March 31 X marks the spotThis week, while I was shopping, I ran into some more changes in my local market. I was greeted at the door with an offering of an alcohol wipe to use to wipe the shopping cart. As I traveled down each isle, I was told there were signs limiting many items. Paper products, liquid soap, soups and canned meat were limited to two to four items per customer. There was no fresh meat displayed but fresh fish was available. Most of the customers were located in the dairy and fresh vegetable areas. There were few choices of bread products.Of course, Since I am blind, I had to be told about the changes.There were small X’s on the floor to mark a safe distance while waiting in lines. The store that I had shopped in for years was a mine field of new hazards and rules.As I stood on my designated X, I realized I was at a crossroad in my response to this life change. I could go along with each change without complaint or do a positive act to make my small part of the world better.I decided to smile and nod or greet people when I am outside. and for my writing, I will celebrate National Poetry Month in April by writing poems that inspire , entertain and bring a smile to readers.Each of us are at that crossroad. What direction will you take ?

March 26 Shelter In Place

Shelter in place

Regulations tighten to trips to the pharmacy, grocery store and medical care. Walks and bike riding are permitted if social distance is kept.

My husband and I went out for a tandem ride yesterday. The park was full of families biking, walking and roller blading. Most waved or smiled at our greeting. But there were some that didn’t respond or smile.

How much effort does it take to smile or nod as a response to another? As a blind person, I would prefer a verbal response, but my husband will describe the reactions.

I am planting a virtual garden of good thoughts and wishes for all I encounter today. I will encourage the smallest buds to swell and bloom. Knowing that patience is a necessary tool in the growing process, I will nurture each plantings. Weeding out negative feelings, I fertilize with encouragement . Water with human kindness and await the results.

Start your garden now. The seeds are in your hands. With a little toil and care, you will be blessed with your handiwork and make this time easier for others.

Shelter in place

We are to shelter in place.

What if that place is under an overpass ?

Or a homeless shelter?

What if your shelter has no electricity or running water?

What if you live alone and can’t get to a store?

While we bemoan the shortages ,

others lack necessities ?

Look outside of yourself,

to make your corner of the world better for all.

March 24th Distant Socializing

Distant Socializing
On Saturday, I was listening to people from New York and San Francisco about how they were coping with sheltering in place. I heard a father use a term that resonated with me. “Distant Socializing “ or to be precise, Reaching out by the virtual methods of communication that we have . Go through your contacts and send a message to check on people that you haven’t seen or heard from for some time.
Emailing longer notes to family members that you have not seen since the holidays… ten years ago. Write a catch up note on your family and ask about their’s. You may be surprised what you may find out.
For neighbors that are living alone, a phone call to check and give them an excuse to chat . They won’t feel isolated , and neither will you.
Finally, use the postal service to write a letter or two to those friends and family members that don’t use internet. We could all use the practice with letter writing.
Finally give yourself a break from the news and the number count. At least for some time each day . Do an activity that you have put off and work on it a little every day.
Meditation , prayer or being still and practicing deep breathing will help to calm and vanish the chaos of this life change.

Distant Socializing

I start my day, wondering what to do?
I have cleaned the house and it is only noon.
I open my address book to letter K and continue .
I call, message or write to all the K’s
I may or may not hear from these people.
But I an practicing distant socializing.
I feel better after this is done.
Now time to enjoy a Girl Scout Cookie!

March 19th 2020 Alphabet Soup

alphabet Soup

In these changing times I look for comfort food from my childhood. Alphabet soup was a favorite with my family. Mother used the soup as a spelling challenge. We were to fish macaroni letters on our spoon to spell our name or another word to express how we were feeling. We could all take time to look in our comfort soup bowl and see what we find there. Maybe the word share is there to recall and connect with others in your community that may need a listening ear. You may find the word care and you can check on neighbors that live alone and may need a item from, the store or a pet walked. Finally as you sip the last of the broth may you find the letters love , just for you.

Alphabet Soup
an acrostic Poem

All people need comfort.
Living in these changing times,
People long for the normal.
Health is an illusion.
Agreeing to keep social distance.
But wishing for a connection
Each person longs for a touch
Tabled all social events.

Simple connections mean so much.
Our opportunities daily given,
Understanding, caring and sharing.
Psyche fed by connections to others.

By Carol Farnsworth

March 16, 2020 Social Distancing

Social Distancing
I hear this phrase and it brings others to mind.”Marginalizing “ No Physical hugging, kissing or hand shakes. Eye contact communication only.
This brings an interesting dilemma to mind. Blind, hearing impaired, physically challenged and mentally challenged can’t follow the rules. As a blind individual, I locate a speaker by touching them. Now, I must locate them by hearing. Not easy with hearing aids.
I can no longer take an offered elbow to give me a occasional hand.
In stores, I have noted hoarding of cleaning supplies, toilet paper and other paper items. It is hard to believe that all of these people ran out of such supplies at the same time. I can only hope that some of the items eventually end up in a food bank. I wonder what the marginal persons are using in the interim.
When we are shopping and keeping that social distance, remember to look around you for the senior citizen that may need a hand getting that package of paper from the top shelf. Look for the blind person that is confused with the empty shelves. Look for the person on the street that asked for change.
We as a nation, are only as strong as our marginal members. We will be judged not by what we have but how we care.

March 12, 2020

Happy early Pi Day. I wrote this Pi poem for my daughter, who is a statistician . Thank you Ruth for helping me set this blog.

Statistics
Scroll
Down the lap top
screen.
Fingers dance over keys,
producing large and colorful graphs
showing
all the variables,
In the standard mean.
highlighted
in iridescent
colors green, red , yellow and blue.
beautiful to behold,
colors obscured the meaning
but they are pleasing to the eyes.
Camouflage
the real intent
the math
is hidden
Statisticians loudly cry

information
lost amid colored lines
stop this now!
begin again.

I wrote this poem for Pi Day on Saturday March 14th is Pi Day.

Pi hiaku

Numbers count in math

good ingredients make pie

Pi is forever

Happy Pi Day on Saturday.

I wrote for my daughter who is a mathematician and a statistician . This a th.

A Pi poem

A Spicy Kind of Dessert

When I was first married I found that my new husband loved pie. I didn’t  have much experience with pie making but I figured I could follow a recipe

I got out the old Betty Crocker cook book and looked up desserts. I found a recipe for apple pie. I carefully measured the ingredients for the pie crust and the pie filling. I mixed, rolled, and fitted the pie crust into the baking pan. I mixed the sliced apples with sugar, flour, butter, and spices. I poured the whole mix into the crust and put into the oven to bake.

After the timer went off I removed a beautiful looking pie. I didn’t want to ruin the look of the pie so I didn’t  try it.

When my husband came home he was greeted with the smells and the appearance of a perfect pie. He got a glass of milk and cut a big slice of the apple pie.

He took a large bite with his fork and started to chew. His eyes grew large and he was nearly unable to swallow the pie. After a large drink of milk he asked what spice I had put in the apples. I replied cinnamon . He asked to see the bottle. I rummaged in the cabinet and pulled out the container. My husband read the label and started to laugh.

I wanted to know what was so funny. After wiping his eyes he told me that I had used red cayenne pepper instead. To make matters worst. I had doubled the cinnamon amount thinking it would be Spicy. 

 My husband tried to finished the piece but the heat of the spice was too much. The pie was thrown out in the compost. To be honest no critter attempted to eat the pie. We finally had to bury the pie..

Ever since then I have put markers on my spices and have my husband check what I am putting my desserts. I have made errors over the years but I have not made such a Spicy pie again.

First printed in June 2019 – The Blind Perspective