Coffee Share 200425: The N95 Look

This is a Weekly Coffee Share Essay.
I’m part of a small group of bloggers who stay in touch and chat about blogging, writing, or just about anything else that might be of interest.
Link to This week’s full list
Link to my Story Blog:  Table of Contents.


It’s been another busy week for our family.  We are settling in with the SIP lifestyle and are once again thankful that we all still have jobs.  My oldest son lost his for a few weeks, a job he really liked no, when the company all but closed their doors.  He now has a new job, but it is much more of an entry level, part-time kind of thing that may go full time if they decide they like his work.  But he’s making the same money for a lot less work and will do even better if they decide to keep him.

My daughter’s job is keeping her very busy and our youngest, another son, is fully engaged in finishing his undergrad work, so wasn’t earning a paycheck before covid-19 changed everything.

My wife and I are both more busy than we’d prefer, but are very thankful that our jobs are stable.  We are keeping up with paying down bills and finding ways to enjoy the life we have before us.

One thing that does bug me – is this whole face mask thing. The powers at be have made enough of a case for it so I keep mine handy for the the rare trip out to the real world for some simple shopping.  I realized on one such trip that I needed to do something I really did not want to do.

I’ve had a beard for a really long time. My wife of 40 great years has never seen me without one  Seriously, I’ve sported this thing for that long. I used to joke that I would shave it off when I needed to look 5 years younger. But then covid-19 put us under a Shelter-In-Place (SIP) order like everyone else.

Beard trim 1I used to keep it well trimmed but now we can’t go out to work, visit friends or stroll through our shopping. We can’t even go to church without the protection of a web conferencing app. Lacking a good reason to even trim it, I decided to let it go because, why not?

Well, you can see below how not shaving worked out. I’m going to call it my pre-SIP-2020 look with a bit of inverted inspiration from Duck Dynasty.

I was sure I’d need to be very careful because I’ve sported this thing for so long. Much of that skin hasn’t seen daylight let alone the edge of a blade since 1974.

So I grabbed my tools: a small Remington AA battery powered trimmer, my 5-blade Harry’s razor, a comb and a wash rag dipped in really hot water to soften the turf  for deforestation and went to work.

My goal of  this follicle carnage was to make my new light-weight beard fully fit under the mask.

I will confess to a short, “What have I done ?! ” moment but then decided that it didn’t look half bad if I covered it with the N-95 mask, and noted that clearly I had waited too long because the 5 year credit on my appearance must have expired. I still look old.

Long ago I learned about beards and respirator masks and how they really don’t get along very well.  The mask doesn’t seal correctly when a beard is in the way.  All that hair allows bad air to seep in or out around the edges.  I learned this the hard way in the mid 1970s while doing a summer job in college that involved painting the insides of large ship tanks.

If you’ve not seen that story, it’s a good laugh and an interesting visit to a situation few ever get to see – the inside story of what is involved in building a navy ship.  If you’re looking for a quick fun read, here’s the link: Adventures in the Ship’s Tanks.

Okay, stay safe. I ‘ll be around soon to check out your coffee share, if you posted one.  Thanks for stopping by.



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Gary photo n bio

13 thoughts on “Coffee Share 200425: The N95 Look

  1. I finally have some masks ordered, which should be delivered next week. The company that manufactures my 100% cotton, hypoallergenic clothing has had trouble keeping them in stock, but four masks are being shipped this coming week. (Got the pre-shipping notice from USPS.) I like the look of beards. The longer beards as opposed to the “I forgot to shave” stubble. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The N-95 look suits you! Having a job is truly something to be grateful for. Life sounds OK for you and your family, I hope my impression is right. I hope you re enjoying a beautiful spring. All the best.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Maria and thank you ma’am. We have so much to be thankful for that needing to trim down a beard I did not want to cut back so far, that would grow back within weeks should I ever want to let it – does not even registration as a gripe. I chose to kick back and enjoy the experience instead. And yes, spring has definitely arrived to our little hillside. The whole backyard is bright green. The lizards are back in mass and I even managed to sprout some spaghetti squash seeds for another round of that fun from last year.
      Blessings my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been skipping shaving over the weekends, but it is part of my weekday routine, so I guess I will never get that isolation beard… Glad you are doing well. Have a good week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The only reason my husband keeps his beard trim is for his mask. I had hoped he would just shave the whole thing off since I am not a fan of his fuzzy face-a relatively new look for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, over the years I’ve found that even the humblest of beards can be surprisingly polarizing. Men? Not so much, but women and children either very much like or dislike them. For children, I suspect a beard messes with their desire to readily recognize the face of a beloved male but for women, young or older . . .
      I think I’ll just stop here rather that run the inherent risk of trying to decipher a passion of the fairer sex.
      My wife and adult children did tell me that since I kept the most important part of mine, my shaving off the rest really didn’t change my appearance much.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey, Gary you wimped out. I thought you were going to go cold turkey. The beard isn’t dead, but merely subdued. I think I’ll have to get used to wearing a mask soon. At the moment, we’re all locked down and in isolation and transmission here in Australia is currently low. We isolated quickly. However, the kids will be going back to school to some degree in a few weeks so that will require a re-evaluation if the virus is still a problem here. I’m sorry to hear about your son’s job. Such transitions are always difficult but it sounds like something good could come out of it and at least he’s not financially disadvantaged.
    Geoff and I are busier than usual during lockdown. I usually have support workers coming for 6 hours a week and they stopped months ago. I haven’t missed them as much as I thought. My main gripe is the restriction of movement. Not being allowed to go where ever you want and the shops being shut or off limits to me with my health issues. However, these are small considerations compared to the impact the virus is having overseas. The death toll and the impact on health workers is just awful. I really worry for USA. Doesn’t seem to be taking a strong enough approach to locking the place down. At least, that’s how it comes across here. NZ has done a particularly good job.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

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