White Elephant Photoblog

There’s a party today. Even though we’re nervous about Covid, Donna and I accepted the invitation and agreed to bring a dish and something for a white elephant gift exchange. We’re trying to sync with the zeitgeist by pretending everything’s back to normal and only the stupids still get Covid, but are only fooling ourselves (and not doing a very good job of that). Plenty of vaccinated people get it, sometimes over and over, and according to the news it’s surging again. So yeah, nervous. Having second thoughts about going. Nevertheless, go we shall. All those shots and boosters better do their job.

A dear friend from college in California is laid low with what sounds to me like Covid, even though so far she tests negative. The worst kind of cold, she reports, plus headaches and pain, bed-ridden for ten days and counting. She and her husband are like us. Hermits. Vaxxed. Sensible. AFAIK they don’t go to parties.

So is it Covid, COVID, or covid? I consulted the AP Style Guide. They want journalists to refer to it as COVID-19, but they’ll accept COVID, all caps, on second reference. It has to do with the specific nature of coronavirus-19, different from other coronaviruses. I’ve settled on Covid. Everyone knows Covid means coronavirus-19. The cause of a worldwide pandemic, Covid in my book rates being written as a proper name with an initial capital letter. Not all caps, though; COVID or COVID-19 is too shouty. In this I part from AP, as I do on a few other points (I always use the Oxford comma, for example, and follow Chicago Manual of Style guidance, not AP’s, on title case). I’m a cafeteria Catholic when it comes to style: a little of this, a little of that. But if I ever have a question, it’s AP I go running to first. Gotta know the rules before breaking them, right?

We’ve had company.

Bill, Terri, Donna, yours truly

My pen pal Bill and his wife Terri are in town. They sold their house in Virginia and live in an RV, a 5th-wheel trailer home pulled by a humongous diesel pickup truck, traveling around to places they’ve always wanted to go. They have a mailing address in Tennessee, technically a barn with its own street address on the property of a friend, who forwards their mail — there’s an 8 by 10 mailer stuffed with correspondence waiting for them on our kitchen counter, along with packages of goods they ordered and had shipped to us before leaving on their current trip. They’ll probably be by some time today to pick it all up. While they’re here in Tucson they’re staying at the RV park on Davis-Monthan AFB — many military bases have RV parks, and our friends are part of a large population of retired military RVers who move around the network. Their next stopover is Quartzite on the Arizona/California border, the travelers’ winter mecca (yes, I know traveler is another way of saying the taboo word Gypsy), popularized in the movie Nomadland. I was tempted to drive there with Donna to spend a night in their trailer and have them show us around what I think of as Burning Man for RVers, but then I remembered the tiny bathrooms in RVs and it occurred to me we’d be sharing one with another couple and thought better of it. Yeah, I’m a wuss. And a hermit. And even so a little jealous of our friends’ freedom.

Speaking of the holidays, the Griswolds’ got nothin’ on us!

Sonora Desert Christmas tree

That, plus a wreath on the door, and our decorating is done. I think. Donna and Polly might put up some more stuff between now and then, so I should probably say my decorating is done.

Lulu, Mister B, Fritzi

We ordered a Christmas gift for the dogs, a triple lead so they won’t get tangled up on walks. You can see Lulu and Fritzi are on a double lead in the photo, while Mister B has his own separate leash. I’m hoping he’ll tolerate the triple lead and not mind being so close to the younger dogs. We’ll wrap the present loosely with a couple of treats inside for them to smell, enough to tempt them to tear the wrapping off to get at them. If I remember, I’ll videotape it to share on Facebook and Instagram.

Christmas spirit? Not feeling it yet. I’m sure it’ll come. Probably on Christmas morning, about the time I put Handel’s Messiah on the CD player.

Stay fresh, cheese bags!

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