July 12, 2020
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Did I ever think?

By: Irene Hilsendager
June 5, 2020

Did I ever think I would be sheltered-in-place for nearly three months and not get lonely…no, I am not lonely. I just want to see people move around.

Did I ever think In my eight decades of life I would see destruction…no, but some cities are being burned down where people work, eat and sleep.

Did I ever think there is still racism…I thought I saw the end of it by the 60s and 70s.

Did I ever think I would be a great grandmother…Probably and now I have a dozen little ones learning how to walk and talk.

Did I ever think I would be a widow…not so soon but my dear spouse has been gone nearly 15 years.

Did I ever think I would lose friends to cancer…yes, it is still going on with dear, dear friends in pain and thinking by now there should be a cure.

Did I ever think that daubers are still being used…did not think so but not too long ago playing bingo daubers were for sale.

Did I ever think that I have retired four times…Will this summer be the last time I don’t know.

Did I ever think that when friends visit…I request to not talk about politics.

Did I ever think smoking…is still being touted.

Did I ever think marijuana would be legal…Sure is, and there are stores that sell it openly.

Did I ever think the Sonoma County Sheriff is feuding….he is not enforcing the county’s stay-at-home public health order from Dr. Mase.

Did I ever think students would be taught by the parents…taught by parents that are not up to par with the new math, etc.

Did I ever think voting would be a sore subject…Will the fall election be held by mail-in ballots only.

Did I ever think the city council is at odds with residents…seems to be until redistricting is settled.

Did I ever think people would get arrested…arrested for elder abuse. Aren’t we suppose to respect our elders?

Did I ever think we would be limited to wearing face masks…masks are usually used at Halloween or bank robbers.

Did I ever ever think that I was eager to check morning newspapers…since there aren’t many little newspapers left in the county.

Did I ever think I am sorry I didn’t learn a second language…of course, I should have stayed with German, Latin and Spanish.

Did I ever think sports would not be played….played without spectators, probably.

Did I ever think high school and college students would not be graduating on stage…Many students are feeling sad as they have missed out on all of the celebrations each graduation brings. Many schools along with parents and teachers figured out a way to congratulate each and every one. 

Did I ever think I would see signs and photos of students along main thorough fares…drive through the cities and see the innovative ways of doing it.

Did I ever think that there is still profiling done…it seems more than ever. Why can’t people live in peace?

Did I ever think social media is getting out of hand…yes, thoughts should be checked before writing or saying anything. 

Did I ever think that children go to bed at night hungry…yes, even in the richest countries.

Did I ever think my day is not complete….when I don’t get to read the comic page. This country is too dark now days.

Did I ever think I would see major retail stores close…Macy’s Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penny’s, Sears and Roebuck, K-Mart and many more will close or file bankruptcy before this pandemic is over with.

Did I ever think I would be attending meetings via computers…yes, Rotary meetings, news meetings even evening get together nights.

Did I ever think I would see drive-ins again…Yup, movies, testing stations and food give aways.

Did I ever think the clergy would be begging for churches to accept parishioners…I don’t think having 300 people in one place is good during the coronavirus.

Did I ever think I would see libraries closed down…couldn’t even do a deposit when the book was over due.

Did I ever think wild animals are coming back to claim their domains…coyotes, bears and foxes are making themselves at home at some private swimming pools.

Did I ever think I would not see a celebration for Memorial Day…because of the pandemic nothing was showing the American people what our veterans fought for.

Did I ever think that hospitals and health care centers would be begging for masks, ventilators and health care workers to man the front line…yes I would not want any of my family or friends getting ill now.

 Did I ever think that model homes would ever be built on the hill next to the stone building..

Valparaiso and Old Redwood Highway is very busy with contractors and back hoes and many workers during the virus.

Did I ever think we would have a heavy frost and hard rains…yes so all of the blossoms get knocked off the fruit trees and harvest time brings us three or four fruit off the plum and cherry trees.

Did I ever think many young couples will not be able to purchase a home….in places where they grew up.

Did I ever think I would take on the chore of sanding and painting cabinets…yes even at my age keeping busy with shelter-in-place and cannot look at oak cabinets anymore.

Did I ever think of buying a new car….no, going to car dealer lots and checking them out. There isn’t a key and even if you are shown you have to push the little black button, you must push in the brake pedal in order for the car to start. No, I will stick with my 2005 Toyota with only less then 50,000 miles on it.

Did I ever think that I would move my family…no but the winters by the Canadian border were much too cold and left for San Francisco and walked into culture shock when the Beatles arrived in the states.

Did I ever think I would miss good black licorice…sure do and have spent many hours going store to store to hunt the good stuff down. Still haven’t found the good stuff.

Did I ever think I would eat store bought ice cream…oh yes but only because I am too lazy to make my own ice cream.

Did I ever think I would be planting a garden again….sure as I can’t trust store bought lettuce anymore. 

Did I ever think I would make German potato salad again…I sure did and sat down and savored every bite in one sitting. Pandemics make you do strange things.

Did I ever think it made me feel great….when a young checker commented on my cherry blossom baseball cap from the Smithsonian Institute as he said it cheered him up on a dreary day.

Did I ever think I would hard boil eggs…yes and upon checking, the eggs they were plastered on the kitchen ceiling. Lesson learned. Stay in the kitchen while boiling eggs.

Did I ever think I would hear the words again…Klan, white supremacist, these words instill hate.

Did I ever think we could use the proper words…instead of black which to me denotes evil; whites is suppose to be purist and brown for the Latinx. Why can’t we just say African Americans, Caucasian and Latinx.  (Example: Why must we keep saying the first black lawyer, I don’t care what color he is as long as they are good lawyers. I had always taught my children that we all bleed red no matter what color of skin.

Did I ever think I would see a sea of blue uniforms sitting on a suspect until he can no longer breathe….where is the common sense in this country of late?

Did I ever think that when receiving an out of state phone call I would have to say….as of May 31, 2020 the California Department of Public Health has now 110,583 confirmed cases of COVID 19 with 4,213 deaths.

Did I ever think that the state of California would have 6,254 cases of virus for the age bracket of 0-17…even more so for ages 18-49 with 57,738, 25,964 for people 50-64 and 20,455 for ages 65 and up.

Did I ever think that I would turn on the television and see looting and burning and pilfering…reminding me of the deep south in the 50s and yet here it is 2020 and people are breaking windows, burning cars and stealing from stores that most of the employees are local residents.