The Voice Whispers To Me

It’s 6:31AM. I’m awake.

Photo by TJ Parker

In these days of no certain schedule, we try to keep busy, to keep our own schedule. But sometimes we go to bed earlier than normal, or maybe we don’t and I just wake up because my brain never shuts off. It whispers to me, we are not safe.


Weston is alseep now, moved from being next to me in the bed to being next to me on the chair. He can’t get comfy. He’s trying. Soon, when he does, he’ll be snoring. This is a dogs life. This world we’re living in is a dogs world. He doesn’t know anything about the big bad. He just wants a comfortable place to sleep awhile.

K is working a bit this week. She wasn’t supposed to. Was actually supposed to be off all week. We were supposed to be driving back from California this week. We came home early. It was a whirlwind trip, and scary. “Did you touch that?” “Use hand sanitizer.” “Did anyone get close to you when you went in?” “A woman was coughing really bad in the stall next to me in the bathroom.” And on and on… We were not safe.

K’s working because her company, who off-shores some work to India just got word India is shutting down. India is trying to contain the big bad with drastic measures. The work will not get done. Now some people on her team are training to do some of the data entry. Her comment… this is one of the reasons we should not be off-shoring. She is proud of her team. Knows they will rock this new challenge. Many of them were data entry people when she hired them years and years ago. It’s an ever changing world right now. Everyone is trying to adapt.

We’re counting down the days until we’ve been home two weeks. It’s been 8 days today. It seems like an important marker somehow. As if when we reach it we can release a breath and say, OK, we’re safe now. But we aren’t safe now.

We put a bear in our window, it’s bear hunt time. We clean the house, look for chores. We order a lot of groceries, trying out different methods. We want to feel safe. We wave at neighbors across the street, across the fence. We ride bikes and don’t get close to anyone. Don’t get close. It’s not safe.

Sitting here right now, listening to K’s work call, Weston sleeping between my legs, drinking a cup of coffee, sound of the dishwasher running in the kitchen, looking out the window, things seem normal. Spring is here. The trees and bushes are budding out, the daffodils are up and blooming, the sun is out. Things seem normal. They are not normal I remind myself. They are not normal at all. We are still not safe.

We try to focus on moments of laughter and beauty. Those moments happen often. Like when we made a lip sync video and danced. We made ourselves laugh so hard. We keep watching it. It cracks us up. We feel the sun and look at the flowers and get a kick out of our dogs, not to mention tons of love from our dogs. We try. We want to forget, just for a moment or two, that we are not safe.

We watch the concerts of friends and singers we like, take virtual tours of museums, listen to music, try yoga, read enough of the news to know what’s going on but not too much, not too much.

We were separated for 10 days when the shit was really hitting the fan. When we were still on the West Coast. K in California with her parents, me in Oregon and Washington and Oregon again with my Mom. It was tough to be away from her, and then tough to leave my Mom. I flew one direction, but rented a car to get back to her. Seemed safer than flying again. 10 days is a long time when you’re in the middle of something like this. I got back to California and we left that same day to head to Illinois and home. We hadn’t planned to, but then who could plan for all of this? The authorities were going to shut down the bay area and we wanted to get out while we could. It was a whirlwind. It felt like an escape. It felt like a movie. To be honest, everything still feels like a movie.

I need another cup of coffee now. It’s 7:53.

I check the weather.

I try to think of some task or chore I can do right now. This post is winding down. The distraction is winding down. And the whisper starts to sneak it’s way in again… we are not safe.

We are not safe.

I’m going to go empty the dishwasher, have some cereal. Take vitamins that help boost immunity. Everyone is probably taking those kinds of vitamins now. First though, I will wash my hands. Wash my hands for 20 seconds.

We are not safe.


… just had to do that.  National Blog Posting Month, every month.  July’s theme is routine.  Thought I’d throw out a mini post about routine.  A day in our life, so to speak.

Get up at 6:30, take the dogs out, take a shower (or not), get the lunch ready to take to work… meanwhile…. Karen is right up and to work (after taking the dogs out).  She brews her tea, boots up her computer, dons her headset, and she’s working.  She peruses work from the night before to see if there were issues, then dives in.  Right now, for instance, she’s having a meeting… while wearing her Obama t-shirt and ho ho ho fleece pajama bottoms.  She’s in charge.  Pretty impressive, even in the outfit.  And that’s pretty much her day.  She’s in the office, on the phone meeting or working out issues with people around the country, working on her computer, sending e-mail, etc.  I, on the other hand, have a different gig.  OK, so I make my lunch, and then if I have time I usually sit in the office and check my email, or send out a tweet, or peruse Facebook, or look at the news, etc.  Nothing of real substance, but at least I’m close to my sweetie.  We can’t really talk in the morning after the initial getting up period as Karen is usually on the phone almost immediately.  She has a meeting every day at 7:30 and is usually having to talk to someone before that meeting.  Last night was rough for them… it’s going to take a lot of clean up and adjusting on her part today to get things back in order.  Ah, the life of a high powered exec in her pajamas.

Work for me…  I get out of here about 8:00, or at least I should.  My work day starts at 8:30.  I usually try to get there a tad early, though this plan frequently doesn’t work.  Who knows why… sometimes it feels like someone is sneaking in and moving the clocks forward or something.  Most likely it’s my ability to do nothing and take up huge amounts of time.  It’s a gift… I know.  But, back at work… when I get there.  I make the coffee if it hasn’t been made, boot up my computer to see if I’ve gotten any emergent e-mail, check phone messages (if I have any, and I frequently do… people like to call AFTER we close… LOL).  My co-workers and I all check in with each other, the on call person usually reports on any calls that came in over night (I’m on call right now and no calls came in last night… meaning, no report).  If there was a call on one of my clients I then have to spring into action to either set court hearings, look for reports, call to get reports because they haven’t come in yet, and usually call the family.  If no calls… back to the usual routine.  My days are very different from each other one to the next.  Some days I do loads of paperwork including petitions, database entry, letter writing, caseload perusal and tweaking, phone calls with distraught people who have problems they’d like me to solve, etc.  Some days I head out into the field and see clients in the areas I cover, or go to detention to see a kid, or attend various meetings.  Some days I have court.  That means wearing nice clothes (or nicer, in comparison to the casualness of what I usually wear), meeting with families before we go in to explain the process to them (if I haven’t already had a chance to meet with them in advance), handling the arraignment (presenting the case and parties to the Judge, reading the charge into the record, then sitting down… I’m not an attorney, but I have to act like one), and giving recommendations to the court if the client admits (including reading all the rules into the record) or discussing conditions of release if the client doesn’t admit.  Sometimes I’ll have three hearings in a morning.  I think the most I ever had was 5 or 6.  That’s too many.  By the time you get to the last couple of them it’s hard to remember who the parties are, why they’re there, what’s going on.  A person can be really mind fried by then.  I always admire the Judge’s ability to just sort of handle the cases all day, all that info, all the parties, etc.  Impressive.  Sometimes I’ll have a pre-trial conference with the client’s attorney and I’m sitting there plea bargaining with them.  Again, I’m not an attorney, but I have to act like one.  It’s kinda cool, and pretty interesting.

My day goes like that… then it’s five and I come home.  Karen is usually still working… sometimes for another hour or so.  I get greeted hardily by the pups, who act as though they haven’t seen me in days.  It’s lovely.  I again usually come into the office and look around on iTunes or work on my photos or peruse my e-mail or tweet something or look at Facebook or read the news or, like last night, start looking at tile for the bathroom addition we’re putting on (if the county will get on with approving our plans).  We hang in the office for a while, me zoning out, Karen still working, and then we shut it down for the night and, if we stay home, we play a little with the dogs, give them some dinner, make dinner for ourselves, eat either outside, if it’s nice, or at the table.  We talk.  Then it’s movie time.  Plop in a film from Netflix, hope it’s good, go to bed afterward.  If we don’t stay home we are usually grocery shopping or meeting friends for dinner or going to a movie or taking the dogs for a walk or going for a bike ride somewhere.

It is a glorious life.  We have our routines, the way we live our lives every day, and it’s beautiful.  I would never change the way Weston looks at me every morning when I’m sitting here at my computer, and he finally gets his way and jumps in my lap to either give me kisses or try and sit on my desk.  I wouldn’t change the way we get up the same way every day, or go to bed the same way every night… taking the dogs out, taking our vitamins, closing down the house.  I wouldn’t change any of it.  I love this life I’m lucky to be living right now.  I absolutely love it.