Vaccination

I can’t give you up, till I’ve got more than enough.
So infect me with your love–
Nurse me into sickness. Nurse me back to health.
Endow me with the gifts–of the man made world.

—-The The, Infected

Ellis County Courthouse, Waxahachie, Texas

A few days ago my health provider sent me an email and told me I was scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccination shot. It was about time – I have a couple of risk factors and am classified 1B by the state’s standards and was getting antsy about getting my shots. I filled out the online paperwork and was notified that I would be getting vaccinated at Ellis County’s vaccination hub in Waxahachie at 1 PM on today, a Saturday.

That’s about a fifty mile drive from where I live – clear across the city – but it is doable. I’ve been to Waxahachie a few times – most recently on a photowalk – which was a lot of fun.

I made plans to make a day out of the trip – load my bike in my car and ride a trail there – maybe stop at a coffee shop. But there was an emergency at work and I had to stay pretty much all night Friday (until four in the morning) so I threw all that out the window and tried to catch some sleep.

Saturday I checked the driving time and verified it was fifty minutes so I made some coffee and futzed around. The instructions were a bit odd – instead of saying “Arrive at least fifteen minutes early” – it said, “Do not arrive more than fifteen minutes before your scheduled time.” Then I checked the phone again and a rainstorm had blown in all across the city and the drive time had ballooned to an hour and a half – so I jumped in the car and took off.

I HATE being late for an appointment and as I fought my way through the stopped traffic my arrival time kept getting later – until it hit 1:20. Then my phone told me it had an alternate route, which I accepted, and it got me there only four minutes late.

The Ellis County Hub was impressive. It was meticulously organized in a rural Texas sort of way (if you know what I mean) – they had almost a hundred volunteers in color coded fluorescent vests handling intake (they verified your appointment while you were still in your car, marked your vehicle with a piece of chalk, and handed you a clipboard and a pen for you to fill out the forms [with your input carefully marked with a yellow background] while you parked), parking assistants, a big clump of wheelchairs with attendants for anyone that needed it, intake assistants to verify paperwork, people behind computers entering the data, a group of “ladies in pink” that directed everyone to the rooms where the shots were done (complete with volunteers holding signs indicating which rooms had extra space), the injector people themselves with assistants, and finally a waiting room (in the Senior center’s gymnasium) where we waited for fifteen minutes recovery.

On the way out they scheduled me for my second shot and gave me a card, saying, “Do not lose this card or you will not be able to get your second shot.”

They were moving thousands through the process quickly and accurately. Something impressive to behold.

The only odd thing was that nobody ever asked me for an ID. Although they asked my name and verified my appointment – I could have been anybody – I could have sent someone in my place.

I did make the mistake of wearing a thick, long-sleeve shirt (It was cold and I didn’t want to take a coat – but what the hell was I thinking) and the poor guy had to pull the neck down to get the needle in. So when you get your shot – wear a short-sleeve shirt.

I was oddly excited to get my vaccination. Now I’m looking forward to getting the second and finally, a little bit, putting this awful thing behind me (and us).

Column Capital, Ellis County Courthouse, Waxahachie, Texas

Short Story (Flash Fiction) Of the Day, Staying Alert by Janet Gogerty

Without thinking she tiptoed to the wild corner of the garden, her haven created for butterflies and bees, not mythical creatures. A noise startled her and the dreadful cat from next door shot out from under a bush, across the lawn and up onto the fence. She felt a stab of fear, birds were not the only creatures in danger from the cat, she tried to dismiss the image of thin green legs dangling out of the cat’s mouth.

—-Janet Gogerty, Staying Altert

Young Faun, by Brenda Putnam, Dallas Arboretum, A Woman’s Garden

During these times I have been working on my shade garden in front of my house. I had to give up on our back yard – the five dogs that belong to us and the neighbor have trampled and dug and killed everything. They will not allow for new green shoots.

The front yard is dominated by large trees and the lawn is dying there from lack of sun. So under the trees I am building a small patio where I can sit and read in dogless quiet and am spreading mulch and planting ivy and ferns – other shade loving plants to follow. My neighbors on both sides have professional landscaping in front – it looks very organized and symmetrical. Mine is a jumble. Hopefully, in a few years, once everything has had a chance to grow a bit (shade plants grow very slowly) it may look natural but now it just looks confused.

It is interesting to start finding fiction inspired by the current lockdown.

Read it here:

Staying Alert by Janet Gogerty

from Times and Tides of a Beachwriter