“Cart-tails at 5pm” And Other Diversions
By Joan Birsh
Words, Words, Words
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I had a little contest to see which of us could come up with a word or phrase that best described some aspect of our present life at Ocean Reef. Arthur’s entry was 6 ft. apart or 6 ft. under. (He later used it as the title of a poem, which appeared in a recent edition of the Ocean Reef Press.)
My contribution was cart-tails, which refers to an increasingly popular way OR Members socialize in the coronavirus era.
The drill for cart-tails generally follows this pattern. At around 5 in the evening two couples meet in their respective golf carts at a designated outdoor spot (often one or the other’s driveway). Drinks and snacks are BYO. What is shared is conversation – about hopes and fears, highlights of past and present life and, of course, Ocean Reef gossip. Arthur and I have come away from these little gatherings feeling we had just gotten to really know fellow ORC Members we thought we knew for many years.
The word “corona” in coronavirus actually comes from what the virus looks like under a microscope.
It seems it has pointy little proteins that stick out and give it resemblance to a sun or crown.
As for COVID-19. CO stands for corona/ VI for virus/ D for disease, 19 for 2019.
I plan to go on using Arthur’s name for it – “undesirous coronavirus”.
Words for Eyes & Ears
A sampling of the books Ocean Reef Members are reading and/or listening to. Note: the comments in italics are mine – JB
The Splendid and the Vile
by Erik Larson
A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz – The subtitle tells it all – or almost all. It is an intimate portrait of Churchill as a man, as well as a leader. Extremely readable. (Recommended by Terry Baxter).
by Alan Brennert
Set in Hawaii more than a century ago, this novel tells the story of 7-year-old Rachel, who is taken from her family and sent to a leprosy settlement on Moloka’i island, where she is quarantined for life.
Ocean Reef Member Cynthia Weglarz, who recommended this book, said this – “The theme of isolation and separation in the beauty of an island paradise parallels in some ways our experience with the isolation of coronavirus.”
by Robert MacFarlane
The author recounts a series of explorations under the surface of our planet. He goes caving in England, plunges into the catacombs in Paris, visits a nuclear-waste containment site in Finland, and investigates global warming in Greenland. (Recommended as “incredibly interesting” by Jeff Schumer)
Valley of the Dolls
by Jacqueline Susann
A tale of two young women in NYC trying to make their mark in an era when women were destined to become housewives.
Fans have been reading and rereading this novel for 50 years. So just be entertained. (Suggested by Christine Patton, who also mentioned the pleasure many of us found in the circa 1960’s John O’Hara novels – e.g. “Ten North Frederick.”)
West with the Night
by Beryl Markham
In her memoir “West with the Night” Beryl Markham chronicles her life in East Africa as an adventurer, a racehorse trainer and an aviatrix–she became the first person to fly non-stop from Europe to America, the first woman to fly solo east to west across the Atlantic.
“West with the Night” is available in digital and print versions, but I hope you will try listening. (Recommended by Joan Birsh, who has over 600 books in her Audible library.)
In Their Own Words
Ocean Reef Member Gert Mann and her son Martin and her daughter Rachel Cohen have hit on a way to each contribute to an evolving story. It is part of their nightly 5 to 6 FaceTime get together called the Googy Hour. (Googy was Gert’s nickname as a toddler.)
Rachel signs in on her tablet from Arlington VA and Martin from Coconut Grove. Then after a song, a prayer and a catch up on the news, they go on to the Traveling Story.
Rachel does the prefix. Gert writes chapter 1 and then another member of the group is asked to add from one to three paragraphs. The story takes fantastic twists, depending on the writer’s imagination. At the last go-round, Gert reports that “Baby Archie was seated on a stool at the Beach Bar.”
Word of Mouth
I don’t cook. (Arthur is the chef at our house.) And I have little interest in most recipes, but I have made an exception of this one from Annie Wierda. After graduation from the U of Michigan, Annie did an internship at the starred Restaurant Daniel in New York. She learned the culinary tricks and she is a brilliant chef. She also understands that everything in life tastes better with a “whopping dollop of humor.”