So what’s in those books I plugged recently? I thought I might clarify things by posting the forward that’s in each volume.
Musing through a pandemic. A year and a half with Mr. Corona.
How did this all start? There I was, 6 months into a forced retirement and finally shaking the bitterness while beginning to enjoy all the freedoms this new state had to offer. I was nudging my honey to include me in her little “knowledge” business, Docere (“to teach”) L.L.C., which she’d set up after her NASA years to collect speaking gig fees now mainly serving as repository for royalties from her online textbook on Scientific Writing, required for the U of M class she (and others) taught. Mainly, I was looking for an angle for some new business cards, needed as all my U of M ones were obsolete. Once in, I set to work designing and I think they’re pretty cool. That row on the flip side contains logos from all the institutions with which I’ve been affiliated, going back to high school.
The card template had a spot for a URL, which I didn’t have. Looking around, I came across WordPress’ offers for blogs, which were very reasonably priced. I’d been thinking about blogging a little during my idle retired time. I was always boring my e-mail friends with too long treatises on whatever, so why not just shift that into a blog?
The blogsite sat unused for a week or two before I felt compelled to write about the life and death of my dear friend Sam, who’d passed earlier in the month of a liver ailment that could have been successfully treated had it been caught earlier. I’d actually composed the reflections earlier and emailed them out to our mutual friends. Realizing what I had, I posted it on my blog. Then I was off to the races. Anything was fair game for my blog, but what came out seemed to sort into the following areas: coronavirus, friends and family, “my brilliant career”, travel, food, music, sports, and “this life”. I chose to split off the coronavirus musings as a separate book (or books), focusing this particular effort on all those things I thought about “on the sidelines” during that year and a half Mr. Corona was so much with us. Many were prompted by email queries from friends, and I just pasted the response into my blog. I came to see certain people as my muses. After assembling everything else, and seeing how much I had, I decided to split off two more volumes, one devoted to interpersonal relationships and another to the amusements we pursued.
After nearly a year and a half of doing this, I decided to edit, organize, and annotate my writings into this little book(s). I hope you have as much fun reading them as I did writing them. The “year-and-a-half” demarcation seems pretty natural. I started the blog just as Mr. Corona was beginning to creep over here from Yuhan and many moves announcing lifting of restrictions as of July 1st make it feel like this thing might actually be coming to an end. My own COVID impact has been quite minor, mainly one of annoyance at the arbitrary and often baseless restrictions, the shutdowns, and the accusatory stares from the COVID woke commenting on behavior I was not properly exhibiting. I’ve been blessed with a good mate, good food, ample things to keep my mind occupied (including the blog), and plenty of exercise to keep my mood up and waistline down. For sure, as Mr. Prine would sing, it could have been worse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMPXUnAfv70
If you’re reading this on a Kindle or in an Amazon paperback and want to print out or save something full size, like a 3X5 recipe card, you can access all of these essays and stories on my blog www.theviewfromharbal.com. Links might work better from there than from a Kindle, also.