VOTE FOR A GOOD GOVERNOR – Marilyn Armstrong

For all of you who think our insane and stupid president can order the nation back to work before we are medically ready for it — he doesn’t have the authority to do it. The “shelter in place” and lockdown orders were not given by the president. They were all given by each state’s governor.

From the front, Boston statehouse

Governors of every state have an absolute right to order whatever they deem necessary to protect the health and safety of their citizens — including military intervention. The president can suggest what he thinks the states ought to do, but he can’t force them to do it.

Statehouse from Beacon Hill

Although mostly we talk about federal politics, the states have strong powers that often exceed the powers of the federal government. So when Trump says he’s going to “get the country back to work by Easter,” that’s a wish, not a promise. If you elected an intelligent governor, a thoughtful governor, you are in a lot better shape than if you didn’t bother to vote in that election.

Voting matters.

Vote. Locally as well as nationally.


Share Your World 3-25-2020


On a scale of 1-10, how strict were your parents?

My mother was very strict with me, but by the time my sister was born, she had relaxed a LOT. All the things I was NOT allowed to do, she was encouraged to do. I pointed this out to my mother who said: “Even parents need to grow up.” Many years later, I realized how true that was!My father was evil-tempered and a child beater. He had no rules. If he was in a bad mood, he beat up the nearest kid.

What wastes the most time in your day to day life?

Writing this blog!

Do they bury people with their braces* on?  (Note: The ones used to correct crooked teeth.)

I assume they leave them on unless they are asked to remove them. They usually don’t give corpses big grins anyway, so no one will see that they are wearing braces. Or for that matter, have really bad teeth.

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

Round boxes are expensive to make. if they made them, I think it would double the price of your pizza. Keep life simple. Go square.


I’m glad we have a house to shelter in. There are a lot of people who don’t.

Meanwhile, be on notice, we finally have a rather large forest fire one town away in Northbridge. Every fire department in driving distance is there trying to knock it back, but it is still growing.


Every day brings a new learning curve. In the absence of the people we go to see to fix things, we find ourselves doing our own repairs on things we never imagined repairing. I’m pretty savvy about software, not great with hardware, and absolutely useless on printers, copying machines and apparently, hearing aids.

Garry’s hearing aids have not been working as they should. He has gone a bit backward and seems to hear less than he did a month and a half ago. I didn’t know if maybe the batteries were beginning to die, but there has been a definite decline in his hearing. Now, one of the cochlear aids cuts in and out.

Everyone seems to agree that this is probably a wire and/or a connector. Normally, we’d take this to the audiologist who would in two few minutes fix it.

Except we aren’t Nicole, the audiologist. The department isn’t currently receiving people unless it’s a physical emergency. Meanwhile, a letter from the hearing aid people indicates that this problem has become noticeable, so please let them know if you are having problems. I called yesterday and today we got a box of replacement parts. Wires, connectors, and little pointy tools to attach tiny wires to tiny connectors. Wires, caps, inner caps, outer caps. Two sets. Two hearing aids.

Garry is the least handy person I’ve ever known. In this instance, I’m right there with him. For one thing, everything is very small. I can barely see it, much less try to repair it. Maybe my son can do it? They do include instructions.

Even with someone coaching me, I’m not sure we can do this, but Garry really does need his hearing aids to work properly. After a cochlear implant, there are no choices anymore!


The title comes from an episode of “The West Wing” which we are binging again in this early spring of discontent and dismay.  The series is even better this time around, a great mental prescription from the Coronavirus while our world seeks a political hangover cure.

Many of us, struggling with the present, have tinted memories of the past, recent and distant.  There’s the yearning for the good old days when our lives were more stable and strife seem relegated to small countries on the other side of the world. We were younger, more innocent and more naive.

The Currier and Ives (or Norman Rockwell) images dominate our collective memories.  It’s a return to Main Street, white picket fences in Pleasantville that never really existed except in TV Land. You can almost smell those Sunday dinners with the family gathered around the table, roast turkey, mashed potatoes, hot buns and the smell of apple pie baking in the oven.

The memories seem so real you can almost touch them.  We yearn for them right now in this time of plague and uncertainty. We ache for those days when we could believe in our political leaders and when sports was an unchallenged relief from the headaches of yesteryear and yesterday.  When Mom and Dad could calm our fears and we weren’t responsible for our lives. The way we were.  Or were we?

We don’t remember Mom and Dad quietly wrestling with problems we didn’t understand because we were kids. We usually were told that there were no worries.  “You’ll understand when you grow up,” we were told.

We took those reassurances to bed, sure that everything would be okay in the morning.  Our tomorrows usually erased our youthful, short-term angst.

Many of us are now in the autumn of our years.  Mom and Dad are gone and we are left to make sense of today’s madness for our children and grandchildren. It’s difficult to explain, to find answers for all that’s gone wrong.  How do you make sense of a world turned upside down before your eyes?  We’re not living Currier and Ives lives and really, never were. We’re left wondering if those romanticized images of our youth have any truth.

Maybe it’s easier to believe that those were the good, old days rather than trying to stomach reality.  It’s like clinging to the images of old films with Hollywood endings. We’re desperate for heroes, good news, and happy endings for these long dark nights that drag into the morning. We’re not Currier and Ives but it’s nice to recall times when life seemed easier. When we could laugh freely and look forward to tomorrow.

I can see Wolf Blitzer and friends laughing in the Situation Room — with NO breaking news.

Here’s something to think about: give yourself a break. If there’s nothing you can do, do nothing and enjoy it. Everything is in motion, everything is changing. Relax now. Who knows what will be coming down the road in another week?