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In early February, I stopped following the news of the day because I was getting stressed out from all of the doom and gloom.

I used to watch the news all of the time, and if I were in the car, I’d listen to an all-news channel.  And then, suddenly, I had a brain fart and realized that the constant stress I was feeling was due to all of the negative and depressing news that I was consuming.  Almost immediately, most of my anxiety had disappeared.  I was becoming happy, although I was still concerned about Holly.

Two days ago, I decided to drive to the States to get some supplies from Costco and Trader Joe’s.  When I got to the border, there was no lineup.   And even though I seldom have to wait because I have a Nexus pass, the other lanes were almost empty too.

The pretty customs lady asked why I was entering the USA.

I smiled and almost winked at her but caught myself, just in the nick of time.  My eyes relay beautiful images to my heart first, and then to the brain, later – if ever.

“I, huh, duh – I’m going to Costco to get some gas and then to Trader Joe’s,” I politely answered.

“Where do you live?” she asked sternly.

I fought the urge to tell her to smile.  She’s probably had a bad day and wasn’t thrilled to be at work.

“I live in Langley, sir, I mean, lady, sorry – I mean, officer!”

My face was beginning to turn beet red, and I probably appeared to be guilty of something.

“What are you bringing into the United States?” she demanded.

I began to mumble an answer – “Nothing, dear, I mean sir, I mean…

She walked out of the booth and asked me to shut off the engine and to give her my keys.  Then she started circling my vehicle.

My body started to stiffen in anticipation.  Maybe the officer will ask me to step out of the vehicle and begin to frisk me, I thought.  I can’t remember the last time a woman touched me, let alone, searched me.  The thought started to make me feel a little frisky.

But just as I began to fantasize, she handed me my keys and smiled.

“You’re good to go!” she said.  Her eyes were now sparkling, and her smile seemed to imply an apology.

I was going to tell her that my dad used to be a customs officer at Toronto International Airport, but I remained quiet as I drove away.

“I wonder if my dad ever frisked a woman while on the job?” I asked myself.  Probably not.

As I pulled into the Costco parking lot in Bellingham, I couldn’t believe how empty it appeared.

And when I got to the entrance, a store clerk told me that the opening was now at the side of the building.  As I entered the area where the carts are usually stored, three ladies were wiping down the handles of each cart with Sani-wipes.

I thanked the lady as she offered me a cart.

“You can never be too careful,” she offered with a smile.

I smiled and continued into the store.  I was aware of the coronavirus that was scaring almost everyone.  I had been getting lots of emails from companies and organizations that I deal with – so I knew about the virus pandemic.

But I wasn’t going to join the panic.  There are thousands of people dying of cancer and heart disease every day, but that statistic doesn’t raise much of an alarm.

I’m not trying to minimize the health risks of this virus, but we need to put it into perspective.  Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds and avoid kissing strangers on the mouth.  And avoid panicking – the stress is bad for you.  Laugh often, and don’t worry.

The inside of Costco had few customers, so it was nice not having to stand in a lineup at the checkouts.

Everywhere I went that morning, the stores appeared deserted.  But their shelves were not empty.  In Langley, a lot of the grocery store shelves are vacant of certain items.  Virtually no cans of soup or pasta in the ones I visited yesterday, so the panic is mostly north of the border.

On my return to Canada, there wasn’t a lineup at any of the booths.  I have never seen it so quiet.

When I reached the booth, the cute customs officers asked me where I had been and what the purpose of my trip.

I was at Costco and Fred Meyer’s, I answered.  I didn’t mention that I also got the vehicle washed at my favorite car wash in Bellingham.

“Are you aware that going to the States is not allowed unless it was deemed essential?” she demanded.

Again with the frisky thoughts entering my mind, I had to fight the urge to wink at her.  But her demeanor changed as she listened to my reply.

“Sorry, dear, I wasn’t aware that travel to the States was restricted,” I offered.

She then began to lecture me about the coronavirus and handed me a sheet from the government of Canada.

“You must self-isolate yourself for fourteen days,” she said.  “Do you have any questions?”

“Yeah, aren’t you going to ask me how much stuff I’m declaring?”

She said that they were more concerned with the spread of the virus and told me I was free to go.

“One question before I go,” I asked.  “Does that mean I have to stay indoors for two weeks?”

“Oh no, you can go outside, but just avoid contact with people.”

And then she smiled at me.

When I got home, Holly Golightly was waiting for me at the door.  She’s doing much better now, and I finally got her to eat again.  She’s still a worry for me but not at the same stress level.  Dogs and kids do that to me – their love is so genuine – it’s impossible not to worry.

My walking club has canceled all scheduled walks until the health alert ends.  But I’m still walking most days.  Here’s a video clip from my walk on St. Patrick’s Day.

When I’m walking at the Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley, I feed the chickadees and nuthatches out-of-my-hand.  And yesterday, I saw two chipmunks!

If watching the videos make you feel happy – why not go there and feed the birds yourself?  I buy the sunflower medium bits from the Wild Birds store.  Small birds love these seeds and will eat from your hand.  Just stand motionless for a couple of minutes, and they will come to you.

And when you feel their tiny claws gripping on to your finger or thumb, they are putting a lot of trust in you.  And if you listen very carefully, their chattering is their way of saying, thank you!

Well, kids, it’s almost 8:00 am, and I’m going for a walk.  I hope you enjoy this momentary distraction from the stress associated with the virus pandemic.

It’s great to be back!  I hope you missed me as much as I missed you!

UPDATE:  It was announced that the Canadian/USA border will be closed on Saturday, March 21st at midnight.  I’m currently following social distancing and keeping a 6-foot distance from others.  My walks will continue and I’ll continue to feed my bird pals.

Dedicated to my readers

Hugs and Love,


Today tune from Danny’s library (purchased):

Distant Sun – lyrics

Tell me all the things you would change
I don’t pretend to know what you want
When you come around and spin my top
Time and again, time and again

No fire where I lit my spark
I am not afraid of the dark
Where your words devour my heart
And put me to shame, put me to shame

When your seven worlds collide
Whenever I am by your side
And dust from a distant sun
Will shower over everyone

Still so young to travel so far
Old enough to know who you are
Wise enough to carry the scars
Without any blame, there’s no one to blame

It’s easy to forget what you learned
Waiting for the thrill to return
Feeling your desire burn
And drawn to the flame

When your seven worlds collide
Whenever I am by your side
Dust from a distant sun
Will shower over everyone
Dust from a distant sun
Will shower over everyone

And I’m lying on the table
Washed out in a flood
Like a Christian feeling vengeance from above
I don’t pretend to know what you want
But I offer love

Seven worlds will collide
Whenever I am by your side
Dust from a distant sun
Will shower over everyone

As time slips by

As time slips by

Songwriters: Neil Mullane Finn
Distant Sun lyrics © EMI Music Publishing France, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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About Post Author

Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).
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2 thoughts on “News of the Day

  1. So glad you had no problem going there and back, lots going on for sure. Have fun waving to everyone from a distance ;-p

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