Photo by Arifur Rahman via Unsplash

…the curve was flattening….we were more comfortable eating out….we had learned how to compromise on binge watching…..  And then Putin invaded Ukraine.

This isn’t a blog about my political opinions and I intend to keep it that way, but over the past two pandemic years I have found myself singing in my head the lyrics to the old Kingston Trio‘s Merry Minuet song:

“They’re rioting in Africa….there’s strife in Iran….what nature doesn’t do to us will be done by our fellow man.” 

It is wrenching to see videos of Ukrainians with their children, pets and baggage trying to squeeze into underground shelters, board trains and arrive border crossings,  leaving the lives they lived and their men under the age of 60 behind.

“We humans are incapable of imagining the worst that could happen,” a news panel’s talking head said last week.  Well, that man didn’t grow up in my family.  “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” was the standard by which any kind change was judged at our house.  My parents were prepared, at least psychologically, for everything to go wrong.  The only time I remember my mother disagreeing with the Worst Case Scenario approach was when my father proposed building a bomb shelter in our small suburban front yard. His reasoning was that (1) nuclear war was likely and  (2) it was too expensive to put the shelter in our back yard.  My mother responded that she “would rather die” than go along with his plan.

I can’t imagine how the current mess will end, but here is the touching hymn that was the opening of Saturday Night Live—“Prayer for Ukraine” sung by the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York.



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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