I lost a job

Everybody has lost something in this pandemic.

If we weigh our losses against others’, some of us could easily discount our individual losses, especially if we have been taught to count our blessings. I am alive, I am well, I have enough to eat, I have friends and family and the means to communicate with them, and I am financially secure. And it is spring. So why am I feeling sad today?

The universal experience of loss gives us an unprecedented opportunity to explore the nature of loss and mourn together. Okay, let’s have a cry now. Or a scream. Or a community howl. Or a banging of pots on porches. For everything we have lost.

Name your losses. I dare you. Think of at least one thing that you will probably never get back, even when this is over. Continue reading

Cheers! Day 31

Sun is shining but it’s 39 degrees. I have to get out today nevertheless.

The only thing that really cheers me up is getting out and weeding around all the new plants and shrubs in my backyard which, in turn, cheers a bleak street landscape.

Sometimes cooking helps, though I am getting tired of that. Tomorrow we will bake muffins for a change from bread. It is nice to have someone around who wants to bake and can eat things like bread and muffins. Continue reading

Beware pickup and delivery

I have been on a driving moratorium while we’ve been sheltering in place. The last time I got into a car was four weeks ago tomorrow. But I broke my fuel fast today. I went to a grocery store.

I know, I’ve said that I’m happy to get my groceries delivered. But there are certain things that my regular grocery, the Meijer store where I’ve shopped for years, doesn’t have. The main one is my favorite breakfast oatmeal, Better Oats Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal with Flax Seeds. Original. That is, unflavored, unsweetened. I don’t know why Meijer doesn’t have the unflavored kind. I’ve asked for it repeatedly, to no avail. So I always get it at Martin’s, another local chain. Continue reading

A new normal

The first stay-home directives I remember came with a date that seemed impossibly far away. Three whole weeks! That date was today, April 4. Now the orders, or certainly our intentions, stretch into the unknown future. Staying at home has become the new normal.

As the first-hand reports come in from the front lines, this order does not seem burdensome. Continue reading

Yesterday and today

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in its petty pace from day to day.

Yesterday I taught Ben how to bake bread. He is now in favor of baking all our bread, just as the stores are running out of flour.

Yesterday I made masks for the family, custom fitted to each of our shnozzes. Vic’s was a challenge. They may reassure our neighbors that we won’t cough on them, but I doubt we’ll wear them on walks unless we get The Directive. Continue reading

From detention to sheltering

Ben has been with us for two weeks. The first week we took it easy. The second week we also took it easy but for different reasons.

The first week we were all catching our breath. He was getting settled into his second-floor suite in our house, greeting friends who had preceded him out of detention in previous months, getting electronically connected. We were doing a bit of shopping for essentials and getting used to each other–which was not at all difficult. We knew each other pretty well after four months of almost daily phone calls. We celebrated his arrival with a party on Friday, March 13. Continue reading

Slo-o-ow down

Who would know that it is Saturday? One day rolls into another. Hey, it’s a bit like retirement! What does corona-sheltering mean for retirees? More of the same. Intensive retirement. Moving from you don’t have to do much to you can’t do anything. You thought you’d already slowed down a lot? Well, you can slow down even more. Those frequent trips to the grocery store and library, just for a change of scenery and stimulation? They’re not happening anymore. Dinner parties? Uh-uh. No church. No meetings. No spontaneous trips to see the grandkids, let alone flights to far places.

The effect of this diminished possibility, for me, is a kind of soothing inertia. Continue reading

Help

I feel so helpless. That is the main takeaway from these days of rapidly shifting news. (Warning. This post may not be  helpful to anybody. Remember the line from the Marlo Thomas song in the seventies? “Some kind of help is the kind of help we all could do without.”) Continue reading

Beware the Ides of March

Hello, Sunday!

As recently as last Sunday my husband and I went to a buffet restaurant, although we did wash our hands thoroughly after going through the line and filling our plates using the utensils everyone else had touched. I felt a bit foolish doing this.

As recently as Friday morning (two days ago) I went with Ben to rehearse the scripture drama we were planning to perform in the church service today. Before we rehearsed we greeted the pastors, who had just decided to cancel church services for the next three Sundays. Pastor Janice made a video of our rehearsal. Continue reading