I may be in the newspaper business, but...


There is so much going on around the globe right now when it comes to the coronavirus crisis that it is really hard to take it all in. It is difficult to tell the real doctors from the fake doctors or all the pretend-to-know-it-allers on Facework and other social media who are making things worse by the post and/or tweet.

My hands are dry and cracked from garden soil, and grass clippings, and weed pullings, and all the other things that keep them dry and cracked most days so now that we’ve added in the constant 20-second soap and water washings and sanitizings I’m pretty sure they might fall off before the crisis is over.

Our leaders have told us not to panic but panic many folks have, hoarding up food and cleaning supplies and toilet paper of all things. I grew up in a time that some toilets around these parts were still not connected to the house and I clearly remember days back then when Mawmaw and Pawpaw Beeland’s didn’t have the store bought variety of wiping product either. I expect folks older than me would be better at explaining the ins and outs of the outhouse, though, so I’ll leave that subject there. Seek out an expert if you do not understand that there are alternatives.

I picked the last of our turnip greens Saturday and planted some tomatoes so it might be safe to say we’ll be living off the land to an extent. My father-in-law, Stewart Harrell, always did say as long as you have land you’ll be alright or something to that nature. Wife, Danny and I have more land than we sometimes know what to do with, even though it’s not that much, so we should be fine if it comes down to that.

If people keep hoarding up everything on the store shelves we may find out more sooner than later. Perhaps I should have planted some Early Girl variety tomatoes rather than Big Boys and Rutgers.

There was only one carrot left in the garden and when I pulled it I thought of our current situation, the panic surrounding it, the movie Gone with the Wind, and the moment that Scarlet O’Hara pulled that radish out of the scorched earth swearing to never go hungry again. Then I chopped it up and cooked it in with the greens. It was good. Might even be a new recipe.

I do have to shamelessly admit that after reading last week in Sybil Gordy’s column that vodka could be used as hand sanitizer, and then reading the same thing in a Monday email from a colleague, and seeing a lady on the nightly news commenting, that “if  this were the end of time the one thing she didn’t want to do was go out sober” because her liquor store was closed due to the virus run on booze, I thought to myself, “no, that’s not a good idea.” Like Scarlett I would be thinking more along the lines of “as God is my witness, I’ll never go without a Bloody Mary or a Screwdriver again.” Now I’m thinking maybe we should plant some orange trees too.

And finally, as a follow up to last week, it may not make a hill of beans to you all, but the hill where my great-granddaddy used to plant beans is now clean and clear of all that very invasive bamboo cane, privet hedge and fragrant wisteria. Yep, the weather held and the mulching men did their magic.

Today I can assure you that we’ve got a heck of a lot of mulch and a whole heck of a lot more yard that will have to be mowed. We’ve also still got some cleaning up to do, but it is a wide open space out there in the country and during this worldwide pandemic it will be easy for Danny and I to get outside and work while staying a safe six feet away from each other and everybody else, while taking in the fresh air too.

Well, minus a heck of a lot of  pollen we would be able to take in the fresh air!

Seriously, this crisis will pass, but we do have to deal with it right now. So, stay safe, stay calm, wash your hands often, and don’t go places you don’t have to go for a few weeks. Be smart and use commonsense. It is in there, somewhere.

And quit hoarding up all the toilet paper! I may be in the newspaper business, but...


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