Of Change and Constancy

There’s no longer a Monday or Tuesday, just a ‘Nextday’

July 2020

As I write this in late May, I can only imagine what July might be looking like.

Right now, Virginia businesses are like an early spring flower: Poking up their heads and looking like they are about to bloom. At least, we can finally get our hair done. My heavens, we were all a scruffy-looking bunch.

Restaurants with outdoor seating are finally allowed to dole out paper menus and deliver food to the table, where you may sit with a friend or two and enjoy a meal. It’s almost like a French sidewalk café — my favorite place to eat.

I’m sure we all had a certain plate or two of restaurant food in our minds for more than two months. For me, it was a hot-off-the-grill pancake at the Country Café in Hot Springs, with eggs and crispy bacon. I just can’t make that at home. I do not have the “perfect pancake” gene.

Maybe I’ve written some of this recently. Frankly, I do not recall. I often had to sit here and ponder over what day of the week it might be, not to mention the number of the day. And during the beginning of all the sequestering, we changed to daylight saving time. That made me wonder just what time it was, several times a day.

I have desperately waited for Virginia to reopen its public libraries. Thankfully, I have shelves groaning with books. A friend who does not read the kind of books I do (snipers, assassins, spies, intrigue) had given me a couple books for a couple birthdays two or three years ago. I put them on the shelf, just knowing I wouldn’t like them.

Surprise! They were excellent. I loved “The One in a Million Boy” and “The Orphan Train.” Another friend gave me “One Damned Thing After Another,” a book centered on time travel through historic events. (Fiction, of course.) I finally sighed and picked it up one day. Could barely put it down.


One thing I did like about the house arrest aspect was that it affected everyone. This meant network news correspondents and late-night talk show hosts were broadcasting from their homes. That meant we got a peek inside their living rooms and dens. I loved looking at all the décor and shelves of mementos.

And pets! Some had cats on their laps or rambunctious dogs that wandered through, looking to play. I even got a good look at Tom Hanks’ kitchen and Stephen King’s study. I enjoyed spending almost every late night at home with Stephen Colbert.

I let this unfinished column sit for a while. And then, just when the coronavirus thing looked to be taking a better turn — bang! People who had been staying at home filled the streets of cities by the thousands, many with no masks, standing shoulder to shoulder amid protests, marches and violence.

It was shocking. And frightening. When I wrote up at the top of this column that I could only imagine what July might look like, I surely never imagined it would look like this.

I don’t know what might calm the country down again. I certainly don’t think military troops in the streets are going to be the answer, though.

As I finish this column in early June, I am sad to say I truly can’t imagine what the country is going to look like come August. Or even next week. I can only hope, pray and dream. This too shall pass? Pray that it does.

To order Margo’s book, “A Party of One,” call 540-468-2147, Mon.-Thurs., 9-5, or email: [email protected].