Thursday, May 14, 2020

...the days of swine and roses... the days of wine and COVID...

I believe today is my 61st day sheltering in place/ not leaving home except for a few short socially-distanced trips. 

While I’m anxious about everyone’s health and safety, I am not going crazy. I adore my fella more than ever and we haven’t fought. I still like being at home, especially in this home with this amazing yard. I do not miss going out. I cannot imagine every going into a grocery store again. 

My husband and I have watched now three groups of baby birds. I walk in great stretches of 4-5 miles without seeing anyone. The garden is better than ever. 

This year, I’m growing vegetables.

We know that we are fortunate. We have our jobs and my fella already worked from home. We have access to grocery delivery. My brother, who works in the hospitality and sporting industry, has been out of work since September. He had one decent prospect right before COVID 19 closed everything down in Miami. It’s been hard for him to access food, safe outdoor areas, especially after the public parks closed. 

We have remained home because we’re rule followers, self-diagnosed germaphobes (or at least I am), super cautious individuals. My neighbors had 30 kids over for “a coronavirus party” my fella heard them say. My mother was finally so bored that she went to Walmart and had a heart attack… literally. We had discussed this. If anything happens, they won’t let us in the hospitals. Information and access will be limited. It was. My dad waited outside of the hospital hoping he would learn something until some nurses recognized that he had some seriously low blood sugar. He’s diabetic. This didn’t go well. He refused to call me because I would have told him to go home. They just don’t want to remain at home.

We’re not bored. In fact, I’m busier than ever with work, two summer courses that begin next week that I should be focusing on right now. I have a book chapter coming out next week. I had an article accepted for publication last week… or was it the week before. Time does have a way of blurring. I’m attending virtual conferences and meetings about cemeteries and adolescent literature. I’m participating in The Rosenbach’s Sundays with Dracula. World Dracula Day is in just a few weeks. I cook creative meals. I sit with my husband and talk. We laugh and smile. I remain anxious about everyone’s health and safety. I’m an anxious person. That’s who I am.

I miss walking in the cemeteries but fear that I’ll have to use a restroom, which are currently closed. Plus, I try to keep the city cemeteries for those in the city who don’t have the space to roam.

I hope my university doesn’t reopen to face-to-face courses in the fall. I’m certified to teach online and I have enjoyed the creativity of developing my summer course on Dark Tourism as an online one. I cannot imagine having to return to public transportation. I carried Clorox wipes before any of this. But I don’t need Clorox wipes in the garden.

The garden grows and hugs us in for summer. I move bulbs around. I order plants online from small greeneries. I focus more on nature than on media. I channel the words of my therapist. I light Halloween candles to soak in fall scents. I sip tea. 

There is so much wintering in this spring.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

... the bell of transience...

I concluded my last post with “Spring is coming. And, February will soon end.” Oy, I had no idea what March would bring so let’s hope that “March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb” applies to more than weather.

This week hasn’t felt like a week, certainly not a normal week. The days are swirled with uncertainty and a bit of fear. Camus writes, "The one way of making people hang together is to give 'em a spell of the plague." Here I am reaching out. I hope you’re all doing okay.
In many ways, I’ve always been somewhat prepared for social isolation. I’m not being funny or silly about it either. My fella and I are introverts; he’s been teleworking from home over the last six months. He struggles with depression and anxiety but working from home has actually helped him. I’ve always enjoyed my own company and I cannot recall the last time that I was bored. I lived outside of Boston for over a year and was terribly isolated. It wasn't so much people I missed but place... home. We’re all wired a bit differently.

Being quickly moved from face-to-face teaching at my university to remote teaching has been hectic. I’ve been a certified online instructor for several years. I haven’t always loved teaching online but I’ve been planning to teach online again this summer. Now everything changes and next week, I’ll have three classes that were in-person last week transition to virtual. For my students to remain somewhat calm, I must remain calm.
What calms me is my garden. This week, this new-to-us home and new-to-us land where we've been for a year and a half finally feels like a real garden. The Gothic shed that I previously wrote about was completed and I think it is perfect. I added my pumpkin yard art and other yard art along with some gardening supplies into the shed. That was the point all along to have a place to store my seasonal yard art and plant supplies. Really, it’s just an expensive, yet functional, garden sculpture. 

Adding some old friends (flowering Quince and Scotch broom) that I used to have in my old garden and some new friends (a forsythia bush) finally gave it the feel of a secret garden. I added the whirligigs into the copse as a secret forest wind garden (not pictured). Now, I just get to keep filling in for the rest of my life🖤

More hectic times are ahead of us. I hope you find a way to reach out and I hope you find ways where others are reaching you. May you and your loved ones stay healthy, and may you and your loved ones be a source of comfort and peace.