Thursday, April 23, 2020

Nowadays

I do not have swaths of time for projects.  If anything, I have more editing than usual, and now my people are home all the time, so I cannot count on chunks of work time like I could before COVID-19 hit.

I am sewing masks  - have made about 50 and am glad I have skills and materials for this, but wish everyone would get masked already. I want to start a quilt for my sister who has a big birthday in a few weeks, but instead, I sewed her masks.


My mom loaned me The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Grey, which is set in World War II England. I really liked it! It helps me to calm down to think of people living through wars where they wanted to carry on with normal life, wanted to "do their bit" to help the situation, and could not make plans for the future. That's how I feel right now, even though I acknowledge how fortunate I am that I am not deprived of any comforts of a first-world existence.  Really.  Sometimes the store does not have the exact groceries that I have on my list, but come on, I have lived in other countries where the store selection was spotty.  I do not think we will starve.
For a while now, I have kept a well-stocked, deep pantry.  I have flour and yeast!  Now I am not sure if we should eat to the bottom of my stores, or if I should replace my replacements.  I am confused.  I recognize this as a sign of the underlying grief and stress that COVID-19 brings and I just chug along, limiting grocery shopping to one market trip a week and the grocery store to 2-3 weeks. 

I am extremely proud of my menus, my resourcefulness with the food we do have on hand.  I know how to make do with odds and ends! I think my family is less impressed and wishes to know where I've hidden the chips. I am messing around with my sourdough as I have been since before Christmas, learning new ways and studying various methods.  When the library abruptly shut down lending, I won the jackpot with a full library basket that includes no less than four cookbooks, two on bread! Not that I have actually been reading them.  My big kids have been reading Harry Potter for the first time and coaxed me into reading along after I read the first book out loud to them. 

This is Phoebe's desk, her Christmas present; she loves it.
I have gradually come to expect nothing from the future, except that I can't wait to hug dear ones outside my family again and sing in groups again. Oh, I miss singing so badly! I am really not making any future plans so that COVID-19 can't steal my plans again. When I remember to look at my calendar, I usually see something that I need to delete. Sometimes I rage, sometimes I cry.

I like to walk the estate (we live in the city; we have a yard) and revel in all my growing plants: the three types of raspberries growing back, our little tiny oak tree, my big rhubarb, the persistent meadow tea, the peas and spinach coming up strong in the new raised bed.  Inside, I found a grow-light lightbulb and a lamp and trained it on my sweet little herb seedlings in the windowsill. All this green, growing hope.  I crave it.

 

How are you doing these strange, strange days?

15 comments:

  1. I certainly hear you! I have trouble keeping track of what day it is! My husband and I are both working from home him full-time, me as needed. I worked two days last week. I worked Monday and I worked most of of the day today but then was done 1 1/2 hours early. I'm really blessed to be paid while I am not working with benefits. We've been doing a lot of spring gardening projects, I've been deep cleaning the house, and I'm trying to balance between thinking ahead to what I should probably buy to store food -wise versus not. Being practical we've been using some of our stimulus money for investing in the house and our lifestyle. I just bought the last set of insulated curtains we needed for a bedroom, bought an Incredible Book on permaculture, bought some more grow lights for indoor mini Greenhouse. I bought some peppers and tomatoes yesterday, early, because local stock in the nurseries has been flying out. I was going to buy three more chicks this spring but the local hatcheries have all been short stocked with people buying chickensvfor the first time. A lot of people are starting to grow their own food, more getting chickens, Etc which is good. I'm just not sure how long all of this is going to last, 3 to 6 months? 12 months if all of this spikes again in the winter? I'm trying to take things one day at a time. We're missing our grandchildren who only live 5 minutes from here but we can't see you because of safety concerns. we decided to do a zoom meeting this weekend though so we can all see each other! Should be fine but not the same thing, we've all been crying a bit, lonely for our local family. But were all also healthy which is the main thing, hang in there it will be summer soon! And please share some sourdough recipes since I was thinking of creating a starter, thanks!

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    1. We are so lonely for our local family, too! Recently I took the kids to my parents' back yard to play on their swings while my parents stayed inside and cracked the windows at the top so they could talk to us safely while the kids ran and screamed like wild things.

      Ugh, I am worried also about getting seedlings for the garden! And it's nice that people want to grow/raise more of their own food, but I wish it didn't shorten the supplies for experienced people like you.

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  2. Margo, it is nice to hear someone else feels rage. Despite all my comforts, my family right here at home and well, and financial resources to weather the storm, when I look at my calendar or even think of the future I am filled with rage. The rage is lessening into a feeling of despondency as I see block after block of white. It is hard to even say this. But I did.

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    1. Dear Jenny, good for you for naming the feelings. My sister sent me this article early on in the isolation, and it helped me to recognize all the feelings of my grieving:
      https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief?fbclid=IwAR0rbKsSRgtGmlrDBob2SxE3iZK5dMugs3Z9lQdLP7Eymc6dlif6E4yheD8

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  3. We are trying to hang in there, taking it day by day. Some days are good, some days are not. Still haven't gotten the house as clean as I had hoped to get it, but tomorrow is always another day!

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    1. Haha, I like your positive approach! I've realized I'm probably never going to have a clean house. Almost tidy, sure, but not *clean.*

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  4. I feel you on the confusion with the grocery shopping. Our car was totaled right before the lockdown. We haven’t replaced it yet, because where do we need to go? My mother-in-law has been getting groceries for us. Such a big help, but I feel so overwhelmed now when I try to make a shopping list. It’s really hard to make a list for someone else - I have to be so thorough and precise!

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    1. Oh Celeste, I'm sorry! Even in normal times, I find it hard to make a grocery list for someone else - I sometimes get recipe ideas as I'm walking the aisles and now the stores have random items missing, too. . .

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  5. "Now I am not sure if we should eat to the bottom of my stores, or if I should replace my replacements." This is my question exactly. For now, I'm keeping everything much more highly stocked than normal. It's nice (all the special meats in the freezer make me feel so rich), but I kind of miss the feeling of things running out, too...

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    1. Yes!! Now when I approach a vendor to buy groceries, I am expecting *something* to be out of stock or missing. This past week it was bananas.

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  6. I'm retired and a homebody so my ordinary days are not that much out of whack. But... Yes, I miss my daughter who lives about 3 hours away in Seattle. We had planned for her and her husband to come down for a long weekend - gosh, that was back in March. Haven't seen them since Christmas.
    I miss my local friends. I have a group that I get together with a couple of times a month and of course that has come to a screeching stop. We have done a couple of Zooms but it's not the same.
    My elderly father lives in town and I am doing some shopping for him. My brother is his primary care giver and does the bulk of the shopping. I see them once a week at a distance. I made them masks, but that's about all I can do.
    My pantry is in moderately good shape - I have flour and yeast! Lol. Plenty of protein in the freezer. Fresh food is what sends me to the store the most often. But, my peas are up and that's encouraging!
    You'd think I would have time to clean my house thoroughly but I have not. I have some kind of resistance to it! It's an apathy bordering on rebellion, against what I can't say.
    Lots of things cancelled, existence concentrated down to small patch of earth, we are not used to having such limitations on our lives. Our privileged lives...
    But, we are surviving!

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  7. I like the *idea* of a clean house, but I can't bring myself to put in the time :)
    And I agree, we live with such privilege that it's hard to fathom real deprivation. . .

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  8. Good work. You are certainly using your time well.

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  9. You are doing such a great work keep doing that and I appreciate your work.
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