#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR, DAY 5, P.T.L. Perrin, @ptlperrin #RRBC #RRBC_COMMUNITY #RWISARiseUp

P.T.L. Perrin

WHEN THE WORLD WAS FORCED TO A STOP

…it immediately created a toilet paper shortage. No restrictions had yet been put into place the day I went shopping at Walmart. As always, the items I needed were available. I loaded my cart and headed for the paper aisle. Wait! What the heck happened? A single pack of toilet paper sat on the otherwise empty shelves, left there, most likely, because of a tear in the packaging. I grabbed it. The paper wouldn’t spoil because the package was ripped.

Two women, one elderly and one a younger version of her, stopped in shock, just like I did. I couldn’t help myself. Tears filled the older woman’s eyes, and I had to do something. I handed her daughter the pack, fully expecting to find one somewhere else. Besides, we were okay for a while. How could Walmart, of all places, be out of TOILET PAPER? And why THAT item and no others?

In the coming weeks, when nary a roll was to be found anywhere, I fantasized about the hoarders having to eat it. Roasted TP. Grilled TP. TP Soup. TP pie. I hoped they choked; until I realized that some of them might be families with kids, and they’d be up the creek without a paddle if they hadn’t bought it all up that first week. I began to wish them well and decided to order some online. The next available delivery date was sometime in June, in two months, but it wasn’t guaranteed. A friend suggested I search Amazon for a bidet.

Having lived in Italy in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s, I was familiar with bidets, simple low basins separate from the toilet with shower nozzles that sprayed upward. Back then, they were a place to float toy boats, complete with a fountain in the middle. I did not know their true purpose until I was much older and no longer living there. We had plenty of toilet paper back then.

The bidets I found online ranged from a hand-held sprayer, which can double as a cloth diaper cleaner (for those with babies who still use cloth diapers), to a seat attachment that requires no aiming. It appears that the sprayer might take some practice in order to avoid a wet bathroom. But then, if you turn on the no-aiming-required spray without your rear end covering the inside opening of the toilet seat, you could give your ceiling a wash. At least you could with the Italian ones. Amazingly, the guaranteed delivery date was in three days. I clicked the button, quite satisfied with myself.

Neighbors drive to a local farm, where a box of fresh veggies is placed in their trunk, and they drop some off at our front porch. Other neighbors are busy sewing facemasks for a local nursing home. I gave them some colorful fabric and a treasure trove of elastic left over from my long-ago sewing days. Kids ride their bikes in the quiet streets, six feet apart from each other most of the time. Couples walk holding hands (come on…they live together!) and greet other walkers, keeping their distance and using their ‘outside’ voices. Everyone asks everyone else, “How are you doing? Need anything?”

The air smells fresher, the office is gradually getting cleaned out, and my tennis-pro husband burns off energy doing yard work and cutting the hedge shorter and shorter. By the time this is over, it’ll be six inches tall. We’re finally using up the canned goods in the pantry, at least those whose expiration dates are newer than July 2015.

The worst part of this for most people is the loss of jobs and income, although we’re all hoping it’s temporary. We hope to scrounge enough to pay the mortgage for the next couple months, until the tennis courts open and people take lessons again. Younger people with families at home are worried, including our children with their families. Some can work from home, others cannot.

The systems that should facilitate what the government has done to ease the burden are broken and scrambling to find fixes. When this happens again, hopefully in the far distant future, they should be prepared, and the process should run smoother. The same goes for medical supplies and personal protection equipment. There were no stockpiles when this virus shut us down. After this, there will be.

We pray for the sick, that they will recover, and for those who’ve lost loved ones. We pray for those who are feeling the pain of lost income, especially those with young children. We pray for the teachers who have poured themselves into making lessons their students can do from home, and we pray for the parents of those students. We pray for the homeless and the prisoners who have little choice in anything. We pray for Bill’s mom in a nursing home, and for all those who live and work there. We pray for doctors, nurses, hospital staff, first responders…everyone helping others though this.

We were both sick in January, and so were some of our kids and grandkids. Could it have been this virus, this invisible scourge, that made us miserable for a while and then left us to recover? Perhaps. Perhaps many people have had it unknowingly and are now immune, with antibodies that can help someone who is seriously ill to recover. In time, we may all be tested, and then we’ll know for sure.

For now, we practice social distancing. We stay home and catch up on things we’d been meaning to do for the last twenty years, and thank the good Lord we have a home to shelter in. We follow the rules, not to protect ourselves, but to protect the people around us, known and not known, just in case. We are witnessing the spirit of the people who live here, who, when faced with calamity, reach out and help their neighbors. We have never been prouder to be Americans than we are right now.

The bidet arrived right on time. It looks nice in its box, which will remain closed until we run out of toilet paper, an unlikely issue with our kids and neighbors watching out for us. Neighbors, if you run out, we have some to share. I want to try that bidet.

Now about those toilet paper hoarders…

Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA“RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment on the main RWISA“RISE-UP”Blog Tour page!  Once you’re there, it would be nice to also leave the author a personal note on their dedicated tour page, as well.  Thank you, and good luck!  

#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR, DAY 4, ROBERT FEAR, @fredsdiary1981 #RRBC #RRBC_COMMUNITY #RWISARiseUp

Spring happens despite the lockdown. Beautiful post, with some gorgeous photos, by Robert Fear.

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

2020 RWISA RISE UP TOUR BANNER

MOTIVATING OTHERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

If anyone had told me at the start of the year what was going to happen in 2020, I would have thought they were crazy.

Over the past few weeks, I have learned to cope with this new reality. The initial feelings of anxiety and fear subsided, and my views changed as I became more sensitive to others and aware of how fragile our society is.

We are among the lucky ones. Although work from my day job has evaporated, my wife and I live in a comfortable house, our three cats keep us company, and we have enough money to last through this crisis. As a bonus, the weather has been warm and sunny for the daily exercise walks we are allowed to take.

When the lockdown was implemented, my thoughts turned to those less fortunate. Older people unable to leave home, those suffering…

View original post 609 more words

#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR, DAY 3, JAN SIKES, @JanSikes3 #RRBC #RRBC_Community #RWISARiseUp

…and we think we have it rough! Jan Sikes writes about her amazing Mom who lived through unthinkable hardship, teaching her daughter how to live and love.  Read more about this wonderful author here.

Don’t miss this video!

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

2020 RWISA RISE UP TOUR BANNER

DEPRESSION SOUP

by Jan Sikes

She stood in a line her head bowed low

There was nowhere to run, no place to go

With clothes that were ragged

And shoes that were worn

There were millions just like her

She wasn’t alone

America’s Great Depression had stolen their homes

Took its toll on their bodies

Tried to squash their souls

But she squared her shoulders, raised her eyes

Fierce determination replaced her sighs

She’d fight to survive, that much was true

Although many times, she’d be sad and blue

Someday there would be plenty

But for now, she was caught in a loop

She held out her bowl

For another serving

Of Depression Soup

Born in Missouri in 1917, my mom, Marian Edith Clark, learned about hardships at a young age.

Her mother, my grandmother, Sarah Jane, was sickly. The household chores fell on my mom’s shoulders when she was…

View original post 1,420 more words

Welcome to day 2 of the #RRBC #RWISA #RWISARiseUp Blog Tour!

Meet D. L. Finn, whose poetry captures what many of us feel about how this pandemic is affecting our lives.

D. L. Finn’s Poetry

MISTY MOUNTAIN MOMENT

It flows quietly on a breeze

Covering the landscape in its presence.

The world simplifies at that moment

While the mountain mist intensifies.

Its threatening chill keeps us indoors

Watching…

Waiting…

Worrying…

How long will it eliminate color from our world?

Yet, we’re securely tucked away inside.

We have a full stomach.

A place to sleep… others don’t.

Some live outside in this mountain mist

Trying to survive.

We offer what we can… from a safe distance.

As we head back to our protected lives

Suddenly, we get a glimpse past the monochrome.

Then we remember that a dreary gray mountain moment

Does not subdue the light that shines within all of us.

GONE

Gone is my freedom as I shelter at home.

Gone is abundant supplies; I must get in line to shop.

Gone are family gatherings, events, and appointments.

Gone is the income from those deemed non-essential.

Gone is the guarantee they will be helped.

This is all replaced by a new world.

Where procuring toilet paper is a reason to celebrate.

Where putting my wants over someone’s safety is a priority.

Where people risk their lives to save others.

Where people do without, perhaps for the first time.

Where learning how to make what used to be available.

Yes, so much has changed and is gone—for now.

My hope is this new insight and caring…

Stays long after everything that is gone, returns

And things go back to a new compassionate normal.

STORM

A storm tore through our world unseen

But we felt its presence as hospitals filled.

We tried to wash it off and hide from it

Yet, it kept coming.

Finally, we headed into the storm shelter

Only venturing out for food…

Unless we were needed to fight this storm.

So many heroes raced into the chaos

Sadly, some did not make it back home.

While the rest of us waited in our safety

Grateful for what we had

Worried for what we did not.

Here we wait for that sunny day

When the storm fades away,

And we return to normal again

Armed with a new understanding…

Of how fragile our existence is.

Something the wise won’t ever forget.

#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR DAY 1, Harriet Hodgson, @HEALTHMN1 #RRBC #RRBC_Community #RWISARiseUp

How is the threat of Covid-19 affecting people? Harriet Hodgson beautifully shares her thoughts here. I’ve found them to be uplifting and thought-provoking. What about you?

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

With Hands Clasped: Thoughts of the Pandemic

By Harriet Hodgson

2020 RWISA RISE UP TOUR BANNER

As COVID-19 spread across the land, Americans were directed to stay home. This news led to all sorts of questions. What will we do for entertainment? How will we teach the kids? Will we run out of food? As weeks passed, many Americans felt confined, even imprisoned. Not me. A freelancer for 38+ years, I was used to working at home.

My husband and I have been married for 62 years. “I love you more today than yesterday,” I often say. Staying home with him was a blessing. Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver, in one of her poems, uses the phrase “with hands clasped.” I lived her words with hands clasped in memory, in caregiving, in creativeness, in gratefulness, and in hope.

In memory . . .

When World War II started, I was four years old. COVID-19 made me…

View original post 606 more words

Meet Michele Sabad!

Meet my friend Stevie (Michele) Sabad, who, in the linked post, is reading an excerpt from her newly released book, FIRST WE EAT. Food, Life and Other Stories. 

I loved her first book, CAMP FOLLOWER: ONE ARMY BRAT’S STORY, in which she shares stories of her life in a way that resonates with me, someone who grew up as she did, in snippets and in various places. For those who were allowed to grow roots and have not experienced that lifestyle, CAMP FOLLOWER is a great way to get to know your friends who did.

I can’t wait to read her next book, especially after hearing her read this excerpt. Click Here to Enjoy!

First We Eat

Get First We Eat Here

Saying Goodbye to an Extraordinarily Beautiful Spirit

clouds-2709662_1920 gerd altmann pixabayOn March 7, 2020, a brilliant light went Home to Heaven, leaving the world not an iota darker, but instead many times brighter with all the lives she impacted here.

Jesus Christ welcomed her Home, where she undoubtedly heard her beloved Lord and Savior say, “Well done, Felecia. You have finished the race.”

Felecia Clarke, a friend to many of us, accomplished every task the Lord had given her to do, which included publishing her delightfully candid memoir entitled, ARE YOU READY? She was ready.

In her blog, A Life Sanctified, she left us with clear guidelines on how to live, how to fight a relentless enemy, how to love, and how to encourage others even while going through dark places.

My heart aches at her absence and rejoices at her victory over illness and death. Tears run down my cheeks as I share her last blog post with you, appropriately entitled “It’s Okay to Cry,” a letter to you, with love, by Felecia Clarke.

I think I know why God has allowed this cancer. He’s using me for His glory and I couldn’t be happier about that. The amount of people who have told me over the past four years how my conduct through this ordeal has helped them is remarkable.

Dare I say I’m a beacon? Sharing my strength with others as needed. Praying with them. Crying with them. Holding them up. It sounds very self-sacrificing, but it’s not.

They strengthen me as well.

Calming during the storm … sharing a hope for the future.

Of course it’s only because of God that I can say that.

READ MORE…