Offbeat things at a weird time

Posted 4/2/20

We could all use a laugh about now, so here are some offbeat observations and suggestions since we've settled into this new and totally weird norm where the governor informs us daily of new cases of coronavirus and, in case you've forgotten, that this is

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Offbeat things at a weird time


We could all use a laugh about now, so here are some offbeat observations and suggestions since we’ve settled into this new and totally weird norm where the governor informs us daily of new cases of coronavirus and, in case you’ve forgotten, that this is serious.

My dog Ollie loves this. Indeed, he’s getting far more attention these days. He continues to not listen to me, which I’ve come to expect, but has taken to displaying his affection by racing to find his “pullie” as soon as I step in the door. Playing tug of war with a dog is a sure way to reduce anxiety and momentarily put aside the news of the day. There’s a benefit for Ollie, too that I didn’t realize until Carol returned from one of her walks around Confreda Fields.

“Ten pees and a poo,” she reported Sunday on her return.

I was impressed, first that she was keeping count and then by Ollie’s reserves that surely had to be drained, meaning he would be good for the night. What had prompted such an outflowing? The answer was obvious after a moment’s reflection: Everybody is walking their dog, so he had a lot of marking to do. Ollie’s happy. We’re happy that he’s happy. And my guess is that dogs are happy everywhere. ***

Then there was the phone call Monday. Sue Howarth who answered the call said the woman on the line had a story.

This bubbly voice that I had difficulty understanding let loose with a barrage of words that had something to do with her daughter taking a dance class with a girl from Warwick. No question I was having trouble with her accent. Finally, I interrupted.

“Are you British?”

“Yes, I love America,” I was able to decipher. OK, I was getting somewhere. I asked for a name. She is Lisa and was anxious to carry on with her story. There was no slowing her down. Seems that her daughter, Elle, who is 8 years old, is friends with Juliet, who is 7 and lives in Warwick. So far it all fit.

But what was this dance class? She filled me in. At that very moment the two girls were taking a dance class, only Elle was not with Juliet in Warwick. I was getting the picture. The light went on – Lisa was calling from England, but what didn’t fit was how they know one another. The answer was Orlando, Florida, where they were the two families met on vacation.

“I wish we’d stayed there,” said Lisa, confessing she would prefer to be quarantined here than in England where everything is shut down. In fact, she has wanted to move to this country for some time. Our conversation rambled. We talked about how we speak the same language but have difficulty understanding one another. She was amazed by my pronunciation of Warwick and was intrigued to learn how the Earl of Warwick had deeded the land to colonialist Samuel Gorton. We traded emails after repeating the address slowly letter by letter. I then learned Lisa Alexander (one of a couple of last names she has, but that’s another story) is the director of a marketing and communications company. She wants to visit Rhode Island when this is all over. And, almost incidentally she added, she would be sending me a story about the two girls. We’ll be sure to publish it.

That was a respite from the virus albeit brief. ***

How could we not miss the battle of words between Cuomo and Raimondo over stopping cars with New York plates when they cross into Rhode Island? The ACLU got into the fray and coastal communities voiced concerns over out-of-staters seeking refuge from the city in their summer homes. And that had me wondering if Rhode Island was actually missing an opportunity.

What if Rhode Island put out the welcome mat, rather than seeking to turn people away? Gina has done a great job of keeping things under control. Rhode Islanders understand the seriousness of this; she has rallied the populace. This is a good place to be, better than many other places.

So what’s the benefit to Rhode Island?

Remember the Census? Well, we could use a few more Rhode Islanders, according to the last count, and we’d get to keep two congressmen.


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