Global Bah-shiznik

Bah-shiznik. My word. Mostly.

It’s how I feel about the past several weeks so far, on so many levels.

First, I should explain Bah-shiznik. I learned not long ago that “Shiznik” is an actual word. Who knew? In case you, my kind readers, didn’t know, Shiznik is a slang term as noted in both the Urban dictionary and the Online Slang dictionary. As a noun, it means: that’s just some sweet S**T….as in awesome or cool.

My variation, which I’ve been saying for a number of years, came about in a moment of singing my sorrows in the shower. In an effort to reduce expletives in the course of challenging moments, I came up with what I thought was a fictional word. In my little world, bah-shiznik means, quite the opposite, as in: that is just some terrible Shit: NOT awesome.

What began in Wuhan China in late December of 2019 has gone global and it’s just bah-shiznik, for everyone.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash: Coronavirus.

So, best laid plans for a Spring get-away have been officially cancelled…all two weeks of it and, perhaps our back-up plans B and C, which is…well…just bah-shiznik. As you can imagine, we are in a bit of a funk at my house…and my sister’s too…as that get-away would have been a lovely break for us to visit family in Europe. Our destination would have taken us to one of the hardest hit places of COVID-19 outside of China, Northern Italy. Indeed, as of the end of February, Italy has been hit harder than anywhere else in Europe by the Coronavirus, with the second highest number of fatalities in the world. At this writing, all of Italy, affecting some 60 million people, is on total lock down. Images of Italy are surreal. The streets are empty of both locals and tourists, shops are shuttered, schools and universities are closed. Life has, it seems, come to a complete standstill. San Marco’s square in Venice is a ghost town as are many other popular tourist cities and towns in Italy. Even Pope Francis, fighting a cold but fortunately testing negative to the virus, is using live-streaming to deliver Mass. He is even asking priests to visit Coronavirus patients despite the entire country under order of lock down. And, It goes without saying that Italy’s economy is in danger of collapsing amid this crisis. This is just bah-shiznik.

Pope Francis Photo by Nacho Arteaga on Unsplash

We were all excited about plans to stroll through the streets of Rome for three days before taking the train north to spend Easter with our Italian family in the Friuli-Veneto region. Our last visit “home” was about four years ago but that was underscored by heavy hearts because my mother had just passed. This trip promised to be lighthearted, joyful and adventurous.

Sigh. bah-shiznik

My heart is heavy as I think about it all. Naturally, we are quite concerned for our beloved Italy but more-so for our Italian family. To date, there have been more than 600 fatalities in Italy and there are over 9,000 Italians infected. Though our Italian friends and cousins are in fairly good health and practice optimal lifestyle choices, they are nonetheless at increased risk due to age. We know the lock-down is making life incredibly difficult for them and we feel a certain despair at not being closer to help in any way. Still, we keep in contact via messaging, sending photos and video clips that hopefully brings cheer to their day.

In the meantime, back on the home front, we’re washing our hands til they practically bleed. There is my nephew’s band concert to enjoy, coffee breaks at Starbucks, and long walks with The Poodle. Mostly, we’re doing our best to stay calm and level-headed through the panic (sometimes warranted but mostly insane, in my humble opinion) that has gripped the world. Thank goodness for my solid meditation practice. If you need a phrase (mantra) to repeat over and over again feel free to consider my mantra of the week: This is just bah-shiznik…but this too shall pass.

There is bliss in that.

My photo: against the odds, happiness blooms

“Enjoy or Ignore”

I’m in Cleveland for the weekend attending my daughter’s bridal shower.  When I left middle-earth land it was 70 degrees out.  Trees are already bursting from their winter slumber, with buds popping to and fro.  Here in Cleveland however It’s mighty nippy out; was 19 degrees when I arrived yesterday but now we’re up to a “balmy” 23.  The flight in wasn’t without hiccups but fortunately it wasn’t like my last flight experience where the pilot announced mid-flight that he’d be turning the plane around to make an “emergency landing” due to an oil-pressure gauge problem.  “And, folks…don’t be concerned about the fire trucks and ambulances you’ll see when we land; it’s just standard protocol,” the pilot said in a smooth-as-silk voice.

Yep….I’ll confess to being scared out of my mind during that one.  Rocket-man however, three rows back, apparently wasn’t the least bit concerned.  He continued on with his crossword puzzle as if the pilot had simply said, “sit back and enjoy the ride.”

So on this flight, during the initial leg we first taxied at an excessively slow snail’s pace, then stopped on the tarmac for close to thirty minutes.  The pilot said planes were backed up at our connecting destination, hence the need to give things a chance to clear a bit .  That would of course, considerably narrow my window of making the connecting flight into Cleveland.

You’ve got to be in decent shape to hoof-it from E concourse to C….just saying.  I arrived hot and sweaty with three minutes to spare before boarding.  Whew.

As I boarded the plane for the second leg–which was a full flight–there was a young woman in front of me with a huge thoroughly stuffed backpack.  As she turned this way and that, she knocked me with it twice during the boarding process.  She seemed oblivious to the fact.  Then, once on the aircraft, as we has just passed the first class seats, she stops abruptly and turns to face me, knocking the person in front of her with her pack.  “So, can I just sit anywhere I want to on this plane?….You know, like a bus,” she asks me.

Seriously, I thought she was joking.  But she asked twice.  Clearly this had to be her first time flying!

“Um, no,” I replied.  “You have an assigned seat number. Just look on your boarding pass.”

“My boarding pass?  Okay…so exactly where on my boarding pass? ”

Fortunately, a flight attendant was nearby and stepped in to provide assistance.

And…with all the travel I’ve done through the last four decades I’ve never sat next to a screaming child, not even my own ( I was blessed with babies who were pretty good little travelers …on a plane that is!).   But I got to experience it yesterday.  Oh yes indeed. My ears are still ringing despite noise cancelling earbuds.  It’s a good thing the flight was short… only an hour and ten minutes…though it felt like ten hours to my head.  I thought of ordering a libation–not coffee, but the alcohol kind–to dull the senses but at 8 a.m. it was just a wee bit early for that.  I breathed through it all and kept my nose down and buried in my book.  It was not easy to concentrate on “Silence” by Shusaku Endo with all the wailing and wiggling going on…not to mention a couple of snack pretzels thrown in my direction….one landing smack dab in my coffee.  I KID NOT.

Sigh.

I just had to keep remembering something my hubby said before dropping me off at the airport: “Enjoy or Ignore. That’s all you need to do for this trip.”

He’s so smart.  That’s what we should all do every day.

“Easier said than done,”  I replied.  “But really, I will give it a go.”

So far, there is a great deal more of the former than the latter.  For one, there was manicure moment to enjoy with my daughter and her fiancé’s family.  It’s a rare thing for me to get a manicure.  I got the gel business while the other gals opted for the traditional. After that there was a family dinner out with the future in-laws…lots of laughter…two great bottles of wine….more laughter…then hugs all around before I hit the hotel hay.

Mine are the sun-loved, oldest looking hands of the bunch. Sigh.

Now, if I can remember to set my clock forward and not miss my flight home tomorrow all will be wonderful indeed.