Normal, Oh, How I’ve Missed You!

My wife and I love daytrips to forests, hills, gorges—there are plenty nearby, or at least plan-ahead-close. And there are quaint towns and areas of Cincinnati, our sprawling metropolis (OK, so it’s not exactly Chicago, but it has its share of, you know, sprawliness).

But when winter sets in, or, say, a worldwide pandemic (don’t you hate it when that happens?), daytrips tends to be greatly curtailed. Normal, oh, how I’ve missed you! Or at least the good parts–like daytrips.

So, last Sunday, the minute the sun came out we headed for a pleasant little community called, fittingly, Pleasant Ridge, which has just the right amount of charm and quirk–blend the two together and you get character (which, my wife says I’ve got).

Pleasant Ridge has blocks and blocks of charm on both the “wine and cheese” and “beer and pretzels” sides of town. We passed lots of socially-distanced-but-friendly folks, nearly all of whom waved. We saw restored Victorian homes, from quaint to Adams-Family-large (minus the goofy creepiness). We saw stately Georgians (are Georgians ever not stately?) and cozy Craftsmen with big watch-the-world-go-by porches. Ah, Normal!

And there was just enough quirk to give it character (like me).

We snapped a shot of a white squirrel, only the second one we’ve ever seen, no doubt a major celebrity in his neighborhood. Plus an even bigger celebrity: Elvis! It turns out he’s been in quarantine all these years, disguised as a lamp in a window, longingly looking out at the world he used to own.

Finally, we met a dad and daughter doing sidewalk chalk-art. Dad was executing a perfect reproduction of Westminster Palace, complete with Big Ben, and his little girl (age 4 or 5) was… Well, we weren’t sure what this budding artist’s non-concentric squares represented. So my wife asked.

Trudy: “What’s that?”

Girl: “A restaurant!”

Trudy: “Oh. Well, it’s very nice.”

Girl: “I know!”

Trudy: “What do they serve?”

Girl: “Nothing.”

Trudy: “I see, and why is that?” (Due to the lockdown?)

Girl: “Because they’re made out of chalk…”

Trudy: “Ohhhh.”

Girl: “…and because I can’t draw food.”

Ah, Normal.

How I’ve missed you!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Normal, Oh, How I’ve Missed You!

  1. boromax says:

    Nothing like the sensible responses of children. Thank you for sharing the lovely piece of outdoorness, beauty, interaction, charm, and white squirrelicity, PLUS Elvis! Fun!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Love images, and loved the response of Girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stephen Eyre says:

    Pleasant Ridge is nice—its where Jackie and I live . . .

    Thanks for Saturday—it was great; people were very informed and inspired by your presentation.




    Liked by 2 people

  4. smzang says:

    This article makes the world feel right again!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Re-Farmer says:

    “Because they’re made out of chalk…”

    Ahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I absolutely love this

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kim Smyth says:

    I do miss the old normal and refuse to accept this as our new normal. I’m ready for a change all right, a change for the better! Let’s hope there were important lessons learned! Cute stories and marvelous pics, as usual, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve never seen a white squirrel. Awesome picture! I saw a deer once whose front half was white, the back half brown. Unfortunately, I did not have a camera handy. Thirty years ago, we didn’t all have a camera phone in our pockets.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Pleasant Ridge sounds delightful; we’ll have to check it out. I’ve been thinking about “normal” myself, and how special it will be to finally grab a bite at one of our favorite restaurants, pick up some books at the library, go to Writers’ Group (!), worship in church, attend Bible study, etc., and SEE THE CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN! (Face Time is great, but it’s those hugs and kisses I miss!) Normal will suddenly feel grand, endorphins will soar, gratitude and kindness may even flourish–it’ll be a good thing for all of us.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I get that – I can’t draw food either.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pam Webb says:

    Stop by my book launch party and put in your someday request!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. rahjomuelvin says:

    The girl’s reply is ❤️! 😁😁😁

    Liked by 2 people

  13. nitinsingh says:

    Lovely images, a simple n great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. cat9984 says:

    Wow. You’re lucky. We’re supposed to shelter at home.

    Liked by 2 people

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