I honestly have never been at a loss for words. As a child my father called me a chatterbox. I could chat anybody up on almost anything once I got an idea of their interests.

But this strange restriction has got me. I have realized I am fed up with it and am trying to quietly wait it out. I’m at a point where I am certain a doctor will have a universal solution and we will all be free of this.

Freedom is not just movement, but a state of mind. You can have all the money you could ever imagine, access to any form of travel, homes in many countries and still be bound in some way.


I hear over and over of Christian or prisoners of other faiths, wrongfully imprisoned yet their hearts and minds are unbound by the cell that has become their world. They sing, they accept with joy even the vile or menial tasks they are given and do their very best at it.

This virus is very odd. There seems to be more to it and we are fighting psychological as well as social and emotional bondage from it. I for one am beginning to tire of the same doctors who have been directing us these past several months. But when new doctors begin to tell us of therapies that have proven successful in treating this malady, that could give us immunity and therefore freedom, they are quickly silenced.


I may never know the answer. I do know that God knows the number of our days. This relieves considerable stress. I no longer worry irrationally about masks or hand sanitizer. I do what I am legally directed, follow sensible advice and leave the rest.

Rescue dogs Lily and Lulu have experienced little change in their routines. We have never been banned from parks so as long as the weather has warranted we go for walks. The summer has begun to be summer hot so we are limited in time of day, but they are older now and do not mind the extra long afternoon nap times.

The beach inn where my family and I vacationed every summer cancelled all existing reservations, then opened to new reservations. This made no sense, since many simply made new reservations. We did not, nor did anyone who shared the inn with us for ‘our’ week.


So since I did not get to visit my family last year for any holiday at all it’s been a year since I have seen them. Call me foolish but I’m driving to east Texas from coastal NC next week. Packing masks, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes.

Unless this Isaias storm has other ideas.

(why couldn’t it just be called Isaiah?)

Ocean gifts

So after a storm is a great opportunity for shell seekers. You find beautiful, unusual shells that the ocean keeps locked away in her murky depths. Churned up by chaotic turbulent winds and raucous storms the waves hurtle toward the shore, gently placing their offerings with each tide.

Lily and Lulu and I meandered up the beach the other morning enjoying the gentle breeze and the still-warm water lapping over my feet. Just ahead I spotted three large forms on the dawn-brightening sand and savored what they might be as I walked toward them. Like a shot, a woman in tight black leggings, running shoes, sweatshirt and her blond ponytail pulled neatly through the band behind her cap raced by to my right and quickly scooped up what I had mentally claimed as mine, now hers.

“Jackpot!” she shouted, gleefully.

Somehow this completely diminished the beauty of these shells. I also noticed another, much larger one not 20 feet ahead and sadly watched as the woman ran to grab that one, too.

It wasn’t so much that I missed out on some lovely shells, the ocean isn’t likely to run out anytime soon. What saddened me was the apparent department store final clearance attitude of my fellow beach walker as she vacuumed the beach of its bounty. Shells and all things from the sea are mysterious. They may be explained by scientists– how they come to be, the composite structure of each different shell, but look at the beauty of even the most common shell. There are ridges, colorings, imperfections, a place where a hinge might once have existed, a housing for an animal whose life secrets number greatly against what people claim to know absolutely about it.

So no, I was not disappointed that I missed out on an addition to my growing collection


I was saddened by how ordinary she made them seem. Just another thing to have, rather than a beautiful gift to be cherished. Of course there are other gifts, a brilliant sunrisePicture1015160717_1.jpg

or the little brittle star tossed casually on top of a pile of shells (not my photo)


But I suppose there is nothing quite so comforting as a pile of toys during a terrible storm


Lulu probably had the right idea.