Christopher Creek is practicing social distancing. Seeing as how we are fairly new at it, we are doing pretty well. What has been a big help is there are not many folks here.

The ones with second homes here are staying in the Valley. That makes sense because they are closer to stores that used to sell toilet paper — it may be a while before we have any of that much-sought-after commodity here in the mountains. That broad-leafed plant with the smooth, fuzzy texture doesn’t mature until about the first of June. The official name is mullein, but most of us know it as cowboy toilet paper. You could get by with harvesting some earlier, but the leaves are a lot smaller. It would depend on how bad the need. Pinecones are in abundance this year. Don’t try them.

By now many of you may be wishing you hadn’t started reading this piece. It is my thinking that this may be the time for a bit of silliness. With that in mind, allow me to tell this story on myself.

It all started early last week when the decision was made to make the most of this period of isolation. Cleaning the stovetop seemed like a good start. A couple of the pans beneath the burners had some scorching on them. After some scrubbing, the stubborn black was still there. Then my idea was to lay the pans in the empty sink and give them a good shot of oven cleaner. Now that is some nasty stuff. The fumes came right back in my face and started me to sneezing.

By the second sneeze, having turned away from the sink, my denture shot out. It flew across the kitchen, ricocheted off the refrigerator and down to the tile floor.

Upon recovering regular breathing, the denture was retrieved from the tile floor minus one full front tooth and the better part of the other. They must have shattered, for after an hour of searching, none of the pieces were found.

Having had no need for any dental work for going on 20 years, there was no such thing as my regular dentist. A friend from up here, who is well connected in the Valley, was able to get me lined up with an appointment on Wednesday. It required a trip to Mesa and it was fortunate that the dentist was able to see me. He told me that he could have the teeth replaced by the next day.

In the meantime, while on my way home, without any teeth, arrangements were made and this same friend picked them up the next day. My teeth got back to the Creek on Sunday. They looked just fine and thank goodness those five days came at a time of social isolation.

Broken front teeth, or not, we were scheduled to man the voting poll at the church on Tuesday. Kudos go out to Judy Tole, Jim Oliver and Silvanus Egler from Payson for sharing the duties for those 15 hours.

In an abundance of caution, the annual Christopher Creek Ladies Jammie party was canceled. Then with the public health in mind, both restaurants here in the Creek closed their doors last weekend. We thank those folks for reacting responsibly.

Our Tall Pines Market has remained open daily, offering a wide variety of groceries and hot food, including great sandwiches, breakfast burros, and pizza.

Creekside is now offering a takeout menu including gourmet burgers, craft tacos and hand-tossed homemade pizza. They ask that you call ahead for your pickup orders at 928-478-4557.

We thank Mark and Tracey at Tall Pines, James at Creekside and their staff for stepping up. As a community, this area needs to respond by supporting these folks for their efforts.

A pair of local ladies has gone through some serious health issues as of late. We are happy to hear one has had good news. The second lady has had her surgery postponed due to the current situation. We can hope that her delay will not be prolonged. Our best wishes go out to both of them.

The Diamondbacks opening day has come and gone. The Masters is postponed, as is the Kentucky Derby. With all major sports shut down, we thought there would still be camping and fishing. Then we learn mid-week that Tonto National Forest announced the closing of all the campgrounds until further notice.

Thank you to those who delivered care packages to me this week — Karen Thornton, Karen Lafferty, DeeDee, and Blake. Although there was no toilet paper, there was good food and two 18-packs. One of those was eggs... and that’s another week in the Creek.

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