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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Postcards from Peninsula

We here are mostly un-young; have a life time of experience to check back on. I think each of us can remember incidents where lives bumped, enthusiasms meshed, some mutual interest was addressed and something happened. We helped at school, mentored kids, organized a group. We marched. We protested.

The shooting deaths of students at Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida pushed me past mute acceptance. I have a large bag of protest tricks. The old lady and two good friends resolved to meet the challenge of the Stoneman Douglass survivors, and stand on our corner in honor of their murdered classmates.

A good protest involves having everyone on your side, or neutralizing potential detractors. It’s what my mother called “Killing them with Kindness”. I engaged the police. I engaged local elected officials. I arranged parking for anyone who would come. I involved the press, all the newspapers. I played the event over and over on media pages. One more citizen stepped up and made the posters I hung. We waited.

On a bitterly cold day a month ago, nearly forty of us stood on a busy intersection in Peninsula, in recognition and honor of the students. Drivers of passing traffic honked, occupants waved, and we stood in silence, honoring those students.

Then it was done. We did it. We could do it again. The new member wondered if we could do something in support of Issue One on the May ballot in Ohio; confirmation of the state legislature’s end to gerrymandering in this state. Well, closing in on the end. She wondered if we could muster up enough people to write postcards to registered voters in the village and the township, in support of the issue.

We asked the library for a room. We asked for post cards. We asked for pens and stamps. We asked for snacks. We told the newspaper. We hung posters. Tomorrow we have the first Postcards from Peninsula event.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Shingles, pneumonia, USPS and tornadoes

For three years Laura ‘s wardrobe, day in, day out, school dances excluded, consisted exclusively of skinny jeans or leggings. Skinny jeans, new or second hand, went under the knife at once, emerging in socially acceptable tatters.

Leggings merely suffered the snags of time. Sooner or later, flesh speckled the leggings. The wearer, indeed, all the wearers, were unabashed. I sincerely believe, leggings of the world suffer the cruel pricks of fate hourly. No matter, holidays, birthdays, even peg hooks and strip clips of legging packages in stores keep leggings coming on.

A strange conversation struck up recently.

“Grandma,” what do you think of dresses?”

I allowed I like them.

“If I send you a list, will you buy me one?”

The list landed square in my Amazon list file in a nano second.

We picked this dress first. I have great reservations. I may be mistaken. It will not go to school until I see half a dozen of that style go by on any given day. It certainly needs the appropriate front zip hoodie.

I steered the conversation to the ease of tee shirt top dresses. Laura was in favor, if she liked it.

“Show me one you like!”

She likes two. More clicks. In my defense, I also pointed out girls her age in Pakistan earned a few pennies constructing these dresses. Yes, she knew that.  We’ll see how these work out, and look for fair trade dresses next.

Laura bounced through the door tonight. “Did my dresses come?”

“We ordered them on Saturday!”

“I know, I know. I just wondered.”

We checked. We learned:

Shipped Sunday, April 15
Weather or natural disaster at 11:55 AM Monday, April 16 - from USPS


Tornados rule!

A while back I got the first half of a pneumonia vaccination.  In truth, I watched my strong friend Jean carried away by pneumonia, and decided I’d give that one a run for its money. It’s a two shot protocol, the second shot from the drug store, as my doctor’s office generally does not stock Prevnar, the second shot.

I called the nurse to request the prescreption. In an expansive mood, as I don’t get vaccinated often, I asked the doctor send along the new shingles shot, too. The nurse called back with dire warnings. Be sure to get the protocol from the pharmacist; both in one day not recommended, blablabla.

I called the drugstore Monday morning. Come on down; they had it all; takes about twenty minutes, with paperwork. They dispense both in one day all the time!

The pharmacist shot shingles in my left arm, pneumonia in my right. That was yesterday. By bedtime, my arms wished I were dead and gone. In the middle of the night I got up and slugged acetaminophen.  Note to self: never do that again. Good news: I doubt I will.

Monday, April 16, 2018

I live in a mini tornado alley

I didn’t make that up; I do live in a mini tornado alley. More often than an actual tornado is the warning that conditions are favorable for a tornado to form. If one does form, the population has been alerted to take precautions, to get to a place of shelter.

Folks who live in mobile homes are advised to seek alternate shelter. Yeah, right! Actually, I do have an alternate, the old house. Kay knows I will come right through the basement garage door, probably with one neighbor.

The all night rain Saturday, that was a quarter inch in the rain gauge in yesterday’s blog, never quit. It rained harder and harder. It got colder and colder. The wind blew, fiercely. Sometimes we could hear the rain had become pellets of sleet, sometimes it was just rain.

Laura and I went nowhere, except to poke our noses out for a minute and gauge the depth of the bitterness. She did laundry, I cleaned the kitchen. We read. She watched television. Simultaneously, we jumped from our chairs to the sound of the tornado warning.

I went to the door and tested it against the wind. Howling wind. I dared not open the screen door. I called my neighbor. “Tornado warning, and I’m not leaving. You get in your master closet in the bedroom!”

“I thought we should get in the bathtub!”

“No, no Cathy. The bathtubs are on outside walls, and beside, they’re very light weight. Get in your closet!”

“I’m going to text Dan, where should we hide.”

Dan is the maintenance man. He doesn’t live here.

A minute later, a text in the depth of our master closet. “Dan says hide wherever we want. I’m in the closet.  What are those sirens?”

The tornado sirens are mounted about a mile north. They were loud. The all clear came twenty minutes later. Laura and I had been watching the progression of the front on our phones. I’m going to find a local radar program for my tablet. Street by street radar!

This will be our third summer here. There was a “take cover” warning the first summer, and none last year, as I recall. This year I need to be more serious and learn some things. On the internet I find there are two wind zones, areas that suffer hurricanes and all other. That’s no comfort.

Mobile homes must be stabilized and fastened to the ground according to the wind zone and type of manufacture. I see that all mobile homes must meet hurricane standards. That’s good.  I also find to be sure we are tied down safely, I should contact my local building inspector for an inspection. I jotted the phone number on my desk pad, and that will happen soon.

Three and three quarter inches of rain, yesterday and overnight.