Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston – The Coronavirus Journals, Part XII


By Rosie Preston

Earlier this week I turned my TV to a channel geared to providing a beautiful scene along with calm and relaxing music. There was a photo of a farm that has a garden, a tractor, sunflowers and a windmill. It looked as if there is a local fair in the background since I could make out a Ferris Wheel. Before turning to this channel every morning, I first watch the breaking news, which saddens my heart and soul.

Last week, I received a call from my mother’s residence at Gadsden Health Care and Rehab, where she has lived for the past several years. It is home to her, and she has adjusted. Thankfully, she doesn’t remember that she’s been there for so long. In my own way, I am glad about that, because even though she does ask me to take her home, I can change the subject, which usually works to calm her down.

The reason I’ve decided to share my “Honey Do and Honey Don’t” list is that as I go about my daily housework, I’m constantly overwhelmed with what I want to do, as I compare what my health and body will allow me to do. There are more separations, family domestics occurrences, and divorces happening during this time, with most citizens having to lay low. By that I mean it we’ve turned into couch potatoes. I’ve often waited until nighttime when I turn on my TV to watch whatever I’ve recorded or what is on the evening news. I’ve tried to teach my family to honor my wishes and respect the fact that, in other words, “Leave me alone to relax and calm down when I go to my sanctuary!”
This sounds easy, but you must realize there are three personalities involved which include a man, the get-it-done person (otherwise known as yours truly) and our 14-year-old teenager.

I’m going to list some of the things that I observe both day and night: have you turned the lights off? Have you fed and watered the cats? Have you cleaned the kitty litter? Who left the toilet paper roll empty? Who didn’t clean the bathroom sinks? Whose turn is it to wash the dishes (my rule: whoever does not cook – one of the others is in charge of washing the dishes)? Have you let the dogs out? Have you given them fresh water? This is very important, because the dogs eat in the evenings. Have you cleaned your room? Have you put away your laundry? Are there any dishes left from last night? Did you wipe the bathroom mirror after a bath or shower? Did you put your dirty laundry in the hamper? Did you water my gardens?

I have often thought about what would happen to the above two people if I pass first from this life. I wonder if they would maintain any type of order according to my cleaning standards. I wonder if the animals will be taken care of and who will clean the floors. Will our teenager keep up with her homework? Will my husband clean out his car? I do this almost every day as I stop by the trash bins and take out the accumulated garbage. Will they even remember garbage day? Will they remember to throw out all the food in the refrigerator the night before the garbage is picked up?

The arguments we’ve had seem so ridiculous. I ask Phil, “Why are you cleaning the dishes as if you just found them at the bottom of the ocean? Don’t you realize they are not that dirty and don’t need all that scrubbing?”

He replied, “I get them clean. And I don’t need you to tell me how to wash the dishes!”

I say, “In my opinion, you are indeed getting them clean, but do you realize that you could cut your time in half if you do it the way I do it?” I then see that look in his eye and realize that I need to find something else to talk about.

“Have you seen the little rose bushes we transplanted by cutting the branches off a big rose bush and using Root On to help the branches to live? We planted six, and five are already blooming!”

Phil then says, “I still believe I can dig a hole with the tool intended for the digging mission. And you think you need a tool you can dig quicker and faster with!”

On another lovely day, we decided to wash and wax the car. when we got to the waxing part, Phil told me to watch the way the waxed.

“I have been washing cars most of my life,” I said. “I’ll do it my way and you do it your way.”

How could I leave out his driving habits? Lately, Phil scares me because he drives differently than he used to. So I become a back-seat driver, telling him that he needed to slow down or speed up. The other day Phil asked if I wanted to take over the driving. He then pulled over and I drove the rest of the way.

The coronavirus has arrived in Etowah County by the means of nursing homes as they increase their COVID-19 numbers every day. At the present time, there are six positive patients on my mother’s hall. This won’t make the “breaking news” on the TV, of course. But I can’t even explain how it’s breaking my heart.

Stay safe, Rosie

The journaling book is in progress, so send your stories to

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