That Time of Year

Back to School! School supply shopping, bulletin boards, laminating, meet-the-teacher. Even planning those beginning of the year lessons. Lots of smiles and hugs. Old and new faces.

Doesn’t that sound exciting? It is supposed to be…

And yet, here we are. Listening every day as people argue over how to deal with a virus that continues to make people sick and unnecessarily end lives. Listening as opinions are expressed passionately with little to no foundation, especially where schools are concerned.

I have had moments of excitement. My classroom looks inviting. Colorful dots on the floor and posters on the walls. Ready for students to enter one week from tomorrow.

I will be there to welcome them with a smile. Even though there will still be a knot in my stomach. I have had COVID and am fully vaccinated. My students are not yet eligible. Back to School feels like a test-one I do not want to fail.

Long-Hauler

Missing Coffee

I miss coffee
The rich aroma
In the morning
Waking up senses
Before the first sip

I miss coffee
A sweet flavor
In the afternoon
Conversation over
A cup, hot or iced

I miss coffee
An offering
At the end of day
To share in
Restful silence

I miss coffee
Aroma, flavor
Stolen away
By an unseen
Silent culprit

I miss coffee-but
Memories remain
Conversations flow
Rest still comes
I am thankful

When considering the destruction brought by COVID, coffee seems a small price to pay. So many have suffered major health issues, and many have died. The numbers are hard to fathom. And easy to forget, if not made personal.

This virus leaves lingering effects for many. COVID long-haulers has become a common term. And though symptoms vary greatly, none are pleasant.

I was diagnosed with COVID in January 2021. Everyone in our home tested positive. We all lost our sense of taste and smell to some degree. We all began to get them back to some degree. Then my symptoms took a strange turn.

One afternoon, I noticed a smell of rotten meat. That is the best way I can describe it. There was no rotten meat. Other things began to smell and taste bad. I now have a long list of things I cannot eat or drink, including coffee, chocolate, and most meats. And a shortlist of things I can tolerate.

I hesitated to write about this strange phenomenon. Did not want to complain. Then today, I thought more about why I miss coffee. I’ve always called it my comfort food. My first memories of drinking coffee are with my grandma. Coffee is part of family gatherings. It’s what I offer guests to make them feel at home. And the list goes on.

I am hopeful this will eventually go away, that my senses will return to normal. Until then, I remain thankful for my health in other respects. And I will continue to enjoy London Fog tea lattes-a pretty tasty substitute. Stop by-I will make you one. 🙂