My life has been limited. I see that people are upset that Klondike will no longer make Choco Tacos. Alas, I never had one.

The protester in the photo held a sign saying, “PRO-LIFE! From conception to natural death.” I think I understand the concept of conception, but I was not sure what “natural death” meant. Was she opposed to any death that was not natural? Was the protester against the death penalty? A lethal injection or electrocution or hanging or a firing squad is not what I would call a natural death. Murder, presumably, is not a natural death, and I guess that the sign carrier would not condone homicide. But death in combat or by bombing or by a drone strike does not seem natural either. Was she a pacifist and against war? Did she hold up a sign when we invaded Iraq? And what would she have to say about modern medicine? I think I would be dead except that I have stents and an artificial heart valve. These are not “natural.” Chemotherapy and radiation treatments are not natural. Will my eventual death be natural after such life-extending interventions? Is she against such medical treatments? And what if, when that time comes, I am given morphine or some such alleviation, to ease my way out of this world? Is that a natural death? My understanding is that natural birth is one without painkillers? Does natural death mean no painkillers? Or had the protester not really examined the full ramifications of her placard?

“There can’t be a revolution in America,” a wise person said. “Not enough people are mad about the same thing.”

I recently wrote about a project that the spouse undertook during Covid. She rebound a set of books we got out of a dumpster many years ago. My Covid project was to refinish walls in our Pennsylvania cottage. The living and dining rooms are paneled in a soft wood. Even though I have often refinished furniture, I am still not good at identifying wood, but my guess is that the walls are pine, which probably have been up since the house was constructed 120 years ago. From the two fireplaces and the century-long accumulation of gunk, the walls had darkened. At the urging of the spouse, I decided to sand away the dirt to see how the wood might look. I bought a “dustless,” battery-powered orbitalsander. It did capture a lot of the grit as I worked, but it was hardly dustless. I figured that a thorough cleaning after it was done was the price I had to pay for the project. Each day for months, I sanded one or two boards, and when I had finished a section, I put an oil finish on the wood. There was always a satisfaction in seeing the steady progress. In a time of lockdown, I was accomplishing something. When I finished the project, not only were the walls several shades lighter–a welcome improvement in our dark house–but the wood grain stood out as it had not before. I was pleased with my efforts. However, there has not been one guest who had been in the house before and after the work who has noticed the difference. Even so, I frequently admire the result and am glad that I did it. There is, however, more paneling that could be sanded and oiled, but I believe that I should leave a project for the next owner.

An anonymous bit of wisdom: Don’t worry about what people are thinking about you; in fact, they are not thinking about you but wondering what you are thinking about them.