Wildflowers Are Weeds. Passion, Personal Space & Face Mask Debates…

I’m always amazed when someone has really strong opinions regarding something that has nothing to do with them.

Opinions regarding the “need or desire to wear a face mask” during this pandemic have separated people who don’t believe in wearing them from the people who do. Both categories strongly support their decisions.

As an event planner and officiant, I’m frequently “thrown in” to a mask debate by either the couple, the venue or the guests. Two months and counting of mask chaos? Absolutely.

Today’s “11th hour chaos” was due a bride not wanting anyone to wear a mask at her wedding. It was okay to wear one at the rehearsal for reasons that weren’t really explained.

This brides strong desire to have everyone “look normal” in her wedding photos and video was far more important to her than the safety of her friends and family.

After all she has a bridesmaid going through chemo but this isn’t my first rodeo with a bride being unreasonable. I’ve had years of experience and although this mask debate may be relatively new to officiants and planners it’s becoming a common thorn in everyone’s side.

“Wear it. Take it off for photos. Put it back on. Take it back off.” You get the picture.

“It’s my wedding. They can wear masks to the grocery store, the pharmacy, the doctor or whatever but they can’t wear masks at my wedding.”

Alrighty then. Let me just go advise anyone concerned about being inadvertently exposed to a virus scaring the hell out of everyone not to do anything that might protect them.

I wear a mask to all of my events. My reasons are to protect others as well as to prevent the possibility of exposure on location that could easily be brought home to my family. I have a three month old grandson and a seventy year old husband. My twin sister had heart surgery a few months ago. I’m probably being overly cautious or am I?

My husband won’t go get his teeth cleaned because he’s so terrified of getting this virus.

Getting my teeth cleaned every six months with my dental phobia is and always will be my least favorite health related appointments I make year after year. Is twice a year for dental cleanings really necessary?

I’ve got enough going on right now that adding a dental cleaning to the mix when our faithful and trusted hygienist, Helen has retired.

Another new hygienist who might possibly be “rougher than necessary” is intimidating to say the least. Especially in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.

Helen was tried and true. She never scraped a cap or a crown. Matthew told me his blood pressure was so high when he was told “Helen had left” that he had to control his breathing and advise the new lady, Carla that “if you scrape my gums I’m out of here and I’m never coming back.”

I’ve got dental phobias but so does my husband and he will bolt right out of the dentists office if a hygienist hits a nerve and never look back about it.

I struggle through my dental visits. My normally quiet husband is far more vocal at the dentist than anywhere else.

Thankfully, Carla managed not to hit a gum line or crown on my husbands last cleaning.

I asked “if I should go ahead and make an appointment with Carla?”

Matthew shook his head and said “I don’t know Carla was nearly 80 with our luck at the dentist she might be dead or something. They switch hygienists so often over there that I can’t commit to anything right now. Let’s hold out. I’m still upset about that nerve damage from the crown. We go to the most expensive dentist in town why can’t they keep a hygienist that isn’t 80 and doesn’t scrape our gums or crowns when cleaning out teeth? I’m going to put going to the dentist right up there with a colon screening or hernia surgery. I hate going. I’m waiting until 2021.”

Well now I hope my husband who “never has a cavity” doesn’t get one this year due to his blatant refusal to skip his 6 month dental cleaning in the midst of a pandemic.

I haven’t been in my PCP’s office in months. A kidney infection prompted a number of virtual visits rather than tests. Unlike our dentists office, my PCP’s office prefers virtual visits but are they really working without running tests in the office? I don’t think so. In fact, I had 2 virtual visits before getting my prescriptions called in. These virtual visits are hit or miss.

We now have a “new normal” going on in the events industry and everywhere else for that matter. “The great mask debate of 2020.”

From those struggling with existing health issues, wearing a mask makes them feel safe, protected, and able to attend a function they have been concerned about attending due to Covid-19.

For my husband, the very idea of going “mask free” to the dentist is (for him) “just too much risk.”

“Mask shaming” has become commonplace these days. People wearing them are condemned by people who don’t believe in wearing them. Blurred lines by both sides. People wearing their masks upside down or under their nose being made fun of by people refusing to wear one at all.

The “I’m healthy and not worried about getting sick” statements being thrown around by twenty somethings who are angry that the rest of us older folks are wearing masks need to mind their own business. But they won’t.

“Mask shaming” is an attempt by people who refuse to wear a mask to shame or force other people that are wearing masks into feeling ridiculous about doing so although health concerns are real? Yes. This virus isn’t fake. People are dying.

No one wants to get sick. People who are sick aren’t aware that they are. Hence the great mask debate of 2020. “Pre existing health issues.”

Hmm, that’s a wide term. It could be anything but people who aren’t doctors want to advise others that “wearing a mask is more dangerous than not wearing one.”

Why do the people not wearing them care about other people choosing to wear one?

Maybe they love conflict or controversy? Perhaps they enjoy stirring the chili?

The wedding landscape has become a hotbed of uncertainty the past two months. First the clerks offices are closed so no one can buy a marriage license then the venue cancels. Then the venue reschedules but with certain rules and regulations. Then the mask debate comes up again.

I can see and understand people not wanting masks in their wedding photos. After all, weddings are life events. While some couples choose to have themed wedding photos with masks though others choose not to.

Half my clients don’t care about masks the other half does though.

No masks or wear a mask if it makes you more comfortable. Which side are you on? I’m on the side of safety. I err on the side of caution. I’m a thyroid cancer survivor.

We live in a mad, mad world where folks are in a hurry for anything and everything from driving too fast to honking at someone in the drive thru line.

It has become apparent that waiting your turn has taken a backseat to the “self important person” who doesn’t believe they should be forced to wait. What’s the hurry? Nearly everything is still closed and for the places that are open they can’t seem to serve people fast enough. No one wants to wait. Why? Where are you hurrying to? Are you working from home or not at all? In a hurry to get nowhere but get there quickly? Come on.

I was honked at in a drive through myself last week. Rather than rushing me, this honker simply annoyed me by sliding in closer and closer behind me as I became even more leisurely regarding my order.

I refuse to be rushed by someone who thinks they are entitled to rushing everyone else. Go ahead and rear end me I’m well insured and not going to be pushed into rear ending the guy in front of me by you.

In California, line jumping is common. Folks who think or believe they are far too important to wait their turn frequently line jump. I frequently advise them to get back in line.

For some reason in California horn honking is common and line jumping at the market an everyday occurrence as well. Don’t try that in Texas folks. Everyone in line will advise you to get your ass to the end of it.

I’m not invisible and neither is anyone else who has been patiently waiting. The nerve of some people shocking.

Arrogance is running rampant within our society. But how did we get here? What happened to manners and courtesy?

Where did respecting your elders go? Parents who raised a “me generation” of children into self righteous adults should look in a mirror. A generation of narcissism? Look around.

Do you really believe that your narcissistic child is going to care for you when you’re older? No because you raised them to only care about themselves. That’s on you buddy.

Children learn what they live. Empathy, compassion, respect and manners aren’t taught in schools. These life skills are taught at home.

I had been talking to my husband on my way to today’s venue in Parker County. I’m usually on the phone with clients on wedding day but today’s bride hadn’t called. I took this as a good sign but I was taking it all wrong. Stay tuned.

Looking at lots for sale and fields of wildflowers on my way to the venue, I told my husband about the honker at Starbucks.

My husband reflected on my experience in the drive thru lane. “People are driving angry these days. They are expressing emotion while driving that I’ve never seen before. Be careful out there. This virus has caused unprecedented events. Fights at Home Depot. Arguments over toilet paper. I could go on and on here. You are the most important thing in my life. Be aware of your surroundings.”

I can’t understand all of this impatience. If you don’t have 5-10 minutes to wait in a jam packed drive thru lane though then get off your lazy butt and call in an order then wait to pick it up.

Common sense is so rare these days that it’s shocking. People act without thinking.

“The flowers on the freeway are beautiful.” My husband often reminds me that wildflowers are weeds and not beautiful. Matthew hates weeds and seasonal allergies. I love wildflowers.

Wildflowers are amazing to me. Happily enjoying the sun without a care in the world bringing beauty and color to highways and farm roads I travel driving to venues and prisons wildflowers bring unexpected beauty.

I don’t care that wildflowers aren’t “real flowers.” They are impressive and resilient. They bring beauty to otherwise dark places with their color and their glory.

I relish in the sight of wildflowers. Those fields full of color smack dab in the middle of nowhere.

My husband and I have been planning to build “our last home” for years now. It’s an ongoing conversation that I regularly put off.

Why? Moving is a lot of work and I’m constantly looking and wondering where exactly I want him to build “our last house.”

The permanence of “our last house” is enough to make me doubt my own decisions.

Here or there? A home in California and Texas? My two home states? I’m on the fence.

Leaving the city for a smaller suburb in Texas isn’t appealing to me because I love the convenience of the city but our nearly hundred year old hideaway here in Fort Worth has become too much work to keep up with. Too many stairs. A few unexpected falls for me.

“We are getting older. You have fallen down the basement stairs and the front stairs in the last few years. We need a ranch style blueprint without stairs.”

My husband is a custom homebuilder and developer who became “used to moving every two years.” I could never get used to moving every other year.

I hate moving. Matthew hires the movers. Wendy orchestrates the actual moving and set up at the next home.

I always give myself at least two months to accomplish the daunting task of making a house a home. I don’t have two months right now. My clients are back logging into Christmas at this point. There isn’t going to be any off time for me this season.

Our current home is filled with antiques and art from my travels around the world. I walk through our house and realize that packing up would and could take months. Who has time for that?

I love to travel. I’ve been traveling all of my life. My husband has only left the United States once in his lifetime. Matthew’s journey “out of the country” was for our honeymoon in Acapulco and he was worried every second at the Las Brisas that we would be robbed or kidnapped. My husband watches way too much television! Matthew even believed he was jet lagged from the 3 hour flight to Acapulco.

Generally, jet lag is from a 10-15 hour flight not a 3 hour flight but I rolled with it.

The only really unexpected incident that occurred while we were in Acapulco was Wendy nearly drowning on our first day at the resort. An earthquake had caused an undertow.

No one plans to drown on their honeymoon and I didn’t either but it nearly happened.

Thank goodness a Navy Seal was on holiday at the Las Brisas and came to the rescue or Wendy would have drown while Matthew drown trying to save her.

I’m really not prepared to “downsize” and give up things that I love in our home. I had already downsized from our previous home to move to the home we are in now.

More downsizing? Ugh. I’m not ready. I recall merging households after marrying.

Matthew had so few things that he brought into our new home. Wendy had the condo and public storage. I can’t travel light. I wish I could but I can’t. I over pack. I have even over packed our house.

Downsizing conversations fall like a lead balloon around here. “When I’m gone I need you to know where this is which accounts and where. What to do. Listen you can’t take all of this with you. It’s time to start downsizing. We are getting older.” I’m only 55 I’m not dying. Downsizing? Giving things up I’m not ready to say goodbye to? My art collection? My books? My clothes? My antiques? Not today not tomorrow and not next year. I’m not ready. Do old people wear the same thing everyday or something? I’m too young to act old giving away family photos and heirlooms as if I’m on my deathbed.

Looking back at the Lakeside house, we didn’t need 5 bathrooms or all of the bedrooms but the bank called the paper. We had to close the Estates Of Lakeside and buying that house was how we pulled it off. It wasn’t my first choice to live in the stix ya all. I missed the city. The grocery store. Everything within a few miles. In Lakeside nothing was within a few miles except armadillos and a few foxes running around.

“How much space do we really need? It’s just the two of us now.”

We actually don’t need the 3 we have now but I do have my sister, son and nieces or Grandnieces over frequently enough to warrant at least 3 bathrooms for our next “permanent home.” I can’t just give up an extra bathroom. Well maybe 2.5 baths would work? I don’t know. These decisions are too much. Countertops. Cabinet colors. Paint. Tile. Brick or rock. Ugh.

I had thought that this would be our permanent “landing home” but the stairs are proving to be an issue and the crime has went up in our area dramatically the past two months. Check it out I’m sure yours has too. We live in a good area. Most homes sell for $500k and up here and the crime rates have skyrocketed. Unlike our neighbors, we installed cameras years ago. They are just now catching on. Better late than never.

Cindy has several sets of stairs too. What were we thinking with all of these stairs years ago?

“Do we need 3 living areas?” My husband wants a smaller home. I actually don’t. Smaller than our previous home I’m okay with. But hey I need some space ya all. I “can live with” 2500-2750 square feet.

I can’t live with anything under 2400 square feet because I want space. Do I need all this space? Maybe not but being stuck at home for two months will certainly have you thinking more seriously about your actual living space. I don’t want to be cooped up. I called on a house over off Pershing. “It’s $350.” Okay what’s the square footage? He didn’t seem anxious to give details. I had to squeeze the details out. “Do you have a homeowners association? What are the fees? How many bathrooms? How many square feet?” My husband hates homeowner associations. “This is a more modern and artistic type of minimalist home.” What the hell does that mean? “There’s about 1500 square feet and 1.5 bathrooms.” For $350k? This home isn’t in Hawaiia. It’s two blocks from me and half the size of my home with a homeowners fee? My husband is right. We will build at cost. The Pershing place had stairs too so I tried to imagine just how small a two bedroom 1.5 bath 1500 square foot home actually was? My husband and I would literally be running into each other.

“How many walk in closets do you need?” Well, my weight fluctuates so I need 2 walk in closets for my clothes and a cedar walk in closet to store seasonal items. I feel this closet situation is justified. Do I need four closets? No I’m rational. Do I need 200 pairs of shoes? Maybe. My feet fluctuate with my weight.

My home office is actually one of our 3 living areas transformed into a home office. It’s huge. I love it. In fact it’s so large I have several sitting areas and a fireplace anchoring the room. Peaceful and full of great memories of my travels. A mask wall of so many cities and memories that I never tire of looking at it. My husband artfully hung my mask collection wall for me. I don’t know how he can take a stack of stuff and make it perfectly work but he can. A giant stained glass yellow rose of Texas window and dry bar. It’s perfect in every way. My favorite room in the entire house.

My original Louis XV of France plat desk sits at an angle in my home office.

My desk is always a conversation starter.

The furniture of the Louis XV period (1715-1774) is characterized by curved forms, lightness, comfort and asymmetry. My desk is ornate with fiercely flared legs and ornate details. It is adorned and anchored by brass cherubs on each leg and it is my most prized possession. It also weighs a ton.

My desk is the most important piece of furniture in our entire home to me. It’s also irreplaceable in my opinion. My desk required four moving men just to get it into the house. The original hand cut glass top is still in tact even after our roof collapsed last year after heavy rain.

I cared about little else in my office when the roof caved in other than my desk. Everything else was replaceable. My antique desk is a warrior. A survivor. Most antiques are. They’ve weathered many storms. I lovingly use Brasso to clean and polish those cherubs and wax the wood every few months. I won’t allow anyone to come in and clean my home. They won’t do it the way I can and will.

My husband isn’t interested in “old stuff.” The only piece of furniture he cares about is his ratty old recliner. Ugh. Don’t get me started ya all. The recliner and I go round and round.

I’m constantly trying to convince my husband into replacing it. He’s consistently telling me why he won’t.

My Client’s frequently offer to buy my desk. It’s not for sale. There are so few of these original baroque styled desks left in the world from that period that anyone wanting to know “if it’s for sale” has no real idea how expensive it would be to buy or acquire a desk similar to mine.

If you haven’t seen it before it’s expensive.

I’m not one of those people who throws things away. Cindy is. She will throw anything out during one of her zealous house cleaning adventures.

Cindy has no emotional ties to any items in her home other than photos.

My husband doesn’t have ties to anything in our home other than his “eyesore recliner” and photos. Matthew can live and travel light. He hates traveling though which is why I always travel with Cindy.

Going over “specs for a home” and trying to stick with “what two people actually need” continues to expand the size of our last home over and over for me. This home verses our other home was downsizing. I can’t live in a box. I need space.

My husband hates yard work. Who doesn’t? I want a heated pool. “It costs $3-400 a month to properly care for a pool. Heating a pool in winter is several hundred dollars for just one dip. Heating a pool for Thanksgiving and Christmas is and can be expensive. You heated the pool for every holiday. Didn’t you grow up in the ocean? It wasn’t heated. I know you love pools but they require maintenance. How important is the pool to you?” Well, it was the only thing I loved about our last house so I think it’s pretty important.

My husband looks at what will “be required” of me regarding maintenance “if something should happen to him.” I can hire pool help. I don’t see myself measuring pool water and tinkering with chemicals. I want a sparkling pool but not badly enough to try and figure out what exactly a sparkling pool entails.

Matthew doesn’t clean I do. I also refuse to hire a maid. As long as I can walk I can clean. I’m OCD and doubt that anyone would meet my standards of keeping my home in order.

Why pay someone to perform a task I’m capable of?

My husband always had a maid previous to marrying me. Matthew grew up with a nanny and a maid and spent his free time at Rivercrest Country Club.

I grew up washing windows and doing chores. My husband and I are from two entirely different backgrounds. Lounging at the country club pool and ordering hamburgers? As a child I couldn’t even fathom people living so well. My family worried about having food on the table when I was young and well into my teens until Cindy and I left home and got jobs as waitresses solely to keep from starving.

Having a full refrigerator makes me feel safe. My husband doesn’t understand this but accepts it. “You can buy whatever you want. There’s no need to cover every corner of the pantry you know.” Well, I like a full pantry. If someone drops by I can quickly whip up a meal and frequently do. I’m a great hostess.

Although Matthew grew up in the lap of luxury, he has never been a snob. He does prefer custom homes though and abhors the condo lifestyle. If I was an old widow woman I might prefer the condo lifestyle. After all, I work and travel. The convenience has a certain appeal although the square footage is an issue. More storage fees again with things I can’t seem to part with? Perhaps a custom home is the answer. I will just move Cindy in.

“I’m older. If something were to happen to me would you really need all of the space that you think you need? We are empty nesters. The kids are all grown.”

I hate living alone. I’ve never really lived alone. Cindy and I lived together. We get along well and I wouldn’t be living alone if I lost my husband. I could move in Cindy or the Twins.

I will probably never remarry if I lose my husband. I’ve had the best. A love story I never expected. Why jinx it? Besides I’ve been married most of my entire adult life. Might as well be content to live out the rest of my life as a widower.

A big kitchen. Backyard pool. Lap or Olympic? I don’t know what I want anymore but I want to push off moving for at least two years. Why? The amount of work and preparation moving and building a new home would involve won’t fit into my workload right now.

With my client load of couples waiting to marry continuing to expand week after week, I need to focus on “catching up and rebooking my existing clients” who were cancelled due to the visitation ban at State, Federal, ICE and County Detention Centers.

I have 51 clients on my waiting list to marry right this second. I’m the most sought after inmate wedding officiant in the U.S. my clients are my priority.

While existing clients wait, new clients continue to roll in. Because my existing clients will need to redo their paperwork, a log jam of existing clients has created one of the most unique and profound scenarios I’ve ever encountered. Sadly, cautious planning and preparation have been cast aside due to a visitation ban. No attorneys, no visitors and no officiants.

Many of my existing clients will now be forced to redo their paperwork in order to obtain a second marriage license. It’s a setback time-wise for my clients and I.

My clients that are planning to marry an inmate are both passionate and patient. Anyone who loves an inmates learns patience. They have no choice.

My clients are also more important to me than “finding the perfect location or building the perfect house” this year.

Ugh, just the thought of blueprints, lots and months of building are too much to consider for me.

When we were building the pool at the Lakeside house I kept all of the drapes closed because I couldn’t stand looking at the mess of our backyard day after day month after month. “We will have this pool finished in two months Mrs Wortham.” Two months turned into six.

My husband hates rain. It ruins development and construction on a regular basis. My husband on rain “well no one will be working today. You can’t build in the rain.” My husband watches the weather 24/7 Rain in Saginaw again. Where’s the Aleve? Bring me a martini too. This rain is killing me. Covid and the rain? Ugh.”

Covid-19 has changed everything. It changed the existing plans of my clients and myself. It changed our perception. It created fear. It created uncertainty.

My husband and I “discussed” the real estate fall of 1986 last week. The real estate crash changed my husbands perspective for the future of homebuilding. One day everything was fine and predictable the next it wasn’t. “You’ve got to prepare for the uncertain. The unknown. You’ve got to plan ahead. Get your ducks in a row.”

My husbands favorite sentence is “they aren’t building more land. You can’t have too much land in the homebuilding business. You must prepare. Secure the land.”

Real estate crashes have occurred twice in my husbands lifetime. They were both unforgettable. Both times the real estate industry was rattled to the core. The second fall came twenty years after the first. Real estate would tank again in 2007. The bank called the paper. Developers everywhere sank or swam.

People who either worked in development or building had either forgotten or not experienced the crash of 1986 by the time 2007 rolled around. My husband hadn’t. He couldn’t. He would never recover from a meeting at the bank when the paper got called in. “The bank manager cried. That had never happened in my entire life with anyone at the bank. They were scared. I will never forget it.”

We had moved into the Lakeside house to close the development. It wasn’t my dream home. It was by far too much space. Too far in the country. Matthew and I would wait 7 years for real estate to make a comeback after the 2007 crash to sell our oversized home. Even then we were selling at a $78k loss but since we built at cost we still walked away with a profit.

Planning ahead and putting money back became habit for my husband after the crash of 1986. “Rainy days come out of nowhere. Buy an umbrella. Rain isn’t a developers friend. Invest in the future.”

“Not much to do. Everything’s closed. Want to run to Saginaw with me?”

I joined my husband to go put out builder signs at a Saginaw development after we both experienced the “bonsai tree fiasco.”

Buying gifts for my husband isn’t my specialty. He can but whatever he wants himself which limits my options. I had been driving back from a prison when I saw a guy selling bonsai from the side of the road.

I had given my husband a bonsai tree I bought from the guy on the side of the road for our anniversary three years ago.

“This needs to be in a bigger pot.” I then found an expert in Fort Worth who was open and we spent two hours learning about bonsai. We also paid for a new ceramic pot and to have our bonsai repotted and anchored. There was no way after hearing all of the education pertaining to bonsai that Matthew and I were going to try and find the right pot then replant a bonsai we knew nothing about and were lucky was still alive at WorthamWorld.

“Pay the man.” Walking around while waiting on my $95 anniversary gift bonsai and checking the prices of other bonsai, I was shocked at just how expensive little trees are. Wow.

Two hours later though my “side of the road near a prison” bonsai looked great. Ninety five dollars for a replanted bonsai anchored to the pot with a special blend of soil was worth the investment.

Jerry couldn’t believe we kept a juniper bonsai in the house on a window sill and it was still alive. After hearing all of the special maintenance and stuff from Jerry, we couldn’t either. We spray it with sink water once a day and move on. We have never trimmed it or any of the other special things Jerry mentioned. “It belongs outside.” The guy on the side of the road didn’t mention that so it’s always been inside.

“Did you see that bonsai for $8500?” Yes, I saw it and Big Tex too. My husband like mr was shocked at a few of those prices.

Thinking it was a good idea to drop the bonsai back by the house before heading to the development, I had put it in a paper bag. The bottom of the bag got wet and the bonsai fell through the bag right on the stairs.

Ironically, because it had been anchored, the bonsai didn’t move and effectively stayed in the pot that Jerry had carefully anchored it to.

My husband and I both laughed at this unexpected incident and picked up the “specially mixed lava rock and other items in the soil” and put them right back on top of the bonsai we had so carefully tried to give a larger space to. Two hours and a hundred bucks later, the bonsai was fine after hitting the bricks and the ceramic vase didn’t break either. All that caution and a crash? Yep. But brother we know more about bonsai now that we ever have and if this tree is still alive in another three years we will take it right back to Jerry. That guy knows bonsai!

Matthew and Wendy trying time be cautious and clumsy at the same time? Priceless. Being careful with our roadside bonsai worked well until Jerry replanted and watered it. That bag didn’t stand a chance.

Driving through the development, I see dirt. Matthew sees new homes. I can’t see what he sees. I’ve never been able to. He tries to give me his vision. “Over there will be a park and sidewalks. Those trees will stay. That fence needs to be moved. People call and ask when we are going to build a house here or there so they can get a new fence out of us. We don’t take their old fence down. We back our fence up to it. If they want to take their fence down they can.”

I look at the older houses on the other side of the subdivision. Some have fences missing panels or falling down. They are patiently waiting on new houses and effectively new fences. Aww, fence wars. We’ve had so many people call and complain about fences that had nothing to do with us you wouldn’t believe it. “My yard is getting flooded because of your fence.” No it isn’t. Your yard is getting flooded because your builder didn’t factor in proper drainage.

From fences to contractors and subcontractors and everywhere in between, the funniest thing my husband has encountered that wasn’t funny was the “skunk situation in Springtown.” He needed a mask for that scenario.

For months my husband personally fought a skunk infestation that not only I but everyone else in his office thought someone else should have taken care of. “My builders have never dealt with this and I haven’t either. The buyer is going to call me so I’m going to be hands on about this situation.” He was. It took two months to resolve the stinky situation.

Hopefully another “skunk incident” never pops up again. If it does though I’m sending Matthew in with a mask.

My husband can take a field of weeds and turn it into a beautiful development. I don’t know how he does this or why he sees what I can’t. I lack the imagination.

“There’s enough lots here to build for 3 years.” Confident, Matthew looks at the lots and knows exactly how long it will take to build each home. He isn’t looking at dirt like I am. He’s seeing the perfect development. The right amount of trees. Access. He’s seeing all of the things I can’t.

I don’t want to live in Saginaw. I prefer to live on the lake. “Boat Club Road is a disaster. There aren’t enough ways in or out.”

I suggest the development in Weatherford about five minutes from Cindy. After all, I’m always with Cindy.

Lake Weatherford is no match for Lake Granbury but I’m not sure where I want to plant my “permanent roots.”

I’m like a seed of a weed wanting to expand my horizons flying through the air finding just the right spot to root myself.

Easy access to freeways. Far enough from the freeway for peaceful serenity. No traffic. I’ve got a list lol.

“The Weatherford development has a train track near it. You will hear that conductor day and night.”

I can get used to a train rolling by in the distance. That doesn’t bother me. Seriously. It might bother Matthew but Wendy can get used to trains, planes and automobiles. I’m not a country person who prefers the chirp of a cricket.

I don’t like moving so I continue to look here, there and everywhere for the right spot. In two years though I might just settle for one of the developments near Cindy or my son. Building a custom home at cost has it’s merits.

Near my son on Lake Worth or near my sister on Lake Weatherford?

A condo in Montgomery Plaza or a home with a pool? Mathew hates condos. But I love the convenience of city living. “Cities have crime rates.”

When we met I was living in a condo with an elevator. I loved my condo. Matthew hated it. He prefers distance from neighbors. I’m used to having neighbors. I talk to them. He doesn’t. My husband isn’t social. Don’t invite him to a neighborhood cook out because he won’t go.

How close am I to a highway? Where we live right now I’m within minutes of 3 major highways. Access and convenience are important to me. I need to be mobile. Able to hop of a freeway and haul $$$ to a prison or venue. I drive up to 16 hours a day when traveling to Prisons.

I can easily start off in Tennessee Colony then move to Huntsville and finish in Livingston.

Or start in Bonham then move to Iowa Park the on to Childress. I map out Texas Prisons.

I’m an expert at perfectly timing distance from one unit to the next. I drive 2-4k miles a week to Prisons.

Cindy and I fly to California frequently. We travel. Our clients are nationally located. How far am I from DFW. Public or Private planes? I’ve used both for years now. Whatever works. I don’t care how I get there. Just get me there.

I’m never going to retire. People who retire die. I can’t think about where I want to root myself right now. My husband considers retiring in 10 years but I doubt he will. He’s very good at what he does. He loves landscapes and nature. He enjoys taking a field of poison ivy and turning it into a development.

Saving trees whenever possible, my husband has a gift for developing real estate.

Next year is looking better to start planning the construction of our permanent dream home. What’s the hurry? I’ve learned to be cautious on the stairs. Cindy has too. Even the bonsai took a tumble on my stairs. Thank goodness my husband isn’t clumsy.

I’ve never been home so much in my life as I have the past two months. I’ve never really had time to enjoy my home, appreciate my art and relax with a good book until March 2020.

Will we ever recover from the shock of a pandemic? I doubt it. We have learned to be cautious. We have learned how germs spread. We have learned because we had no choice. Lessons learned the hard way are often difficult to forget.

I love to read and consume everything from law books to dictionaries to current events and murder mysteries.

Traditionally my reading was done on airplanes or on the lake relaxing on our dock.

Adjusting my schedule and my life due to Covid-19 has been difficult. My sleep pattern is disrupted. I’m not alone. Most people feel the rug was pulled out from under them.

Most people fear uncertainty and change. We thrive on predictability, structure, and tradition. We look forward to holidays and cook outs. We also look forward to spending time with family and friends.

Arriving at the venue I’m prepared for yet another “discussion” with my bride regarding “people wearing masks.”

I’m NOT accustomed to this new Covid-19 controversy of mask or no mask on location.

I’m also not prepared for the bride to have someone stationed at the venue entrance to take temperatures including mine. No one else is either.

Apparently this new twist is to “convince everyone that the need to wear a mask doesn’t exist.”

This is both a clever and calculated move on the part of the bride but is it enough to change the minds of a bridesmaid fighting breast cancer? A parent of the groom recovering from heart surgery? We shall see.

I always check in with other vendors before checking in with my clients.

I hate surprises but Covid-19 has brought one surprise right after the other since March.

Sucker punches flying left and right from the venue or the couple or their wedding party or their guests.

“So and so has a temp of 99.5 I think we should tell them they can’t attend the wedding and reception.”

Umm, that’s in normal range and not a fever but everyone thinks they have a medical degree these days. “So and so” is also the mother of the bride.

Menopause can and does affect temperatures of aging women.

Ask me about hot flashes and I will quickly enlighten you. Hot flashes occur from a decrease in estrogen levels. In response to this, your glands release higher amounts of other hormones that affect the brain’s thermostat, causing your body temperature to fluctuate. Menopausal women hate hot flashes. Some of us learn to live with it. Others take hormones which have a wide and varied list of side effects.

Regarding temperatures of people that can and do vary, thyroid disease can also play a role in your body’s temperature.

My body temperature normally fluctuates 97.1-99.5. That seems to be a wide range but it’s normal for most everyone. Trust me.

Dr Herd wants me to take hormone medication. I don’t want to. The list of issues regarding hormone medication is too risky for me.

I already have to take thyroid medication for the rest of my life and have no desire to “add hormonal supplements to the list.”

Since I’m an avid reader, I also read Merck Manuals as a hobby. There are a number of reasons for body temperature to fluctuate. Convincing someone assigned to “take everyone’s temperature” of the facts pertaining to a fluctuating body temperature isn’t on my list of responsibilities at this wedding though so I‘m winging it with the very serious and dedicated “temp taker” on the door.

I was also “enlisted by the mother of the bride to go over all of these fluctuating temperature possibilities” with the volunteer “temperature taker.”

My latest roll of educating others regarding a normal range of body temperature verses an actual fever is new to me but I took on this latest role of temperature taking enlightenment with facts rather than fiction.

Anyone who thinks or believes “my role” is simply to show up is sadly and utterly mistaken. From babysitting to arguing what an actual temperature is to finding bouteniers the florist forgot and more, my role is so wide and varied that it would never fit in a box or on a resume.

From the kid vomiting on the dance floor to the drunk groomsmen to the surprise guest who isn’t on the list, I’ve seen it all, handled it all and have been through it all prior to Covid-19.

A new twist. A tricky curve ball. A weed without any hope of a flower blooming and bringing beauty. I hate Covid-19.

I’m also wearing a mask at this event. It isn’t because I’m sick either. I’m not trying to be controversial or go against the wishes of my client.

I will remove my mask as my client has requested for the ceremony and keep a distance from the couple.

Distance has now become standard at ceremonies. I’m in the back. They are in the front. We are 4-6 feet apart or something like that.

Prior to the ceremony, I’m wearing a mask while talking to guests, vendors and the couple themselves to protect my 70 year old husband from being exposed to all of the people I’m being exposed to at this event and all of the other events I’m working during Covid-19.

I wear a mask at the grocery store, the dentist and anywhere I’m in a public place.

I resent the people “mask shaming” everyone who is wearing a mask. Why do they care? I care about others I encounter. I care about the possibility of getting sick or encountering someone who is. I’m not an alarmist I’m a realist.

My life AND my business have changed after Covid-19. I don’t eat in restaurants anymore. I don’t need to. I order from Eddie V’s or Blue Sushi or Pappadeux.

Will I ever be comfortable dining out again? I’m not sure. I’m a very social person and have never been concerned about being in public. Media and Covid-19 changed the way I lived just a few months ago.

I reviewed a production contract sent to me last week that had the word “perpetuity” in it a few days ago.

I find myself wondering if the changes that Covid-19 have brought to all of us with be with us forever? From here to eternity? Forever and from this day forth?

In practice, the phrase “in perpetuity” usually applies to a transfer of rights or clauses that survive contract termination.

Will Covid-19 remain in our minds and way of life for perpetuity from this point forward? It’s a possibility.

I for one will never forget having 19 clients cancelled in March.

Nothing prepared any of us for Covid-19. NOTHING.

While we will always have people with strong opinions, it’s essential that understanding and accepting that half the people will believe one thing while the other half believe something else is human nature.

I never discuss politics or religion publicly. Why? First it’s no ones business other than my own and second I’m smart enough to realize that I would lose half my audience if I did.

Are my feelings regarding wearing a mask to protect others controversial? I don’t think so but others might. The people who don’t believe in wearing masks are determined to voice their opinions and beliefs on everyone else. They believe their opinion is important. Valid. Worth entertaining and believing. But they aren’t medically in a position to give credible advice are they?

While my role requires me to respect the wishes of my client and the venue, it doesn’t warrant being forced into not donning a mask in public regardless of how strongly these mask shamers opinions might be.

Sadly, there are those who lack common sense and with alarming frequency are so determined to voice and effectively attempt to force their views and opinions on others that they literally fail to understand why and how they are alienating themselves when doing so. Bless their hearts…