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Carol Perkins: A silver lining in the new normal

Previous Column: Normal is coming, sometime

By Carol Perkins

I'm getting used to my new normal. Guy does all the grocery shopping (once a week) and I put them away. I cook and he cleans afterward. We both do laundry. (I don't know why we have so many loads!) He lifts, and I point to what needs lifting. "Could you get that down for me?" Then I'll say, "Would you put that back up for me?" He knows if he doesn't help, I will use the step stool, which could result in a broken hip. Then he would have to take care of me, so he had rather do the lifting.

I watch only a few TV shows, and American Idol is one of them. I much prefer the "new" way of doing the show rather than the stage performances with the live audience. Seeing where they live, their families and the down-home talent they bring each week is much more entertaining than the original version of the show. I like seeing Luke, Lionel, and Katy in their surroundings, too.

Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon were not shows I often watched. I didn't enjoy their monologues, and most guests were promoting something. I found neither very funny, even though their audiences laughed hysterically. Since broadcasting from their homes with constant interruptions from their children or their dogs, the entertainment value of their shows has doubled.

I loved the night that Fallon took his phone/camera to the garage and gave us a tour of his VW Beetle Van. The guests are more relaxed and most, like us, need haircuts! I like the new normal for late-night TV.

So many Facebook subscribers are holding auctions. Barn Lot Theater hosts an auction every Wednesday and Saturday nights (sometimes starting in the afternoon and going until after midnight). Over two hundred participated Saturday night. The best buy was an Emeril Fryer that retailed for $200; it went for $98. A new normal for socializing---online auctions. (People connecting!)

Twice a week, my Texas grandchildren gathered around their kitchen table for a game of trivia (which I randomly compile). Their mother, Beth, keeps score, Jon listens, and Hazel, their dog, sits in a chair poised as if she is going to participate. (Jon can't move her!) I ask fifty multiple-choice questions, and the winner gets prize money in the mail. Then the hammer dropped. My phone carrier informed me that I had used all of my data. What data? I didn't know I had data. Evidently, Facetime takes too much data, so I decided to use Zoom only to discover my reasonably new computer has no camera. I will have to charge my laptop. Seldom are the three grandchildren not running in fifty directions, but this "new normal" has given us quality time.

Families are playing games, eating together, working in the yard, taking walks, talking, and learning to get by on less, which may be the upside of these last months. Then again, the hours of "togetherness" may be too much! Guy would say he has had enough togetherness for a while. "Let me go to work!" he screams in his sleep.

Carol's new book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2020-05-15 06:45:31
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