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November 4, 2020

3:45 a.m.

Louie was up late watching the presidential election returns. He told me that our current president just declared himself the winner. Even though the vote count isn’t finished. That’s a first for America.

With that news, it was difficult to fall asleep again. So, I decided to stay up to enjoy the absolute silence in the house and write. I couldn’t wait to make a hot cup of pumpkin spiced coffee. When I looked at the beautiful roses on the dining table, I felt even better. Last night Jacqueline had gone to the grocery store and brought back the fresh bunch of colorful flowers!

5:07 a.m.

The other day, I couldn’t wait to open my package from Metria Design. Can’t say we’ve ever owned mask chains before – that is, stylish pandemic-inspired glass-beaded chains, created to attach to face masks that have become a regular part of our daily attire to aid in avoiding spread of the aggressive novel coronavirus.

The subtle yet eye-catching look of the chains reminded me of the beautiful eyeglass chain that I had purchased at an eyewear shop during a visit to Geneva, Switzerland, in the early 90s. It was a simple design with tiny round coffee-colored beads. I attached the eyeglass holder (or rubber loop) on each end of the chain to each temple (arm) of my sunglasses. So, whenever I would remove my glasses, they would just hang on the chain and I would never lose them. Ironically, many years later, I managed to misplace the chain and never found it. Was I brokenhearted? Yes, because I could not find something similar again. Eyeglass chains are hard to come by and those that I could find were either too gaudy or they were designed for athletic use and made with bulky fabric.

Designer Rebeca Pacas brilliantly makes the chains so that they can also be used as a necklace, a bracelet – and, of course, an eyeglass chain. For use as a mask chain, (removable) rubber loops wrap around the mask’s elastic ear loop and are held together with the chain’s clasp.

A most special collection caught my eye -- chains designed with messages in Morse Code that celebrate diversity and individualism: We Are In This Together, BLM, Love Is Love, and (Louie’s favorite) Good Trouble. The chain-making process involves careful encoding to determine the message length. Then the beads are counted to create a three-to-four symmetrical pattern, a time-consuming task because not all beads are equal in size, color, or texture. Suffice it to say, each chain is an original work of art.

Covid-19 will be hanging around for some time to come and most Americans have accepted this reality. It’s apparent as face masks are now the new fashion item and people are having fun with beautiful and whimsical mask designs.

Ms. Pacas’ mask chains are just what we need for our new lifestyle. When dining out, for example, they will make it easier to eat, drink, and quickly retrieve. And the chains will keep us from placing our masks on tables or stuffing them into handbags and pockets.

Just don’t lose your chain.

Washing Hands + Wearing a Mask + Social Distancing = Saving Lives

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