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Hey Y’all: Welcome Back

Has this not been a year to forget? Just think about what we have been through. None of it is fun or pretty.

Marlene Ratledge Buchanen

Presidential elections resulting in name calling, hatefulness, and worse. Covid killing and injuring thousands of people. Torrential rains and weather issues destroying people and property. Computer viruses running rampant through the wires. No Gwinnett Citizen. The Devil has played havoc with us. That’s for sure.

I wonder if the isolation has caused enough babies to be born to replace all the souls we lost in Covid. One thing is sure, you either learned to love your family, or you have exercised your lungs screaming at them.

My family got hit hard by Covid. I was trying desperately to navigate the state’s system for getting the vaccines. You know the one designed by Satan’s top computer geeks/gargoyles. Find an open spot, try to get all the forms filled out, and register for the appointment that just disappeared in those 3 minutes of attempting to compete the process. Only to have to start over. Repeating the process as much as I did for the three of us probably weakened my immune system so we got the darn virus. (You know I didn’t call it a darn virus, don’t you?)

Twice my husband Snell tried to die on me. I thought James and I were going to have to lay out Snell’s blue serge suit and pick out a box. Covid manifested its ugly face as heart issues. Covid tried to kill him over Christmas and when it didn’t succeed, it tried to stop his heart in the spring.

After 45 years of being married plus the 364 days we courted, I was not about to let him go into the light without a fight. I kept hanging on to his shirttail and dragging him back. Thank the good Lord, he is recovering well.

Our son James had a bad headache for two days. That was it. Thank goodness that was all the reaction he had to his Covid infection. He kept his daddy alive for the week I was in the hospital. One night he called me and said “I made Dad eat a French fry.” Snell does not eat when he is sick.

Me, my recovery is not so hot. I spent Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day in the hospital. My diagnoses is long term Covid. A fancy way of saying I am not worth killing. I will being doing pretty well, then suddenly I am weak as water and down for a day or more. It is getting old. I haven’t seen a sunset in months.

Everything has suffered. Covid not only did us in, but destroyed the yards as well! I haven’t been able to pull a weed in nine months. Clean house. HA. It is to laugh. The cats do their best to protect the furniture with their shed fur. I will be telling people I had all the silver dipped so it would be that blue black color.

But, we’re back. Sort of. Things will never be the same, but at least we made it through unlike so many others. Bless you all.

Marlene Ratledge Buchanan is a local author and columnist. Her first two books, Life is Hard. Soften it with Laughter and A Place with a Past have won the Georgia Independent Author of the Year Awards for 2020 and 2021.Marlene is available for speaking engagements and can be reached at