Three Little Things Coffee Talk

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hello and welcome to the November edition of the Ultimate Coffee Date with Coco from Running With Perseverance and Deborah from Confessions of a Mother Runner. Grab a mug of your favorite hot beverage and pull up a seat. Virtually, of course.

The Time I Almost Got Arrested

Yes, it’s true. Some of you may have the idea that I’m Miss Goody Two-Shoes, but let me tell you, I’m Miss Total Badass who escaped arrest by the skin of my teeth.

OK, I may be exaggerating.

Our running club runs every Tuesday night in the winter on lighted park roads. Rather than braving dark, congested streets, in the interest of safety, we run 1.7-mile loops in a nearby park.

The park in question closes at dusk. The club, however, has a letter from the park’s board of directors, allowing us to run there each week. It has been a Tuesday night tradition for over a decade.

One Tuesday night in November as we were running, a police car with lights flashing slowly made its way around the loop. One of the officers in the car was announcing through a loudspeaker that everyone must leave the park immediately or face arrest for trespassing.

As the squad car crawled by me, I tried to tell the policeman of the agreement the running club had with the park and offered to show him the letter, but he ignored me. “Runners included“, he announced through his speaker.

At that point, I was almost exactly halfway around the loop.

What a quandary. I wasn’t sure whether to retrace my steps and run back to my car or try to go forward. I opted to go forward, hoping that I wouldn’t get arrested before I got back to my car.

I didn’t.

The next day, the president of our running club reached out to the local police, and the misunderstanding was cleared up, so we are once again welcome in the park on Tuesday evenings.

I was just glad I didn’t get thrown in jail!

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com
And Another Bee Story

If you are noticing a wasp-related theme in my posts this fall, you are right. I have had many more encounters with wasps than I wanted.

I hope this is the last one.

I was pulling weeds in a honeysuckle-covered bank in our backyard last week. The temperature was in the mid-50s and the sun was shining. We have had some frost, but not a hard freeze this fall.

Weeding is a mindless chore, so my mind was wandering as I heaved up handfuls of weeds. All at once, a movement in the dirt where I had just dislodged a huge weed caught my eye.

A very large wasp, sluggish and disoriented, was crawling out of a hole in the dirt.

All of you readers who are averse to violence may want to skip over the next few sentences, I’m warning you.

I stomped her.

She was still crawling, so I stomped her again. This time, I stomped her with so much force, her head was severed from her body.

I bent down to examine her. Incredibly, even though her head and body were no longer connected, her antennae still waved. I picked her up in my trowel and carried her to the house, but did not take her inside.

Research showed the wasp I beheaded was a queen of the Vespula maculifrons species of yellowjacket.

I was very happy I hadn’t discovered her a month ago when she would have been surrounded by several hundred worker wasps.

Shutting It All Down

Late this summer, my husband and I, encouraged by the decrease in cases of Coronavirus in our part of the world, began tentatively engaging once again in social activities.

We didn’t go to any huge gatherings, but we did sometimes eat dinner with another couple, or occasionally go out for an alfresco meal.

As the number of cases increased this fall, however, we became more and more wary of social interactions.

When one of our dear friends invited us to a Holiday party where typically 40 or 50 guests gather under one roof, with no mention of masks or mitigating procedures, we were skeptical. OK, we were aghast.

We made the decision to once again shut down our social life entirely – no holiday parties, no going out for dinner, no gatherings of any kind.

We don’t like it, but with the vaccine on the horizon, we need to be sure we run through the tape (so to speak) during this pandemic. Now is not time to let our guard down.

We are hoping that by foregoing gatherings this year, we will be around to go to lots of them next year.

You can find the places I link up here.

89 comments

  1. I’m glad you didn’t get arrested. I have a self-diagnosed phobia, Cleithrophobia, of being someplace I can’t get out of – like jail. I don’t think I would fare well. LOL

    I’m also glad that the entire swarm of yellow jackets weren’t out and about or active. They are nasty little critters.

    You are being smart to not get out and socialize much right now. The numbers seem to be going up everywhere. I sure hope the vaccines allow for a more “normal” life again.

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  2. There is a huge difference between socializing over the summer and now…back in the summer we were all OUTSIDE. That’s not really an option now. And oh yes, a few hundred new cases each day in my state this summer vs high 4 digits each day now. Also in the summer the vaccine was going to be here “someday” but now we know it’s just going to be a few more months. The finish line is in sight and we’ll soon crash through the tape. Hang in there!

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    • Yes, it is different socializing in the summer. Our running club has trail runs this winter which we may do. They go out to a restaurant afterward, which we will not do. You are right, the finish line is in sight. That makes it a little easier to hang in there! πŸ™‚

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  3. Ah, you’re getting better at selfies, Laurie! That’s a really good shot of you and your husband.

    I agree with your decision about limiting social activities. It’s a marathon and we’re in the last few miles. Not the time to give up!

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  4. Madeleine L’Engle has a novel titled A Severed Wasp featuring a story in which a wasp lands on a plate and proceeds to eat jam. The diner severs the wasp with his knife and the wasp calmly continues to eat, jam pouring out of the cut end. Of course L’Engle makes a metaphor of it, and I do love her writing!

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  5. Your decision to scale back social interactions at this time is a wise one, Laurie. With the vaccine so close, we can all suck it up and wait just a bit longer, can’t we? Ironically, that waiting coincides with Advent, the season of waiting for the coming of the Lord. That knowledge makes the waiting a lot easier to swallow!
    And I glad you didn’t get arrested!
    Blessings!

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    • I am sad to have to scale back on social activities, Martha, but I think it is the right thing to do now. You are so right – this is a time of waiting for several reasons, isn’t it? Good things ahead!

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  6. Good stories today. As to shutting it down, I think you are making a wise choice. We are so close to a vaccine and the virus seems to be running amuck. Better safe than sorry. Stay well

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  7. My sluggish wasp encounter this fall ended with a sting on the end of my finger. Ouch! I was cleaning pine needles off the top of our dog’s pen. The hidden wasp took exception to the disruption and got me before I saw it.

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  8. I have a friend who thinks staying home is ridiculous – she wants me to go to Orlando with her to stay at her time-share in February. We would be eating out a lot that week. I can’t see that this virus will go away in the next 2 months. I’m not going but I’m sad.

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  9. Hello,

    I am glad all was worked out with the police and the running club. I am scared of all bees since being stung, I did find out a baking soda paste takes away the pain from a bee sting. Hubby and I are keeping a distance, no parties for us. Take care, have a happy day!

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  10. Yes, glad you didn’t get arrested and I’ve stomped on many a bee and wasp.

    We just cancelled our big tennis holiday party…just too risky now to get together. I haven’t really been inside anywhere…work from home and gather outdoors with friends (soon it will get too cold).

    We were alone for Thanksgiving but now that 4 immediate family members have had the virus, I guess it’s not that dangerous for us to see them.

    Can’t wait to get the vaccine!!

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  11. So glad the police didn’t arrest you & things were sorted. Why is it that the smallest gnarliest stingiest things seem to laugh at us when we try to squish them. We have hoppy jo & bull ants & spiders that are like that freakishly creepy. Good idea stay safe, I do worry in our little town people are a little complacent. Have a wonderful sting free weekend.

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  12. This is one situation in which I’m committed to going the distance, hanging in for the last lap, crashing through the tape, or whatever running metaphor exists for not letting our guard down until The Vaccine — so I’m with you in spirit this (very quiet and physically separate) holiday season. And anybody who’s beheaded a queen is a total badass, in my book.

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    • Who would have thought last March that THIS is where we would be 9 months later? Not me! I am not sure I deserve it, but I will take your badass designation! πŸ™‚

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  13. Yes, all large gatherings are still out of the question here in Australia but our CoVid infection numbers are extremely low now with our states beginning to open their borders up to each other.
    Though there are the odd law breakers that hold large parties who all face massive fines or even gaol time!
    We need to stay safe as its like your hidden Queen Wasp Laurie, Queen CoVid’s ready to reproduce when the conditions are ripe. πŸ˜‰
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

    • Large gatherings should be out of the question here in the states too. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You are so right – Covid is ready to strike again when the conditions are right. Just like the wasp.

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  14. Thankfully the brand-new police officer who was on a power trip didn’t arrest you. Yes, he didn’t get the memo. I was in the Park one day gazing at a heron up in a tree right overhead. Usually the herons hang out in the dead trees across the Creek, but this one was right overhead and I was trying to get a shot of it through the branches. I was so engrossed, I didn’t see the police vehicle (a SUV yet) on the perimeter path not far from me. I surely held up production for ten minutes or so, got my shot and wheeled around to see the police vehicle. I’m sure the look on my face was proof positive I didn’t know he was there. I am sure I turned beet red and went to the driver’s side to apologize – he was grinning ear to ear. Oops! You are smart to stay vigilant and in the bubble with Bill. Americans are now dying at a rate of one person every 30 seconds. Stay safe.

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    • I think the policeman just didn’t get the memo that the running club was allowed in the park. He was actually there because he had received a noise complaint about some guys sitting in their cars and blasting music. They were NOT supposed to be in the park. Ha! Such a funny story about you holding up the policeman. He was probably sitting there wondering how long it would take for you to notice him! πŸ™‚ You stay safe too, Linda!

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      • Lack of communication but at least you did not get into trouble, but sometimes it sure is frustrating. Yes, that policeman knew I didn’t see him, but honestly, it was a huge SUV and it filled up most of the path and how I didn’t see the car in my peripheral vision I sure don’t know. I was mortified! The ice was better today – almost melted thankfully.

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      • Yes, I was very nervous about running the last part of the loop but I had to get back to my car! Glad the ice is almost gone so you can get back to your walking.

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      • I did get in five miles today – it was very cold out, but got it done and went to Humbug Marsh again – the power of suggestion by you. I figure I will wiggle “Bah Humbug” into that post somewhere. Besides, I wanted to give the car a little run, but not all the way to one of the Metroparks.

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      • Wow! 5 miles is good. I only ran 3. It was cold and windy this morning, so I did a short run then went to Body Pump class. It was a virtual class and I was the only one there, which I liked! I look forward to your Bah Humbug post! πŸ™‚

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      • You had what we had yesterday (today too). I always dress for the weather and I was at two parks at the Detroit River and then to Council Point Park last and I never warmed up the entire day. Sometimes the wind just cuts right through you. I walked 5 miles anyway – I figured the snow/ice will be here soon, so enjoy the clear weather now. That’s great they have virtual classes. I follow Leslie Sansone on Twitter and she said today she has some YouTube classes on walking exercises – I looked at them and it might be a good alternative to the bike during the Winter months. I hope I can get that post cranked out before Winter is over. πŸ™‚ I have two prior posts I’ll do first with a little history on the marsh … it is a 410-acre marsh and 300-year-old forest and the only undeveloped land along the entire Detroit River.

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      • Oh, Man. I can’t believe how long you were out in that weather! You are dedicated. That marsh sounds so interesting. I used to take kids on a field trip to the marsh that was lead by The Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Kids loved mucking around in the wetlands in the spring.

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      • The kids would love this marsh then Laurie for sure. I think they will have lots of activities once COVID is over. It was cold and cold this morning too – 26 or 27. But no snow so I bundled up. We have an ugly weather weekend. I have to go through some pictures – I am very behind here and am going to Reader and try to put a dent in it tonight.

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      • They would have loved your marsh! Too bad COVID is preventing educational activities right now. We had a snow shower today but it didn’t stick to the ground. I heard on the news tonight that it has been over 330 days without a measurable snowfall here! Good luck with catching up! πŸ™‚

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      • Lucky you – 330 days. Well you had a mild Winter and mild Spring. We have freezing fog tomorrow morning, so no walk, unless they are wrong. There will be lots to see come Spring and everything greens up. I am wondering if they will have interpretive tours like the Metroparks after COVID is done. I have not gotten to Reader yet tonight – I was down to two days last night, now three days again.

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      • We had a very mild winter last year. I am hoping for the same this year, especially since our governor just closed the gyms. No Body Pump class or running inside for me!

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      • Oh no! That’s not good for you two, especially this time of year when black ice or snow is not good for running (walking either). We just got an extension on the restrictions order the beginning of the week and our gyms are open … for now. Restaurants being closed for indoor dining has yielded lawsuits and protests. One guy who owns a hotel has cleared furniture out of 10 rooms and put in tables and books a “room” for $50.00 rental fee and you can dine in that way, six people to a room. Innovative and the law can’t touch him.

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      • I know…I will have to break out the Yak Trax and run outside in any weather. It also makes one of the races we were going to do in January un-doable. There is an outdoor limit of 50 people and the race probably had about 200 runners.

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      • Laurie – hopefully the weather stays mild for you so you have no worries, even with the Yak Trax. Your Governor’s Order to close gyms, restaurants etc. was on our local news today and I’m thinking that is to show Michiganders it is just not just our state who cannot have indoor dining. Our movie theatre owners are protesting and a group of persons representing high school athletes who cannot participate in the sports programs are having a rally to let them continue the football season they began or begin basketball season.

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      • Unfortunately, my son, who works at a restaurant was laid off AGAIN. Ugh! Restaurants are taking a hard hit. Totally understandable, but they need some help from the government. The shutdown comes between fall and winter sports seasons so the school sports people are not too mad in our state.

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      • Oh no – he is laid off again Laurie … that’s terrible. And, as to your restaurants, if they were like ours, they were not operating at more than half capacity anyway, so bad for business/tips, etc. The restaurants with igloos set up, can only do that if their parking lots or sidewalks are large enough – smaller restaurants with not much real estate at the side/back are out of luck too. I heard an interview this morning with a mall manager for a large local mall and he was asked about the food court and other mall features like pop-up stores/kiosks and Santa and just listening to the interview amazed me. I’ve not been in a mall in a few years. Just 30% mall capacity at any given time, food court fare is all take away but nowhere to eat it, as not only are the food court benches gone, but ALL mall benches have been removed as well. The Santa visit is behind Plexiglass and socially distant on a bench for the child … just amazing and didn’t really think of it as I’m not around any kids. Our high school football started late so the teams that are doing well want a crack at the playoffs (likely for college scholarships I’m guessing, but they didn’t say that). The other day I heard a story about Catholic schools protesting since with no in-seat learning, students are not studying religion. My head spins from all the facts/figures of what damage COVID-19 has wreaked in our lives.

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      • Yes, he is laid off again and this time without the extra money each week the government was paying for unemployment at the beginning of the pandemic. Before he was laid off, his restaurant was at 50% capacity but because he is a manager, it wasn’t too bad for him. Outside dining was a lifesaver for many restaurants this summer but it is too cold now, even with heaters. My youngest grandson (in Colorado) had a drive-up visit with Santa. They didn’t even get out of the car. Our high school football team got into the playoffs, then had to forfeit their final game when there was a COVID outbreak on the team. Ugh! I hope we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel with this vaccine.

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      • Here in Michigan there is another $500.00 stimulus card (I believe it’s a debit card) being given to people in the restaurant/bar/gym businesses who have lost income and are suffering financial hardship due to COVID. Maybe they will have something similar for your son. That’s too bad Laurie and yes, with Winter settling in, his prospects sure are limited for now. I didn’t know they had drive-up visits with Santa – well I guess that works better than what we have in our City – video chats. We have a big Christmas display with Santa and Mrs. Claus every year. Since they cancelled it, Santa/Mrs. Clause are doing Zoom visits. The poor kids will be so confused. I was listening to a Twitter discussion between CNN’s Jake Tapper and Bill Gates earlier today. Gates says by next Summer he sees more normalcy, but no big gatherings until early 2022. And that’s depending on how many people in the U.S. take the vaccine as well as how many poor countries ensure their residents get the vaccine. Sigh.

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      • Wow! That is so cool. There is nothing like that here in PA, although our restaurant /bar/gym workers certainly could use it. Our legislature will not pass a bill like that, I am sure. Bill is frustrated that it will take until next summer for “normalcy” to return but it makes me hopeful.

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      • Yes, I thought it was cool too and they had been bandying it around for a while and then we had such a mild Fall that even the restaurant and bar owners who could not afford to have igloo dining or no space for igloos, were able to keep their businesses humming with outdoor seating in their parking lots, plus using heaters after nightfall. It it frustrating, but by next Summer with more vaccinations done and outdoor seating will resume, there is some hope of normalcy once again.

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      • I am hoping for some normalcy by early summer too. They are talking about passing a COVID bill in Washington that would add $300/week to unemployment checks. I hope it passes and soon!

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  15. I can’t believe you beheaded the queen! I would’ve been too scared too. Brushing a hornet off of Bandit makes me scared (but I did it).

    LOL about your police encounter. I bet you ran faster after that with all the adrenaline!

    While we haven’t eaten in a restaurant for almost all of 2020, we did eat outside a few times. Obviously it’s too cold here to do that anyway! I definitely wouldn’t be going to that part. Why borrow trouble? The fact that my sister works at Old Navy & is now going into my mom’s apartment actually bothers me. I just pray that will end well; my mom really is very tough.

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  16. I was wondering if anyone was going to try to host a holiday party this year! Very smart not to go it’s just not worth it. We all miss it though. That would have been funny to be arrested for running! Thanks for linking for coffee

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  17. We had a similar experience with our running club back in the day. We used to park at this parking lot every week before our runs. And the police noticed it and said that our cars were going to be towed unless we were patrons of the shops and they weren’t open that early. Even though the leader of the group already discussed it with the owners. Need less to say, we ended up having to find another place to meet up.

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  18. You might remember my story of the wasp’s nest above my driveway last summer? It’s been hanging out in our garage for over a year now, but I haven’t brought it inside. I plan to hang it in our sun room, kind of as a decoration LOL, Last spring, I was too paranoid that any frozen wasps would come out of hibernation…of course, I didn’t do any research on the matter. I should have asked you πŸ˜‰

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  19. OMG, this is not the time for holiday parties. What are people thinking! I would have been shaking if a cop busted me like that β€” I’m not used to run-ins with the law. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for joining us (Safely) for coffee!

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  20. Oh whew! So glad you didn’t actually get arrested! That’s cool that they have that agreement (good that the police dept has that memo now too)!

    It’s so saddening and disheartening that people are gathering in such large groups still. I’m glad you and your husband are staying safe!!

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  21. You and the wasps! That’s crazy!

    Also crazy is the near-arrest! I’m glad you escaped incarceration.

    We are doing the same as you: we started venturing out a bit more. We will still do outdoor activities, as long as they aren’t crowded, but no to indoor holiday parties, get togethers or big events. I just don’t feel right or comfortable.

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  22. The minute you said the wasp crawled out of the soil, I thought YELLOWJACKET and my ptsd kicked in from when I was chased by a swarm and stung multiple times under my hair at the back of my neck. Ugh. I won’t be forgetting that soon. Glad a scofflaw like you was able to evade the “law”. Haha! Covid seems to be closing in around us lately, and yes, everyone I know who has/had it got it from gathering with family and friends and not masking. Sigh.

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  23. Yikes about the queen bee! I’m glad the officer didn’t arrest you and eventually the misunderstanding got worked out. I do agree about reining ourselves back in. COVID numbers are way up here, with only a few ICU beds available. I am astonished at the people who don’t take it seriously and keep gathering together and discount wearing masks.

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  24. Oh my goodness, that’s too funny about being “chased” by the police; although, I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time.

    We have kept our bubble very tight since March, only doing outdoor things like biking and occasionally having breakfast outside afterward. I’ve seen my mom once and our kids are very careful when they come visit. Hopefully, just a few more months of being vigilant and we can start to relax…

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  25. It really blows my mind that at this stage of the game people are still planning large parties…or even small parties for that matter! We were doing a little al fresco dining but with it getting colder here that’s now a done deal.

    I can’t believe you had another encounter with wasps! Hopefully that’s the last time.

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