Hoarding? Or planning ahead

Even though I work in retail, like many I was caught a bit flat-footed when the panic buying hit this Spring.  For several weeks it was touch and go whether or not my wife and I were going to have adequate supplies of our preferred paper products in the house.  Not to mention what became ‘big-ticket’ items like hand sanitizer and hand soap.

Since then, things have gotten a bit better in terms of supplies being in the stores on a more anticipated basis, though paper towels are invariably in short supply as well as limited in variety no matter where you go. 

This week there have been rumblings about a ‘second wave’ of rationing because of the uptick of COVID cases in this area as well as elsewhere.   On our most recent shopping trip, I, being the retail veteran, noticed the signs that have reappeared on certain items in the store, warning shoppers that they’re limited to 1 or 2 of paper towels, toilet paper, peanut butter and other things that have up to now been somewhat plentiful enough to allow almost unlimited buying.

As for myself, in the past couple of months I’ve been upping our supply of paper products as well as other long-term shelf stable items in case of unexpected shortages.  Now some might see that as ‘hoarding’ but I wasn’t buying toilet paper or paper towels 4 and 5 multi-packs at a time.  Nor have I been cleaning out the canned good section regularly.   If anything, it could be said that I’ve been engaging in limited purchases to bolster our bottom line, and permit our neighbors to do the same, all the while not spending any more than we can afford, in order to better survive what’s coming in the next several months. 

Obviously we’re not ogres here.  If a neighbor happened to come to the door and say they needed to ‘borrow’ something we had in abundance, we’d share.   But even so, we’re in a position where it makes sense to plan ahead, and have adequate supplies to get us through if we can, without breaking the bank in the process. 

I actually thought about getting a chest freezer and filling it, but in that retrospect, we’d end up probably not using it correctly and it would become something that would cost more than it was worth.  We eat out enough (take-out) that I’m not exclusively cooking from home, and don’t require large amounts of frozen meat, vegetables and so on.  The small freezer above the refrigerator has been good enough for the past 20 years, it should be enough going forward.  Unless I take a couple of cooking classes and suddenly decide to buy a half a cow that needs to be stored for the long term.  But I don’t see that occurring.

Suffice it to say, I feel better prepared for the next couple of months than I did back in March and April.  And that’s saying something.

Have you ever?

There’s not always enough things to do on vacation, and certainly dear reader, as you can obviously tell, blogging isn’t high on my to-do list.  With the silly season approaching (Thanksgiving/Christmas) and me getting my last vacation of 2020 out of the way (I still have 3 more weeks of vacation that have to be used before April 2021), I’m already debating whether or not I want to tackle the Holidailies conundrum.  I’ve tried it a couple of times but was never very prolific.  I know of several people that have been successful in it; perhaps with COVID being the catalyst, I’ll have a muse or interest in doing it this year.  We’ll see.

Honestly, I’m not huge on memes, but this one caught my eye on a blog that I follow infrequently.  It snowed here this morning, so I can’t rake leaves, so I thought I’d spend a little time getting you to know me better.  What’s the harm in that, right?  A little laughter, a little sharing, and who knows, you might want to try it yourself.  Anyway, here goes.  Enjoy!

  • Been Married – Just celebrated my 27th anniversary
  • Been divorced
  • Fell in love – Several times
  • Skipped school – A few times when I was in college, usually when I had a test, I didn’t wish to take.
  • Watched someone give birth
  • Watched someone die – My mother, in 1989.  Not something I’d like to do again, tyvm.
  • Been to Canada – Niagara Falls, Ontario.  Witnessed the Canadian Snowbirds do a flyby of the falls on our last day in town.
  • Ridden in an ambulance – Both the back and the front.
  • Been to Hawaii
  • Been to Europe – Flew into Amsterdam, Netherlands, took a bus through the Netherlands and Belgium to West Germany in 1983.
  • Been to Las Vegas
  • Been to Washington D.C. – Several times, class trips both High School & College.
  • Been to Texas
  • Visited Florida – With family and in college.
  • Visited Mexico
  • Seen the Grand Canyon in person
  • Flown in a helicopter
  • Been on a cruise
  • Served on a jury – Local trial, alleged assault.  Acquitted the defendant.
  • Danced in the rain – Many times, many storms.
  • Been to California
  • Been to New York – NYC? I used to live 90 miles north of the city and have relatives that still live there.  I presently live in the Finger Lakes region.
  • Played in the band/orchestra in school – Both.
  • Sang in the church choir – Up and just past my epiphany about organized religion.  Not since.
  • Sang karaoke – A few times when I was younger.  Not since about age 25.
  • Laughed so much you cried – Robin Williams.  Nuff said.
  • Laughed so hard you peed
  • Caught a snowflake on your tongue – Every winter.
  • Had children/adopted
  • Had a pet(s) – Cats only.  My brother had a golden retriever when we were young.  My wife had a cockatiel that lived to be 29.
  • Been sledding on a big hill – The house where I grew up had a large hill in the front yard.  I still have the family toboggan.
  • Been downhill skiing – I tried it once.  Walking pigeon-toed, for some reason, doesn’t allow you to ski downhill successfully.  Who knew?
  • Been water skiing
  • Been Ice Skating – I still have my skates.
  • Rode on a motorcycle – In my youth, and someday again.
  • Traveled to all 50 states
  • Jumped out of a plane
  • Been to a drive-in movie – Roosevelt Drive-In, Hyde Park, NY
  • Rode an elephant
  • Rode a Horse – And been stepped on by one.
  • Been on TV – Local cable television, Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Been in the newspaper – Several times for non-nefarious reasons
  • Been on the radio – Newsreader, WMCR; Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Stayed in the hospital alone – Westchester Medical Center, elective surgery, 1978.
  • Donated blood
  • Gotten a piercing – Ear piercings.  Long since closed.
  • Gotten a tattoo
  • Driven a stick shift vehicle – 1990 Ford Escort LX.  My first car, though I didn’t know how to drive it; my Dad had to drive it home from the dealership.  I soon learned, and then sold it a couple of years later and bought a used 1987 Ford Bronco II.
  • Been scuba diving
  • Lived on your own – Several years.
  • Rode in the back of a police car
  • Got a speeding ticket
  • Broken a bone – I dropped a laptop on my pinky toe.
  • Gotten stitches – Best friend growing up hit me in the ear with a 5-iron by accident.
  • Traveled Alone – I was bumped from a flight in Atlanta, and my college choir left without me.  I flew first class to Denver in 1990 and slept the whole way.

Anywhere the wind blows

I’m taking my last vacation in 2020.  Since there’s a pandemic going on, and I live with someone who is in the ‘high-risk’ category for catching COVID, I’m not traveling anywhere.   Fortunately, there’s plenty that needs to be done here, seeing as we live in a house that’s 180+ years old.  We may live on a little scrap of land, but that land has trees around it.  Being fall/autumn, the leaves fall to the ground, need to be gathered up and deposited on the curb for the village to pick up and dispose of at the town compost site.  As they do every year.

Of course, my neighbor to the east has large oak trees, and they don’t typically drop their leaves until late in the season, so I have to wait for that to occur before they can be gathered.  Typically, property owners gather their own leaves, and ‘do their duty‘ but in their case, they don’t.  And since the wind doesn’t discriminate, the leaves inevitably end up in my yard and blown against my house, which is a natural wind-break.  Lucky me. (Yes, I’ve tried reasoning with them, but to no avail.)

Consequently, every fall, I’m out there with my small Hitachi leaf blower, my rakes, and my tarp, gathering up the leaves and plopping them on the curb.  Now, the village doesn’t always show up johnny on the spot to collect, they have a large area with many streets to cover, so it may very well be a week or more before they get to, (or get back to) mine.  And just coincidentally, they collected on Friday here, while I was at work.  Yes, to add insult to injury.  Thank you fate.  Fortunately, while I was out running errands, I noticed that several houses up the street have put their leaves out again for collection, so in theory, I still have time to do mine.

As long as the wind and weather cooperate.