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Carol Perkins: Normal is coming, sometime

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By Carol Perkins

I have not been inside a store since the virus began. Guy does the shopping while I sit in the car and watch people, wishing I could see my friends and have lunch as we usually did. Because of the lower number of cases in Monroe County, the last two grocery trips have been to their Wal-Mart.

On the way to Tompkinsville this week, I saw a familiar sign. "Guy, have you ever been to Rockbridge?"

"What's at Rockbridge?"

"A greenhouse."

He shook his head. "You surely don't want any more flowers. There isn't a pot on the property you haven't stuck something in! Besides, it's going to freeze this weekend." The poor man has dug so many holes to plant peony bulbs, sixty gladiolus bulbs, a butterfly bush, and the tulip tree that the moles are confused.

I think he "gunned it" for fear I'd ask him to turn. In my defense I said, "I love flowers." The truth is I love blooming flowers and bushes rather than cut flowers (there are exceptions). I want to watch them stick their heads out of the ground in the spring and admire them until the end of summer. Guy's comment was, "You love ice cream, too." What he meant by that was that when I started my low carb diet (a week ago) that meant there would be no more stops at the Dairy Queen or Sonic. Tompkinsville has both. Rockbridge wasn't on his agenda and neither was ice cream.

Once at Walmart, I saw masks and no masks. "I guess I'll wear the thing," Guy grumbled as he slipped it over his head and around his ears. "It smothers me." His lack of comfort compared to those who wear masks all day, every day was nothing. I've heard about how health care workers suffer from pain around their ears and imprints left on their face. His grumbling was wasted on me and my attempt to go to another greenhouse was wasted on him.

This is our ninth week together, and the longest we have spent under the same roof since we married fifty-two years ago. His job has always taken him on the road at least two nights a week and that became the normal for us. "I don't think I could stay around here all the time; I'd go crazy." I agreed. He is not a piddling person. He has no significant hobbies except golf once a week. If he doesn't get back to work soon he has promised to lose his mind.

Getting back to normal (whatever that will be) is coming, but we can't put a deadline on it because there are so many variables. My friends and I were to leave on a cruise this weekend, but as anxious as we might be, we won't be among the first to travel. It may be next year before we go, but we will make the trip!

Patience is not my strong suit, but this has forced me to be. Guy will ask when I think he'll be able to go to work (as if I know). When he asked the first time, I said June. I no longer think that is true. He may be home until the end of summer. I will have more flower beds for him to dig and he will want more chocolate chip cookies (sugar free). We will survive without, hopefully, losing our minds. Heaven help both of us.

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 2020-05-08 11:42:40
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