Previous month:
February 2021
Next month:
April 2021

March 2021

Whatever Happened to March?

March is on its way out.  Which is OK with me.  March is an unreliable month.  On March 24, 2020, while walking with a friend, I slipped on a patch of ice and cut my lip.   But on March 24, 2021, it was 74 degrees. No ice anywhere.

March does have its pluses.  It gives us Daylight Savings Time with its hour more of daylight in the evening.   We see crocuses peeping out, and the daffodils lining the banks of the Charles River show promise.  We know that heavy winds and snow will happen in March in New England, but we also know that the snow will soon be gone. 

I’ll take all the Marches I can get.

The Clementine Contest

Following in the footsteps of “The One Fork Challenge,” “The Meatless September” and other Jeremy-created-contests, Sunday was his clementine/mandarin eating contest. The invitation read:

“I hereby challenge anyone on facebook to a socially distant and socially delicious real-time mandarin and/or clementine eating contest. Three-pound bag. Peel and eat. Fastest to show all-rind and a orange-free mouth is winner.”

Clementines are one of my favorite snacks, and partially because they are so easy to peel, I signed up. Zoom participants ranged from around age seven to age 80-something.  All had to show an unopened 3-lb bag before we started.

After about four mandarins, my eating pace slowed a bit.  I didn’t count as I peeled them, but when the winner (17-year-old-Leo) finished, I think I was about ten down, ten to go.  However, I did win in my age category.

And you know why.

My Silver Lining

Visiting Peter just once a week for 45 minutes has not been easy. Rehab staff bring him to me in a wheelchair, and in what seems like minutes, take him back to his room.  Of course, this is for Covid safety reasons, but it’s still hard.

However, in the past three weeks, both of our sons have come to visit.  They could only see Peter once, but I got them each all to myself.  Seth was working while here, but we had all of our meals together.  Jeremy was here for less than 48 hours, but we had two four-mile walks, looked at a shoe-box full of family pictures, and laughed a lot.  I agreed to join his new contest in which the winner will be the first to finish an unopened 3-lb bag of clementines during a Zoom meeting.

In this very hard year, every cloud has a silver lining. 


Birkenstocks, those wacky comfortable sandals, have been in my life forever.  They await me at the door whenever I come home.  I have no idea how many pairs I have purchased over the years.

On my closet shelves sit twenty shoe boxes filled with shoes I haven’t worn since the pandemic started. I wear my walking shoes or my “clogs” when I go out, my Birkies at home.

One day last week, I found myself in my car on the way to the grocery store wearing my Birkenstocks.  I rejected the idea of returning home and decided no one would notice that I forgot to put on my outside shoes.

In the grocery store, I was spending a long time in the birthday card aisle, and a woman seemed to be Covid-annoyed at my lingering.  She spoke to me. 

“Where did you get your shoes?” she asked.  “I can’t find them anywhere!”


Two More Days

On Tuesday, it will be two weeks since I had my second Covid vaccine.  I am grateful to feel protected. I am grateful to be able to be with friends and family who are also protected.  I am grateful that Seth recovered from Covid, including the return of his ability to taste.

There is much to look forward to as “normalcy” edges its way back into our lives.

But things will not be the same. So many lives lost, so many celebrations missed, so many hugs not given.  What is remarkable is that, thanks to Zoom, we have been able to “take” our classes, “see” friends and “attend” cultural events. 

The future lies ahead…it’s just a bit shorter.


When I was a child, each of my mother’s five siblings would send me a check for $5.00 for my birthday.  I deposited the checks into my savings account.  Those birthday checks plus a couple of summer jobs while I was in college paid for a trip to Europe the summer after my junior year.

I thought about those checks the other day while searching for birthday cards for Peter and Jeremy.  I am particular about birthday cards, and I had to go to four stores before finding acceptable ones.

The cost for the two cards I bought was $13.98 plus tax. 

Remember when $5 covered a day in Europe?

Life is (Not) a Bowl of Cherries

Peter will be 91 years old on Wednesday.  A year ago, we had a wonderful party to honor him.  One couple didn’t come because they were worried about a new virus, now with us for over a year.  Many of our guests tell us that Peter’s celebration was the last social event they attended “live”.

In January, Peter broke his hip.  Since then, I have seen him five times.  I couldn't see him in the hospital.  I was permitted to see him once during the two weeks he spent in rehab.  Three days after he came home, he was back in the hospital with excruciating pain in his other leg. He is now back in another rehab for a couple of weeks.  Seth and I visited him briefly on Wednesday, but visits are permitted only once weekly.

Peter is working hard to regain his strength despite his worsening Parkinson’s.   And I am here for him.  But…

“Life is not a bowl of cherries.”  

Alarm Clock

I stayed up way too late on Sunday night talking with our son Seth who came home for a short visit.  Since I had an early Monday morning walking date, I decided to set an alarm just in case. I cannot remember the last time I did that--no early morning flights (pandemic-related), no go-to-work (retirement), usually turn out the light by ten (eyes closing over a book).

Why am I reporting this?  Because although I have set that very alarm clock thousands of times, I had forgotten how.  Of course, I figured it out, and all ended well.  I was sleeping when it rang at exactly the right time.

That got me thinking about what else I’ve forgotten how to do.

Not a good idea.