"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Sunday Salon and Coronavirus diary, May 16


Every Sunday we "attend" church at the First United Methodist Church of Eugene (pictured) and our church here in Washington State. One good thing about on-line church, we can attend services wherever we want. Doesn't it look like Hebrew symbols in the light? I am so inspired by this photo. The above photo was taken by Adam Briddell.
Weather: Mostly rainy, with moments of  glorious spring weather interspersed throughout the day.

Habbakuk: This week in my Zoom Bible Study class we turned, for a short time, to a minor prophet: Habbakuk. (The book is found near the end of the Old Testament.) We were all blown away by the scripture as it spoke to our situation today with the coronavirus pandemic. Here are a few of my insights.
  • Hab. 1:2-4 essentially asks, "Why is this happening?" with questions like: "How long, O Lord, must I call for help? Why do you tolerate wrong? Strife and conflict abound but the law is paralyzed and justice never prevails or is perverted." Don't you want to ask God why this pandemic is happening? I understand that the pandemic and climate change are all wrapped up together. We have harmed our environment so much that viruses can escape the wild population of animals we should have no contact with.
  • Hab. 1:5 is the Lord's answer: "Look at the nations and watch--and be utterly amazed. For I am doing something in your days that you would not believe." He hasn't abandoned us. He is moving. His answer will utterly amaze us. One good thing about the pandemic is we are using less fossil fuels worldwide. It is predicted that greenhouse emissions will fall 8%--the largest decrease ever. (NPR) Could this be one of those utterly amazing things?
  • Hab. 2:1 says, "I will stand at my watch. I will wait to see what God has to say to me about these complaints." This scripture reminds me that I need to move my focus off of myself and back onto God.
  • Hab. 2:3-4 is God's reply, "The revelation awaits the appointed time." God's timing, not my timing.
  • Hab. 3 is one long prayer where Habbakuk remembers all the good things God has done and even if things are bad (no fruit on the vine, no olives on the trees, no animals in the pen) we should still praise God for he is good. "The Sovereign Lord is my strength, he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go to the heights" (v. 19). In other words he is preparing me to be part of the answer. I don't know why we are going through this time of personal isolation, but I do know that God is with each of us right now. There's your sermon for today.
My town should be famous: because it clearly has the hugest rhododendron around. See photo above. (Okay, I see it is two bushes, but they are still huge.) Notice the plants are taller than a house! Not my house, though. I just noticed it as we were driving home from the store yesterday. We had to take a long detour to come back around to snap the photo.

Reading:
  • Completed this week---
    • XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century by Campbell McGrath---a very clever collection of poems that started at the beginning of the century and moved to the end of it. Each poem covered some event or an important person living during that time period. For example, Picasso had several poems since he lived for a majority of the century. Print.
    • Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais---set in South Africa during the late 1970s in the midst of apartheid. A young white girl and a black mother come to mean very much to each other as both are grappling with grief and aspects of apartheid. Audiobook.
  • Currently reading---
    • Big by Edna Ferber---this is my Classics Club Spin book. Written in the 1920s, it was a Pulitzer Prize winner. 25%, e-book.
    • The Restaurant At the End of the World by Douglas Adams. This is the sequel to a favorite book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe. I relish lighthearted things right now. Can't get much more lighthearted than this. 40%. Audiobook.
The best picture in my head: My husband (Taw-paw Don) and my grandson playing rock-n-roll on the Guitar Hero guitars. Well actually, they pretended to play. Ian would do everything his grandpa would do including jumping up and down and leaning back while crouching on the ground. So cute. Of course, I didn't take an actual photo. Dang!
 

Now for some coronavirus-related humor:
I'm pretty sure all of my appliances are saying these exact words. Though I don't wear pajamas all day, I have been wearing the same clothes for days on end. And I can't believe how often we have to run the dishwasher.
I'm sure this Senator from Arizona meant well. She just misspoke. She meant to say "Asymptomatic" which is very different than "asymmetric." Ha!
Imagine being this newscaster when he discovered what the sign behind his head actually said, not what it was supposed to say. This goof-up really cracks me up.
I am often shocked at how many people in my country are anti-science. This is not so much funny as it is mystifying, really.
I actually wonder if there is anyone who voted for Trump in 2016 that wishes he or she voted for Clinton. Anyone? Think how things would be different if we had someone in charge who really cared about the country and didn't want people to die from this disease.
Seems about right.
Be careful out there. Even if your state opens up early, it still isn't necessarily safe to return to "normal" activities.
What are Fred and George up to this week?
George explores a cupboard he's never noticed before.
Which reminds my daughter, a Beatrix Potter fan, of Duchess in The Pie and the Patty Pan
While his brother was exploring the upper cupboard, Fred was enjoying the lower drawer, which happened to be empty at the time (except for the cat.)
In a quieter moment, the boys pose for a photo together while they survey their domain.
I'll leave you with this thought: It was posted on Facebook by my sister, a preschool teacher. I think it is very apropos---
  
Stay safe and healthy!

-Anne

17 comments:

  1. Great humor--I wish I could get more laughs out of this dumb virus. I'm so bitter about what it's taking away from me. :( I love that Don and Ian are enjoying such wonderful times. Special memories.

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  2. Thank you for sharing these, Anne. So much truth in the humor. If only it were as easy as calling everyone back to the carpet. I love the Titanic analogy so much.

    The readings from your Bible study are great reminders that we've always faced perplexing situations, and we always tend to respond with, "Why me, Lord?" The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Your cats are providing hours of entertainment. I wish the birds in my backyard would take note and work on their tricks.

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    1. Yes. If does seem pretty obvious this time, however that we on earth deserved a shake up for how ghastly we've been to the environment.

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  3. Thanks for the humor. That and working in my garden are two of my touchstones right now.

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    1. I am working in my garden hardly at all...not sure what I am doing actually. Being dull?!

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  4. Love those COVID-19 comics! These posts of yours always make me laugh. Thanks! :)

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  5. Love the cartoons! Thanks for making us smile today.

    Stay safe and well.

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  6. I love all the COVID humor - we could sure use a laugh these days.

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  7. I do find that I am using my dishwasher daily where I used to use it every third day.
    Enjoyed seeing the photos of your beautiful cats. I especially was wowed by that exceptional rhododendron- how magnificent. One of my neighbors has a beauty like that too.. Nature is so beautiful. Have a good week..

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    1. The cats belong to my daughter and she sends me photos of their antics just about every day. She got them just two days before the state of California went into lock down. They have been her only companions during the months of the stay-at-home order. She knows that I use them as a feature in my coronavirus diary entries since they are great comic relief.

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  8. I do love your humor, especially the Titanic reference.

    Hope you have a great week!

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    1. My sister's favorite this week was that one, too.

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  9. You know I'm so glad I saw this post! The Habakkuk discussion alone! I think throughout history people have wondered- why is this (insert catastrophe) allowed to happen? And we don't always see the bigger picture. the idea of the pandemic and climate change being intertwined is fascinating. I've heard people say "look how blue the sky is" or "We're using less fossil fuels right now" but I hadn't actually seen that NPR statistic. Like I said, fascinating, and maybe there's a silver lining or lesson amidst all the carnage.

    Holy cow that plant!!!!

    I had to laugh too at some of those humor pieces. the anti- science attitudes in this country baffle me to no end.

    Love the kitty pictures. :)

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    1. I felt the same about Habakkuk. There have always been disasters. What can we learn from them?

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  10. That rhododendron is amazing. Is that the bloom now? We are soon to bloom here ... maybe another week. Can't wait.

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  11. As always, a wonderful pandemic entry! I especially like the last quote about comparing opening up (which, frankly, scares me) to kindergartners is perfect. I just don't understand the "me, me, me" and insisting on opening no matter what. I think I'll stay home.

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