Those of us on planet Earth are trying to negotiate our way through a world-wide pandemic. The novel corona virus Covid-19 has us all is various states of lockdown with no idea when we might get back to some semblance of normalcy.
Our current situation made me think of my mother who at 95 has been mostly stuck in her independent-living apartment in Colorado for nine months, with no access to the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren she moved there to spend time with.
Note here that my mom is different than many women of her generation. She left home at 18 to work for the war effort at Maryland Drydock where, she is quick to point out, she did a man’s job, but never earned the same pay. She has a college degree from Penn State University that she earned in 1948. Just under five percent of women had completed a four-year degree back then, so it was no surprise that my mom was a bit of a freak. Before she married and had three kids, she was a radio reporter in Washington, Pennsylvania, this despite the fact that she was initially told “girls shouldn’t cover the news.” Later, she was a reporter at the Grand Rapids Herald in Michigan and she wrote a series of historical fiction novels. In fact, she was the only woman in our neighborhood who held a job when I was a kid, a situation that had other women staring at her with suspicion.
I first realized my mom was rather atypical the day she marched into our local bank with her paycheck in hand. “I’d like to open a checking account,” she told the teller.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, you need your husband’s permission to have a bank account.”
Um…when the dust settled, my mother had her bank account and my father’s signature was nowhere on the application.
While our current situation is difficult, my mother is quick to point out that she’s lived through a lot of tough times, including the Depression and World War II, which made me consider her thoughts on global crises.
“I have to say that people did try,” she said of the civilian populace during World War II. “There were drives for tin for the war effort. Everything was rationed: gas, meat, sugar, flour, tires. You were careful with whatever you had, [because] companies…just switched from making personal products to products for the war effort. We had a victory garden in the back yard. Everybody did it. It was patriotic to do these things.”
While World War II was a terrible time, my mom thinks our current pandemic is more difficult to deal with.
“The virus is everywhere. We can’t see it,” she said. “The virus is indiscriminate. I honestly think this is worse. The psychology is worse, because we’re losing communication with other people.”
My mom is trying to do better about connecting. The grandchildren just bought her an iPad so she can facetime with the great-grandchildren. And while she rarely leaves her apartment and struggles with the sameness of every day, she is managing.
“I have thought through every crisis I’ve had to live to with,” she said. “It all depends on your ability to not fall into depression.”
Which requires finding meaningful things to do.
“Every morning I read the paper and I watch the news,” she said. “I always read books and that’s been a tremendous help. The only thing you can do is get out of yourself. Books help you do that.”
I don’t know when I’ll see my mother again. Plans for her 95th birthday were scuttled over the summer. Though mom is a pragmatic sort, not the least bit sentimental.
“I’ve lived my life,” she said when I asked if she’s nervous about getting the new vaccine. “What in the hell am I saving myself for?”
Knowing the battles my mother has waged, I think the Covid virus might have quite a fight with her. I doubt the little bug is willing to take the chance.
A WOMAN FLEES AN ABUSIVE HUSBAND
AND FINDS HOPE IN THE WILDS OF THE ARIZONA DESERT.
Published by Liaison – A Next Chapter Imprint
Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.
Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.
Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?
Order your copy here: http://mybook.to/wildhorsespb