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Random Thoughts

Live Long Enough — You See Everything

March 15, 2020
This made my jaw drop.

I went to three different grocery stores this weekend to make sure I wasn’t in an apocalyptic dream, but in every store, shelves were bare, like I was in some impoverished, third world country. It was so very bizarre to see the freezer case empty at our local Trader Joes. Pavilions was even worse, their produce section was a ghost town where vegetables and fruit used to live. And Vons bread section looked like it was vaporized, except for the King’s Hawaiian bread, which people apparently don’t turn to in times of crisis.

When the going gets tough, Italians cook and eat.

My beloved Italian store, at least had food, but I had to wait one hour and 15 minutes to get it, among a crowd. So much for the three foot rule. Thank God salami and mortadella are worth it – even if they weren’t the reason I went there. I made the trip for grated cheese, but I figured if this ends up being the apocalypse, then, what the hell, I may as well leave this world with a little cholesterol in my veins.

It’s further confirmation that when Italians are stressed they cook and eat, Corona Virus be damned. I’m guessing everyone else must just poop because toilet paper is a very hot commodity right now. And it goes without saying that you’ll have to get scrappy if you want face masks, or hand sanitizer. Good luck. It’s hard to believe it’s come to this, but live long enough and you get to see everything.

The sign at Walgreen’s Pharmacy last night.

As for me, I’m hunkering down, to get some writing done, and am looking for an online replacement for my yoga class. I’m trying to figure out if I should go to work on Monday or just work from home. My cubby mates tease me every time my sinuses make me cough, so maybe I’d be doing them a favor. I feel lucky to have the option, since a lot of people don’t.

I’m hoping my daughter is OK. Of course, she would decide to move to Seattle, where the biggest outbreak of Corona Virus is. I just pray she stays safe. If you’re reading this Milena, stay home and keep washing your hands.

So, I’m going to cook because when times get tough, I make pasta sauce. I invited my son over and we’ll spend a little time together. Don’t worry, we’ll disinfect first. And I’ll watch Netflix and go for long walks. I suggest that whatever it takes to calm you, you do it too. Meditating, long walks, baking, singing along with, or dancing to your favorite songs — all of those work. Or organize a conference, or video call with family or friends. It could be fun, just like you’re together, only without the germs. And most of all, stay healthy and safe, even if it means you’ve washed your hands to nubs.

Or you can do what this wonderful group of Italians did on a dark, deserted street in Sienna, Tuscany. They sang a song together. It was like being with my family in Italy — so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. The song is called Canto Della Verbena, a popular folk song in Siena expressing local pride. Click on this link: Corona Virus- Italy- Siena and take a listen.

Stay strong, we’ll get through this.

Canto Della Verbena (here are some of the verses)

Nella Piazza del Campo

ci nasce la Verbena,

viva la nostra Siena

viva la nostra Siena.

nella Piazza del Campo

ci nasce la Verbena,

viva la nostra Siena

la più bella delle città.

In the Piazza del Campo

there grows the Verbena
long live our Siena

long live our Siena.
in the Piazza del Campo

there grows the Verbena,
long live our Siena

the most beautiful of cities.

  • Reply
    Chas Madonio
    March 16, 2020 at 8:26 am

    I had planned on binge watching basketball all weekend, but ended up binge cleaning my closet. I found things I haven’t seen in years, but it wasn’t as much fun as watching b-ball. I always like having things to look forward to – dinner with friends, concerts, parties, etc., but the stark realization is there is nothing to look forward to for the next 8 weeks since our governor rightly cancelled everything until mid-May. And with all restaurants and bars closed, I guess I’ll take your advice and stay home and cook.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      March 21, 2020 at 10:14 am

      Awww Chas, I know just what that feels like. I just have to get used to cooking for just one person, practically impossible for an Italian woman. But I’m trying. Hang in there and stay well. I think by the end of this we will all have incredibly clean homes that are well organized, which will be good because our collective insanity will leave us committed there indefinitely. xoxoxo

  • Reply
    Nicol Z
    March 15, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    I’ve been thinking of you and it’s too late for a text now 🙂 Work from home, eat the Salami, do the yoga, and we will have a Skype coffee date soon. Love you and let me know if you need anything xo

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      March 21, 2020 at 10:12 am

      A therapist would be good. Yes to the Skype coffee date.

  • Reply
    Linda Friday
    March 15, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    Also cooking and eating healthfully because the LAST thing we need right now is a compromised immune system. I too am listening to lovely music, and I binged the second season of “The Kominsky Method” yesterday because I needed to laugh. The world feels as if it is on tilt right now, doesn’t it? Love you.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      March 15, 2020 at 3:08 pm

      It really does. It’s almost like an alternate universe. I am enjoying some cooking peace and Andy will be over soon. Don’t worry we’ll disinfect and only touch elbows. Love you. Stay healthy, laughter is the best medicine. xoxo

  • Reply
    March 15, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Fran, Always love you blog, cousin ! We’re doing the same as you and even more since we’re 70 !! Watching Netflix, watched the Ten Commandments ( lots of plagues) and I’m making my way to the bottom of a jar of hot fudge topping one tablespoon at a time on my favorite Tillamook ice cream ( I mean What The Heck !). Take care, Milena too. 😘

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      March 15, 2020 at 3:05 pm

      I see you are with me on the, “If I’m gonna go, I may as well go with some cholesterol in my arteries” plan. Good for you. I’ve been watching English period dramas. Just watched season 8 of Call the Midwife and Season Two of Broadchurch, both of which I heartily recommend. Stay safe and healthy. Give Len and the kids and grandkids an elbow rub from me!xoxo

  • Reply
    Petrea Burchard
    March 15, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Stay home if you possibly can. Every science report I read says extreme social distancing is our best hope.
    Plus I made tomato “jam” today.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      March 15, 2020 at 3:03 pm

      I am home. I am making pasta sauce and pesto. So happy to see tomato jam is on your to do list. You’ll have to send the recipe! I did invite my son over, but I’m going to disinfect everything before he touches it — and him too while I’m at it!

  • Reply
    Monica Muehsam
    March 15, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Come back to PA, Fran! The only items our local Giant was out of yesterday were eggs and toilet paper. I was shocked they were so well stocked. Stay safe!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      March 15, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      Trust me Monica, I’m working on it! Stay safe!

  • Reply
    THERESA Lobue
    March 15, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Keep cooking and stay well. ❤️

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      March 15, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      Will do, you do the same!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      March 15, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      I can’t help myself. You stay safe too!

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