Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Cookware Scare

Late yesterday morning, Dave came into the living room and proposed taking a little walk.

I said to him, "Who are you and what have you done with my husband?!"

This is a guy who's barely left the house or garden since lockdown began in March, and a guy who doesn't like "going for a walk" under even the best of circumstances. But yesterday he said, "I have to get out of here!"

So we walked up to the post office so I could mail a birthday card to my mother, and then we visited a local cookware shop. I'd bought Dave a £100 gift card from there last Christmas, and he'd barely used it. When the place closed in March and the future of retail in general looked very precarious, I was afraid we'd never get our money out of it. But the shop reopened last week. Whew!

Dave picked out some Le Creuset gratin dishes, a metal pie plate and a pie/cake server. But then the woman at the checkout counter said she couldn't read the gift card -- the store had changed computer systems (!). Fortunately Dave had a receipt in his ridiculously overstuffed wallet that showed our last purchase, and included the card balance -- about £89. And that's exactly what our stuff cost. So we called it even and left, mission accomplished.

That was a close call!

Meanwhile, my brother has given me the unwelcome news that two employees at my mom's retirement center in Florida, including one who works in her building, have tested positive for Covid-19. So they have everyone isolating, and I can't imagine how they're managing that in a memory care unit where routine is so important. I've been unable to reach my mom on the phone, and as I've written before, she has trouble communicating verbally anyway, but I think they'd tell us if any of the residents came down with anything. What a nightmare! I suppose it was inevitable, though, given the density of infections in Florida.

I'm reading poet Mark Doty's new book about Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass." I must say I've always found Whitman difficult, if not impenetrable, so I'm hoping Doty can shed some light on him. I'm particularly interested in what he has to say about perceptions that Whitman was gay and wrote on gay themes (before they were even understood as such). I'm not far into the book yet but we'll see how it goes.

(Photo: From my walk on Portobello Road a couple of weeks ago.)


  1. That is worrying, covid19 is a bitch! Fingers crossed. Still in stay at home here. LOVE the photo, That would be a fun one to paint.

    Good job getting the right amount of gifts for the right amount of balance, Dave should get you out of the house more often, he is like a charm! I get it though, not sure I trust re-openings, pretty sure we may stay home until we die.

  2. A special four-legged character with a laughing face and a lolling tongue appears to be absent from this blogpost,,, Now who could that be? That's two days running.

    It was good to hear that Dave got of the house for a little walk. He ought to learn that walking is both a joyous activity and good for your health too. Perhaps he will be a late developer.

    Sorry to hear about the COVID issue at your mother's sheltered housing complex. It must be worrying.

  3. Hope that your Mum will be ok.

  4. I wonder what would have happened if Dave did not have the receipt? It hardly seems fair that the credit could be lost.

  5. Great photo and news about Dave. Maybe there’s hope for SG! They sound similar... He is at least sitting next to me now for morning coffee... but only because he doesn’t like being home when our housekeeper is working.

  6. I do hope your Mum stays safe Steve, what a worry for you.

  7. Oh, I know it must be worrisome when you think of your mother, and you an ocean away. Hopefully she will stay safe. Glad you got to use the gift card, good thing Dave had the receipt.

  8. That's horrible about your mother's residence. You must be worried. I'm so sorry. Hopefully they'll have contained it. In the meantime, I'm thinking of you and of her.
    Good on Dave for going out into the world! It must have been somewhat like being born again, to be in the streets and in a shop.
    That photo is one of my favorites you've ever posted. It's just so...cheerful and colorful and busy and perfect. It reminds me a little of a Richard Scarry Busytown illustration.

  9. Hoping that your mom has not been exposed. To be so far away and unable to get information is a nightmare for you, I am sure.

    Dave and my husband seem to have the same habit...never take anything out of their wallets--regardless of how thick it becomes. In this case, the habit paid off. Have yet to see any pay off for my DH. Just worn out pant pockets.

  10. The top photo is crazy good!
    It almost looks fake... Why is that? the perfection of the composition, the movement so balanced?
    I stared and stared at it.
    (Why is the woman in red lifting her leg so high?)

    I used to work with nursing-home residents with dementia--wonderful people. Not very likely to social distance though. Lots of non-verbal communication--mostly, in fact.
    I hope your mother stays well and you'll be visiting again face-to-face in 2021, when we have a vaccine. Fingers crossed. Toes too.

  11. Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear that Covid has made it to your mom's facility. I do hope that she stays safe. This must be so stressful for you. My kids won't let me go anywhere near other people. I know why, so I do appreciate their care. It's so good that you and Dave were able to go shopping. Stay safe my friend, hugs, Edna B.

  12. Hope that all is okay for your mom. Please keep us posted. Now I'm worried.
    Glad that all worked out at the cookware shop.
    Love the photo. Is it recent? No one is wearing a mask.

  13. It is worrying when COVID gets into a facility like that - hopefully they'll be able to contain it!

    I am so seduced by cookware & kitchen gadgets. I'll buy things & then there they sit because (as you know) Mike is the cook in our house. I try to remember to get his buy-in before I get something, but then I see a shiny object...

  14. Unwelcome news about your Mom and so unnecessary. Much more could have been done to control the virus there.

  15. Well, you got out together, at least you had an adventure!
    I tell my husband every day that we need to do something together, as this is what keeps couples bonded, but he won't listen and leaves me all alone, while he digs the potatoes.

    I share your concerns about the retirement home as my father has justed been moved to one and no visitors are allowed and he doesn't accept that and orders the staff around and that's only week one.

    This is a site that very seriously examines and recaps all episodes of Dark and while I skip through it mostly, it helps when I get lost, which happens about every 15 minutes anyway. But honestly, some people think every word spoken in it is gold dust. Creepy.

  16. I'm glad to hear you two got out of the house for a little while. I know all too well how good that feels. I'm so sorry to hear about the problems at your mother's facility. It must be horribly frustrating to not be able to get in touch with her. This pandemic is taking a serious emotional toll on so many of us.
    Thank goodness for saving receipts! Sometimes I think I'm a little too obsessive about saving receipts for purchases but it does pay off when needed. And just to be clear, I only save the important ones.

  17. That cookware store looks very cluttered and I don't see a mask or social distancing in sight in your photo. I hope you two were careful.

  18. Ridiculously overstuffed wallet notwithstanding, Dave's habit just saved you a bunch :) Sounds like some solid choices at the cookware store.

    I'm sorry to hear about your mom's nursing home having cases of COVID-19. There's just so much of it in Florida; it's horrible. And so unnecessary. If you've been reading the headlines, there have been a number of amazing cases reported of elderly (late 90s, as old as 103) who have recovered well from the virus, though. It gives one reason to hope.

  19. I am so sorry Covid is in your Mom's facility. The last thing that memory care patients need is a change in routine.
    Love the photo, it's so dang cheerful, which we could all use.

  20. I am sorry to hear about your Mom's place. Our lockdown was too short and the stupidity of people not adhering to guidelines is just plain dangerous.

  21. Brave Dave! That street looks teeming with the immortal: you know, the ones who don't need the mask. I'm glad the expedition worked out. And his big fat wallet was validated, too!
    Florida is a horror show right now. I'm happy to be back home in Massachusetts, a magical place where most - sadly, not all - have the brains to wear the damn mask.
    I used to teach Whitman along with Dickinson. Can you imagine two poets whose writing (and lives) are less alike?
    I enjoyed them both.

  22. I'm so sorry about your mother. It is so hard not being able to communicate or get information about a loved one. I hope you can find out more soon.

    This is horrible to say, but I'm not unhappy that my parents both died in 2009 after living to the ages of 93 and 94. They were in a facility where Daddy was in an assisted living bath/bed-sit, and Mother was in their Memory Care in the same facility. That same facility now has had several Covid cases and is in lock-down. My father also was thrilled to have lived to see Obama elected and would be devastated by what ____ is doing to the country. He was a Roosevelt Democrat and very proud of it!

  23. I'm sorry to hear about the Covid situation at your mom's retirement community. I hope it passes her by and she stays safe and well. South Carolina is rapidly catching up with Florida as a C-19 hotspot. People are too damn stupid to do what's necessary to control it and they're beginning to pay for it.

  24. that looks like a cool shop. I was surprised the pedestrians weren't wearing masks. not required in London?

    Sorry to hear about your mom's residence. I hope she remains unscathed but Florida! and Texas is just as bad.

  25. I know how Dave feels! Steve, that photo up top is a true classic. It should be famous and widely viewed. There is so much to see in it, every time i look I see something more. Such a slice of humanity.