Twas A Month Before Christmas 2020!

Twas A Month Before Christmas …

T’was a month before Christmas,
And all through the town,
People wore masks,
That covered their frown.

The frown had begun
Way back in the Spring,
When a global pandemic
Changed everything.

They called it corona,
But unlike the beer,
It didn’t bring good times,
It didn’t bring cheer.

Contagious and deadly,
This virus spread fast,
Like a wildfire that starts
When fuelled by gas.

Airplanes were grounded,
Travel was banned.
Borders were closed
Across air, sea and land.

As the world entered lock-down
To flatten the curve,
The economy halted,
And folks lost their verve.

From March to July
We rode the first wave,
People stayed home,
They tried to behave.

When summer emerged
The lock-down was lifted.
But away from caution,
Many folks drifted.

Now it’s November
And cases are spiking,
Wave two has arrived,
Much to our disliking.

Front-line workers,
Doctors and nurses,
Try to save people,
From riding in hearses.

This virus is awful,
This COVID-19.
There isn’t a cure.
There is no vaccine

It’s true that this year
Has had sadness a plenty,
We’ll never forget
The year 2020.

And just ‘round the corner –
The holiday season,
But why be merry?
Is there even one reason?

To decorate the house
And put up the tree,
When no one will see it,
No-one but me.

But outside my window
The snow gently falls,
And I think to myself,
Let’s deck the halls!

So, I gather the ribbon,
The garland and bows,
As I play those old carols,
My happiness grows.

Christmas ain’t cancelled
And neither is hope.
If we lean on each other,
I know we can cope.

Copyright-Shawna Hickling
By: Shawna Hickling, Calgary, AB, Canada
November 19, 2020

– The above was sent to me by my daughter Melanie. Couldn’t resist posting it!  🙂

“Song for the Asking.”

Songs in general seem to fall into the time frame of 3 to 4 minutes each, but then a really interesting 10 minute one gets my attention (Ultravox – “Dancing with Tears in My Eyes”), and there are a number slightly under 10 minutes that I really like (Al Stewart – “Nostradamus”). Of course we can’t forget the 26 minute “Tubular Bells” of Mike Oldfield, any more than a host of classical pieces which exceed the 3 to 4 minute average. As a general rule, I prefer the longer songs/pieces because it gives me something to “get into”, and the more I “get into it” … the more I tend to get out of it!

Having said all that, there are also number of really short songs that I often play. I love Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bookends” at 1:21 and Gordon Giltrap’s “Candlelight Lady” at 1:32 for example. Below is a link to another one at a mere 1:50.

Mid-November Picnic!

We’re a strange species aren’t we? We take so much for granted that, not only is it questionable whether we truly appreciate what we have, but also whether we take maximum advantage of our circumstances.

Yesterday (November 11), we decided to take full advantage of (what may be) our last warm day before Winter arrives. We decided to have a picnic down by the lake!

We have had many lovely days since May/June, but it took possibly our last warm day of the year to actually think about enjoying lunch down by the lake!

We think Ray is looking forward to the cooler temperatures, but would tolerate a picnic in these conditions as long as we share our food with him (which of course we did!).

Fall/Autumn!

Our seasons tend to be Summer and Winter, with very short Spring and Fall seasons separating them. This year however, we have been treated to a few weeks of Fall. What wonderful walks we have had (down to the lake and back) admiring the various trees in their seasonal leaf colours which absolutely “glow” when the sun is on them.

Ray is so much happier as well now the temperature is lower and the humidity negligible!

Age and/or COVID?

Since COVID-19 became the uninvited guest in our world, Carol has been doing our shopping as necessary, while I have been keeping a very low public profile. The ramifications of that created this Post!

A small family store just outside of our general urban area had been highly recommended for their pies and pastries. Given that it would be around a 30 minute drive to get there, we decided to use the opportunity for all three of us to go and have an adventure.

As an aside, and because of our shopping arrangements, I have done very little regular buying of anything these past 6 months or so! On the isolated occasions when I have been at a checkout, there has been no money transacted (no touching of money) … but rather a simple “tap ‘n’ go with a credit card.

With the above information in mind …

We arrived at the store and, given that Ray can get extremely distraught and very vocal if Carol leaves us, it was decided that I would go in and buy some baked treats for us. It was a very small store, so I had quickly selected what I thought would be really nice and proceeded to a table that was obviously the checkout area.

A young man totalled up my purchases and gave me the credit card machine, which I intuitively tapped, but nothing happened. I then saw the little sign taped onto the machine … “No Tap ‘n’ Go.”

My reaction was confusion. I had been using tap ‘n’ go for the past 6 months or so now so how was I supposed to pay? The young man told me to insert my card. I must have given him a confused look (Where do I insert the card?) , because he pointed to the slot at the bottom of the machine. Ah yes of course! It was all coming back to me now.

So, having inserted the card, I waited. The young man was watching and leaned in towards me and said. “It needs your PIN number.” Of course! Now I am feeling a little self-conscious. How could I have forgotten that. As my finger hovered over the buttons, I thought “What is my PIN number?” I had a good idea what it might be, but rather than risk bringing the store to a standstill while I fumbled some options, and with the risk of my transaction being ultimately cancelled, I excused myself while I went outside to ask Carol! She knew it!

I returned to the store; carefully entered my PIN number, and watched in delight as the transaction was approved and the paper starting coming out of the machine.

“Would you like the receipt?” he asked

“Yes please” I replied (with a sigh of relief that it was all over now). I then turned towards the exit door, with my bag of baked treats in hand.

“Sir!” I heard from behind me. I stopped and turned. “Sir … you might want to remove your credit card from the machine!”