Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


Ok, I'm not trying to be overly dramatic. But over the last few nights, I keep thinking about that scene from The Ten Commandments where the mist rolls in and the first- born children of Egypt are in danger. The corona virus is like that mist, an unseen but deadly force.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



Actually, that Passover scene is a great analogy and visual. So, in all the COVID- craziness, were you able to prepare for Passover? And, how many pounds of matzo did you buy?


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io



None! I still have a 5-lb box left over from last year. That's the great thing about matzo, it starts out stale.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



True. I wonder if it even has an expiration date. Hopefully, you were able to get everything else you wanted without spending too long in the grocery store.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io



It wasn't too bad. It really helped that I started making lists and stocking up on general items a few weeks before the "mad dash" to grocery stores began.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Given how you have always loved lists, and loading up on sale items, I am not surprised.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io



You can laugh at my lists, but when everyone was hunting for toilet paper and basics, I only had to shop for perishables. I used to go to the grocery story every few days, now I only go weekly.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



I probably should not admit this, but over a month ago I ordered toilet paper on Amazon Prime. I thought I bought a family size package, but when it arrived it was a case of family size packages. I am set for a while.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io



Well, I probably have enough cream cheese to last us until the Fourth of July. It's not a high demand item, except in this house. And getting a brisket, and everything to go with it, is now a "cooking concept" that I do on a regular basis – making a meal that feeds us for several nights.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


I use that same approach for restaurant take-out. So, did you get horseradish and gefilte fish?


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


No. I hate gefilte fish.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



The only way I can eat it is if it is hidden under a mountain of horseradish. But, that is not the point. The horseradish is a bitter herb, and eaten as a reminder of the bitter slavery of Jews in Egypt.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io



At the risk of stating the obvious, don't you think there's enough "bitterness" around us with this awful coronavirus. I really don't think a root vegetable is necessary.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



First of all, you can look at the "bitterness" of the current situation, or you can look at all the people pulling together. Yes, there is dread … but there is also hope for a better day. Because, this too shall pass. And, that is the significance of Passover. And Easter. It makes us stop and think of how the past has brought us where we are today. Everyone needs reminders because, unfortunately, it is human nature to forget.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io



I'm almost afraid to ask, but as inconceivable as it may seem now, do you think that when this corona crisis passes, people will forget the hardships we're all now facing?


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



Totally forget? No. Focus on day-to-day living and moving forward? Yes. Which is not a bad thing, if they learned from this crisis.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io



I guess that's why traditions and holidays are so important. They help us to remember pain and suffering. I'll admit that I don't do an elaborate Seder with all the customary foods and don't recite all the prayers, but we do sit down as a family and recognize the significance of Passover.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



What I find amazing, and inspiring, is how many families that cannot come together in person this year are finding new ways to maintain traditions. The use of technology, like Zoom, Face Time, and Google Hangout, means people can "virtually" be together.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


So, you could have a Seder Skype-style?! There's no doubt this is a time of ingenuity.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



A crisis is often when mankind is at its best. Especially as it forces us to think about what is most important. Which is each other. It makes us see that we all have more in common than not. That nothing is more precious than our family, our friends, our lives.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io



Yes, but it seems that it comes at a very high cost. The current situation is so grim and the numbers are escalating every day. Isn't there anything we can do? In Biblical times, the Jews were able to mark their doors with the blood from the sacrificial lamb so that death would pass over their house.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



Think about that. They hid in their houses and marked their doors. The stay-in-place orders are basically doing the same thing, except since it applies to all of us, we do not have to mark our doors. If we want to reduce deaths, we have to reduce the spread of COVID- 19. And, it is not only about our families and loved ones. We have to do everything possible so that hospitals will not be pushed beyond their limits and to make sure that urgent medical supplies are available to all those truly in need.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io



It sounds so simplistic, but it really is true. Each of us can make a difference, so each of us that can stay home, should stay home. If you have to go out, practice social distancing. Everyone needs to keep washing their hands, using hand sanitizer, and practicing social distance. I wish there was a way to get that message out to everyone!


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



Maybe there is, but then you will accuse me of being warm and fuzzy, which is your area of expertise.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


Now you have me curious.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



Call or text the people you love. Make sure they are doing everything they can to stay safe. And, if not, encourage them to do so, and tell them why.


Red's HeadRed assets.rebelmouse.io


You're right, that's way too warm and fuzzy, and totally out of character for you.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io



Do not worry, this too shall pass.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Image by osbkin on iStock


Red assets.rebelmouse.io


I love history and understand that “Lincoln freed the slaves,” but the Civil War was about more than slavery. It was about preserving the Union, and about states’ rights (some things never change) and westward expansion. However, once President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the war between the states would be forever remembered as a war to end slavery. Although I’ll admit that I’d never of Juneteenth until I moved to Texas. And I was surprised to learn it took two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation for slaves in Texas to be set free, but that explains why Juneteenth’s celebrated as the end of slavery in the United States. And why it was declared a federal holiday in 2021.


Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Change is never as simple as issuing proclamations. Especially since slavery represented systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity. Real change requires words and actions, and a change in mindset. Celebrating the end of slavery is noble, but it should also serve as a reminder of where we are and how far we still have to go. Ending racism is not as simple as saying it is wrong but recognizing that it still exists is an important start.
Image by Kenishirotie on iStock


Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Every Father’s Day , when I think of Daddy, I think about alligators and turtles. I know that might sound crazy, especially as there are so many wonderful memories, but those stand out. As does the fact that every day, he taught me about unconditional love and was always there for me. And even though he passed away over 20 years ago, the memories are as strong, both emotionally and “visually”, as if it was just yesterday. And for that, I’m so grateful.


Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I know you are probably expecting me to talk about how Father’s Day is, in many ways, a form of “equal rights" since Mother’s Day was already in existence , or maybe the business aspects of it being a “ retail holiday ”. Instead, at the risk of sounding warm and fuzzy, I will just say that dads always have a very special place in the hearts of their “little girls” … no matter how old those “girls” become.

Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day!

Photo by nycshooter on iStock
It seems most appropriate that Flag Day falls during Effective Communication Month, or at least it does to Black, who years ago had suggested Red use race flags as a fun (and “safe”) way to communicate with her teenage daughter. From that point on, Red never looked at the “Stars & Stripes” the same way again … because she learned flags might be one of the most straightforward and effective ways to communicate – whether feelings of pride and support, messages to racecar drivers, or even to indicate your moods.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
Keep Reading ...Show less