It’s been a while. One hundred sixteen days, but who’s counting? Okay. I am. Lockdown is over. My state is in Phase II, with the numbers still growing. I’ve been able to get my yearly, healthy medical check up, my teeth cleaned, and my hair cut. Why then, do I feel that I am still “sheltering in place”? Maybe, because I am.
With the exception of three times in 17 weeks, I have had my groceries delivered. I have only done shopping online. (Praise God for Amazon!) I have enjoyed take-out twice. I have filled up my car with gas once.
Here’s how I have kept busy…
I did some home improvements. I repainted my exterior doors from apple green to “Bluebird Feather.” I replaced my in-sink soap dispenser, and I replaced my modem and television. Not being very technical, the last were challenging. I called in the experts for clothes dryer, roof leak, and sump pump repairs.
I’ve worked Jigsaw Puzzles. At first I felt like I was wasting time, but then I read (Google, of course) that puzzling helps strengthen short term memory, exercises both right and left sides of the brain, fends off Alzheimer’s, lengthens one’s life span, improves visual-spatial reasoning, and is meditative. Wow!
I’ve started a Victory Garden. Prior to now I’ve not gardened for years, because I was gone most of the summer, but this year, I have grown cucumbers and tomatoes in containers on my deck. So far, it’s Squirrels 4/Deb 0 for the Big Boy tomatoes, but I have harvested and eaten 6 cucumbers and a small bowl full of cherry tomatoes.
I’ve sewn. The Wendy House out back (aka my She Shed) is my crafting studio. I finished a quilt I began 10 years ago, but other than that, I haven’t made anything more significant than face masks. I spent a lot of time organizing and arranging fabrics, and pouring over books and magazines with project suggestions. I’m great at starting stuff, and terrible at finishing, so I’m proud of the quilt.
I’ve been Coloring. My baby sister, Paige (RIP), left me boxes and boxes of Crayolas and two very nice adult coloring books. One is of birds and one is of Mary Englebreit pictures. (Hello Right Brain/Left Brain!) Adult coloring improves stress and lessens anxiety, improves motor skills and vision, helps a person sleep better (who knew!?), and sharpens focus.
And, I’ve baked. Early on, I needed sweets and chocolate, so I made Shortbread Cookies and Snickerdoodles. Then I moved on to Brownies. Now I’m baking bread. Bread baking is very satisfying in more ways than one, but it’s mostly the kneading for me. I have to set the timer, because…patience. Then, just pushing and folding over and twisting over and over until the bell dings is physical and also meditative. And there’s just nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread!
I’ve also walked the equivalent of across the Sahara Desert. I only know because my Fitbit told me. And, of course, watched TV. Again, thank you, God for Netflix, Hulu, Acorn, and Disney+. I’d be lost without them.
Most importantly, I reconnected with several long time and long lost friends and a few former students. Those were the most rewarding experiences!
Sometimes I feel like I should have worked on becoming fluent in conversational French, or written my memoirs, or at least a few more blog posts, and then I think, “Naw.” The Pandemic continues to stretch out ahead of us. It can look pretty bleak. It can also be a reminder of our fragility.
Meanwhile, I think I hear those pesky squirrels out on the deck.