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April 9, 2020

After not doing a shopping run for a while, I was quickly reminded yesterday of our new grocery shopping norm: no more spur-of-the-moment trips.

I decided to hit the local market at 8:00 a.m. before the crowd. It wasn’t busy at all. I took my time getting what I needed – remembering the advice to buy for two weeks in order to minimize trips to the store. I wondered, do I grab just a few of the newly-stocked small Greek yogurt cups – or all of them? A guy I often see walking his dog around town was standing nearby. So, I took four. He was disappointed that the yogurt he likes to feed his dog was not in the case. Really?

And it’s not about simply returning home and carrying the grocery bags into the kitchen. Now I schlep them all to our perfected sanitation station – the laundry area of our detached garage. The top of the washer is the depot for “the un-sanitized,” I use the sink next to it to clean and rinse EVERYTHING, then I plop the clean stuff onto the top of the dryer on the other side to pat them dry.

This all takes a lot of time. I know, I know, we must do this to safeguard ourselves from the virus. So, I took a break to make muesli and my cup of joe.

Louie picked up sanitizing where I left off. He had just finished cleaning off the packaged meats when he heard a friend walking by call his name. He set the four packages on the backdoor steps. I was inside sipping coffee in the kitchen and reading the news on my phone. I saw Lola walk in behind me and expected Louie to walk in shortly afterwards. I continued reading. No Louie. I heard him chatting it up outside. What’s Lola doing in the living room? She’s too quiet. Lo and behold, she was holding in her mouth a package of ground beef.

And all this time we’ve been stressing because hand sanitizers and liquid soaps are nowhere to be found. I just saw a headline, “Doctors say bar soap is more effective than liquid soap, hand sanitizer.” In sum, after soaping up, water rinses away the dead stuff – but they’re not rinsed away after using sanitizers.

I guess now I can disassemble the “sculpture” I made with soap bars collected from trips and gifts from friends -- and it’s time to bring out my arsenal of lavender soap bars my friend Jeannie brings me from France.

How funny that I mention France. The other day, Jacqueline did a sneak exchange of wall hangings above my desk. She replaced the whimsical print of horses with a framed print of French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “The Luncheon of the Boating Party 1881,” that had been stored away.

While we shelter at home and can’t socialize, I thought you would like this, she said.

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