OK, here’s my story…


(the Mayor and Shreiff checking a fall hunting blind / Julie Cook / 2020)

Ok, so I kind of abruptly signed off mid-week with a bit of a sketchy post…
A post eluding to a bit more than met the eye.

So here’s the story….

The Mayor (it’s always the elected officials at fault–just so you know) and the Sheriff
started a new daycare for the new school year.
They started sporadically in July, hitting full stride the past two weeks
as their mom was having to gear back up for the coming school year.

Ohhhhh the coming school year…but I digress.

So the Mayor always gets daycare crud…always…and not just once but throughout
the school year.
In turn, I always get daycare crud because I then have to keep her when she can’t be in
daycare because she has the crud.
I think you see the vicious cycle here.

So this time last week when she came home puny with the crud, her daddy got the crud.
Daddy thought he had strep throat.
He called his doctor…in Atlanta some are still sticking to “telemed”
They told him to go to urgent care.
He did.
They treated him for strep but sent him to go be tested for COVID…or what my
husband sneerily refers to as the Chinese Flu–he says if we can call it the Spanish flu,
we can call it the Chinese flu,…but again, I digress.

So the Mayor’s mom, aka our daughter-in-law, had to tell her principal that her husband
was having to be tested.
That “having to be tested” phrase is a death sentence in our society.

So her principal, despite school starting in person, as well as virtual,
on the very following day, Wednesday, sent her home on Tuesday until the test results
could have a chance to come back.

That also meant the kids had to come home from daycare until we knew the results.
That, in turn, meant she and the kids needed to come to us ASAP…
She was now having to teach totally virtually.
Think March all over again…think Groundhog’s Day.

Possible COVID coming to a 60 and newly turned 71 year old might seem unwise…
but they had already been with us the previous weekend for “Da’s” birthday,
so we figured if we were exposed, well that had happened last weekend…
call us brave, call us stupid–you do what you have to do.

We had dinner plans Thursday evening for our Anniversary but that had to be put on hold.
They came down Wednesday morning and we’ve been running full throttle ever since.

The Mayor still had crud but was feeling footloose and fancy-free.
So I wasn’t worried…plus her dad, our son, felt 100% better after being on
the strep antibiotic… but yet he still had to wait.

If you were ever a teacher then you can understand our daughter-in-law’s sense
of anxiety having to miss the first few days of school.
That would be nerve-racking enough during a normal year, but this is certainly not
a normal year.

As a former teacher, to be home when I wasn’t the least bit sick, would have
felt like sitting on the bench while watching one’s team being down by 7 and knowing
you could easily score to help the day.

So finally, blessedly, our son got the green light late Friday afternoon.
He was COVID free…thank goodness.

Our little motley crew was then ready to pack up and head home to
be together as a family.

Tired, exhausted, I cleaned the house in the aftermath of chaos,
but all the while wondering…what will next week bring.
What will all of this uncertainty bring?

We are all so tired.
So tired of waiting for the other shoe…knowing it will drop…
because it is only a matter of time.

And remember, I’m coming off all hormones…talk about one
massive hot flash!!!

So yeah, that’s my story.

Let us pray for all those affected by this virus and let us pray for
our cities and the poor businesses in those cities affected by the
virus of civil unrest.

Lord hear our prayers!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

critical mass

I actually don’t think it matters how early or late you are as long as you
hit critical mass.

Drew Houston


(someone is hiding / Julie Cook / 2019)

According to Merriam Webster:
Critical mass, [is] in nuclear physics, the minimum amount of a given fissile material
necessary to achieve a self-sustaining fission chain reaction under stated conditions.

Critical mass is a term most familiar in the world of physics but it is also now a key
term found in the world of business, retail and even social media.

Having recently returned from spending a bit of emergency time with the Mayor,
I have come to the conclusion, along with her parents, that she has reached critical mass…

That being the state in which the chain reactions, under stated conditions, are self-sustaining.

In laymen’s terms, we call this phenomenon the ‘terrible twos.’
A tantrum of the utmost extreme as demonstrated by the only age that can do justice
to such…that being the toddler.

We have all decided that the Mayor is obviously highly gifted as she is demonstrating this
most profound attribute actually 4 months before officially turning 2.

Meaning, given just the right conditions…such as a heightened sense of anxiety,
extreme irritability, cutting teeth, being under the weather, overt frustration and the
lack of not getting one’s way…all creates the perfect storm of emotions.

A complete meltdown ensues.

Wailing, flailing, streaming tears, screaming, snot, drool, kicking, hitting, slapping…
and what we have my friends is not a pretty picture but rather the example of critical
mass as demonstrated by one of the most powerful forces on the planet…
that of an angry toddler.

So opting rather not to capture those red alert critical mass moments from this
recent visit of caregiving, I chose instead to focus on those calmer
and happier moments as they just seem so much more fun…and so less stressful
for this said caregiver / grandmother.

The Sherrif is channeling his inner “Pops” aka my dad by donning his driving cap…

separation anxiety and the big blue ball

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire;
it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.”

Roger de Bussy-Rabutin


(a post meltdown Mayor / Julie Cook / 2019)

We were on a mission.

The Mayor was in need…

In need of a ball.

And not just any ball would do.

It needed to be a big ball.
Something to lift,
to roll,
to throw,
to kick.

And so a trip to Target (pronounced as Targé) was first on the day’s docket.

Up and down the aisles we looked.
We were searching high and low,
fearful our quest may be in vain.

We found golf balls, tennis balls, soccer balls, footballs, baseballs,
softballs, nerf balls…

Then finally, as patience was beginning to wane, we stumbled upon a giant end-cap
metal bin containing three lone summertime blue balls…all marked clearance.

And out of the 3 large blue balls, it was the blue ball on the bottom of the other
two blue balls that was the Mayor’s ball of choice.

Of course, it was.

Once I figured out how to get the giant blue ball out of the bin while moving
the other blue balls out of the way, the Mayor delightfully proceeded to hold the
big blue ball throughout the duration of our jaunt.

We opted for self-checkout.

Everything was going great until I had to “take” the big blue ball from the hands of
the Mayor in order to scan it.

It seems that a rather loud meltdown ensued.

As soon as the ball was scanned and I handed it back to the Mayor, the meltdown
blessedly subsided…
That was until it was time to get the Mayor and the big blue ball in the car…
something that could not have been accomplished simultaneously…
it was a conundrum that bumfuzzled the Mayor’s understanding.

As you can see on the Mayor’s face—the horror of separation was great until
she was finally buckled in and the big blue ball was back where it should be—within her embrace…

The end of our journey…a complete success!


(once home, the Mayor forget the big blue ball and opted for a new tennis ball–sigh)

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 ESV

There are expectations

There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.

Proverbs 23:18

RSCN2907
(apple blossom budding / Julie Cook / 2016)

Worry and Dread are countered by Hope and Expectation.
Uncertainty and Anxiety are courted by Encouragement and Assurance.

It is a time of deep and grave concern for those who know…
For those who know the implications and the possibilities.

History tells us of similar times and similar fates…
While some ignored and some did listen…

Comfort is not found in the company of misery.
There is no comfort in carrying a cross.

Yet carry we must.
As it grows more cumbersome by the hour.

Yet the carrying is not of the mindless lemming,
following the masses to the sea…

The masses rush off chasing elusiveness,
While those who know and those who carry,
travel in a different direction…

They trudge, heavy laden, up the hill of Promise
As both Hope and Expectation lend a helping hand…

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Matthew 23:21-23