The thermostat was flashing change batteries.  We were rushing to get out of the house.  But truth be told, I had woken up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding and a sense of dread.  Coronavirus, yes.  So, I was out of sorts.  I pulled the thermostat off the wall without shutting the emergency switch.  I changed the batteries and remounted it.  Nothing.  I took it off again and checked the batteries.  I remounted.  Nothing.  I turned the emergency switch off and then on.  Nothing.  I checked the batteries a third time. Nothing.  I gave up and called the fuel company.   They asked me if I checked the batteries.  I checked again.

The owner came within the hour and he checked the batteries.  “YOU PUT THEM IN THE WRONG WAY,” he said – but he did not rebuke me.  He was gentle.  And son-of-a-gun, I put them in the wrong way.

I confessed:  “I’m very nervous about this coronavirus,” I said apologetically.

“We all are,” he said in the most understanding voice I have ever heard.

Well, yesterday it was my husband’s turn to flip out.  He was walking around and around.  He said:  “I can die sooner than I planned,” as if that made any sense.  And then when I reminded him to use the hand sanitizer when he went out, he got agitated.

“Breathe,” I said because it was clear my husband had crossed that line.


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