Sticks and Stones May Break …

… but the names I called this limb probably hurt someone’s ears.

Just sayin’

To the unknown cart pushers who casually walked by with eggs, ramen noodles, and an over-supply of T.P., I sincerely offer my apologies. You didn’t need to hear my words. Yes, I valiantly tried to dislodge this protuberance a few times and it finally came undone, but not before looser language freely flowed, carte blanche, from my mouth.

Apparently, I traveled many a mile unaware of my wooden hitchhiker dragging its sorry stick-self along for the ride. Don’t know where I picked it up, or how it found its way in and around the fine Michelin tire. One of four taking me to breakfast, Sam’s Club, the bank, storage, Sunoco, home and Weis Market almost every day … including today.

Those poor Weis customers. I’m sure the language wasn’t unfamiliar. Any sailor in their family would say the same, I’m sure. Now, to be clear, I didn’t know the severity of limb vs. tire situation. Clearly, it wasn’t too bad, just a bit twisted …

The surprise in these moments is always the worst part. I had eight six-packs of soda in my unplanned trip to Weis cart. Running late, as usual, my mind was on the next hour … not on playing a round of log-in-wheel.

The previous time in my morning was filled with news I didn’t want to hear. Most of it, I didn’t hear – I saw on this little bearer of words known as a smart phone. Texts sent with sentences I was hoping not to see. No fault of the senders … much appreciation and care to them. Both of them know my thoughts.

If you’re guessing covid-related, you’d be correct.

In a few short paragraphs, I’m now a cart pusher of thoughts while my senders spent their morning twisting larger emotional and medical logs out of their tired, sore, drained selves. Moments of surprise to me. Not so much to them as they battle valiantly through their situations.

… Sticks and stones may break, but words can never hurt me…right?

We fought bullies and generational wars. The latter I never experienced first hand, but the former I’ve hand a hand in. None compare to this year’s Covid virus … all of it. The opinions, science, politicization, familial strains, financial stress, business shut-downs, … every last word spit out through masks of different ideologies.

I know we can’t live in a world where nobody gets hurt. There will always be branches stuck in someone’s tire. There will always be these surprises catching us, well … by surprise.

Just today, for some reason, the texts weren’t good surprises and the usual first log post of the day was jammed in the back wheel of my van – not happily typed here. This Covid is a bully. Period.

I’m confident everything will work out for those I was in touch with this morning. Secondarily, my van tire is fine and that stupid branch is now resting comfortably on the cart return rack at Weis for them to deal with later today.

We have a way to go. How far? I just don’t know. One day at a time. Bullies can’t handle that plan, so how about it? What’s the good word? I say: HOPE.

Hang in there. If I can get a stupid log out of my tire, there’s hope for all of us.

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