The Last Live Performance

The last live performance I attended was to see comedian Preacher Lawson at Ohio University on February 7.

It seems like a thousand years ago.

It was a great night too. The comedian was truly funny plus I enjoyed a nice moonlit walk in the snow across the college green.

I had no idea that it would be the last time I would sit in a crowd and enjoy live performance for a year.

The impact this pandemic has had on performers and venues is devastating. Personally, I look forward to the day I can sit in an auditorium or wander through a music festival again and can only hope that these places are still operational when it’s safe to do so again.

What was the last live performance you attended?

The Ghost Of A Burglary

I was once in a home that was burglarized.

They came in through the basement. When they tried to open the door into the first floor living space, they were forced to make a lot of noise to break the .29 eye hook used to keep a 60 year old solid wood door in place.

That’s when I woke up.

Earlier this week, I was sound asleep when I awoke to a noise.

The sensation of noise unfamiliar in the dead of night sent my brain straight back to that other early morning. On that day, someone with a gun forced their way inside our home to take things that we had worked hard to acquire.

This week was far less traumatizing but there was cause for alarm for a moment while I thought it through and investigated.

After I woke up, it was quiet again and I couldn’t decide if there was someone in the house who was just being quiet after making some racket or if something had simply fallen.

After that other burglary years ago, I developed an emergency plan of sorts – what I would do if it happened again and ways to prevent it from happening. So I mentally reviewed my plan and readied myself.

Scout heard it too and was on high alert for a minute, listening carefully with his tail all puffed up. When he relaxed, I relaxed. Since he can hear a food package being opened from a deep sleep three rooms away, I was pretty sure he would know if someone who didn’t belong was in his house.

That’s only sort of a joke. Seriously, the hearing on this cat is insane and he’s so territorial he growls like a little dog when someone comes to the door.

He’s pictured here, napping later in the day. A boy needs his beauty sleep.

Luckily, action was not required on this night but it was a good exercise, even if it did mean lost sleep for the rest of the night.

A safety drill is always a good idea.

The burglary I mentioned was at an old boyfriend’s house, not my own, although I pretty much lived there. They got a couple of valuable electronics before fleeing the scene but they also robbed us of our sense of security, that sense of safety in your own home.

The fact that I rarely fall asleep without thinking about it has long been an annoyance. The fact I was somewhat prepared if it had been a burglar this week was somewhat reassuring.

It is these experiences, the good and bad, that shape who we are. Some memories, while distant, can rush back at a moment’s notice to inform how we react to present circumstances.

I suspect that someone else’s decision to break into a stranger’s home, my home, has scarred me for life. However, if those scars will keep me safe someday then so be it.

If you haven’t done so, I suggest that you consider what you would do in the event of a home invasion. You probably have smoke detectors and know how to react in a fire or tornado. Get a plan and alarms together for this too. It will be too late if you wait until it happens.

In case you’re wondering, the noise was a picture that fell off a shelf and knocked a metal toy truck to the floor. I had just placed it on the shelf a few days before and it evidently wasn’t secure.

Lessons learned.

Gallipolis In Lights

I snuck away last night and went for a drive to see Christmas lights.

It was a completely unscripted trip but I have been struggling to show any interest in the holidays and thought it would be good for me.

There’s a big walk through light display in the Gallipolis City Park that seemed like a good place to find my Christmas spirit. It’s significantly smaller than normal this year thanks to Covid – but it’s still quite nice especially since it’s free and so is the parking.

I arrived at dark and there were only a handful of people present. They do require social distancing and masks and the place is so large it was easy to steer clear of the few other people who arrived during my visit.

While driving around, I noticed a lot more houses than normal are decorated this year. I’m guessing people had more free time than normal and a desire to brighten the season.

This is another instance where it felt incredibly normal to simply sip hot chocolate and admire the pretty lights.

It seems I’m easy to please and I’m ok with that. The only way I could have been happier is if it were snowing but it was freezing cold and I got to wear my festive red cloche hat so that was nice.

Here’s one more picture to brighten your day.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Women and Cats

Women and and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

Robert A. Heinlein

There was a ladybug inside the lamp shade.

Never fear. He took care of it.

Even though it told him to get down. He does as he pleases. Guess I should get used to it!

Last November

Last November took me to Pittsburgh where a good friend gave me the holiday tour of her city.

Pittsburgh is an amazing place to celebrate the Christmas season thanks to free and inexpensive events, a beautifully decorated downtown, and tons of shopping opportunities at every turn.

Things are so different this year that I keep thinking back to that weekend – leisurely tours of museums, a crowded train car, fireworks amidst strangers, and a cramped Prantl’s Bakery where people pack in for the finest treats around. We ate in diners with people seated a foot or two away and never gave a second thought to touching doors and keypads or to how many people we would encounter while walking down the street.

My memories are a stark contrast to how we are (or how we should be) living as we try to slow the growth of this pandemic.

I hope to go back someday and experience it all again. For now, I am staying close to home and seeking ways to still enjoy life without too much interaction or risk. I hope you are doing the same and that you might enjoy the armchair travels you’ll find in these pictures.

I delighted in a display of life sized depictions of Father Christmas from around the world. Isn’t he stunning?

Notice the tree reflected in the walls of this mirrored building? There was ice skating in this plaza as well.

It seems like this man had a German accent. He was delightful to listen to as he demonstrated his wares for a seemingly endless crowd.

This tree is composed of lights on the corner of the building. A real show stopper and we were there to see the first lighting!

The Phipps does amazing things with flowers, plants, lights and good old fashioned dirt. Do yourself a favor and read this post about the Phipps at Christmas. There are more pictures.

Here’s hoping that we all can return to normal next Christmas.

For now, I think the meaning of Christmas 2020 is to do everything we can to keep each other safe and well so that we all can be here to celebrate the brighter days ahead.

Be safe, my friends.