AVOIDING THE VIRAL CONTAGION LIFESTYLE NOTES:  We of the poetry group met  monthly to have fun with  favorite poems.  My choices always seemed to be better with a change or two.  For instance, Emily Dickinson’s poem “To Make a Prairie” reads more like a description of a bee frolicking in a clover-covered front yard with a wild rose bush and an Adirondack chair..  Good grief! No field or big sky or meadowlark in sight.  What is a child of North Dakota to do?  So I changed Emily Dickinson’s poem, though the scan is a tad off.  Maybe to subvert this contrariness, fearless leader Gary, asked us to ready a poem of our own, a limerick of 8 lines with 4 rhyming couplets, for the next time our group of 12 can meet and shout through masks from a proper social distance.  Here is my most appropriate, best and only effort so far:

MAY 2020

I used to go to Maine in May,                                                                                                             In time for the parade on Memorial Day.                                                                                      I’d open the bookstore for those who read                                                                                    And love the arguments wherever they lead.

Now I’m a Seattle-r trying to fit                                                                                                               With less-foamy lattes and the wit, I admit,                                                                                   Of Charlie’s gull-sqwacks and dog clipper cuts                                                                                  And with masks and Pier walks.  No COVID, not  nuts.


So in the spirit of a Seattler-newbie during COVID, agreeing to anything to be outdoors, I am, with Charlie’s enthusiastic! efforts, using pier time to become aware of the local celebrities docked nearby.  Appreciating them is for another day.  So can you find the TV star in the pictures?  No fair if you watch “Deadliest Catch.”

Note the Northwestern, not my unfortunate COVIDian haircut.

See the distant Pinnacle. See me getting away from Charlie. Splash.

Albert, the junker, or happy-colored ketch? I’m masked, not napping.

The Pinnacle is handsomest, the sailboat most user friendly, and Albert the most promising do-over.  I especially like the tree, rooted in the residue of it’s past promise.  But the Northwestern is the star, according to Charlie, who occasionally watches it on “Deadliest Catch” and who likens it to George Clooney (!) for its endurance of 16 years a a star.  Maybe because the boat has aged well, too, but I doubt it.  Me?  The boat’s okay, but  I’m just happy on the pier.  That measured response should be good for another trip.  Meanwhile, my stars are down low.  You be you: gulls and ducklings and lapping, sparkly water.


READ ING WITH A MASK: I’m currently reading Sara Paretsky’s latest mystery, Shell Game.  As usual, V.I. Warshawski is keeping Chicago’s powers-that-be, including politicians, on their toes, which is very satisfying these COVID and Trumpian days.  And adding to Ian Urbina’s The Outlaw Ocean, my intermittently read book that has, for Charlie, big boats doing dangerous things, my latest “in-between” book is Hope Jahren’s new book, The Story of More, which, even though it is about climate change and therefore COVID-pertinent, is engaging.  After reading her memoir, Lab Girl, which I loved, I am going to anticipate with pleasure anything Hope Jahren writes.  If you are a newbie, you might enjoy her recent NYT op-ed essay which is every person’s primer on a virus.  This makes mE think a list of favorite memoirs could be fun.


Friend Susan brought me some fresh cherries which I love, but thought early for homegrown produce.  She apologized and said these were from California, which she hoped was okay until Washington cherries — which are, of course, very special — were ready.  This could so have been Scott reacting with a sniff to a gift of early, bigger blueberries by noting they were”high bush berries. from New Jersey.”  I miss Scott and Bobby, even without Virginia tomatoes and  Memorial Day in Maine.



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