June in June in the South

Geez Louise. Not to swear at you right off the bat. But it’s a cold morning over here in Book of June Land. Yes, I have my own land. A third of an acre, to be exact, and you can go ahead and envy old Land Baron June, here.

The HIGH today is 61, and I don’t know when I became my grandparents with my weather report and all. But really. It’s June in the South. June in the South shivering in June in the South.

Last year at this time I was headed for Michigan; I know this because Facebook memories told me. But also because you know how I am about dates.

Edsel and I took a road trip in my brand-new baby-blue car that I loved so much until a truck plowed into it. We—Edsel and me, not the truck and me—stayed overnight at a fancy hotel in West Virginia on the way, which I know sounds like a contradiction in terms.

Once, years ago, I took that same road trip with … let’s just say the last person I went out with. I was taking him home to meet the fam. Once my cousin just said, “To tell you the truth, June, they just seem like one big blur at this point.”

I have two cousins, that one included, who I feel the same way about. Wait, is this the guy who went with us to … Oh, this is a different guy? Okay.

Oh, is that the one she was engaged to? Oh. Oh, okay, different guy. Got it.

What can I tell you. We have charms that might not be long-lasting.

Anyway, I was taking The Last Boyfriend to Michigan and we stopped at the same fancy West Virginia hotel, says June, who has been home 118 days and has to sit with her memories.

Unlike Edsel, this former boyfriend looked out the window and said, “Hey, there’s a bar across the street. We should go.”

See. This is one of those things you should ask someone up front. You should ask, “Let’s say we work a whole day then drive six hours through scary mountains and freakish highways. Let’s say we finally check into a hotel. Do you (a) want to order room service and watch Lifetime Television for Women or do you (b) want to GO OUT ANYWAY because you’re a freak?”

Anyone who answers B can be shot immediately.

So because that was back when I was trying hard to get a proposal, I said OK. God knows we haven’t done enough today. Let’s also go to a bar.

So we headed across the street, and have you ever seen any David Lynch movies?

It was a long narrow bar; I believe this place used to sell junk or antiques, and I say that because the storefront still displayed dusty faded junk or antiques in the window. There was a tin ceiling that had seen things it didn’t wanna talk about, and way down at the end was an old weathered juke box with songs that hadn’t been updated since everyone went looking for Tony Orland’s sweet gypsy rose.

There was a woman, in shorts, in November, swaying back and forth to Peggy Lee. Apparently, yes, that’s all there is.

There was a man just face-down on the bar. Just. Face-down. Like that’s what people do at a bar.

“What can I get you?” asked the bartender, who was chipper despite bartending for the World’s Saddest People.

“I’d like a chardonnay,” I said. “More oak-y than buttery.”

“What kind of IPAs do you have on tap?” asked my date, uttering the Official Words of the White Man.

We ended up each drinking whiskey. Mine had Coke in it, like a wedding reception.

How did I get on this topic? I can’t remember. Oh! Because last year on this day I was headed to Michigan with the Eds. That was a good trip. When we got to our room, Edsel was happy to munch his welcome treats and lie next to me whilst I enjoyed the Hallmark Channel. You won’t believe it, but this big-city woman met a plaid-shirted man in a smaller town, see, and …

Anyway, what’d you do all weekend? I am seeing on Facebook and Instagram that people are, you know, going out, and you know the coronavirus numbers are still going up, right? You know that? Do you just not care? Are you suicidal? I don’t get it. I saw two big parties this weekend. I’m over here living in my plastic bubble till god knows when.

I did drive out to the country to an outdoor store that sells lawn ornaments and plants and strawberries. I got two hanging plants for my front porch and a big mess of strawberries that I have been living on ever since.

I also made a big list of things to do all weekend and the only one I didn’t do was get down on my hands and knees and scrub my large area rug, because it sounded miserable. Doesn’t that sound miserable? But it looks dingy after two years of animals throwing themselves across it.

I have to “go” to work now, and by “go” I mean I have to stop typing this and start copy editing something I have waiting for me. It’s quite a commute. I remember commuting in Los Angeles and wishing for a shorter and commute and LOOK AT ME NOW.

Pandemically,
June

62 thoughts on “June in June in the South

  1. We spent the weekend in the wide outdoors chasing chickens, running from donkeys, feeding cows and goats, and riding horses. It was wonderful!

    I could go for a whiskey and coke right now though.

    PS—I have a birthday gift for you. Nothing fancy…just something my friend shared from her antique store and I thought you’d get a kick out of (and might use, even). Where should I send it? You can email me!

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    1. Hi! That’s so nice! Thank you! I used to have people mail stuff to work but me no one’s there! Maybe send it to work anyway? Email me!

      >

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      1. I just emailed! I didn’t realize I still had that contact for you (well, at least I hope it’s the right one!).

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  2. I returned to work full-time today, after working from home three days a week and working alone at the office the other two since March. My co-worker also returned. Our building is very strict and our boss is even stricter. He is coming back next week and will have us in customized HazMat suits. I kid, but he has already laid down the law about masks, gloves, sanitizing, etc. We have been doing all of our client meetings via ZOOM (which I loathe) and it’s been working out really well. I think once the boss is back, he’ll reconsider and have us working from home more often. I HOPE. I LIT A CANDLE. I SAID A NOVENA. It took me several weeks to get used to working from home, but I did it and now it was taken away from me. Anyway, mostly people up here are masked and gloved and socially distant. I mean, it’s NY, we’re naturally socially distant (and rude) but you know what I mean. We know it’s real because we see the rented vans outside of funeral homes with bodies stacked up. However, there is one faction of the population, and I won’t say who, what or where, that is ignoring all warnings and continuing to be mask-less, glove-less and are still congregating in large groups. They are also traditionally anti-vaxxers. It is infuriating but nothing can be done about it. They answer to a higher authority.

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    1. I know exactly who you mean. We have them too and their town’s numbers are way higher than anyone else’s, like ten percent higher than the second highest town.

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  3. My conscience had a hard time this weekend. There was a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest scheduled, which I would love to have been a part of, but the VIRUS people! I’ve not spent any quality time with my grandsons for months, and I will not have all of that sacrifice go to waste, damnit. It sucks.

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  4. I have a question. I have been in semi-quarantine with my husband since early March. He had the virus and recovered. I’ve been working a few days a week in our local, closed-to-the-public (for now) library with 6 other staff members. One of the staff members is over 70 and is married to an older, immunocompromised husband. Our two kids were quarantined with us after their colleges closed but now that the world is reopening, one child has been out and about visiting with friends. Here’s my question, am I endangering my co-worker’s husband by continuing to go to work? We all wear masks and are super careful, checking temperatures etc. but I would feel terrible if my coworker brought the virus home. Yes, she could stay home but I’m concerned and responsible for MY behavior, not hers. Making my college aged kid stay home is also impossible. Of course, I’ve been cloroxing everything like mad but I’ve seen firsthand how serious and sneaky the virus is-we still don’t know where or how my husband got the virus as he was working from home since late February. It’s hard being the worry wart.

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  5. PJ, It takes a couple of days in really hot weather to make sure they are really dry. My rug size limit is now 5′ x 7′ because of the weight when they are wet. I have to get my husband to help me move them from the driveway to the patio table. We did wash the 9′ x 12′ rug that was in the kitchen…once.

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  6. For a minute you had me in that narrow bar in West Virginia thinking that was all there is. So sad for that woman in the shorts. You write very vivid pictures, June.

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  7. You are such a funny chica. Wedding reception Coke, IPA and the white man (which is beyond too true).
    God, I remember going out and doing things. Good times. There is no way we are leaving our hovel until there is a proven vaccine. We are just too old to risk it.
    Enjoy the cold. It will be hot and muggy and hair-apparent soon enough.

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  8. One of my neighbors with two young children are acting like there is nothing to worry about. They just had a birthday party for one of their children with multiple guests and a bouncy house for all the youngsters.

    In contrast, we are social distancing and wearing masks when we have to go out in public to pick-up either groceries ordered online or take-out meals from family-owned restaurants we are trying to support. When I went to the city shred-day I mentioned previously, the documents were in my trunk, everyone wore masks and the workers unloaded my trunk so there was no contact.

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  9. Ooh – I am just glad to see that so many really “get it” – (the folks here) . I see so many here and I know so many in other places that are just tired of the virus – so the attitude seems to be – oh let’s just go back to the way it was and it will disappear somehow. No. It won’t. I am in AZ and we are on national news every day now for our “spike.” I am staying in as much as possible and wearing a mask when out – and being super careful. Here the 20 to 40 year old’s are now getting this virus in large numbers. I suppose that “maybe they won’t die from it” – but who really knows that?
    I love the prevailing attitude here – you guys are smart!
    It is not that hard to wear a mask and stay out of crowds and bars for crying out loud. Sigh. It is going to be a long summer. And guess what? Our gov says we should feel confident as if we get sick, there are plenty of beds! Are you kidding me? And – another new flash – the Phoenix heat is not deterring the spread. hmm.
    I love that Chardonnay remark! I used to love that wine but it knocks me on my kiester!
    June – your post was great as always. Such a great way to start my day!

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  10. My anger about this is directed at the Federal Government. We are in this free-for-all mess because they have abdicated their responsibilities. We shouldn’t be mad at other people. We should be directing our anger at the people in the White House and in Congress who are making this pandemic worse than it needs to be in terms of lives lost, people getting seriously sick and financial difficulties/ruin. With almost any other administration, we would follow their lead. We would be right to think that things must be getting better if POTUS is out holding large campaign events. But instead, we know that this administration is just going to ignore the virus at this point and hope that no one notices just how bad it is or will be.

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    1. Absolutely. They had a playbook. A team. A plan. All spelled out for them. It would have been easy to just be decent and do the right things. But nooooooo. Infuriating, and murderous.

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  11. Well, California is officially open for business. Idiots. I however, am pretending we are still on lock down. With my vascular heart disease, I cant take a chance. I expect to be quarantined for the foreseeable future. I dont mind that, but I did get all melancholy when I thought about spending Christmas alone.

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  12. I often used to say to my work colleague that I would be happy if the boss would pay me to stay at home. I have been at home since 16th March and they pay me my full pay every week. Livin’ the dream!

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  13. My husband and I are appalled at the number of people we’ve run into lately who have questioned our belief in the existence of COVID-19. We’re wearing masks everywhere and still social distancing. I feel like it’s a dance trying to interact with people – they keep moving closer than 6ft, and I keep moving farther away. It’s just so damn annoying, I’d rather stay home. We’re trying to be responsible about obeying the rules governing reopening the charity organization for which we’re both trustees, but members are already making it clear that they will not be respecting the rules they’re supposed to follow. I’d rather not open it at this point, and I’m hoping the township denies our permit application.

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  14. June you are the best storyteller. Great bf choosing advice. Also I am still cracking up over that sweaty sweating paragraph from like 12 posts ago. Tx u.

    Still sheltering here.

    ICU bed availability stats are freaking me. I have been to the local ICU Ward. Not that many beds folks. So if 80% are occupied, turn over is slow… there are maybe 4 beds free? One really sick family of 4 can get treatment? Or maybe u live somewhere bigger or with better availability & u have ten free beds. Ten more people can get ICU treatment in your greater area for things like heart attacks, Covid, stroke, etc.. Which ten is it gonna be?

    Your beloved suddenly strokes, heart attacks, can’t breathe & u have 6 mins to get them transported to local care and whoops! No free beds for critical care. So sorry.

    I wish the news & stats presented it like this. Maybe folks would change behavior.

    Or maybe not. Lately I think humans are unbelievably horrible. Then I see people taking action for change and I get hopeful. All of this is like a crucible… shit is that right word? Ok I can’t google that word so… all of this is something my Lit Prof would call Important Vocab Word. And what will we be when we come out the other side?

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  15. People often ask me what summers in New England are like. I tell them “today”, and “yesterday”. A bit homesick.

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  16. My son had his road test for getting his license today. Three teenagers in the car with the driving instructor who is at least in his late 50’s but probably 60’s. Guess who had trouble keeping his mask on the whole time? Yeah the idiot instructor. I have physical therapy twice a week now and the therapist just can’t seem to keep it over his nose and mouth. Like …are you able to keep your pants on? Your shirt? This really isn’t an intellectual problem here. I don’t know how to call him out on it though without sounding like a total b____. I’m here doing physical therapy wearing it. I’m the one breathing hard. How is this so uncomfortable for you???

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  17. We went mini golfing this weekend along with everyone else in the Chicago west suburban area as it is the only outdoor thing open. The first two holes I got back to back holes in one. Or is it hole in ones? Anyway, feeling no pressure on hole 3, right? . . . well, it became necessary to switch gears and adopt a who’s-counting-anyway approach to the game.

    I can totally envision the look of that bar, and yes- why not flop on the bed and chill?

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  18. It is like pre-virus over here in Alabama with almost no face masks in sight. People are going to be so upset if their lack of protection now leads to no college football this fall due to a resurgence.

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    1. My sister lives there too. It’s crazy-ville. Members of the Auburn football team have it, but football still isn’t cancelled. The only reason why my sister isn’t having a nervous breakdown at this point is because she already got it. Works in a library which the mayor wouldn’t shut down until weeks in. Took her almost two months to breathe normal again and she had it mild.

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  19. I have a friend who is selling her beach house in North Carolina and went down to some work on it in order to get it ready to put on the market. She and her husband stopped at the grocery store nearby and they were the only ones wearing masks. In the evening they went to an outdoor ice cream stand and, again, were the only ones wearing masks. A woman asked why they were wearing them and my friend said because of the virus. The woman said “oh, you believe that’s real?’ and my friends husband replied ‘yes, we’re from Maryland and we believe in it up there’. It is infuriating that people think this is a joke. I have been in my bubble alone since March, haven’t seen my son since January and canceled my summer vacation in South Carolina since they seem to be doing nothing to lower the spread. These are all small sacrifices we need to make in order for things to get better. It kills me when people say they just have to get out. Like we don’t?? I want to go back to normal too but I also want to get this thing under control.

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    1. Covid is the Santa of virus’es. We just moved out of SC a month before the mess really started and I’m so thankful. Sure, their numbers were low at the beginning and then the idiot governor opened everything up the Thursday before Memorial Day. We were transplants for 12 years so I feel like I can say this – those are the most obstinate people in the country. No one’s going to take away MY RIGHTS whether it’s a category 4 hurricane coming ashore 3 miles down the road or this “fake” virus that’s killed 400k in the world.

      Living in MD now and (mostly) loving it! LOL

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    2. Megan, that is so sad, but so telling. To that ignoramus who didn’t believe it is real… you just have to say, ‘shut the fuck up’ and hope they might hear you. My dear friend’s mother died from it about two weeks ago. She knows it is real.

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    3. Megan, I’m in Little River SC. Not sure where you were planning to go on vacation, but you made the smart decision to cancel. The Grand Strand area is worse than any spring break scenario. Traffic is backed up. It’s awful. And restaurants are reporting outbreaks every day.

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      1. We’ve been going to Isle of Palms for the last 8 years. It’s normally my extended family and a few family friends. i made the decision in May that I wasn’t going and didn’t think it was a good idea for my parents either since they’re in their 70’s and have underlying health conditions. My brother and his family and their friends are still going. I hope they are careful and don’t have any issues. I’ve been following some forums where locals are urging people not to come. Of course, that opinion isn’t going over well. I just can’t risk it especially after being so careful for the last three months. There’s always next year.

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  20. No bubble here. I’ve been working since the onset of the pandemic. Some other government agencies have closed but the good ol DLA just keeps brining all of us incubators together. My coworkers are all in their 60s and 70s. The same coworkers that are still going to church and running amuck like it’s whatevs. My boss actually attended church and caught Covid-19. We were supposed to be moving to Oklahoma this month but that has been pushed off until the Fall. I have never been so excited to live in a one horse town. I don’t even mind that there’s not a target or chain sit down restaurant. I swear! Just get me away from Virginia.

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  21. We had beautiful weather here this weekend, but the hot, humid, icky stuff is scheduled to arrive soon. I simply hate that and turn into a slug.

    Yesterday I met up with a friend near a lovely lake and conservatory. We each brought our own coffee, our camp chairs, distanced ourselves, and ate blueberry scones with lemon curd. Spaciously walked around the park grounds. Getting to feel the outside air was wonderful, and I felt so enriched, as the isolation is hurting me.

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  22. We attended the best graduation party of all yesterday. All of the graduates in the area decorated their cars, put on their caps and gowns and rode slowly up and down every street led by a flashy flashing fire truck. The people stood on their front lawns and rang bells and blew horns and yelled congratulations and the graduates were smiling from ear to ear and yelling thank you back. I’ll bet it was more fun than marching and sitting in the sun listening to speeches. I wish they’d do it every year. It was so fun to see these young people so happy and smiling and waving and being acknowledged by the people in their neighborhood.

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  23. We’re still bubbling here, too, and loving love loving this cool June we’re having. If you are not bubbling and think wearing a mask is stupid and makes you look like sheep, please remember that your wearing a mask protects the other person who may well be going home to take care of a fragile older person, a child having chemo, or herself with lupus or asthma or something. Please do not go by and mumble “sheeple” or baaa or GLARE at us which is now apparently the thing people are instructed to do. We also want good health for you.
    Off my soapbox now. And I do love you all.

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  24. It’s crazy how people are all just like, welp, this is over now. Back to normal. Not me. Typing to you from my office in the basement.

    The Official Words of the White Man made me snort. Thank you.

    It was only in the 60s over the weekend here in Ohio. Nothing is normal anymore.

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    1. I love the whole argument of “Well, we’ve GOTTA [celebrate a graduation, go to a block party, drink at a bar].” No, you really DON’T. I like how for years on other people say I’m the immature one (Reddit, other blogs), and I’m over here on day 118 of being alone because I’M TRYING TO NOT KILL PEOPLE. Like, sometimes you gotta do stuff that is unpleasant. You might even have to do it for 18 months.

      People are seriously disappointing.

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    2. Official Words of the White Man? How about More Oakey than Buttery. That made me snort laugh.

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  25. Sounds like a lovely drive in the country. Other than taking advantage of our city’s shred-day to get rid of documents that needed shredding, I found time to enjoy the outdoors by sitting on the deck and reading, then grilling hamburgers before the evening rains chased me inside.

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  26. Safe travels down the grammar pole to your workday! I loved that image so much. It appeals to my editorness.
    My theory is that people are just “over” being restricted. And I think the numbers will show that in the coming months.
    Yesterday my sinuses were afflicted with outdoor whatever is out there now, and I felt like I had an ax going through my head. Perhaps because it was day 1,567 of scraping and repainting the deck I always said was too big. But anyway, I immediately diagnosed myself. “This is the Rona” I told my husband. “Can you still taste your food?” he asked.
    dammit.

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  27. I hear you on the bubble. I sit home on my computer watching half the world go on like nothings happening while I shake my head and clutch my pearls.

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  28. The other day Mr. Texas exclaimed, “There’s so much cash in our account!” Now, that is not to brag, rather simply illustrate that when you do NUHHHTHING FOR MONTHS, you have some cash on hand. I do not know whyyyyy people be out runnin’ ’round. Now to present the opposing view: it’s a great time to get in the car and drive home, June! You can take your work with you, and stay as long as you like! You’re portable, girl! You’ve been quarantined so you are safe to be around your parents. And this time, no obligation to go to the creepy, sad bar. Via con Dios!

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      1. Ooof. Well, that’s trickier. Although some friends who HAD to travel to move their child out of her dorm have said that hotels are nearly empty and are leaving rooms empty for several days before reassigning them.

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      2. I’m really sorry about your kind and loving stepfather having to deal with heart trouble and Parkinson’s. Been there, taken care of that with my dad for years, and I send you and your mom lots of love and care, and your stepfather, too. I wish I could lay down a blanket of courage and peace and comfort.

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          1. It makes my heart all warm when you call me Pajamas.

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  29. Lovely post, pretty June.

    I’m right there with you on the virus ~ I think all of the houses on our cul de sac have now had giant driveway parties that I avoid going to get the mail during for fear I’ll be waved over.
    On the other hand, major missing of certain things: the burger shack (literally, a shack) a few miles away was in full swing this weekend and the wind shifted just right ~ the dog and I both had snouts in the air. Ah, remembrance of food someone else cooked.

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  30. The only positive thing about the virus is the Atlanta traffic. I had a doctor’s appointment last week (in Atlanta) and the traffic was like 1975.

    We had friends that helped us pull down a dead tree on Saturday. Sounds like loads of fun, but we were so happy to see them! Sunday we had friends drop by to return a book. We are practicing social distancing, even outside.

    I have been known to wash my wool oriental rugs. I roll them up, move them out to the driveway and scrub them with a broom and Dawn liquid in cold water, then rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse them with the water hose. Then I hang them over the metal patio table to dry. I just can’t get down on my hands and knees [note: use of broom] because 1) it’s too hard to get up off that concrete and 2) the pain.

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    1. But but but how long does it take them to dry? Mine are pretty big. Are yours? That was an innocent question about rugs, by the way. Carpets, I mean.

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      1. PJ, I thought I was replying here to your question about the rugs drying. It ended up at the top of the comments.

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  31. Happy Birthday sometime this month. You know how I am about birthdays, I barely keep track of my own.
    Everyone needs an Edsel in their lives, loyal, loving,adoring, cute as a button,loves you more than themselves or anything else. Even blu (his addiction). You deserve an adorer and someone you adore as well. A picket fence and two ponies and goats galore and chickens and a poop picker upper. A beautiful flower garden. Sometime June, it will be.

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      1. One , two , three….blow. One ,two , three …blow. June wake up, come back, don’t be killed.
        Well ,maybe I am the first to wish you Happy Birthday this year ?
        Kittens out the wazoo….I looked that up and it is a real word.
        A house full of kittens.

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