In the late 70s, I was in hospital for surgery and recovery.

My hospital stay was in city hospital. In that city there was a large residential institution for people with severe, very severe, mental deficiencies. I was one of the lucky few to have a semi-private room during my recovery, and to share it with a very nice woman.

Next door to our room was a ward room, with I think, four patients, all women. One patient from the large residential institution was in the ward room, recovering from a sterilization procedure. The other women were local residents in the city. My roommate and I could hear all that transpired in the ward room.

The woman from the residential institution was the object of much attention, none of it kind. The other women discovered that her stitches were itchy, and goaded her to scratch them, laughing uproariously when she scratched at the healing wound. She laughed too, thinking she was “one of the girls”, and was pleasing people. By the end of the day she had opened the surgical wound. The wound was stitched back up and redressed. Thankfully the hospital staff moved to her a private room.

I remember distinctly the feeling of skin-crawling disgust I felt towards those women who had tormented and abused that helpless woman from the residential institution.

That same sick feeling of disgust is what I felt towards the individual who guffawed at my face mask and shield, when I went to the grocery store, where people do not wear masks, to pick up my grocery order.


And then, when the knowledge that people behave in these ways threatens to overwhelm me, I turn my attention to what is beautiful in this world, the majority of humans and the natural world.

Our visit to the Camp: This is the culvert on our property, where the water from the swamp trickles out and is away off to the lake. The sound is Attila, who was moving dead branches into a pile to transport to the fire pit area.
These are May Flowers, and they always make me think of my Mom, who was born in May, and taught us how to identify them as a welcome sign of spring.
Happy Birthday Mom!



Date: 12:33 PM EDT Friday 15 May 2020
Condition: Light Rain and Fog
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 10.0°C
Dew point: 9.9°C
Humidity: 99%
Wind: SSE 10 km/h
Visibility: 0.8 km


“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.”
Ralph W. Sockman
1889 – 1970


  1. Eileen Barton

    Maggie, so sorry you had to deal with that insensitive clod. I can’t fathom people who get such pleasure out of hurting others like those women in the hospital ward next to your room. Love the video and picture you shared with us. Nature just soothes my soul. Looking out my window now I saw a little bunny hopping by and made me smile. Have a good day and hope you are surrounded by kindness. 🙂

  2. Elieen, that is a good description of the guffawer, “insensitive clod”. Hard to understand why anyone chooses to behave the way the women in the hospital ward did that day. Sad situation.
    Bunnies! They are so cute, they can brighten a day! Thank you for the wonderful wish of kindness, sending you the same, as you enjoy the view out your window! 🙂

  3. Teri

    I don’t understand people that act like that and I’m sorry you were laughed at. You definitely are not out of the ordinary in my area. Face shields are a smaller percentage here but definitely around. And I haven’t seen anyone giving people grief over how or whether they choose to shield.

    I’m glad you got a chance to get out to the camp. Hopefully, you’ll have plenty of time to spend out there. I know that being out in nature always makes me feel better.
    Stay safe dear friend!

  4. Teri, glad to hear people where you live are taking the situation seriously. The face shield is to protect me from the people here who are not taking this situation seriously, as I know the face mask only protects them, which I am glad to do. I think as time goes by and in subsequent waves of the virus, when it has spread to this area in earnest, the face masks will be the norm, and face shields popular with people who are on the vulnerable list.
    We were very happy to get out to the Camp! It was great to find everything as we left it, except for the mice of course, many dead mice in the trap, and a bit of a mess, but nothing compared to the last few years. The leaves were just beginning to unfurl there and the blackflies were plentiful, but they aren’t swarming yet and I only got two bits on my forehead. Luckily, after the first little sting of a bite, I just get small red wounds, that don’t itch. I think if we go again in the next few weeks we will have to wear head nets!
    I hope you get to go out to your cottage when the weather gets nice!
    Stay safe dear friend.

  5. Teri

    So far, it looks like we’re on the downward side of this COVID curve. If we’re careful, maybe we won’t have to do this again.

    I especially don’t want to see the border opened up any time soon. The majority of the patient zero infections in Canada came from people coming back from the US, and with their massive infection rate and NY right next door to some of Canada’s population centers, need to be careful that things are under control before opening up.

    Hopefully you’ll have more of a chance to enjoy the camp on your next visit.

    We’ll probably go back to the cottage next weekend, though I’m uneasy about it. I hurt the back left of my pelvis a few weeks ago and it’s still causing me a lot of pain. I really hope it will heal more before we go.

    Stay safe!

  6. Sandy

    I’m sorry those women bullied the other woman. We’ve had some videos here of Asian people traveling on buses and being bullied by what is usually a sing male passenger. But nobody else stands up for the victim which is so hurtful. The Camp is beautiful. Very peaceful.

  7. Teri, personally I don’t think Canada is past the worst of the outbreak, but I’d love to be totally wrong. Many of our most vulnerable are decimated, so the death rate going forward will probably seem lower, because they are already dead, having lived in care homes. The relative we lost to Covid-19 was older, 70s, and very active with one health issue, not only living independently, but working full time and running an international business. The first person to die from Covid-19 near our Tradtitional Camp was 50 years old.
    I share your views on the border. Canada, other than failing our elderly in care homes, has done extremely well so far, and it would be wonderful to keep it that way.
    I hope your injury heals quickly! The weather is improving, getting warmer, maybe that will help, hope so.
    Stay safe dear friend!

  8. Sandy, that hospital bullying incident was very sad. How awful, that Asian people are being bullied!! It just takes one bad apple, to turn a situation in a bad direction. I know I would be hesitant to confront anyone in the US due to the gun carrying, the individual may not be able to physically overpower a person who protested their behavior, but guns make that irrelevant. Guns are for bullies, and too often they use them, or so it seems in the news.
    Thank you about the Camp, it is such a wonderful place to spend time. It looks more beautiful to me every time I see it. 🙂
    Stay safe dear friend!

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