Life can sometimes overwhelm you, and last week it sure did a number on me. For most of us, we can now see Covid in the rear-view mirror. I enjoy seeing friends and neighbors at Smith’s, Walgreens and Walmart with no masks, even if it is only a smile and nod. It’s better than the two and a half years of fears, when people were in a hurry to shop, to see what was not on the shelves and to try not to touch the food carts. I had a box of lightweight rubber gloves, and I used them. Plus, when I got in the car, I wiped them off with hand sanitizer. We got shots and we got lucky. So far so good.

I also had a kind offer in Smith’s parking lot this week, from Kendra. She had finished putting her groceries in her car just as I did mine. I wasn’t in a rush, so I said, “May I take your cart back?” And she laughed and said, “I was just about to ask you. My Mom would not hear of you taking mine.” I gave her my cart and said, “Your Momma raised you right. Thank you, I am glad we can speak and wish each other well. God bless.” And I got into my car and took off with a smile and a little smirk in the knowledge that the stupid virus that caused such an uproar in our lives could not ruin good manners and kindness to one another. My faith in my fellow men, women, and young people was not in vain. And to prove it, my story goes on.

The shopping at Smith’s was on Thursday, and when Friday came along, I was in a desperate hurry. The problem of living in the country is the Canyon. Wherever you go to Albuquerque you must leave sometimes an hour and a half early to be sure to get there on time. I use Route 66 and avoid the semis. I make sure to drive the speed limit and know it will take me a little longer.

I had a medical appointment at Breast Imaging behind Women’s Hospital at 2 p.m. I used to go twice a year and now, with modern medicine, I go just once a year. I left very early and went by my brother Arch’s house to have lunch with him at noon. There was plenty of time. We had Panda Express, and it was delicious. We spent a while arguing about books, history and what Walt Disney comics would do now they are drawn in Italy. (But that is another column.) We got into it about World War II and General MacArthur not taking the nurses with him in 1942, instead leaving them to be Japanese prisoners of war.

Suddenly, it was 1:30 and Arch’s house is by Morris and Montgomery. I was almost late! I ran out of his house, jumped into the car and (going the speed limit), got there five minutes early. Except that I left my purse at Arch’s and had no form of ID, medical papers from my doctor, not a driver’s license. Nada! I couldn’t even prove I was Josephine White.

I really needed this mammogram. What to do? I got on a mask and cleaned my hands at a station in front of the registration desk. I was close to tears. I sure did feel being s75. The lovely lady behind the desk, Jackie, said not to worry. She got last year’s papers, and I was allowed my test. Tiffany was the expert on the machine that saves so many lives and she was extra careful to help a patient, with patience. The kindness of strangers is back!

I drove carefully to get my purse back and take some flack from my history expert brother. I felt both happy and sad. Arch trying to make me feel better reminded me of many times when I was in a hurry and I made silly errors. Breathe! Feel your Chi! And be kind to one another, especially strangers. Thank you. Our friends are everywhere. Roaring Mouse, out.