Living in the U.S., I’ve been trying to find some of the positives in this
COVID-19 outbreak. The peak of the outbreak has apparently been reached in China and some of the European countries, but the next three weeks will bring the peak to us in the U.S. This pandemic is a no-joke event. Scary to the point of terrifying. My friends and I have decided that the only way we can emotionally and mentally survive these weeks is to seek out something positive and that hasn’t been easy.
As time has passed, and the last five weeks or so has seemed like an eternity, positives have emerged. They are overwhelmed by the negatives as we see the death toll from this horrible virus hit such heights in New York City and gradually start seeping into our more rural areas. So many people are unemployed. The best guess is that the U.S. unemployment rate is going to hit 32% and help throw us into a deep recession or worse. Perhaps two-thirds of the country is under a “stay-at-home” directive from the Governor’s of our states in order to try to stem the spread of the virus.
Americans are not accustomed to having to stay at home. My friends and I have noticed something positive happening due to this directive. People are rediscovering their passions. Two-career parents are getting to spend time with their children and they are realizing what they are missing. I have a young friend who has a Master’s degree in a literary field, but she has been forced to work outside her field to pay the bills. She has started writing again and has rediscovered her passion for it. She’s thinking of turning her writings into a book. Couples are rediscovering their passion for each other.
Even I have had some much needed down time and it has allowed me to get my creative writing juices flowing again. I have a job writing in my field of finance, but I’m making time for creative writing. I’m working on a personal essay and taking time for my book. I’m starting to put together some ideas for a second, non-fiction book. All of this allows me to think about something other than this terrible pandemic that is ravaging our world.
On this April Fool’s Day, there isn’t much to joke about, is there? I think we, as a world, are together on that.
”Talk to the ones who can hear you.”
Have you ever talked to someone and, suddenly, you realized that person wasn’t really hearing you? At the very least, they didn’t understand what you were saying and were just being polite? If you’re going to talk, talk to people who hear you. Really hear you. Your words are wasted otherwise.
We all have different kinds of friends and family. Some are more casual. Some are closer. The only ones that can really be closer are those who can hear you. Hear the meaning and feeling behind your words. Otherwise, it’s a superficial relationship.
I’ll tell you what I usually do. I usually let the ones who can’t hear me talk to me. If they ever stopped to think about it, they would realize they know almost nothing about me. Nothing of any importance anyway.
If you try to talk to the ones who can’t hear you, you’ll just be frustrated and you’ll grow to resent them. It’s not their fault nor is it yours.
A pictorial of high summer around northeastern Kentucky, on the fringes of Appalachia. The middle of July is definitely seen as mid-summer. Another few weeks and the “dog days” arrive, which mean the end of the summer is approaching. It’s been an extraordinarily hot summer here. 90s almost every day and high humidity. HIgher than usual. As I sit at my desk typing, it’s 91 degrees. Tucker, my puppy, refuses to go out in the afternoons. The deck burns his paws, so I have to carry him.
I have very few flowers blooming this summer, even though I live in the middle of the forest. It’s just been too hot for them.
It’s a slow day here at my house. Tucker and I got in some outdoor time very early this morning. I sat on the deck with him while he played a little and chewed on his bone. I like slow days. I don’t have many of them. They give me time to relax a little. More importantly, they give me time to reflect on my writing. What direction do I want to take with my current writing projects? Are there new projects I want to undertake?
I write a little about Appalachia. There is a book some of you may have read called “Hillbilly Elegy.” A bestseller. J.D. Vance is the author. I saw J.D. on television recently. On a news station giving his opinion, which I thought odd. I grew up here and even though this book is a bestseller, I don’t agree with most of it. I have been pondering my own version of Vance’s story of Appalachia. His family migrated from the area. Most of my family stayed here. I don’t like the picture he painted.
Have any of you read “Hillbilly Elegy?” What do you think?
The photos are the area around where I live. My property has been declared a National Wildlife Habitat. Enjoy!
The word local arouses mixed feelings in me. I think it’s important for people to buy local as much as possible in order to sustain small business owners in the face of business giants who invade smaller communities. Wal-Mart, of course, being the main offender. Buying from your farmer’s markets, you local retail stores, your local restaurants, puts money into your community and not in the hands of the corporate giants.
Unfortunately, corporate giants have driven business out of small communities and it is not always possible to buy local because the goods and services you need are not available. In my case, I have to go to the closest large city to get what I need. I used to be able to buy what I needed in my local community.
The word “local” has both good and not so good meanings for me. There is drug trafficking very close to where I live. In a smaller community, it’s not confined to so-called “bad” neighborhoods. It’s everywhere. I live in a nice neighborhood with mostly nice neighbors. There is still drug trafficking. There is also reasonably heavy drug use. I often jokingly say you can’t hire anyone to work for you because they would rather be cooking meth.
Having said all this, there is still a beauty in the local areas of small town America. Even though everyone is busier than they used to be, working and with their families, there is still a feeling of the “sit on the porch and talk awhile” than in the city. There is more of a feeling of trust of people than you have in a city. I trust every neighbor on my street and feel that I could call on any of them in an emergency or crisis.
Local areas are still beautiful things in the United States. As long as we don’t let a criminal element, such as drug distributors, into our communities.
Hello everyone! This week, I am dedicating my work on my blog to wrapping it up for 2016 and getting things going for 2017 with some changes.
Watch this space to see what I’m going to do with the blog to wrap it up for the year and get it ready for 2017.
I also need input from you, my readers. I want you to know that I have appreciated your support so much since I started this blog in April 2016. I can’t believe it hasn’t even been one year! It has been wonderful to write for you and to read your comments and have your support. I’ve also so enjoyed reading your blogs! For my readers and followers who don’t have blogs, I value you as well and would love feedback from you. What do you like? What don’t you like? What would you like for me to do differently?
If you have ideas for me, I would love to hear them. Ideas about how to structure the blog. Ideas about subjects I should tackle. Do you like fiction or non-fiction? Any idea at all. I would like to hear them all and I will be responsive to your needs since you are my readers and followers!
Please use the comment section to give me your ideas. If you prefer to give me your ideas privately, just use the Contact Form and no one will see it but me.
I look forward to reading your ideas. Thank you for your support in 2016 and I am excited when I think about blogging in 2017! #amblogging
See those boys standing on the street corner? There. Yes! Those are the ones. Leaning against the lamppost. Cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. Leather jackets. They think they’re too cool for school, don’t they? They’re probably only 16 years old. 17 at the most. It’s the middle of the day and they aren’t in school. What fools! Someday those boys will regret not going to school. Where can you get without a high school education? These days, you can’t even get anywhere without a Master’s degree and all they can think of is hanging out by the lamppost.
This Post is written for the International Blogging Marathon Challenge (IBMC). The challenge has 10 tasks and this is the first one.
IBMC #01: Phrase a Paragraph Challenge is the first to write a paragraph of 100 words by choosing one out of given ten topics. (Rules can be checked out in link)
#amwriting #amblogging #writing #flashfiction #fiction #IBMC