It was good day for sleeping in, and I did. Finally up, I dressed and went through my five-year routine to shake my chest, and breathe in two misty medicines in succession.
I connect the two hoses of the air-pumping machine, don the vest that will fill with air, shaking my lungs to loosen phlegm caught in the bronchial tubes, turning on the second machine that dear Molly has prepared with a medicine of whose mist I breathe in for 15 minutes. Then change to other medication that does other good things for my lungs.
Then, the pills - taking two pages to list them. While not pronounceable, I know the size and color and power.
Before long, the morning is nearly over and Molly calls me to lunch in our little alcove that looks down into the lovely courtyard, with its greens and trees, pond and ducks.
I read a little, till I realize I'm dozing - despite my morning "late lie," and decide to stretch out under my corduroy jacket next to Molly whose book has closed, and her eyes too.
Soon, she's waking me for a walk. We head out the front door of Covenant Living, our Senior Home in Golden Valley, where I make it to the first resting bench.
While we all wear masks and walk rather deliberately, we are not alone on this lovely campus. There's a little old woman in hat and windbreaker, striding along the sidewalk with walking sticks in each hand, keeping her balance, and keeping her moving.
On our own greenway were a midlife couple ensconced in lawn chairs, chatting with a gentleman opposite them, who looked to be her father.
We waved and greeted, acknowledging that behind our masks we all felt like bandits, out to rob a bank.
Molly and I walked along, and sat again, twenty feet from a newer couple at Covenant Living, sitting on a bench, talking with two young women, both in shorts, and obviously ready for summer, who were standing and shifting from foot to foot. My guess was it was the elder couple's grown daughter, and her daughter.
I wanted to acknowledge the young women's summer attire by singing to them,
"Summer time! And, the livin' is easy.
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high.
Oh, your daddy's rich, and your ma is good-lookin'.
So, hush, little baby, don't you cry."
Of course, I refrained. But, it was that kind of day: warm, soft winds blowing, afternoon sun shining, with those who could, out for a walk - or just a sit - in the sun.
Some trees had buds already: green leaves, tiny and making their first appearances. For sure it was spring - no doubt about it, this 25th of April.
And yet, the masks, the six feet of separation, all of us aware that something had invaded our spring. Something unseen. A "Pandemic," of all things.
Leaders were telling us to "stay home," "care for each other," "it's what's needed, and this too, shall pass." What we really know, is that God knows all about it. No mystery to Him. And He tells us, "Be not afraid." We are in His hands, It will be all right.
The great thing is to not fear. It is to pray. To help each other. We will be free again. And, we will learn important things. We'll be better people.
I miss church, the Christian community. I long for the lake, the Ossipee I love. And before then, my wonderful Bible Study group, who've agreed to gather, in the season of Pentecost, the time of the Spirit, and the power.
And you, friend, are you - as we say - "Okay?" Seek Jesus. Take His hand. He'll show the way.
Love to you.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES