These Words are Driving me Crazy

It isn’t getting easier being isolated. I don’t think I have anything new to learn regarding social distancing and hand washing.

On the other hand, I am sleeping well and have food in the house enough for several weeks. I have had long conversations with family and friends over the phone and Facetime. I never miss our church service. My quiet time in the morning can start and end anytime I’d like. I have much to be thankful for.

But I miss being around people. I miss going to my birding drive (Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive). I even miss seeing our news anchors sitting side-by-side. The novelty of seeing them in their living room or pool lanai has worn off. I miss the after-church fellowship every Sunday. I miss my family more than ever.

Some things are magnified during this unusual time. I notice the new buds on my roses and the early stages of a lily before it opens. I notice the sounds of the birds in the morning are lovelier without the noises of distant highways adding to their mix. The smell of the Night-Blooming Jasmine wafting through the air brings a smile to my face as I go out and watch the sunset most evenings.

I was sitting on my back porch the other day when I heard a woosh sound and saw a 4-foot long black racer darting across my yard. I’m not a huge snake fan, but I like these guys being around. They aren’t aggressive and they keep the rat and frog population down. From the social distance divider of my screened porch, I watched him as he enjoyed the sun.

The next day, he was back. I wondered if he was a she, and I also wondered if there will be babies sometime soon. I don’t like the thought of a lot of snakes around, but I know how survival of the fittest works, so no worries.

I walked along my side of the screen. She slithered along her side. She stopped. I stopped. I sat on a chair and watched her – just 18 inches away. She did her best marmot impression and watched me. We gained an understanding of each other. It was kind of cool in a way that represents how starved I am for live interaction and how long I’ve been staying at home.

The following day she was back in the same area. Only this time she had become the victim of a murderous plot. I called for Bob to verify this. He did. He also disposed of the body because it wouldn’t have been a good thing for her to lie there in the 90-degree heat.

I was surprised at how sad this made me. I thought about that snake all day, and here I am writing about it.

Maybe it represented the fragility of life right now. I don’t know.

Maybe I am becoming a fan of snakes. No, that’s not it.

Maybe it was just sad that one of God’s creatures had died. Yes, that’s it. Life and death represented in my own backyard. I’ve seen the gruesome side of nature back there before. A hawk swooping in and snatching birds off the feeder. The yard guy weed-whacking my favorite new plant. But right now, my backyard is my place of escape and that little guy didn’t. Still, it’s fascinating what can have an impact.

Words have impact. They are important, but sometimes they totally lose their meaning. In a world where everyone is telling each other to “be safe” and “take care of yourself,” we press on. I’d like to tell you to stay safe, but I can’t bring myself to do it. There are so many words that I would love to never hear again. I’m so tired of hearing them bouncing around my brain like a dropped case of ping pong balls.

Here’s my Top Ten List of Words or Phrases That Drive Me Crazy:

  1. COVID-19
  2. Coronavirus
  3. Social distancing
  4. Be safe
  5. Economic impact
  6. Wash your hands
  7. Flatten the curve
  8. Pandemic
  9. Spread of the virus
  10. Stay at home

Still, I want you to enjoy good health and to prosper in this and all times. Our country has been through stuff before and will go through stuff again. But I don’t think we have ever approached it in song quite like this sung by Ruth Etting in 1928. Listen to the words. Those ‘20s sure were roaring!

Remember, get to bed by 3, and stay away from bootleg hootch! I think this will be my new salutation.

This is my grandparents looking like they could have been high class bootleggers or gangsters. Pretty sure they weren’t. Picture dated around 1940.

Leave a comment


  1. To be honest, I love this as it impacts me (not how it impacts people negatively). I am one of those scary people who would love to interact with groups via the internet. I love web-church, I really do. I miss fast-food, but its absence is a good thing. I’m pretty sure having my wife home will be better, because I do miss her, but there’s no one here to have friction with right now.

    I so get your appreciation of the life in your yard. I walk outside and the squirrels and lizards scatter. No need, I won’t hurt any of them. If I had to kill animals myself, I’d be vegan. Makes me a hypocrite, but I can live with that. Even ran across some baby rats (still no hair) in my shed. I don’t like rats. Could not bring myself to kill them so relocated them instead. Even though I’m fairly confident they died because I handled them, the snuffing of their life force was not on me directly.

    This does not typically apply to insects, which I can kill with impunity, except I’ll relocate big ones because I don’t like squishing them. Yuck.

    • I love church on the web, too, but not as much as being there. And I don’t think you’re too scary on the internet, but I’m sure we could all be viewed that way. I hope your wife comes home soon. Also, you can get fast food through the (shudder) drive-through. I can attest to that. All in all, though, I don’t remember having this much food in my house since my kids all moved out. It’s crazy and makes the whole thing a little surreal. Who knows – maybe I’ll discover a love for cooking! Probably not, though I don’t hate it and find myself enjoying it. This is probably just a phase.

  2. I think this song should be next on Dena and Daughters Song list. 🙂

    I feel the same way about all the cliches; they are getting old. Even though we still have to adhere to knowing about them, let’s just not say them. Agreed!

    I feel bad for your black racer too. We have one that is about 6′ now that keeps her distance from me. But as to the rats, she is failing at the job. Tom has had to purchase rat traps to put on our roof where they were trying to set up a home in our attic. Not here, and not on Tom’s watch. We rejoiced as the trap slid in slow motion down into our gutter revealing the rat’s demise. Tom 1 – Rats – 0

    Words do matter. And yours in the post are excellent. Thank you!

  3. Arthur Manning

     /  April 16, 2020

    Fun song! As I recall, it was first performed in a movie about that time.

  4. Vanessa Marks

     /  April 16, 2020

    words matter. the last words spoken to my husband was I can’t go in the hospital with you.
    we only got to facetime when he was put on the ventilator and couldn’t speak.
    I am picking and choosing my words careful these days.

  5. Arthur Manning

     /  April 16, 2020

    Whoops. I just checked it out. Actually the song came first and then it was used in a Broadway show and then a movie later.

    • Yes. I looked at a few different versions of it and it was in all of the above. Kind of a crazy song and it came up while Chris was here. We looked up the lyrics and laughed ourselves silly.

  6. I forgot about that song! Thanks for the memories!

    • You’re welcome. It’s a crazy song. My sister and mom and I were trying to remember the lyrics. When we looked them up we cracked up laughing. And remember to stay away from bootleg hootch!

  7. If you are going outside your home, over on the coast is the Black Point Wildlife drive. It is on the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. We have a black snake living under a shed. I loved your face to face with yours.

    • Thanks so much, Onisha. I have heard about the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge but haven’t made it there yet. I am so missing the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, which is 20 minutes from my home. Meanwhile, back yards are a blessing. I’ll head to Merritt Island one of these days. Thanks for commenting!


Leave a Reply to Arthur Manning Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: