Blogs, Creative Writing, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, sports, Sports Fans

AFC & NFC Championship 2023

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I can’t speak for every Pittsburgh Steelers fan, but there’s still football being played in the NFL on this late day in January. Even though my Pittsburgh team didn’t advance in the 2022-23’s post-NFL season, I’m still interested.

As I sit at home, eager for this day’s competition on the gridiron, I don’t have a horse in this race. I remain captivated by this sport, however.

First up today, 1/29/2023 is the NFC Championship game between the 49ers and the Eagles. Philadelphia will host San Francisco with a 3 p.m. E.S.T. kickoff.

Later today at 6:30 p.m. E.S.T., the Chiefs will host the Bengals in the A.F.C. Championship game. Cincinnati has defeated Kansas City in the last three matchups between these teams.

I’m not an analyst, so I won’t break down any stats or make predictions of how this fine Sunday will end for any of these teams. Later this evening, we’ll all know the teams that’ll meet in Super Bowl LVII on February 12, 2023, in Glendale, AZ.

What I will say is it’s a great day to watch football. These four teams have earned their spots as the NFC and AFC’s best teams this year.

Enjoy, my fellow NFL football fans!   

R.H.W. Dorsey is a multi-genre writer and Steelers fan.

Blogs, Creative Writing, current events, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, sports, Sports Fans, Steelers, Uncategorized

Thank You, Steelers for the 2022 Season

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Why thank a team that didn’t make the playoffs, you might ask? The struggles and small triumphs this season gives fans like myself hope for the next season of play for my Pittsburgh Steelers.

By mid-season this year, the Steelers had 2 wins and 6 losses on their record. On the team’s Bye in week 9, I heard whispers of gloom and doom via predictions of an ending fictional 5-12 record or worse. The fact that the Steelers’ season ended with 9 wins and 8 losses can’t be overlooked, considering the first half of the season was dismal. The 7-2 run to end the season can be called impressive, given the performance in the weeks before the Bye. Towards the last games of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers had rallied with more wins than losses. What wasn’t so great was the fact of needing help from other teams to advance into the NFL playoffs. I can only speak as a fan of the team to say it’s not a good feeling to find your team in that situation. So, in the final week (18) of regular play, my Steelers hosted our division rival Cleveland Browns. The task was to win the game and hope the game being played concurrently by the Jets and the Dolphins would end up in a Jets win. The Steelers were still “in the hunt” for a Wildcard playoff spot at the beginning of the game, where they hosted Cleveland at Pittsburgh’s Acrisure Stadium. It was great to see the Steelers win the game against the Browns. Sadly, it’s now history that the Jets lost to the Dolphins 6-11. The Dolphins’ win dashed any hopes for an advance to the post-season by Pittsburgh. This scenario may sound familiar to those paying attention because it’s happened in past seasons involving my Steelers’ team. But let me say that the fact that this Pittsburgh team rallied the way they did is something to mention. It’s too little and too late, but now it’s time to move on to the future.

In my opinion, what most will call a disappointing season (and it was for diehards like myself that feel the Steelers should always be in the playoffs), is actually an opportunity. The opportunity comes in looking forward to a better season in 2023-2024. Hope is a beautiful thing.

This Steelers team has lots of young talent and seasoned veteran players to help with the rebuild for the next season. The head coach’s lead remains consistent, in my opinion. The consistency is referenced by the cohesiveness of the team by the end of the season. I can’t fail to note how the offensive line came together nicely in those last weeks of the season. It was exciting to watch.

The coming weeks and months will tell the story of how the team will look going forward into next season. There are free agency opportunities, as well as restructuring that will be done. Win or lose, the Steelers shouldn’t be counted out until it’s time to count them out. So, thank you, Pittsburgh Steelers, for showing your drive and heart in playing this game.

R.H.W. Dorsey is a multi-genre writer and Steelers fan.

Blogs, Creative Writing, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, sports, Sports Fans, Steelers, Uncategorized

Remembering Franco Harris

This weekend in my city, plans were scheduled to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. Former Pittsburgh Steeler great Franco Harris played in the game that would set the Steelers on a future winning course. I was saddened to wake up this morning and hear that Franco Harris passed away the day before, on December 20, 2022. Franco was a 4-time Super Bowl champion and 9-time Pro Bowl athlete. He passed away just short of highly anticipated celebrations scheduled in our city to commemorate the Immaculate Reception. Franco had done recent interviews regarding that well-known milestone of that 1972 game. December 23, 1972, was the date of the game between the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers. The iconic play by Franco won that game with a final score of 13-7. The Steelers went on to play in the AFC championship game with the undefeated Miami Dolphins on December 31, 1972. The Steelers lost the game to Miami 21-17. However, the immaculate reception play began the historic future seasons of the 1970s championship Steeler team’s legacy. Coincidentally, the new Las Vegas Raiders are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend December 24, 2022. Some are saying today, with the news of Franco’s passing, a Steelers win this weekend would be symbolic and fitting for Franco’s memory.

The much talked about game in 1972 was held in Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium. Unfortunately, at the time, the local games were blacked out for Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. Radio coverage was the only way for Pittsburghers to enjoy the game unless they were present in the stadium. I was a pre-teen during the game, but I already loved football since my older brother was a huge fan.

Franco Harris was considered a legend by many in the Pittsburgh area – my hometown. I’ve seen many Pittsburghers talk positively about Franco over the years of how he impacted their memories. He was well-known for more than football by the Pittsburgh community. I met Franco in a local mall’s food court, of all places, back in the 1980s. He had his then-young son with him. I had my young daughter who was pre-school age. I said hello, and Franco asked, “how are you?” That short conversation highlighted my memories of Franco, not counting his years with my favorite team – the Pittsburgh Steelers. I had the pleasure of seeing him play in person while working at Three Rivers Stadium in the late 1970s.

After he retired from professional football, Franco became active in the Pittsburgh area with community organizations. I could go on, but I’ll bring this to a close.

Pittsburgh Steeler fans lost a legend, but more importantly, his family has suffered a great loss. My prayers and condolences go out to Franco Harris’ family and loved ones.

Rest In Peace – Franco Harris.  

Blogs, Creative Writing, current events, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, sports, Sports Fans, Steelers

Next up: Monday Night Football for the Pittsburgh Steelers

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My last blog post was shortly before the match-up between my Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8 of the NFL 2022-23 season. The Eagles won the game 35-13. Pittsburgh has faced 2 opponents since that fateful game. While that was three weeks ago, there was a Bye week after our hammering by the Eagles. The break was right on time, in my opinion. Week 10 came around, and Pittsburgh hosted New Orleans. The Steelers won the game 20-10. The defeat of the Saints seemed to be the boost the team needed at the time. Then, Week 11 rolled around this past Sunday, November 20th. The Bengals won the game 37-30. Pittsburgh’s defeat by Cincinnati in Week 11 took my team’s season record to 3-7.  

The Steelers are currently at the bottom of their AFC North Division (but tied with the Cleveland Browns, who have a 3-7 record also). The Browns have a slight edge by having a better conference record. Okay, so that’s the recap. There are seven weeks of football left. I’ll say my team is in a long home stretch of sorts. The Steelers are on the road for the next two games. Still, I hold out hope the Steeler will turn everything around. The current stats I’ve seen in the past day or two seem to indicate the Steelers aren’t any the hunt for any playoff hopes. I think the weeks ahead will be rough, but of course, anything is possible. I will say I take issue with some of the rhetoric I’m hearing on Steeler fan websites. In particular, the notion that my team should lose the rest of the games to get first and second-draft picks pollutes my ears. My hopes are the Steelers end with a respectable record – period. Who plays to lose? The notion is ridiculous to this fan.

Next up: The Steeler play Monday Night Football at the Colts on November 28th. The Steelers have a winning record for appearances on Monday Night. However, the 49ers’ win yesterday, on Monday Night Football, broke the tie between Pittsburgh and San Francisco (the 49ers now have 52). The Steelers are now number two on the list of most Monday Night Football wins at 51.   

I’m hoping I’ll have good news on my next blog concerning my Pittsburgh Steelers.

Here We Go, Steelers, Here We Go!

Blogs, Creative Writing, current events, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, sports, Sports Fans, Steelers

Steelers take on the undefeated Eagles in Philly

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This morning, October 30, 2022, I’m thinking of my Pittsburgh Steelers team. They head into Lincoln Financial stadium to play the Philadelphia Eagles with a 1:00 p.m. E.S.T. kick-off later today. I heard someone on a sports program yesterday mention the Eagles are a 10 1/2-point favorite to win over my Steelers. Pittsburgh is going into the game with a 2-5 record against Philadelphia, who are undefeated at 6-0 as of today.

Being the die-hard fan that I am, I can’t help but think of the phrase, “On any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team.” It’s way past ironic that the phrase is credited to Bert Bell, who coached the Eagles for five seasons and the Steelers for one season in 1941. Mr. Bell became the commissioner of the N.F.L. in 1946.

So with that phrase, I’ll cheer on my Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s a lot of truth to the aforementioned phrase since football fans have seen it happen. The bottom line usually comes down to who wants to win bad enough. A loss today by the Eagles wouldn’t hurt their record much at this point in time. The Steelers want and need to win this game as any team going into the home stadium of an undefeated opponent.

I’ll make this short and sweet, I’ve seen the Steelers be great before, and I’m looking forward to a great game of football. So, in the words of Bert Bell, “On any given Sunday….”

Here we go, Steelers, here we go!

Blogs, Creative Writing, current events, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, sports, Sports Fans, Steelers

Steelers Defeat Brady’s Buccaneers

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On Sunday, October 16th, 2022, my Pittsburgh Steelers experienced a big win with a 1-4 record coming into the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those four Steeler losses were consecutive, so my team went into Sunday’s game with the mindset of a must-win game marching order. I heard a sportscaster say on Sunday night after the game that our team was 1 1/2 games out of first place in our division. I’ll take that action on any given Sunday. (even if we’re at the bottom of the A.F.C. North) I love that glass-half-full mentality for my Pittsburgh Steelers team. There’s still 2/3 of the season to be played in the N.F.L. football 2022 season. I’ve seen my Steelers recover from what some call adversity before. I’ve been a Steelers fan throughout the years since the glorious 1970s. True Pittsburgh Steelers fans know there’s still hope on the horizon. Anything is possible for my Steelers. I dare not jinx us and sound the victory bell after one win. The week seven and eight teams coming up prove to be contenders. My Steelers are on the road for those matchups (The Dolphins and Eagles will host).

But for a moment, just let me revel in Sunday’s win against Tom Brady’s team. Brady is considered the G.O.A.T. of all N.F.L. quarterbacks. The Buccaneers came into last night’s game with a 3-2 record. It was a huge win, not in numbers but a boost to my team’s morale – especially since the win was on the home field. The 20-18 win against the Buccaneers was the spark necessary to get this Steelers’ team back on the winning track, in my opinion. In last night’s game, my Pittsburgh Steelers team utilized more of some of the unseen talent in the game. Let’s face it, everyone on the roster should play at NFL-caliber levels; they’re getting paid for it.

As it stands now, sadly, the rookie Pickett is on concussion protocol after Sunday’s game. Pickett became the starting Q.B. in week 5. However, the seasoned Trubisky got the job done last night. With Pickett’s injury (hopefully, he’ll be fine), we’ll see this original starting QB Trubisky front and center for week 7. The bottom line is that it’s all about teamwork and everyone standing up and getting the job done.

By R. H. W. Dorsey 10/17/2022

Blogs, Creative Writing, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, sports, Sports Fans, Steelers

Playing Football is to Win. PeriodT.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the Raiders/Chargers game on Sunday night (January 9,2022). Being a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan, on the morning of 1/9/22, I knew there were three scenarios that needed to happen for my team to have any hope of playing in the NFL Post-Season. The first was the Steelers needed to defeat the Baltimore Ravens. A second scenario was for the Indianapolis Colts (9-7 record) to lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14 record). The third scenario, and what some said was the most unlikely outcome, was for the Sunday night game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders to “not” end in a tie. Yes, a tie!

If you talked to the people watching the odds, I am sure they’d say the Raiders/Chargers game ending in a tie was highly unlikely. Those same people would’ve gone on to say this year’s Jaguars team would be a long shot at best for defeating the Colts. But, if you’re a football fan like myself, you know that on any given Sunday, miracles can and do happen. Both the Steelers/Ravens and Colts/Jaguars games were played simultaneously. Like a true Steelers fan, of course, I was monitoring the scores of the other game that would decide my team’s fate. When I saw the 13-3 lead by Jacksonville at halftime, I had hope. Still, my focus was on the Steelers game. At halftime, Pittsburgh was tied with Baltimore at 3-3. Hope came in the 4th quarter. Ben Roethlisberger and the entire team seemed to get even more energized. My Steelers didn’t stop battling and the game ended in NFL regulation time in a tie. (I’ll let the experts explain the details). Now, by that time, the outcome of the Colts/Jaguars game was final. To the surprise of myself and from what I heard some broadcasters mention yesterday, a Jaguar win was highly unexpected. But, the Jaguars went on to defeat the Colts 26-11. I can’t say it was a complete surprise to myself since I’m one of those people that believe that anything can happen in football. So, one scenario was down, and two more to go.

To say the overtime period of this Steelers/Ravens game was a nail-biter would be an understatement. With Baltimore winning the coin toss for overtime play, the pressure was on the Steelers to stop them. The wacky NFL overtime rules didn’t help any in the frustration of having to go to overtime for this fan. As it goes, if the first team to get the ball scores a touchdown, the game is over – fini. There’s no chance for the other team to even try, no matter how much time is left of the ten-minute overtime period (that’s in regular-season play). Thankfully, the Steelers were able to hold the Ravens and go on to get those coveted points needed to win the game 16-13. I need to say winning that game was a complete effort by every Steeler involved to get the team where they needed to be yesterday.

So there my team was, the Steelers, with only one more scenario to happen where they’d live to play another game – but in post-season. Before the upcoming Chargers/Raiders game kicking off at 8:20 pm EST. even started, there were some I heard say that the odds of the game ending in a tie were astronomical. In the hours before that night game, there was already talk of the Steelers going to play “probably Kansas City” in the Wildcard playoff game the following week. But, nothing was settled until the Los Angeles/Las Vegas game was to be over.

Let’s fast forward to the end of the Chargers vs. Raiders game on Sunday night (mainly because I hadn’t intended for this blog post to go so long). The score at the end of regulation time for the game was 29-29. This is where Steelers’ fans like me started to get nervous again. A tie score in regulation happens often, but an overtime tie – not so much. Now, the dreaded scenario of that game ending in a tie threatened to dash the hope we die-hard Steelers fans had for the last few hours after the win over the Ravens. At one crucial point in overtime, the score was matched at three points each. As time winded down, it appeared that the Raiders were going to take a knee and let the game end in a tie. For reasons I haven’t read about yet (and don’t care to know), the Chargers called a time out. For whatever reason, only the Raiders organization and coaches know – the Raiders decided to play to win the game. (It’s how it should be in my book, but who am I?). The Raiders went on to kick the game-winning field goal in overtime.

Why the fuss? Because what I’ve heard from football players throughout the years and especially last night is competitive sports is about winning and not trying to end in a tie (on purpose). I can’t exactly pat the Raiders on the back for doing the Steelers a favor, as I had seen some fans discuss on social media last night. The past history from the Steelers vs. Raiders aside, I was glad to see football being played. From what I understood, there was a chance for the Raiders to get into post-season with a tie in that game with the Chargers. What I do admire is the character of a Raiders team that plays the game as it was intended. Play to win. What else is there?

Blogs, Creative Writing, current events, New Books, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, sports, Sports Fans, Steelers, Uncategorized

National Novel Writing Month vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Photo credit: Sportsnaut

So, I’m feeling a little déjà vu right now. It’s National Novel Writing Month, and I’m working furiously to polish my manuscript. I don’t like that November is the month of choice for Novel Writing Month since it coincides with the height of football season. I could just stop writing, right? Nah. So, back to the déjà vu – in November of 2020, my spirits were high: my hometown team was undefeated after eleven weeks. Not to mention – I was achieving my writing goals for November 2020. Then, last week in November of 2021, the news that Big Ben Roethlisberger passed his covid-19 protocols was like music to this fan’s ears on the week of Thanksgiving 2021. Our QB was ready to fight the good fight. We still had a chance for a hopeful ending to the season. Sweet déjà vu.

Now here’s where the train went off the rails: just the other day, my Pittsburgh Steelers lost to a division rival, the Cincinnati Bengals, in week twelve of the NFL season. Correction: we got our butts handed to us in week twelve with a 41-10 loss to Cincinnati. Excuse me, it’s only been two days since the disaster, so I’m in my feelings. Even though my Steelers didn’t have a glowing record this year, there was still hope going into week twelve – at least for me, there was a semblance of hope.

It must not be understated that during week 12 of the 2020 NFL season, my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers had an 11-0 record. Fans like myself and many fair-weather fans of my team were living in our glory. However, we were unaware of the nightmare brewing in weeks to come in December of 2020. After losing three consecutive games in weeks 13 to 15, the Steelers were matched with a division rival, the Browns, in week seventeen. Today, and like last year, I’m feeling the familiar gloom and doom as I did in 2020: we lost the final game of the regular season with Cleveland. Terrible déjà vu!  It was difficult to believe my Steelers had an 11-0 record at one point and didn’t advance in the postseason.  That was a tune that played in my head for many a day after the other defeat by the Browns in the Wild Card playoff game a week later. Yes, a week later.

Now, on this last day of November 2021, the Steelers have a 5-5-1 record for this 2021-2022 season going into week 13. Experts say we don’t have a snowball’s chance on a hot summer’s day of making the playoffs this year. Like in the 2005-2006 NFL season, when my Steelers were the sixth seed to make it to the playoffs – I held out hope. Sports statisticians everywhere that season reported the astronomical odds of the Pittsburgh Steelers advancing in the playoffs. Well, my Steelers advanced to the AFC championship and to Superbowl XL. By the way, the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Superbowl that season. How’d you like them odds, Vegas? I digress.  

With all that said, one can tell I’m more of an idealist when it comes to my Pittsburgh Steelers – don’t judge me. So, anything can happen on any given Sunday. Maybe the stars will align, and other teams in our division will lose, helping our chances. (sacrificing the live chicken is not out of the question at this point) I don’t like those odds or even winning that way – but right now, it is what it is going to be. I’ll love my Steelers until I kick because I bleed black and gold. Now, where was I – oh yeah, I still have 5 hours, 49 minutes, and some seconds to reach my goal of finishing my manuscript by November 30th. It’s one goal I’ll see through this year.

Here we go, Steelers – here we go!! (Black and Gold forever!)

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Pittsburgh Steelers end their season with a loss to division rival Cleveland Browns

Photo credit: R.H.W. Dorsey

I don’t take the Cleveland Browns win lightly over my Pittsburgh Steelers on the night of January 10, 2021. In fact, I feel like I’m in a stupor of sorts on this Monday morning after the debacle. There’s enough blame to go around for the Steelers’ loss of the NFL Wildcard playoff game on Sunday night. Some say it was because of the coaching, others say the QB was at fault, while others blame the players. Whatever happened, it was the worst “showing up” I’ve seen from my favorite football team.

I can’t give a detailed analysis of the game because I honestly didn’t watch all of the game. While I’m not a superstitious person – I have my rituals like most Steelers’ fans. Routines make some of us fans feel we’re somehow willing our team to win. One of my habits during a game when the Steelers are behind is either turning the channel or walking out of the room for a while. After a record first-quarter lead by the Cleveland Browns of twenty-eight unanswered points over my Steelers, you only have to guess what I did. I waited until late in the second quarter of the game to turn the channel. I’d had enough torture for a while.

I believe myself and most Steelers’ fan were in shock during the game because of the stellar season our team had up until week thirteen. With an 11-0 record by week twelve, we Steelers fans were on top of the world along with our team. I don’t mind that we lost in week thirteen of the regular season. A loss was bound to happen with a perfect record. I’ve seen the Steelers lose many times before in playoff season. But it’s the loss after such a great season, not counting the three consecutive defeats in weeks 13-15, that makes the loss hurt so much. To advance to a wildcard playoff game against a previously inferior division rival and lose to the extent we did is embarrassing. Sure, we made a comeback in the second half (I heard about it but didn’t see), but it was too little too late. The final score was 48-37. Cleveland advances in the playoffs, and we’re left with a 12-4 record to end our season. Cleveland outplayed us at every turn and should be congratulated for winning the game.

Now, who to blame? I’m only qualified to answer as a fan. I’d think jobs may be lost as a result of the way we ended our season. We lost four of the last five games in the regular season. Hopefully, if not in the coming days, there’ll be changes before the 2021-22 season starts. As a fan, I blame complacency by the organization, coaches, and players in preparing for the game. We had a total meltdown by the defense, offense, and coaching staff. Why weren’t we better prepared for this Browns team? Why weren’t adjustments made when it was apparent the Browns’ coaches caught on to our game plan? By the way, the Browns’ head coach wasn’t even present for the game. The report during the game was that Cleveland’s head coach was quarantined at home because of Covid-19. For the love of all things holy, why were the Browns (or you can insert any other team’s name here) “allowed” to get 28 unanswered points in the first quarter? This is not any Steelers team I’ve ever witnessed. Something went terribly wrong. I don’t think an answer as to what went wrong will satisfy any Steelers fan at this moment.  

With all that said, I still love my Pittsburgh Steelers’ team. I’ll continue to watch the games next season and root for my team to win. I’m hoping we’ll have a preseason in August 2021 since Covid-19 and the pandemic it brought stopped the 2020 NFL preseason.

It’s a solemn Monday for us die-hard Steelers’ fans. As they say, we’ll get ‘em next time!

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Thoughts on COVID-19

You’d think an author who enjoys writing essays, fiction, memoirs, and poems would have lots to say and pen about the pandemic. Until now, this is only the second time I’ve blogged about COVID-19. On March 16, 2020 I blogged my state of Pennsylvania had 41 known cases of the virus. As I blog today, my state has 18,228 confirmed cases per the cdc.gov website. Increased testing is said to be part of the sharp rise in cases. The comments I’ve seen on social media highlight how the health crisis has affected the lives of Americans and the entire world. Lately, there’s so much noise around me I can hardly hear myself think. Most of my frustration with the noise is my fault. It’s been easy for me to get roped into reading and watching videos for hours about the latest COVID-19 news. Initially, I tell myself I’m only going to devote a certain amount of time to the latest news about the virus. Then, before I realize what I’ve done, I’m down a rabbit hole where my browser takes me literally around the world and back.

I’ve written in my daily journal twice since this worldwide health crisis began many weeks ago. The lack of dedication to my journal might be a subconscious attempt on my part not to panic. You’d think writing would do the opposite – it usually does, but not now. I don’t know what to think since the situation with this coronavirus is still fluid. Even the CDC, admits the way the virus is transmitted isn’t fully known. A blurb on the CDC’s website: “COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads and the severity of illness it causes.” See here.  

The virus became a pandemic this year, 2020. For the rare person that doesn’t know, COVID-19 is the name given to this novel coronavirus. According to the CDC, the virus’ symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. To say I feel numb at this moment is as accurate as I can describe my mood. As for the orders of my state and local government to shelter in place, I’m complying for my sake as well as my loved ones and everyone else. I didn’t have much anxiety about the stay at home orders in the beginning. As a full-time writer, my place of business is at my home. I figured my daily routine would be the same. I was wrong. There’s something about deciding to spend most of your time at home that’s freeing. However, being told one must stay indoors, is an entirely different thing. I lost focus on my daily activities to an extent. I’m sure I’ll get back to my normal routine in time. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to go out and invite the COVID-19 into my life or my household. I’m smart enough to notice what’s going on in the world. People are dying from this virus and this is as serious as it gets. I feel my government could’ve been better prepared – which is a conversation I don’t care to address right now. My problems at this moment are small in the scheme of things. I have to consider what I’ve read today about the number of deaths contributing to COVID-19 being approximately 1,970 per day in the United States. I’m thinking about the families of the impersonal number of 1,970. Those who passed away are more than numbers. The 1,970 are parents, grandparents, children, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles who’ll never get to finish whatever life they were living. It’s probably unimaginable to some the amount of grief families experience when a loved one is stricken down so quickly. Sadly, I know the pain of losing a loved one so suddenly. The stories of people who seem to be well one day and in a critical care situation days later are scary. To make things even more concerning for me, African Americans have contracted the virus and are dying at a higher rate than other groups. See here.  

I’ve seen more than a few articles and posts on social media touting God, the universe, or some type of karma as the reason for this worldwide pandemic. The answer in form of a reason won’t ever come, I suspect. What I believe is the fallout from this virus will result in changing most of our lives either directly or indirectly. I’ve heard soundbites on television that the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak will take years to correct. I’m sure lives have been altered forever and possibly many relationships destroyed as a result of the unemployment and hardships people are experiencing now. As with the 9-11 tragedy of 2001, I believe a positive result will be that people start to value family, friends and their fellow humans being more than ever. At least, that’s my hope. The person who first said ‘life is fleeting’ was wise. I’m continuing to believe my country, the United States, and our global community will bounce back.

Blogs, Creative Writing, current events, Uncategorized

December 2019 Geminid Meteor Shower

Photo by Neale LaSalle on Pexels.com

I’ve considered myself a stargazer since childhood when astronomy became interesting to me. Although I’ve never owned a telescope, the dark sky has long been a fascination of mine. In the late 1990s, I belonged to an online group of amateur stargazers. The group would virtually discuss astronomical phenomena and meet offline from time to time for stargazing activities. My interests were fueled by my curiosity and love of viewing the night sky.

Meteor showers are one of those astronomical events I look forward to seeing whenever possible. The annual Geminids meteor showers happening this weekend from Friday, December 13th through Sunday the 15th, 2019 is no exception. While I no longer belong to a stargazing group, I still get excited to read or hear news of any upcoming event in the sky. Yes, I was one of those people who stood outdoors on August 21st of 2017 with a makeshift pinhole to view a total solar eclipse projected onto paper. Next, I’m anticipating the total solar eclipse expected in April of the year 2024. The North America path of the future total solar eclipse will track very close to my neck of the woods. Should I get to see April 8, 2024, plans are for a short road trip to an area where I can experience the total phase of the solar eclipse.

Anyway, back to the Geminids! A little background info: this upcoming meteor shower is said to originate from an asteroid, unlike most meteor showers originating from a comet. The sighting of the first Geminids meteor shower dates to the 1800s.

If I’m lucky, I’ll get to witness the last Geminids of this decade as they streak across the sky. Affectionately called “falling” or “shooting” stars, I consider meteor showers spectactacular. You can find optimal viewing times here. I’ve read the cold moon which happened shortly after midnight today, December 12, 2019, may bring some glare in viewing the Geminids. Luckily, I won’t need a telescope of other fancy equipment to see the Geminids shower across the sky this weekend. I will, however, need dark sky and warm clothes according to the chilly weather forecast.

Bonus: Stargazers, read more here about Comet 46p/Wirtanen which may be observable while you’re enjoying the Geminids.  

Thanks for visiting!

The source links below provide detailed information on these astronomical wonders.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/Watch_the_Skies/tag/geminids/

https://nationaleclipse.com/maps.html

https://www.space.com/34921-geminid-meteor-shower-guide.html