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March 24, 2020

9:00 a.m. Went to the local pharmacy and saw an employee taping a sign on the door: “Only 2 customers at a time in the store.” It had just opened. “Am I one of the two?” I asked. Indeed, I was. I found the items I needed: Calcium citrate with vitamin D, toothpaste, a box of Kleenix tissue (one box per customer). No toilet paper. So, I stocked up on postcards of old Sierra Madre – the pharmacy and Kersting Court (the town square) that date back to the late 1800s. I often use the postcards in place of greeting cards for gifts, etc. But I won’t be going to birthday gatherings any time soon.

It was surreal seeing the streets empty at that time on a weekday morning. Only a few cars parked in the diagonal slots. It’s usually crowded with folks stopping to pick up coffees before rushing to work and parents relaxing with one another after dropping their kids off at school.

So, the National Guard is deployed around the country now to help communities respond to the coronavirus crisis. Not to worry, they are not Stormtroopers. Rather, they’re assisting where help is needed: disinfecting public places, assisting with testing for the virus, delivering food, and whatever else they can do.

One of the items we had stocked in the freezer was a huge bag of ravioli with ricotta cheese. The sweet owner of an Italian grocer convinced Louie that “They are the best!” That’s what he said about an expensive Italian wine he talked me into buying a while back -- which was wonderful. To cook the ravioli, he gave precise instructions to Louie: “…One handful of ravioli per person. Put them in boiling water until they float – five minutes. At the same time, warm the pomodoro sauce in a skillet. When the ravioli is done, place it in the sauce. It’s the best. That’s all I eat.”

And it was wonderful. I thought it might be heavy, but it was so light. I said that I never gave ravioli enough credit. Jacqueline replied, “Mom, that sounds like the title for a new blog…”

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