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Carole Carson: Dancing in the rain during the coronavirus storm

Carole Carson
Special to The Union
Carole Carson
photo by Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” The words of British author Vivian Greene remind us we have options in response to the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that has turned our lives upside down.

In response to the threat of the storm, some feel the need to hoard toilet paper. Doug Hastings from Nevada City shared the experience of his daughter, a local RN. When she observed a customer in the supermarket with a cart piled high with packages of toilet paper, she couldn’t resist speaking up. “You know,” she said to the customer, “the coronavirus is a respiratory ailment.” At this point, their conversation seems to have ended.

While gathering mounds of toilet paper reassures some, others are coping by eating a bit too much. My niece, Julie Marlay, in Ottumwa, Iowa, wrote me that when she opened the refrigerator door, she could have sworn she heard a voice saying, “What? You again? Now what are you here for?”

When I relayed the story to my tennis friend Annette Domguard from Grass Valley, she said she thought perhaps she’d heard the same voice — only she heard it when she was opening a bottle of wine.

Some of us have to figure out how to help family members cope. Diana Dallago, in the Penstock neighborhood, was looking for projects to occupy her three grandchildren, ages 13, 14 and 15.

Earlier, Diana had mentioned to her neighbor, Christina, about receiving a huge box of beads from her mother-in-law who no longer beaded. Her neighbor, who works at a craft store, purchased and brought over three starter packets for the three teenagers to make earrings and necklaces. The neighbor refused payment. Diana was touched by the gesture and wanted others to know of the thoughtfulness.

Marilyn Tubbman, sorting through books in the back room of Main Street Antiques and Books in Nevada City, sent me a poem written by Lawrence Hawthorne in 1927. At the time, speculators (the equivalent of today’s 1% group) were doing well in the market, but ordinary folks were struggling as many are today. His poem was intended to lift spirits.

Takin’ the Bumps

We take a bump today,

Another bump tomorrow.

But while we bump from hump t’ hump,

We’re mighty sure t’borrow

A lot o’ fun along the way!

So, bounce across the rough

An’ soon you’ll find

You left behind

The road you thought was tough.

He didn’t know that two years later the crash of 1929 would make the road even rougher. And we don’t know what is in store for us either. But we can have fun along the way.

Speaking of fun, many of us have turned to the internet, as evidenced by the clever, hilarious jokes, videos, and posts I receive daily (and you probably do too). Although it is tempting to share them with you, I have resisted the impulse — except for one that made me laugh from beginning to end. Plus, it’s a great one for kids. To find it, search online for “Beethoven’s 5th Symphony Animated.”

While we’re waiting for normalcy, some of us are organizing photos, cleaning out closets, grocery shopping for a neighbor, schooling kids, clearing and fire-proofing our property or sewing masks.

On that note, Nancy Guenther from Penn Valley advised against using vacuum sweeper bags either for the masks or as filters in masks. Evidently, the bags have glass microfibers that can be inhaled and irritate the lungs. A reader in Sacramento, Dr. Anne Gerhardt, sent me a similar warning. Thanks to both of them.

However busy you are, I hope you’ll take a minute to call or email with anecdotes, acts of kindness, and generous deeds. Why? Because sharing stories reminds us we are not alone. Plus, they make us smile while we wait for the storm to end. Text or call 530-263-4072, or email carolecarson41@gmail.com.


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