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Monday, April 5, 2021

 Hi friends.  The photo is from the summer.

It's been over a year since I have posted and what a year this has been! I won't go into everything but it has been a year that I hope I never have to live again. I have received all of my vaccinations and I am free to go outside. Yet I still worry, because my daughters, who live with me, are not completely vaccinated. One had her first shot this Friday, and what an experience that was. 

I went with her and so did my older daughter in the car to Lord and Taylor's parking lot. We had to go into a certain entrance and we were in traffic waiting to go. Traffic was directed by a National Guard officer and then we went up into the parking lot where lanes of cones denoted where we could drive. National Guard officers directed us there too. After almost an hour of waiting we were directed to the place where they could speak with us. My other daughter had tried to schedule her appointment but at the exact moment that both of my daughters were scheduling their appointments the computers on the scheduling end went down and so they only got one of my daughters appointment. My other daughter had come hoping to persuade them to give her a shot but it didn't work. She was not happy but she managed to schedule one for tomorrow. So that is good. 

Getting the shot was fast and then we were directed to move through to another place where someone put this box on our car and then at the place we had to wait the designated fifteen minutes afterward to see if you have any reactions. My daughter barely felt anything and then did not have any real after effects. 

I got mine back in the beginning of March and I couldn't move my arm above my head both times for a day or two. But the second time the injection site got red and my arm got swollen and red to the elbow. It went away after a day. No other real symptoms except both times I felt tired and cranky. LOL

During this year I have also published another poetry book The Child Poet unfortunately not under my name but I co-authored and the other author published it without my knowledge. It is a wonderful book for children so please check it out. I have also been baking a lot and have rediscovered my love for this. 

April has ushered in National Poetry Month and I have been writing at least a poem a day. I have gotten out of the habit of writing this blog and since I am so busy otherwise I may not write another post for awhile. But I thought I would connect with anyone who is still reading this and will share with my new friends who do not know this side of me. 

I think poetry has kept me sane these months, since I could write whenever it got to be too much. And there has been so much that has happened that it was hard to keep quiet. Physically, there was the fear in the beginning and the constant vigilance to be safe. Hand washing has caused my hands to be dry and scaly and lotion doesn't help that much when you are washing your hands too many times to count. Using hand sanitizer also affects your hands. But everything is better than being exposed to this disease. Cardboard has come to be my enemy. Packages have to sit awhile or else you need to wash your hands after touching them. We get a lot of packages, since we have been doing all of our shopping online including groceries. I have ventured into a few stores in the last week and it has been a very enlightening experience. What I used to enjoy has become a stressful task. I am still wearing a mask in public and I am waiting for the day when I can safely go unmasked everywhere.

I have done a lot of live things online with my new friends and that is what I feel is the best thing to have come out of this. I have met so many wonderful and creative people through my position as Regional Director of the West of Motivational Strips. Connecting through writing and poetry is the best and making friendships with people who are halfway across the world is an awesome adventure. As a result of so many in person Zoom meetings too, I have become very comfortable on live videos. This has made me think that perhaps I might want to try doing a video version of my radio show. But that is a topic that has yet to be discussed with my network. But I have also been a guest on several interview shows.

On the writing side I have so many new poems I am thinking of publishing another book soon. And I am almost finished with the second sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, The Mill Valley High Five. I am hoping to make this a series: If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Who Is Jennifer Taylor? The Mill Valley High Five as the Mill Valley series. Right now I am on Chapter 30 and hope I get to the end. 

I have an idea but I am not sure when the end will come. I have a feeling it will be very soon. I never know when I'm going to end a book until the writing stops. For me that is the end.

So hope you all had a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover. Our Passover was just for the three of us and we did a whole dinner. Or let me say, I did a whole dinner and also shopped for a little of it in real stores. Then I did the cooking and the cleaning up afterward. My daughters helped a little but for the most part it was me. I was happy to do it, because it is important to have traditions. I usually spend that time with family but my family couldn't come. But as we read the Haggadah and the old words were said I truly felt that it was very important to have a Seder this year. We have gone through so much and we are in a way like the Jews who were forced to leave their land. We were forced into our homes and many things were forbidden to us for a long time. We had a terrible oppressive leader that we needed to remove and we did that. Unfortunately, the venom he sewed was not that easily removed so we had January 6th. That is a day I will never forget.

January 6th and September 11th were two of the worst days I have ever spent. Add in the one where I saw George Floyd killed and the very worst day when my husband passed away. I felt grief for our country and sadness that a monument to democracy had been desecrated and lives were lost. But I am thankful that despite all of the violence and chaos we finally were able to have a new president. And now life has gone back to a more relaxed pace and I can have faith that a sane person is at the head of our government and will keep our country safe and running. It makes me feel better and I can sleep a little better most times.

What I learned from all of this is that nothing is going to last and we have to keep being vigilant to protect ourselves and our democracy. The same kind of vigilance we are now using to protect ourselves from the Covid-19 virus should be given to watching our government by every person in this country. We can't be complacent that all will turn out okay. We have to be making sure that it stays the way we want it to stay.

So that's it for now. I still have my radio show but it has a new name: Books and Entertainment Tales from the Pages. It is still on the 4th Thursday of every month at 4pm Eastern time. If you miss it you just click on the link on my page and you will hear it. My next show has two great authors: Roberta Seret and Michelle Burns. Check this out. 

Until the next time I hope all of you are vaccinated soon and that very soon our world can go back to normal. I leave you with a poem I just wrote about this:

What Does the Future Hold?
For me it means walking outside without a mask
And meeting my friends for lunch
Having meetings in person and not on Zoom
Things I never dreamed would be wishes a year ago
Pummeled by the onslaught of so much in so little time
I have craved the idea of being normal again
As if it were an exotic elixir never to be drunk
My thoughts have caressed it as a forbidden dream
And though that dream is almost a reality
My brain does not completely believe it is a truth
For why should we trust when all trust has been tarnished?
Our future is brighter now than a year ago
and as we converse about a subject never conjured before -- vaccination status -- 
I picture a time when this will be a fun memory to discuss 
as we all laugh about the time we had to wear masks 
and were shut in our house for 6 months 
and had to wash our hands so much 
they were red and scaly and even lotion didn't help
What does the future hold?
I only hope the future will allow our children to live the lives
we hoped and prayed they would have
and the world will finally accept that peace is the only way
for us to live together
Though if we don't act soon there will be little left for our future generations. 
Really as I think about it, I hope the future holds bright days 
and more friends and lots of writing.
Copyright 2021 by 
Barbara Ehrentreu
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