scamp

Scamp taking in the morning sun as it came in through my bedroom balcony this morning. — Photo by Pat Bean

“No one appreciates the very special genius of our conversation as the dog does.” – Christopher Morley

At Least I Can Hug My Dog

The shelter ad said she was eight months old, a schnauzer mix, and it called the dog Smidge.

Wrong, wrong and wrong. She was a he, and probably a couple of months younger than claimed, and there is not a smidgen of schnauzer in him– at least according to the DNA results I received yesterday, a gift from my youngest daughter who did the swabbing.

Scamp taking a snooze after a lengthy session of ball throwing and retrieving in the house. — Photo by Pat Bean.

I immediately knew the dog’s name was not Smidge, and thought it might be Harley. But two weeks later, I knew without a doubt that his name was Scamp. For one thing, he resembles the Disney animated dog Scamp, and he definitely is one.

His puppy ways and how he kept growing and growing out of the 20-pound lapdog I was expecting convinced me that he was quite a bit younger than eight months when I took him home last May. He finally stopped growing in January, weighing in today at about 35 pounds.

His DNA results show he is 50 percent Siberian husky, 37 percent Shih Tzu, with some cocker spaniel, Maltese and miniature poodle thrown into the mix, which may be why he is convinced he is the lapdog I wanted.

Whenever I sit in my living room recliner, he shares it with me, lays at my feet when I am at my desk, and is a bed hog when he sleeps with me at night. We do have lots of conversations these days, as he is my only isolation companion.

He’s a better listener than most of my other friends, cocking his head to one side as if he truly understands what I’m nattering on about.

Both of us are extroverts who like people and animals. So, this isolation is not the easiest to endure. Thankfully we have each other.

available on Amazon

Bean Pat: Zimmy https://lithub.com/meet-zimmy-the-quarantine-dog-or-an-insane-response-to-an-insane-time/ This post was my inspiration for today’s blog. It’s cleverly written and funny.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

 

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These are times when I need the calming influence of nature to calm my thoughts. This photo is of Maggie at Andrew Jackson State Park in South Carolina, which I describe better in my book, Travels with Maggie. — Photo by Pat Bean

“What is history? An echo of the past in the future, a reflex from the future on the past.” – Victor Hugo

History in the Making

          I share a birth year with Lily Tomlin and Tina Turner. The three of us were all born in 1939. I discovered this fact while doing research for my memoir, which if it ever gets written will be called Between Wars.

The most significant events of 1939 were the official ending of the Great Depression and the official beginning of World War II. I was raised by a mother who had been influenced by the Depression and could make a penny stretch to the moon. While I’m not nearly as thrifty, it pains me to see things go to waste.

As for the war, I would only be six years old when it ended, and thus have few personal memories about it. The one thing I do recall, probably because I was severely scolded, was finding and childishly destroying the family’s stash of ration coupons. As I vaguely remember, it meant that I ate my cereal without sugar for the month. According to the history books I studied in school, items rationed during the war included sugar, meat, coffee, and automobile fuel.

I overheard a conversation once that left me believing my dad had illegally acquired gasoline to take my brother to the doctor. Knowing my dad, that’s quite possibly true, but he probably had to do so because he earlier wasted gas gadding about for his own purposes, Gas, by the way, cost about 17 cents a gallon in 1939

I compared rationing in my early years with what is going on in the world today because of the coronavirus pandemic. Stores here in Tucson, and elsewhere I’m sure, are limiting how much toilet paper, and other items considered essential to life as we know it, can be purchased to halt hoarding.

Meanwhile, on a much lighter note, there were some other interesting firsts for 1939.

Batman was introduced in Detective Comics No. 27 and Superman got his own comic book. John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath was published and Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlow character was introduced in The Big Sleep.

Premiering on the big screen were Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, while Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood gossip show made its radio debut. Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time and Harvard University students swallowed goldfish.

In New York, both the Baseball Hall of Fame and LaGuardia Airport opened.

Judy Garland’s Over the Rainbow topped the music charts, with Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade coming in second, Kate Smith’s God Bless America third and Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit fourth. It was Holiday’s first civil rights song.

I wonder if future 80-year-olds will look back on their own birth years – and discover that the coronavirus pandemic tops the list of significant events?

Bean Pat: A Slice of Life https://lindahoye.com/and-yet/ A reflective post for today’s times.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

 

 

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