Let It Be Over

Enough is too much

By Deborah Salomon

Seldom have Richard III’s words rung so true: “Now is the winter of our discontent . . . ”

Carol-less Christmas because singing spreads the virus.

Party-less New Year’s Eve. Midnight hugs prohibited.

Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Sunday spent with live-in family, forget about chili and party platters. Romantic Valentine’s Day dinners were take-out, including the martinis.

No snow, only rain, rain, rain. Cold winter rain owns a special misery.

An epic storm brings the Lone Star State to its knees: No heat, no water, burst pipes, dwindling food — almost enough to make Texans forget COVID-19 which, as a result, will surge.

In late February, parts of an engine fell off a United Airlines Boeing 777 just after take-off from Denver, bound for Hawaii. The cellphone videos matched the pilot’s shaky voice as he declared, “Mayday, Mayday.” Yet he returned to Denver with all 240 passengers safe. Nothing that dramatic since Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger landed a Charlotte-bound USAirways flight with zero engine power on the Hudson River in 2009.

Except now, a new fear of flying — not that anybody much is.

Ah, yes, the virus itself, which has crept like mold through . . . everything.

The winter just ending was chill, dreary and definitely damp. Never in 12 years have I worn my down parka and cashmere socks as much.

My two kitties looked in vain for the sunny spot on the porch to warm their old bones. I remember a few nice days when golfers surfaced without mufflers and knitted caps but even more when the birds seemed especially thankful for their daily ration of shelled sunflower seeds, which in a month doubled in price.

Several prominent people died since autumn, notably Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Alex Trebek. Jeopardy! is now a Travesty! The older a person gets, the more he or she muses on passings. I turned 82 in January.

But, when push comes to pushover, the deepest discontent remains the November election, with an aftermath that festered, then exploded on Jan. 6, when the Capitol was ravaged by its own citizens. When the actions of a defeated president flabbergasted — there is no other word — and embarrassed Americans expecting at least a modicum of civility. Back to Shakespeare: “Something is rotten in the state of . . . ” not Denmark, as written. Maybe Florida. D.C., for sure.

The cherry on top has to be what the Brits are calling Megxit. I knew from her first curtsy that Miss Markle planned to bag her prince and drag him back across the pond. In February, they sealed the deal with a cheeky note to the Queen: Don’t call us, we’ll call you. Being the dressed-to-kill Duchess of Sussex wasn’t enough. What she wanted was to be Queen of Hollywood, living in a seaside mansion more opulent than any British castle — and not half as drafty. So, Harry sold out his granny, his brother and his mother’s legacy for a green card, a year-round tan, tacos on demand, Lipton Orange Pekoe and driving his Range Rover on the right side of the road.

But will it last?

However, this tragic winter provided one belly laugh: Ted Cruz, with long hair and beard looking the part of an aging matador in search of a bull, pretending to chaperone a bunch of girls to Cancún instead of handing out water to his constituents. If only Jackie Gleason was alive to recreate the part.

All things considered, this April I won’t complain about pine pollen, hay fever, awakening day for the ants or new cheek wrinkles the bright spring sun reveals. I’ll try not to dread the summer heat, which will loom large. Because to have survived this winter upright and lucid makes anything seem possible.   PS

Deborah Salomon is a contributing writer for PineStraw and The Pilot. She may be reached at debsalomon@nc.rr.com.

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