Wild Hair During Lock Down

I thought it might be fun to take selfies just before the barber shops and hair salons reopen. We heard that North Carolina will begin reopening restaurants and hair places at 5 pm on May 22. I started the day before the announcement, taking a selfie that showed my hair long. I wasn’t trying to look good, but it backfired. The photo looked better than expected, so I made it my profile picture.

The next day I took another, trying to show how bad I could look. I discovered that there isn’t much difference between when I look my best and when I look my worst! That can be taken two ways. Either I don’t need to bother any more, or I should keep trying and maybe someday I’ll look better.

Coloring Toilet Paper

Before the COVID-19 lock down, I was aware that our store brand toilet paper was embossed. I didn’t really pay attention to it and never examined it until the shelves were stripped bare. What was this commodity (commode-ity?) that was so highly valued that people fought over it and stole it from the carts of others? Good grief! It had hearts and flowers on it!

If I am EVER desperate enough to kill time, I shall experiment with coloring toilet paper. For demonstration purposes only, I used colored pens.

Seen While Walking

A year or so ago I noticed one mountain laurel bush in the former sheep pasture that we pass on our morning walk. Its claim to fame is that it’s the only one I’ve noticed in the neighborhood. You’d think, with a name that has mountain in it, that it would be fairly common here. Not so! On the Blue Ridge Parkway, I think rhododendrons outnumber the laurels.

Lonely mountain laurel in our neighborhood

We had one large mountain laurel beside our driveway on Long Island. It was ten times the size of the scraggly one pictured. There was a road in the next town where laurels lined the street, and if you drove there at peak season, you’d think snowflakes were suspended in the air. Just think! That was only a few feet above sea level! Wouldn’t you think a mountain location could top that??

After taking a photo of neighbor Warren’s scarecrow last week, I noticed a new watering system in his garden. Mr. Crow is watching over a sprinkler mounted on a pole. Leading from it is a green hose going to the little stream (Park Branch).

We can’t see the pump, but it must be inside the blue container. Ingenious! Warren has free water that otherwise would be trying to get to New Orleans.


This is not about a hairstyle in viral lock down — “Frizz be the way I look now.”.

It’s about a boy with no access to playmates because of COVID-19. Neighbor Logan came to our front door, clasping a Frisbee in his arms, and asking if grandson David would like to throw it with him. His timing was perfect. David had the day off and welcomed the outdoor activity. I didn’t look at the clock, but it seemed they spun it back and forth for hours. I went out on the deck overlooking the yard to watch them. You’ll note I did not use the word “play”. It was much more intense than that.

Logan was counting the number of consecutive catches. For a long time they were stuck on seven, but finally they had eight catches in a row. The goal was ten. There were two main obstacles, the evergreen trees and the gusty winds. I could hear the soft roar of the wind on the ridgeline, which did not bode well for us on a lower slope. Any number of times the Frisbee went straight, then veered into the trees. Most of the time it fell through the branches, so all the fellows had to do was crawl in to retrieve it. Once it sailed into the cow pasture. I had come in for something and missed the drama. Neighbor Dawn could probably see Logan from her porch, and she came over to offer help. By that time David had gotten a long pole and was just getting the disc within reach. I’m sure he avoided the electric fence. Does anyone know if he could have been shocked by contact with it? He would have looked like a cartoon character if his viral-long hair stood straight out from his head.

I shouldn’t have been amazed at Logan’s handling of the Frisbee. He is good at all the sports he has tried. His shots were straight and seemed effortless. He would pick it up, and without pause, launch it back to David.

Logan’s launch

When watching the video clip, David pointed out that Logan’s whole body was behind the throw. He ran forward and twisted his body into the launch as the weight shifted to his front leg. The follow-through was impressive. There was no time to calculate the effect. It was all instantaneous. You can hear the wind, and Logan said “one” as he began the count of a new attempt at breaking their record.

It told David he was going to be sore, but he didn’t need telling. He groaned once the following morning, and that was the extent of it. Logan came over hopefully that afternoon, again holding the Frisbee. David had to eat lunch, take a shower, and go to work. It’s a shame they couldn’t repeat the extreme exercise again. David will be 25 years old in a couple of weeks, and it won’t be many years until he will need intentional exercise.

Shows in the ‘Hood

At the end of the day, I realized I had seen three shows in the neighborhood. The first was a wild turkey, struttin’ her stuff on a road leading to our house. I was on the way home when she hopped onto the road and hurried away from me. When she heard a car coming, she walked up a new driveway and into the woods. The show didn’t last long, but I enjoyed every second.

While it was still cool, I set out tomato plants that neighbor Joyce shared with us. It was a labor of love to dig out weeds before putting the tomatoes in the ground. When I stood up to rest, I saw the full lavender glory of our only rhododendron. It put on a silent show with very little movement.

Neighbor Holly invited us to a drive-in movie after dark. That translated to “walk-in” during the COVID-19 restrictions. What fun it was! Holly had a screen at the end of her porch and a projector that she controlled with her cell phone. Shawn, Bob, and Logan in their pajamas were close together, and I was in a rocking chair six feet back. Holly was another six feet behind. We watched Grand-Daddy Day Care, munching on popcorn provided by Holly. The movie was about a pop-up daycare for seniors. I laughed when I saw the actors and realized they looked younger than I am. One character gives his age as 73. It was a bit far-fetched, but fun. The real action, of course, took place on Holly’s porch in the dark, so I don’t have a photo to show us enjoying ourselves.

A Restaurant Experience

When grandson David had a day off, John suggested a special treat. We would drive through the gorge to enjoy the scenery and go to a restaurant in Tennessee. The restaurants there had been open several days, while North Carolina was still locked down. All went as planned. We got off the interstate and drove along the Pigeon River, which is always a treat for David and me.

It was great to walk inside the restaurant, though we hadn’t thought about how different it might be. Many of the tables were roped off, because only a certain percentage of seats could be used. There was no hostess. One of the wait staff showed us to a table, giving the three of us two paper menus. Evidently the 8.5”x11” paper was for one use only. Our waitress told us they switched to a limited menu when the virus first caused things to be shut down.

I left this photo square, because we had a good square meal at the restaurant.

From my vantage point, I spotted two people waiting on tables and one constantly walking to the door and back with the pickup orders. David pointed out that our table was bare. There were no salt and pepper shakers, sugar, or condiments. Our waitress seemed comfortable with her mask, but she was constantly pulling her gloves into place. When a party of three left, she wiped the table and chairs thoroughly. No devious germ would have dared to come near. Since there were so few people in the restaurant, she had time to chat with us. We found out that the county had 19 cases of the COVID-19 virus, the same as our county across the border.

We enjoyed our day out and look forward to more freedom as our state begins to open again.

A Cold Spring

John had me choose a few plants for Mother’s Day, neither of us dreaming we’d have yet another cold spell. I brought three pots inside, and each night he’d cover up one outside. There was one advantage of having an impatiens on the kitchen counter. I greatly enjoyed the bright red flowers close up. They were as cheerful as could be and seemed to be saying thank you for not having to shiver outside.

Two days in a row we saw neighbor Warren’s garden swathed in white. John remembered I called neighbor Dawn’s covered plant a Mother’s Day ghost.

He asked, “Do you see lots of ghosts here?”

“No,” I replied. “This is tent city.”

A garden bed with sheets but no blankets or pillows

Warren always has an impressive scarecrow, and every year I wave at it a few times. This year he put up the scarecrow after we walked in the morning. As we drove past later, I lifted my hand as high as the window before I realized it was not a human. I must ask him if the scary man has a name. I’m sure we would be on a first-name basis.