Paeans and Peons

I went to the grocery store today. It’s not so much that I needed things, but I wanted to start my car. It’s been so hot, that even with the car being snug in its own little house, I thought it should be exercised. And oh! What a joy! No disconnecting all the buckles that hold on the car cover, no folding up the cover and stowing it before I could even get into the bug. All I had to do was unlock the garage, push a button to open the door and presto! Magic.

When I first found out the old garage would have to come down, I felt silly realizing a new garage would cost more that the car is worth, but then, there really is no price to be put on the freedom having a vehicle gives a person in our wheeled world. Now that the money is spent, I’m glad I had to do it — if the old garage had been fixed, I wouldn’t have my magic door. And I don’t begrudge spending my travel fund on the garage. As great as one last epic trip would have been, it doesn’t compare to the convenience of a garage, especially as I get older and feebler.

But I didn’t come here to write a paean to the garage gods. A sign on the door of the grocery store geared to us peons prompted this post.

According to the sign, by Colorado law, all peons (regular folks, not people engaged in a public safety role such as law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel) over the age of ten must wear a mask when in public places. The only exception is if there is a medical reason why a person can’t wear a mask. But no one — not individuals, store workers or “the authorities” are allowed to question those without as mask as to their medical condition, so (again according to the sign) the assumption is that those without a mask have such a condition.

Huh? What sort of law is that? We peons have to wear a mask but if we don’t wear a mask, people are supposed to assume we don’t have to wear one? Which means that despite the law, no one has to wear a mask since no one can question why a person isn’t wearing one. Still, wearing a mask is the law, and even if it weren’t, in these Bob days, it’s the safe and courteous thing to do. Besides, it’s not something I want to fight about.

The other half of this law requiring people to wear masks also requires people to remove the mask if someone needs to verify who they are, because even a half-mask can mask a person. The person behind me in line wasn’t anyone I recognized, but when he said, “Hello, Ms. Pat,” I recognized his voice — he was the builder, a person I’ve seen almost every day for the past few weeks.

I found it interesting that as soon as I got out of the store, I removed the mask and when he left, so did he, though some people didn’t. Luckily, we’re not forced to wear masks outside unless that “outside” is a public place like a bus stop. And, even though people wear masks while driving alone, it’s not required. (Wearing a mask when one is alone seems silly to me because I don’t think you can give yourself The Bob, but what do I know.)

Even if it were required to wear masks out walking, it wouldn’t matter. With a single code enforcer in town, there’d be no one to enforce the law anyway.

Come to think of it, I should have stuck with the paean to my garage. It’s a lot less complicated than trying to make sense of this law, that’s for sure.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

 

Snug as a Bug in a . . .

Snug as a bug in a rug, you might be thinking, but no. Today the saying is: snug as a bug in a . . . garage!!!!

Look at that happy little car.

The opener hasn’t been installed yet so the door has to be opened manually, and the gravel hasn’t been laid in front of the apron so there was a bit of an impediment getting the car into the garage, and there are a few other minor things that need to be done, but the garage is otherwise finished. I’ll have to move the car when the builders come back so they can put on the finishing touches, but meantime, I’m delighted to have the poor thing out of the brutal sun. And wow, it’s been brutal. I had to turn on the air conditioner at 9:00am this morning just to be able to breathe. Luckily I have an air conditioner. (And grateful am I for that comfort!)

Even though the contractor volunteered to move my storage into the garage, I’ve been feeling guilty about lolling around while other people do the work, so I got started on the task this morning. I’m sure it will come as no surprise that I overdid it a bit, but I’ll be taking it easy the rest of the day. I might be able to finish tomorrow if I haven’t redamaged my knee. Except for sorting through the conglomeration of things, it should be easy — I did all the heavy lifting today.

So, not only do I have my car in the garage, I also have all the boxes of storage items out of my house. The boxes that aren’t in the garage are in the enclosed porch, which is part of the house, but not. For as much work that has been done back there, and for as functional and attractive as the area is, it still has a porchy feel. But soon I’ll be able to reclaim even that room. Then, finally, I will be completely moved in.

And I’ll be as snug as my bug.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator