First off, some cute cat memes that a friend sent me.
I had my second COVID vaccine yesterday. So far, no significant side effects, although my arm is much sorer than with the first shot, but no flu-like symptoms. Messages about wearing masks, or not, are all over the place now and very contradictory depending on the source. The CDC says, “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
It’s all those exceptions that gets confusing. Adding to the confusion is the inability of knowing who has been vaccinated and who has not when going into stores and restaurants. So far, masks are still required on public transportation, in medical settings, and nursing homes.
Another caveat from the CDC, “If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.”
Oops, that’s me.
So, while I feel safer, I don’t feel completely safe. What about you? Are you vaccinated? Are you going to continue to wear a mask in certain circumstances? Will you hug your children and grandchildren? Or have you been all along?
Because of my vulnerability, my immediate family and I have been cautious about hugs, not doing it as often as our hearts would like. When we do hug, we turn faces that are fully-masked aside, so there is no face-to-face. When hugging vaccinated friends recently, it was with the same posture.
Someday this will all be over. Someday we will be able to express affection the way we want to. Someday we will be able to go out in public without a face-covering. Until then…. well, we have to be safe until we know what those nasty variants are going to do.
Now, more fun today from Slim Randles. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from him, so I’m happy to share this story. Of course I love it. It’s about a horse. Enjoy…
Larry Phillips has a special look about him these days. Oh, he’s a happy enough guy anyway. Has Sharon and the kids and is proud of all of them. His job’s not bad and he makes a living. Bowling on Tuesday nights, that sort of thing.
But it’s more than that. You see, Junior’s a yearling now, and he’s looking good.
Of course, Junior is just what Larry and the family call him. He has a real name, registered with the Jockey Club, that is about that long and means Junior will be eligible for having his shot at racing someday.
Of course, being a yearling, he’s too young to ride. That’s at the very least a year off. But Larry has this pasture and he loves watching Junior run around on it. He sees those churning legs flying through the pasture grass, but what Larry is really seeing are those legs churning up the dirt on the home stretch of the Kentucky Derby in two years. Churning up the dirt with Junior out in front of the rest of them, of course.
Larry and Sharon bought Junior’s mother after saving up for a long time. Sharon took in ironing and Larry worked two jobs for a while until they could afford it. The old mare died a month ago of just being tired, I guess, but she left Junior behind.
And with Junior … who knows? Of course the racing competition will be tough, but that’s just the name of the game. Look at Junior there. Doesn’t he have that look of eagles in his eyes? Can’t you picture him getting his picture taken with Larry and Sharon and the jockey in the winner’s circle?
It’s happened before. Fast horses come from unlikely places, sometimes. You can’t see the future, of course. But there’s one benefit to having Junior around that’s built in and is already in effect.
It’s a fact; no one with a yearling ever commits suicide.
Brought to you by the novel Sun Dog Days, by Slim Randles. From www.unmpress.com.
Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.
All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.
Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.