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Writer Without a Clause: Survival, Pleasure, and the Next Generation

Chris practices free writing which often produces humorous or introspective results with practical applications to living life more fully.

Look at Us, Bound Together in One Valiant Effort For a Moment in Time

Author's Note

Welcome to the latest in my irregular but ongoing series called, Writer Without a Clause. It means I sit down to write with nothing planned. What is on my mind at the time is the subject of the hub. So here I go. This should be interesting. My head is muddled right now.

The Face of Covid-19 Is Not Microscopic


I’m committed to writing about whatever is on my mind at the moment I sit down to the laptop. The problem is, my mind is going in several different directions. First, there is Coronavirus, also known as covid-19. Others have applied different names, but it takes no class to use them. I have some class, so I’ll rise above it.

Second, I was on the verge of purchasing a travel trailer when the first topic, the virus, became a real issue. Since then, I have nixed the travel trailer idea, which would have become my new home for the next few years.

Third, but the most prominent is that I will become a grandpa for the first time in just a few weeks. I am proud and thrilled. I can’t wait to hold little Violet.

So the three prominent issues in my life have converged. Many people around me are on the edge of financial hardship. As a traveling healthcare worker, I have contracts signed through midsummer. I’m good to go. How could I go out and spend thousands of dollars right now for a luxury item when others might not have food on the table tomorrow?

My granddaughter is coming into the world very soon. My sons’ jobs are likely to end. So I, along with the rest of the world, hunker down and wait. I have no business spending money like a drunk senator.

I did a quick check. It seems that the birth of a baby costs somewhere between the extremes of $3500 and $50,000. That is a broad enough range to render the figures irrelevant. My son and his young lady, Jessica, are considering a home birth in a pool with a midwife. Yep, I can support that as long as there is a backup hospital plan in place.


If I am going to have grandchildren, A travel trailer really would be a good idea. When they come to visit wherever I am, they will have a fun place to sleep. Imagine visiting grandpa as a little kid when he is spending the summer in the mountains of Montana or the Redwoods of California. I would take those kids for the adventure I went on one time. I began at a ranger station, hiked through the redwoods for several hours, and emerged onto the beach. Waves rolled, seals rode the breaking waves, and pelicans skimmed the white crests. My travel trailer would be waiting at the end of the hike. Dinner over the grill and sunset over the ocean. Magical. So eventually, I’ll pick up the travel trailer.

Is the world coming to an end with this damned virus? I won’t stand for it. I have years of life ahead with grandchildren. I won’t give in to depression and discouragement. Our world may change, and it probably should. I feel closer now to those poor people in Wuhan, China. One of our own may want to demonize them, but my heart goes out to them. They are human beings who have suffered much. We learned how to survive from their suffering. We should have learned much more than we did.

I want my granddaughter to grow up in a world filled with compassion, black for white, East for West, capitalist for socialist, rich for poor and poor for rich, refugees for their home country, for their new country, the world for refugees from famine and war.

I want my granddaughter to grow up loving justice, peace, compassion, and the meaning of hard work. I want her to despise bigotry, the twisted deformity of capitalism that now reigns in our land, and selfishness. She will learn to love her fellow man in practical ways, to share freely, to work hard, and compete acceptably.


Look at the world at this present moment. Every person focuses on a common foe. Everyone hunkers down, waiting, hoping their family and friends survive. I watch with tears in my eyes the Italians singing from their balconies. If this does not show that we are a world community, nothing will. If you bristle at that thought, you blindly wander in the philosophy of hate and bigotry. I choose to embrace my brothers and sisters in Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran and everywhere in between.

That’s the kind of world I want for my granddaughter, little Violet. Let’s make the world an excellent place, once and for all time.

© 2020 Chris Mills


Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on January 26, 2021:

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I feel your frustration, Chris. Many things get cancelled here in Los Angeles, California, no gym, no attendance at sporting events, no approaching woman - social distance and wear masks. I guess we're going through what our ancestor's experienced during World War II. But the enemy's an invisible virus. Riding my bicycle provides me the only peace I can enjoy. My immediate family feels fine, but it's like living inside a bubble - long as the virus can't find us. We're living a little like "The Diary of Anne Frank."

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 06, 2020:

Chris I like this piece/peace. I think I see much more love than the negative. But friends tell me I am blind. Oh well.

I am jealous for you with a new baby. Yes grandparents have the baby right along with the parents.

(Is this the son that hikes the Appalachian trail?)

Suzie from Carson City on March 28, 2020:

Chris..….Awww, how very exciting that soon, we may call you, "Grandpa Chris." Prepare yourself to be awestruck & lose your breath, the first time you hold that precious Angel. What a lucky baby girl, to have a "Cool Gramps," like you!

I'm with you 100% in your wish for our world, Chris. Sounds superb....the Ideal World for all of humanity.

Best of luck to you & yours. Stay well. Thanks for sharing your profound thoughts. Peace, Paula

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 27, 2020:

Shauna, as this thing tightens, more and more will agree with you. But the real test will be what follows. My hope is that a sizable group of Americans will turn their backs on the insane brand of capitalism which most have adopted. There is a time for us to care for each other. If this ordeal focuses on anything, it is on those who suffer even in the best of times.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 27, 2020:

Becky, Ruby, Liz, and Dora I apologize for missing your comments. We are all watching around us, wondering what will happen next. You know I value your friendship. Thank you for finding time to visit me.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on March 27, 2020:

Chris, I love your message. Maybe it's taking a global pandemic to make the world stop, look, and listen. If any good is to come out of this, I hope for a world as you describe for your granddaughter. That's the best gift we can give her and all future generations. That's the best gift we can give ourselves. The best gift we can give the wildlife that share this planet with us. It would be the best gift for Earth. For life.

I share your dreams for your granddaughter. And congratulations on becoming a grandpa!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 25, 2020:

Congratulations on the expectation of precious little Violet! See how she is already influencing your life? She'll probably be the topic of many future articles when you sit down to write. Blessings on you and her and also the mom and dad.

Liz Westwood from UK on March 24, 2020:

This is a moving and inspirational hub. I love the way that you have taken the things on your mind and worked them out through your writing. I wish you and all your family well.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 23, 2020:

I thoroughly agree with every word you have written in this hard-hitting piece. If we can't love our neighbors, how can we expect any love in return. Red, yellow, black and white. I believe we will become closer due to this C virus. Congrats on a grandchild. Stay healthy as you work in the health industry.

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on March 23, 2020:

I have been staying home. I have asthma and that makes me at risk. They do the grocery shopping for me. I did not let the gun go to town. That one has no need for a gun. He has PTSD and a bad temper. I have the key hid, for when I need them.

Usually for a javalina in my yard threatening my dog or daughter. She is a puffball. I can handle them, even with their aggressive nature. Those things are just flat mean. I have a gun for a reason, out here. It is staying here for that reason. I love nature, as long as it leaves me alone, I will just watch it. Although the way things are going, I may need to go hunting for some food. Things are stupid around here.

Good thing I just planted my summer veggie garden. I will have veggies. Tried planting potatoes this year. We will see how that goes. Used half of a 50 gallon barrel, sliced lengthwise. Used the other half for onions. Looking for another clean barrel for sweet potatoes and maybe more potatoes. I have all kinds of things I am using to plant veggies in.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 22, 2020:

Verlie, Thank you so much for letting me know about your experience at "Dread This". It is an experiment. I'm glad you had a good experience.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 22, 2020:

Manatita, here is another link just like it. haha

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on March 22, 2020:

Hello Chris, Congratulations on new baby grand daughter Violet arriving soon, what a wonderful life-changing event for you and your family. I followed the link to pod casts in your comments and thoroughly enjoyed listening to 'Dread' what a story! You read well! Amazing how you kept up the different voices. Are you sure you're not an Actor? Kudos, great work. Violet is going to enjoy having you as a Grandpa, lucky girl.

manatita44 from london on March 22, 2020:

Link sent me somewhere else, Bro. Cheers.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 22, 2020:

MizzB, I see you and others here and am afraid that one day someone will just not be here anymore. I will be careful. You too. Stay home and be safe.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 22, 2020:

Venkatachari M, Whatever happens there, stay home. Just stay home and take care of yourself. Stay in touch here. We value your presence on HP.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 22, 2020:

G.J. Jolly, Thanks for that encouraging.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 22, 2020:

Manatita, here it is. Thanks for the encouraging comment.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 22, 2020:

Ann, you two take care of yourselves. Read and write more. Enjoy the quiet.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 22, 2020:

Brenda, glad you gave the podcast a try.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 22, 2020:

Becky, Stay home and let your kids bring you the groceries. Also, lock the guns up and swallow the key.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on March 22, 2020:

Chris, thank you for an article filled with such hope and compassion. I hope you do eventually get your travel trailer and have a great time with your family and little Violet.

My niece and her husband just had their first child a month ago. They are both physical therapists and live in another state. My brother and his wife are very athletic, and they were going to the gym every day. He said the new parents were requiring them to change clothes after every gym trip to be allowed in the house with the newborn. Very wise. Things have change since then, so the gym is probably closed. They all live in NM.

My granddaughter in Texas, married with two children, works in food service as a section manager. She says her restaurant is now take-out only, so she is still working. I haven't asked if her husband is still employed. Her brother is an hourly worker at the same place, so he is out of work. This virus is affecting everyone adversely right now.

So, stay safe and healthy, my friend.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on March 22, 2020:

Very nice thoughts. And, Congrats on your becoming to be a grandfather very soon.

I like your thoughts about the world and your expectations for your child's future life. Very beautiful opinions.

It's true that all of us should be compassionate to humanity as a whole, shedding the group mentality, hatred, and discrimination.

We have been on a 24-hour shutdown exercise today, our entire state of Telangana, as a preliminary of the upcoming longer shutdowns.

G. J. Jolly on March 22, 2020:

Congratulations on becoming a grandpa. Holding her for the first time is something you will want to pay attention to and remember forever.

manatita44 from london on March 22, 2020:

You see Bro.

I told you I had faith in you! If you see me hard on anyone, it is because I believe in them. Congratulations to your lovely granddaughter to come and yes, I wish her all those beautiful things.

I have been saying for a while that the Japanese, Chinese, Russians, wherever in fact, are all human too. They share the same hopes and aspirations as we do. You have been ok with that but some weren't. Now they are different, yes.

Your probably did the right thing by not spending that money. My daughter's costs was about 4, 000 at birth and that's sterling and a long time ago. Besides, it is not wise to spend too much in unpredictable times. You have said what you do, but why don't you write a piece about it? Bring it alive.

A nice write and it shows that your adventure and fatherly spirit is still there.

Ann Carr from SW England on March 22, 2020:

Amen to that, Chris.

It's hard to watch what others are doing, raiding the supermarkets when there is no need, bagging all the toilet rolls and hand wash. They will end up catching the virus because no one else will have either of those things!

My 6 grandchildren (from 19 months to 19) are all kind, affectionate, giving people, full of fun and quick to help. I hope they remain in that philosophy. I think they will. They would share properly.

I love the idea of your trailer trip with grandchildren - it does sound magical, right up my street! I can't think why anyone would not love that idea, out in the fresh air and experiencing nature at its best.

Thank you for an uplifting hub, albeit based on hard times. You are right that such situations bring out the best in us and, sadly, sometimes the worst. Social distancing seems to be something that is not easily accepted and therefore abused, that's the biggest worry I think. Looking at pictures of Bondi Beach, I don't think those sunbathers quite get it!

Best wishes to you and your family, especially your new granddaughter.

We are in self-isolation because of my partner's age and we're enjoying it! Gardening, continuing with the finishing touches of the house, and having time for lots of reading and writing!

Keep safe and well, Chris! I suppose if you've had the virus (which it sounds like) then you should be immune. I hope that's the case.

All the best to you,


BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 21, 2020:


Thank you so much!

I listened to inside was awesome.

You did a wonderful job!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 21, 2020:

Thank you, Chris.

I will take a look.

Enjoy your day.

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on March 21, 2020:

I have you beat. I now have 12 grandchildren. I still have 2 kids that have not had any. One of my granddaughters is old enough to have children now. I hope she waits longer than her mother did. I worry about all of them and their parents.

I have one kid that called me tonight and asked if he could borrow a gun. It is really getting stupid in town. I live out in the country. A group of 20-30 year olds were in Walmart blocking some seniors from getting to the food aisles the other day. My youngest two told me that I was not allowed to go to the grocery store without them to protect me. I am not worried. When it is my time, I will go. Until then, it is just not my time yet.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 21, 2020:

Just for you, Brenda, I am going to self promote. You need some entertainment and dirversion. Here is the address to my podcast where I read my horror short stories. Reading like this is not easy, but I am improving.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 21, 2020:


This is a wonderful write.

I hope you get that little trailer, adventure is so important as a child. ( and it doesn't hurt us adults either)

May Voilet birth be a blessing. I hope you have lots of years ahead to spoil her.

I wish this world would unite together. For now I am stuck alone with only my phone to keep me connected to the outside world and I so need some adventure.

Thanks for sharing.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 21, 2020:

Pamela, The problem is, the faster we move through this, the worse it is for the healthcare people. They won't be able to keep up. Thus all the steps to keep us apart and slow the infections down. We will get through this. I hope we have learned something for the next time.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 21, 2020:

Congratulations of becoming a grandfather of a little girl soon. That will be such an exciting time.

I know a lot of people are having a hard time right now. I don't think anyone ever thought about such a contagious virus that would shut down jobs and schools. I hope it will end soon. I think we are strong and will recover with time but I tend to be an optimist as I stay confined in my home.

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