I went grocery shopping yesterday without a mask for the first time in over a year. It was both liberating and weird. Funny how something so unnatural becomes the new norm.
About half the shoppers were still masked up. I trust the CDC and have been following their guidelines all along, so I had no problem leaving my mask in the car. Tara is still wearing hers. Not sure if that’s due to an overabundance of caution or simply the fact that old habits die hard, but to each their own. I’ve always said when it comes to COVID-19, everybody has a different comfort level and you have to respect all opinions.
Except the anti-vaxxers, of course.
The best thing about my grocery shopping experience? This:
No more one-way arrows! Not that anybody ever paid attention to them anyway. Except for me, of course. I’m no scofflaw.
No More Jeans
Further evidence that things are returning to normal? Our offices at work are reopening to the public next week after being closed for 14 months. This shouldn’t impact me too greatly; we don’t have any walk-in customer traffic at my location. The biggest change will be unlocking our doors and letting the UPS guy just walk on in.
That and wardrobe. Because CenturyCo has been off-limits to the public, they have allowed us to wear jeans every day. Normally that’s a Friday-only policy. I haven’t worked anywhere that’s required more formal attire in years, so I’m going to have to make a trip to the mall this week to pick up some slacks. Nothing too fancy; some khakis and Dockers will suffice. Kind of overkill in my opinion, seeing that I’m holed up in an office all day long with no customer contact. And even if I did come face-to-face with the general population, this is South Dakota. Half the state consists of ranchers, who probably don’t own anything but blue jeans!
Oh, well. In the overall scheme of things it’s no big deal. I’m still counting my blessings to have landed such a great job.
I’m hoping this relaxing of the rules means I’ll be able to go out into the field and interview people in-person again. Phone interviews are fine, but I’ve been itching to get out of the office more.
Last week’s virtual conference was…well, I’ll just say, not exactly riveting. But I did learn about a handy headline analyzer that I have already put to good use, so there was at least one positive takeaway from the whole thing.
I’ve got another online commitment this week, but this one should be far more interesting. It’s a writing workshop called Mastering the Art of Storytelling. Now, that’s something I can use! It’s two hours a day, 11-1, Monday through Friday. Which overlaps the lunch hour, but I’ll just go late. Last week I had to work through my lunches, but I did end up with overtime for my sacrifice.
Everything’s Growing Like Weeds. Even Weeds.
This weekend has been pretty productive. Tara is finishing up the raised garden beds and should finally be able to get some things planted. I did a shit ton of weeding, which has left me sore in places that, quite frankly, should never be sore. No rest for the weary, though; I’ve gotta mow the lawn this afternoon. We’ve had some occasional rain (still not enough; we’re way below normal for the month) and, with sunshine and warmer temps, the grass is growing like weeds. Err…like grass blades.
So too are the dandelions. I attacked them with vigor last year, but had finally come to terms with ’em this time and was ready to let them grow naturally. No sooner had I adopted this new live-and-let-live philosophy than Tara decided she didn’t want us to be those neighbors whose yard was the only one on the block with dandelions, so I’ve capitulated (fun word; I don’t use it often enough) and am once again pulling them out as quickly as they grow. Which is often twice a day, no exaggeration.
Case in point: yesterday, I spent a solid hour yanking up every single dandelion in the yard. Front and back. Woke up this morning and counted eight new ones in the front yard and 13 in the back. It’s like they’re mocking me or something. I want to go out there and yell, “Stop stop growing already, or I’ll turn the whole lot of you into wine!” Threaten them into submission, if you will.
Work, work, work. But we did enjoy a perfectly normal Saturday evening for the first time in a month. For us, this means hanging out in the basement with all our groovy lava lamps on. Listening to records, playing cards, and enjoying adult beverages.
That was one close game, by the way. I narrowly pulled off the victory, but it came down to the very last hand.
Best kind of game, if you ask me…