Monday, July 26, 2021

Back off, Nostradamus

 It’s getting harder nowadays to stay positive.

I went off our little condo reservation to run errands today, and almost immediately, a sense of foreboding crept into the car along with the gray haze I saw before me. As I drove closer to the city, the haze became heavier and I could smell smoke. Good grief, I thought, those western fires are still crossing the country to the East Coast.

As I drove, I listened to a discussion on the radio about – what else –Covid and its variant, and the likelihood of further mutations thanks to the mouth-breathing non-vaxers.

I was on a quest for gift bags. I needed several, and I was darned if I was going to pay $4.50 per bag (or whatever they cost) at a CVS. So, Ocean State Job Lot: no bags. Weird, but true. Five miles down the road, Big Lots: a handful of ones too small for my needs. Another five miles away, Dollar Tree: Eureka!

Except the radio’s Covid discussion had put me back into my mask by the second store.  Massachusetts may lead the nation in its response, but the city at our back door, Springfield, has only a 32 percent vaccination rate, and the stores I was visiting sit within the city.

So, good news that I found my cheap bags, but as I pulled out of the shopping plaza, a gray-haired, ragged man easily pushing 80 was there begging at the entrance, cardboard sign in hand. The whole trip went back to feeling like End of Days.  

Plague, weather, hunger. And all I had wanted was a few gift bags.

But wait! I turned onto Main Street in our little town, and there at farm (established in 1741) that I thought had closed when the last of the family line died, was once again: corn, really good corn. I did a U-turn and snagged some for dinner.

And it also helped that when I got home, My Guy told me the town fire department had sent out a message that the smoke was from wild fires north of us. Somehow, it feels less overwhelming to be dealing with events local rather than global.


  1. Glad you got your bags, with a little struggle but nevertheless successful. We have still not had any smoke (knock wood) from the BC fires, but once the wind direction changes...

  2. How sad a man that old was begging and no senior citizen officers out to find him a placement.

  3. I'm sad to hear an elderly man is out begging and that there are fires. I've just read an e-book titled The Nostradamus Equation, total fiction but a good read.

  4. Glad that your quest was successful. And ache for the old man and too many like him.
    I well remember being shrouded in smoke and hope not to see it again any time soon. A vain hope I fear.

  5. Our sky is very obscured at this moment, and we are getting air quality warnings.

  6. Wildfires anywhere sound scary to me -- that does all sound a bit apocalyptic! (Kind of funny to be running out for gift bags while the world is ending.)

    1. Those birthday obligations wait for no man - or apocalypse.


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