There we were. In the year that brought us eight months of April, on day five of Tuesday and the weekend suddenly became a Saturday we’d never known before that could last forever.
And millions of people, coast to coast, across the globe, took to the streets in a spontaneous celebration. From neighborhoods to those big city metros, it was wall to wall.
During a pandemic that has claimed over 1.2 million lives. And counting.
Most wore masks. Some tried to keep distance. Many could not have cared less because the risk didn’t override the reward of the experience.
It wasn’t a ball game win. It wasn’t a planned protest or political rally. It wasn’t a revolt or an uprising. It wasn’t a concert or a mass ceremony. It wasn’t even a collective of families doing some sort of backyard “haven’t been able to hug you for months” gathering. …
Ivan took his life in August. I was twenty something. Early twenty something. It’s so weird to not even be able to recall my exact age or the range of year or specific date anymore.
Because I told myself, I’d never forget and always remember where and when.
I think it was the 17th. But it might have been two days later. I think it was two days after that. I used to commemorate his death every year. For decades.
I just don’t anymore.
But I remember where and when and I didn’t forget.
If you asked me where I was, what I felt, what I feel now and if I’m still…
I promise you this is the easiest shrimp recipe you’ll find. It’s been my #StayAtHome go to when I don’t want to order in and I, once again, forgot to defrost the hamburger.
Start with buying some frozen raw large or jumbo shrimp. This part matters, first, because it’s something you can just toss in your freezer, second, because if you buy the cooked shrimp, it won’t marinate right and will turn out tougher.
Next, buy a bottle of ready to serve margarita. …
It isn’t rational. It isn’t logical. It is the farthest thing from critical thought one could imagine. And yet, too many people simply cannot grasp that life as we knew it before is gone. Yesterday isn’t coming back. And today is the day we have to accept that if we want to have any chance of some sort of normal tomorrow.
This isn’t temporary. I know you want it to be. I know you’re tired of staying in and anxious for your children and bored with baking and miss shopping and afraid the economy will continue to spiral and your business — that you worked so hard for — will be gone. And it’s a hard pill that we have to swallow: things are going to die. …
I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that wearing this was easy. It wasn’t. It was hard for many nuanced reasons. Most of which come down to privilege and just the sheer stress of where we actually are in this pandemic.
In many cultures, wearing a mask when one is ill or may have a slight cough is a norm. It’s a sign of respect to others.
My mind knew this. My vanity didn’t.
It’s a pretty mask. Hand sewn by a member of our extended family. We each have one. She even made a Snoopy patterned one for my son. Although, he will never wear it anywhere in public. He doesn’t leave the backyard but to go for quick walks around a pretty quiet neighborhood with ample space. I might let him wear his then. Because he wants to. But imagining him being that near others is not someplace my mind is going to travel. …
She’s a one in a million girl.
I know friends who feel like I do about these microphones. The RE-20. Broadcast standard in radio studios coast to coast for decades.
I bought her in 2003 when I launched my home studio. No exceptions, that would be the mic I chose.
I’ve used different interfaces, different software, different desks, rooms and sometimes, no room at all — just her, lugged around with luggage getting swabbed by TSA as I stood barefoot in the airport.
She saw coffee shop bathrooms and she lived in storage facilities. She was there when I was homeless but still had a voice. She’s been in high tech studios and she’s been propped up on a kitchen table. She’s been there, reporting on front lines and giving non-profits zero profit voice overs. …
So, it’s a new normal now. The coronavirus pandemic has all of us in different routines and different anxieties and different opportunities to showcase community, together — apart. It’s just weird. So, I thought I might share some of what I experienced the last time my world was rocked with something similar.
While it is true that a global pandemic isn’t anything we’ve seen in a century, there are some paralells to other natural disasters and life changing sudden shifts in daily life as we know it. A few years back, hurricane season moved with force upon our country. We watched Harvey flood Houston and we watched Maria devastate Puerto Rico and we watched Irma crawl up the entire state of Florida. I was living in Lee County at that time, along with my boy — who was then five years old. Irma rocked me and our community hard. …
The following is an abridged version of live and submitted proponent testimony for Ohio Senate Bill 162.
February 19, 2020
Good morning and thank you for allowing me to speak today on behalf of Ohio Senate Bill 162. My name is Elizabeth Grattan and I am here as a concerned citizen — I’m also here as a friend to those who have suffered sexual assault, some you have heard from or will hear from today and others who may still not have found the courage to share their story.
Because the truth is, most won’t share their story. At least not publicly. They may share it with close friends, sometimes they will confide in their family, but for most all victims, the details of the violence they endured only exists in their memories — in solitude and in nightmares and in fear — fleshed out in their day to day as either self destruction or self preservation or, in some of the worst cases, an end to the life they lost along the way. …
Seeing it again was… something.
It’s been a couple years now. And plenty of people have plenty of perspectives enough about what exactly a person should feel by now.
But when the palm trees sway at just a slight certain angle, or the wind goes still, or you find the “Post Irma Normal” wine bottle you saved because you never wanted to think of all the whiskey that got you through those days. Then… it all comes rushing back again. And it’s a hurdle.
And time just makes the memories hit your heart and mind in different ways.
Nothing has ever really been normal since her. She shaped too much of so much that changed.
“You know, I’m glad we are moving now and not later, but we need to hope nothing forms in that ocean that could bring another Irma towards us while we’re traveling.”
“It won’t. And if it does, we will already be packed up and then we will just ride it out again and take shelter,” his confidence included a smile.
See, we stayed through the storm. We bought non perishables, flashlights, shutters. We prepared for the Category 5 heading towards us. Sucking up the sands and tides along its way. We stayed.
We boxed up the Legos and we moved all the furniture and we waved goodbye to our Jeep that sat uncovered. We watched our neighbors get on the highway.
We watched the roads fill with traffic until no traffic remained.
We stayed because it was my job. I wanted us to go but not more than I knew my responsibility as a broadcaster. Not more than I was so unsure.
And by the time I was the most afraid I’ve ever been in my life and I’m talking on air about nearby shelters while searching frantically for “minor traveling alone outbound flights”… it was, I knew, all too late.
There I sat. With the decisions. A point of no return. …
I’ve always had shelves. I’ve always had books. Always had massive wood display cases in every city and state I’ve lived.
Old. Hard. Solid. Tall. Wide. Bookshelves.
I was in my early twenties the first time I bought a pair. They caught my eye in the very back basement while I was just browsing for a tea cup.
Within a week, they made the journey from an old antique store in Xenia to Cincinnati. They were handmade and gorgeous. They fit an entire wall wherever they went. And they went everywhere.
“We could just turn them into firewood instead of navigating three floors of steps,” they said.
How dare the suggestion. It never happened. No matter how many times the city or the state changed.
Those old shelves traveled with me for over fifteen years. Sometimes sitting in storage until I could unpack their belongings… the torn tattered old century writings and collectibles that found their way to me and their place on the wood grain shelves… perfectly positioned for me to admire and perceive.
Those black wood beauties were finally sold during a purge -one of many. And they were split up eventually. Along with their memories.
What I was able to salvage, what I was able to keep. What I could display and see. …