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Playing catch-up on the way to Spring

The first time I walked into a public place without a mask I felt like whooping out loud to expel as much water vapor as possible.

Not really.

It would have been inappropriate to whoop, of course, but then I often have inappropriate urges. Take the other day. I was bored stiff in the waiting room of a medical facility waiting to have my blood sucked out.

Two women who obviously knew one another sat across from me having an uproarious conversation — like they were having the time of their lives — like they were at happy hour and about to meet guys for a double date or something.

When the health care professional (one can only assume) came for them, she asked whether they wanted to go one at a time or together, and they left the building.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I wondered what they were going to do, but I refrained from asking. There’s something about asking personal questions from behind a black mask that even I avoid. They can’t see my disarming smile, for one thing. I’ve had to check myself before asking questions of strangers. Beware, I suspect that childlike curiosity may worsen as I age.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is me coming to a halt, having been flagged down while walking, and feeling my heart rate diminishing as I stand and listen to a woman I just met tell me about her husband’s health issues, where he was born, his Polish heritage, the visiting deer who rearrange her bark mulch, and how she slipped on cat vomit and broke her thumb.

If she is reading this, please know, “Cathy,” that I love people like you who don’t force me to ask. All I have to do is stand there, nod and soak it up. I learned more about her in that 23 minutes than I’ve learned about my daughter’s boyfriend in over three years.

To get back to the purpose of this piece, I’m now in catch-up mode as I see spread before us many things besides flowers abloom. Like travel and gaiety amid chaos. Life is always a mix.

So, naturally, I want to make sure I’m up to it, which means getting caught up on all the dreaded medical shenanigans I’ve been dodging. I detest all things medical, except when they keep the tent in good repair. I have deep respect for the many who find their calling not as writers, like 97% of everyone I meet, but working in medical offices in whatever capacity — especially the scheduler. Can you imagine?

The place where I go seems chock full of women. I am one, so I know how difficult we can be when trying to squeeze an appointment in between lunch dates, naps and picking up the cats from school. Cheers to medical office schedulers everywhere.

I ask prayer for medical personnel helping in the Ukraine crisis. Some nurse friends with Samaritan’s Purse are serving in the thick of it without benefit of communication. My photographer friend Christopher Briscoe is with a team of doctors with the refugees in Poland. Follow them on Facebook at Love4Ukraine and on Instagram at love_4_ukraine. More to come on that.

After going over things with my doc, I felt relieved to return home and walk in the sunshine. The afternoon shone full of flower pops and winged activity. Robins bobbed everywhere. And I met the aforementioned friendly woman.

Walking the neighborhood is great. I get to know dogs and their people well enough to say hello in passing. One lady walks with her colorful macaw, who talks, whistles and sings. Manny, Moe and Jack, the three longhorn brothers, are still out lying in their field. I consider the views and interaction to be heads and especially tails above a treadmill.

Now, for a parting bit of spring trivia, Do you know the difference between an English robin, their national bird, and an American robin? One chirps, “Cheery-O, pip-pip, and all that rot!” The other one doesn’t.

Happy second first day of spring.

Peggy Dover is an insatiably curious freelance writer/author. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com.