The Rip Van Wrinkler, Volume XXIV, Issue 2, May 2020

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Quarantine. . .

Stay Safe, Stay Home.

Pha & Gage Stone = Guardians.

Pat Rivers - Dennis, MA

Moyo 't Mannetje, several years ago, in their camper.

Leaf Marsicano

Renee Meriaux - I'm so bored, so I just stare at the sky.

Lisa Marshall - I have no idea what Brady is doing.

Brady and I have been hanging at home mostly except for walks along
Milwaukee’s Lake Michigan shores and lake side parks.

We walked through our neighborhood this morning. A few other neighbors were out walking too.
We now wave at each other from across the street and shout “hello!”.

Safe, chez Moot.

Peggy Pick - Sheltering at Home

If it weren’t for the pandemic, the federal government’s pathetically inept delayed response, huge numbers of deaths, & the thought of dying on a gurney in a crowded hospital corridor, sheltering at home has been enjoyable and relaxing. We’re both working from home; Eric cooks every night; we walk the dogs. It has been really nice except for the tragic loss of life and impending doom part.

Since I’m not going to exercise class, I do aerobic exercise or yoga every morning in the piano room. The aerobic exercise consists of dancing around to aerobics music for 30 minutes. Tiegan and Miles look at each other and I can almost hear them saying, “Whatever,” before they wander off. On yoga days, Miles is sure I’m lying on the floor in a twist, bridge pose, or downward facing dog just so I can give him attention. He comes over while I’m in the middle of a twist pose and thumps my outstretched arm. I rub his tummy and his chest. If I stop, he looks at me and if I don’t resume, he thumps me again. Tiegan would daintily tap, Miles thumps. Then he moves slowly so I can scratch between his shoulders, along his back, at the base of his tail and then back to his shoulders. “Don’t step on Mommy’s hair.”

In bridge pose I extend one hand to rug his tummy. In downward dog, I try to explain this is really not convenient, but found I can rub his back with one foot.

After exercise, or in Miles mind, his morning massage, I get ready to go to work, as in down the hall to my office. Eric’ office is in the basement and mine is on the second floor. After lunch we take Tiegan and Miles for a walk and go back to work.

I feel extremely fortunate and very blessed. Eric and I like being at home with the babies, and we have a nice little home, back porch, and back yard in which to spend time. We can also take Tiegan and Miles for walks around our quiet neighborhood, wave at neighbors, and admire spring flowers.

Tiegan and Miles hunted Easter Eggs in the back yard last week, and the Easter Bunny came down our street on a fire truck so we could all sit on our porches and wave. People put teddy bears and hearts in their windows so children could watch for them on their walks around the neighborhood. Sheltering at home in our small village is an easy task.

Tiegan and Miles are so delighted we are home all the time. Even if they are sleeping, we should be here to watch them sleep. We take them for walks twice a day, and we are here for their convenience. If Tiegan wants something, she comes into my office and issues two small urgent whimpers which cause me to jump up and say “What’s wrong? Show me,” as I follow her down the stairs. The crisis usually falls into one of the following categories:

1) She is starving and will die if I do not give her sustenance, and then how will I explain this deplorable negligence to our baby sitter, vet, and neighbors?

2)There’s a squirrel that will not come down from a tree, and she wants the squirrel. This is an emergency, and I should do something.

3)There’s a dog walking down her street and she wants to go out immediately to make sure there was no unauthorized peeing in her yard. The nerve! In this instance, the urgent visit to my office is preceded by Tiegan and Miles running circles through the house and jumping on and off the couch to see if the invaders are still within sight.

Miles also needs my attention throughout the day. He comes for lovies –a version of TLC –and after I give proper snuggles and praise, he is content to either nap in a cave bed or sleep on the futon bed in my office. There have been a few days of such exquisite spring weather that I spent most of the day on the back porch, laptop on the breakfast table, while Miles slept on a rug next to my chair.

Tiegan frequently lies on her chair on the porch, watching for squirrels. Occasionally the calm is broken by the snap of the doggy door as they race out to pursue the squirrels who live in our back yard and taunt my puppies by running along the fence or jumping from tree to tree. It’s most exasperating when the squirrels are in the pine trees behind the fence. Tiegan and Miles see the squirrels, but can’t even stalk them under the trees.

Our back porch is a lovely place to be. The birds sing all day and there’s usually a breeze. We have so many trees in the back yard that it’s much cooler here, even in the summer when the ceiling fan fills in for the breeze on close still days.

I actually look forward to this month of staying home. Although, again, the cost for this respite is far too great, the death toll appallingly high. I feel as though the wolf could be roaming nearby and we would have no idea how close the threat is, because this threat is invisible. We are in our safe little enclave, with all sorts of comforts, while this disease ravages the country. A country that had plenty of warning and yet is so ill equipped to deal with this catastrophe.

I am reminded of Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death: The disease walks among us.

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