Sheltering in Place
SOAP – and plenty of it!
These are expressions seldom heard before mid-March 2020 when I noticed the Covid-19 virus had spread to became a pandemic. Scientists speculate that a 55-year old person from Hubei province in China may have been the first to contract COVID-19, probably back in November 2019. Researchers suspect that a bat transmitted the virus to another animal, possibly the pangolin, a horny scaled mammal, which then passed it on to humans. (Other theories are circulating.)
Our globe has sustained pandemics before. In 1918 during World War I, the Spanish flu raged. In Shakespeare’s time, the Plague (one of many) besieged London during 1604 – 1606, a disease believed to have been spread by fleas feeding on infected rodents. Ugh!
Shakespeare kept busy during the Plague, writing King Lear, the story of a conflicted King, who in an attempt to avoid future strife, bequeathed his land to his three daughters. Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. My Lit. I syllabus featured this drama more than once. Plain and simple, the play is a tragedy. There is a big body count–things do not end well.
A quote from the witches in Shakespeare’s tragic MacBeth, sums up my feelings during these last months. This chant from the witches:
Double, double, toil and trouble/Fire burn and cauldron bubble. . .
And from scripture:
Yet man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. ~ Job 5:7
There is no denying this horrid disease has caused disruption, even death and despair. We endure the mystery of suffering, with questions unanswered. Yet, in the midst of the plague, for me there is a steadying, hopeful thought . . .
His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness. _~ Lamentations 3:22-23
Mother Nature, though, seems undisturbed:
Birds are still building nests in our back yard, birds take off on the “lake” runway, and bees are making honey in the meadow.
They remind us of the constancy of seasons, the rhythms of life . . . life going on. In spite of all, life going on.
* * *
How have you spent your time during the pandemic?
What/who has brought you comfort?
What would help you feel more normal again?
Bonus: Other Shakespeare-themed Posts
Lesson with the Bard of Avon with an easy quiz and quirky words
Happy Birthday, Will, celebrating the bard with cupcakes in my college classroom
Derek’s great grandfather died from the Spanish flu. He was a police officer in Philadelphia. I remember reading about Shakespeare and his writing during the Plague. I’ve taken his lead during the current pandemic. I’m moving swiftly along on book five. For me, writing has been a great escape. Of course, I’m enjoying having our hummies back and watching all of the birds busy building their nests. Things would be normal again if I could see my parents and take my mother shopping. Stay well, Marian.
Jill–did I know that about Derek’s great grandfather? I wonder if he ever walked by any of my relatives there in Philadelphia. As far as I know, none of mine died from the influenza outbreak then. Good luck with book 5!
Probably not, Merril. We just learned about it from Derek’s mother! I think Derek was probably told many years ago, but he’d forgotten. His mother grew up in Philly and Derek lived there until he was 5 years old. His uncle is still there, along with other family members. They could have been neighbors with your relatives! LOL! Thanks…I’m having fun with this story. I’ve been thinking about you and I hope you’re doing okay.
Good morning, Jill. I’m already seeing that you and Merril are having a chat here. Thanks for starting off the conversation!
Good morning, Marian. Well, you know my story. I am thankful to have a home, a healthy spouse, my one cat, devices to connect me to daughters, siblings, and friends who have checked up on me. I’m happy now that I don’t live in the city, and that I can walk and see beauty in nature. Yes, life goes on.
Oh, golly, I think of you all the time, Merril, and know you are coping, but grief is hard and comes in waves at first. (You know my story too!) Losing a mother is HUGE! I hope I don’t sound flip in adding another quote – from Hamlet: “When sorrows come they come not as single spies, but in battalions.”
You have had enough, I say. Here’s to better todays and tomorrows! 🙂
April 23 is a birthday of great writers: my first child, Michelle, was born on that date. She is the only one of our three to have the “writer” gene, if there is such a thing. Perhaps I should call it the writer bug–the urge to write. Her bug leans to fiction, although she is a swell nonfiction writer as well.
I’m now used to not celebrating with her on her birthday (since they live 2 hours away); this year I was pleased to help a small local business, The Green Hummingbird, a fair trade clothing store, by buying online 3 gifts for my girls’ birthdays which are all in spring. A young woman from our church owns it–and she certainly leans to the other celebration of today: Earth Day. It remains to be seen whether the business will survive the pandemic. 🙁 Blessings to you and Cliff and family.
I’ve read Michelle’s work. You have nurtured a superb writer. I think the urge to write is a “bug,” perhaps with a genetic link.
You seem to have a great source for your daughters’ birthday gifts. I’ve bought from International Gift and Thrift in Mt. Joy, PA. Now I’ve been turned on to Trades of Hope, an organization that also markets jewelry, leather goods, fabrics and basketry from talented women around the world who need to support themselves.
Thanks, Melodie, for showing up again today. 🙂
We are luckier now than in previous plagues because of the advances in Medicine, faster communication and social welfare. We have kept busy physically and mentally with indoor cycling, Zumba, reading and, in my case, studying German.This morning, we drove a short distance to walk in the forest and admire the bluebells, birds singing and spring at it’s best! First time in a month!
Fatima, you are one active woman. Though I’ve known about your keeping fit, sewing, and love for nature, I didn’t know you are studying German, Brava!
Yes, thanks for the reminder about the advantages we have over other plague sufferers, Even 15-20 years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to connect with friends and family digitally, the silver lining. Zoom classes are everywhere, but I think we’ll all be happier with face-to-face encounters, when the time is right, of course!
Hi Marian, I don’t think I’ve felt the full brunt of the pandemic because I’m sequestered anyway and focusing on recovery. I will probably feel it more when I go home (on 4/27!). Nice analogy with the Spanish flu and the Black Plague. Thanks for the history lesson!
Hallelujah! In just 5 days you are going home. “Home” will feel wonderful – but different. 🙂
I’m glad you enjoyed the literary lesson – I just can’t help myself. Once a teacher, always a teacher. It’s fun to remember plays I enjoyed reading/discussing with students.
Thanks, Marian. It will be good to be home again although I know there will be an adjustment period. There is a saying that inspired me when I was teaching nursing students “The fine art of teaching —fill your head and be yourself” I’m so glad we get to be the beneficiaries of your wonderful teaching skills.😊
I didn’t know the phrase “as the sparks fly upward” was from the Bible. Interesting.
How have you spent your time during the pandemic? Writing and reading blogs. Lots of them. Also planning meals around whatever groceries we can get.
What/who has brought you comfort? Spring’s arrival has brought me comfort.
What would help you feel more normal again? I don’t mind not having appointments to go to, or socializing, but I would like to spontaneously pop out of the house to do something mundane on a whim.
Well, Ally, you are a very methodical commenter, a good thing, of course!
Yesterday, my husband was talking about how wonderful it would be to go to a restaurant (sitting down and being served, not takeout) and going to the movies. I would add – taking a vacation: flying there and staying in a hotel. Lots of lessons to takeaway from this pandemic, but I don’t think we’ll take as much for granted as we have in the past, like getting a good haircut!
“Spontaneously popping out of the house to do something mundane on a whim” sounds good to me too, Ally”! 😉
We have lost a brother in law to this virus.. I am hoping we don’t lose any more loved ones… So scary.. I hope you are all safe Marian xx
Carol, I’m SO sorry for this loss in your family. The hardest thing for family members during this pandemic is not being able to be with their loved ones when they pass away.
Again, my condolences. Virtual hugs: ((( )))
Thankyou, Marian.. You are correct it is so very hard for loved ones.. I feel so very sorry for my sister in law and can do nothing to ease her pain.. Thank you for your kindness.. Hugs xx
Early on in the social distancing time I made a to-do list of things that I have been procrastinating about. I’ve been checking them off one by one. At least one thing, or part of a thing every day. I think that having that “purpose” every day has been helpful. I have also been really surprised by how quickly I can do some of them. I think, “I have been procrastinating about that for years, and it took an hour to do!” It has been eye-opening.
I’m looking forward to drinks and dinners with friends – actually in their homes, at the same table. I will be doing a ton of that when this is over.
I smiled at your admitting procrastinating, Arlene! The bane of my existence is dusting. Now I’m forced to confront a dusty coffee table, shelves, vanity counters. Like you, I’m surprised at how little time it takes to complete something I’ve put off. The dread is worse than the doing, I guess we’d both agree.
One day we can “go public” with limitations of course. And we will count our blessings for sure! 🙂
Marian, just between you and me, I’ll admit that i dusted for the first time since we began this hibernation on March 13 — on Monday. It needed it! Actually, it had been even earlier; I think my housekeeper was here last on March 11. Did you hear I had to call her up to ask how to turn on the vacuum cleaner? (In my defense, it was quite new). With an AirBnB here and going back to work, my lovely AnnMarie was a gift to myself. I miss her.
Janet, I can relate to your ineptitude about the vacuum cleaner. Ha!
We got a new one recently: Cliff mentioned that the On button was a red pedal. No problem there, but I couldn’t figure out how to retract the cord, an nondescript gray button on the “other” side of the canister. Who knew?
When I was teaching full-time, Milinda was my gift to myself. I miss the pine fragrance every two week + the clean house. Cliff does most of the vacuuming these days, but dusting is up to me. It’s so janitorial, and repetitive. It’s a first-world problem, I remind myself!
Ach, dusting. I agree. It’s tiresome. All the lifting of pictures and knick-knacks . . . Very easy to procrastinate about it.
Ach, dusting. I agree. It’s tiresome. All the picking up of pictures and knick-knacks. Very easy to procrastinate about that.
:-/ Ach, yes!
I always say that I have no trouble keeping busy at home and that has been true through these weeks of isolation. I’m coming to see that “busy” isn’t necessarily the better thing, and that being still yields great reward. I was comforted this morning by a video sent to me by a friend about this very thing reminding me of eternal truth.
Like you, I’ve lived (and thrived) on a to-do list. Now I listen more: to birds, to silence, to my own thoughts. I’m a work-in-progress when it comes to being content without being “active.”
Blessings on you as you move forward with publishing The Presence of Absence very soon.
Yes, this has happened before and will happen again. Hopefully we will be better prepared for the next one. Keeping busy is the key. I’ve been hired to edit a book and I’m working on my next Amanda Travels, as well as keeping in touch with family and friends. Also baking and coming up with nice meals for hubby and me. The days are going by quickly. I’ll be Zooming with two different critique groups this weekend.
Busy Bee is your “mode of operation” for sure, Darlene. And look at what you have accomplished. 😀
The digital connections weren’t available to those surviving other epidemics, so we are lucky in that regard. I’ve enjoyed Zoom connections with three groups this week: writer’s club, Pilates class, and my church pre-school department.
So many writers find joy in cooking and baking, and your husband (and you) are the beneficiaries. Buenos dias! And “bon appetit!”
Hung 2 wren houses yesterday in anticipation of new life and beautiful music.
Good for you – spring has sprung once again in Pennsylvania! Thanks, Jean.
I hear the Plague was when Newton invented Calculus, raising the bar for us all during this time. Of course he was a college student at the time, so that only applies to college student bars. Errrrrr.
How have I spent my time during the pandemic? Actually, not much has changed. Given that Woody teaches online anyway and I write, here we still are.
What/who has brought me comfort? Hmmm. I love seeing how common so many small acts of kindness and generosity are happening all around the world. You saw many of them today in my blog post (which, btw, is how I got here today;. I didn’t get my usual email notice)
What would help me feel more normal again? I’d like to drive out to Ohio and visit the kids and grands. I’d like to be more spontaneous in my ability to run to the store. I’d like to hug. I miss the hugs I’d always get at my hospice choir rehearsals and other spontaneous hugs. Yes, that’s what will help me feel normal again. THAT’s the only normal I think I want to go back to. I’m encouraged by the stories out of LA this morning — the smog has lifted. Would that the powers that be would finally admit we CAN have a cleaner world; we just have to change our behavior. And now we know we can.
I think both of my grandsons, high school sophomores, are taking pre-calculus. So it was Newton who invented it. They’re in a college prep program that gives them advanced credits, not sure how that works, but they’ll graduate with college credits.
About the snafu: My email subscription service, MailerLite (sort of like MailChimp) has gone on the fritz. The system has been down due to technical difficulties, so I’m glad you found your way here, nonetheless.
From your comments, I believe you miss “touch” most of all. So do I. Those who live alone must feel an even greater deprivation 🙁
Shortly after the pandemic began, son Joel mentioned that there will be much less carbon emissions, and our world can begin to heal. A good thing. I say Amen to that.
Thanks for your checking in today. By the way, I sent a video from your post (Lockdown Boogie??) to my family, so fun!
HI! I love your post and reading the comments. Everyone is so …. wise and thoughtful and kind. One of the things that helps me during this social distancing time is MOTHER (Nature). She provides such entertainment, between the birds and the bees and the flowers on the trees. We’re getting big doses of all that while we walk (on wooded trails, far away from others) and sit on our front porch. We need to fill our large bird feeder with seeds every morning. SO much love going on. Bees are buzzing loudly on our azalea flowers. And the flowers on the trees are riotously colorful. Neighbors walk by with giant hand waves. We all shout “HELLO – ARE YOU OKAY?” That’s what I love – the community of us all as we take in the change in our lives for now… and I guess for a long time to come. xo
I like the ENERGY in your reply here. Always loved living in the preserve, and now there is even less noise to distract me when I walk and observe.
Right before the pandemic”began,” I was thinking about how much contention there was in the world, animosity & negativity. Evidently, Mother Nature (God!) said, “Stop it – Enough.” A theological aside here: I don’t think the divine causes our suffering, but sometimes [S}he may permit it, my opinion.
Our neighbors are super friendly too. One couple pushes a baby carriage with a newborn. Even with a mask, I am hesitant to push in and have a look – someday soon, I hope! 🙂
Just the change of seasons from winter to spring is what I long for. We have had a pretty miserable month of April here in Winnipeg, but today finally promises some spring weather, and I can’t wait to go for my walk along the lake and watch the geese and other birds do their normal spring things!
Here’s to normal spring things in Manitoba. It’s coming, Elfrieda. I’m glad you see the signs.
I forgot to add that here in Canada we are grieving the lives of at least 19 people in Nova Scotia. A rampant killer went on the prowl with a fake RCMP car. He set people’s homes on fire and shot them. Lord have mercy…!
We in Florida (and all over the world) are surely sharing your suffering about the killings. I’ve always associated eastern Canada with storybook images; e.g. Anne of Green Gables in Prince Edward island, not terribly far from Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, evil is everywhere, but so is the GOOD. I’m noticing people being less contentious these days with acts of kindness evident everywhere. Yes, Lord have mercy and heal our planet!
Thank you, Elfrieda!
Thanks Marian – great post, comments too.
I can’t WAIT to get out and about, walk on the beach or in the suburbs. Restrictions are severe. The weather is gorgeous during the day, sunrises and sunsets are always beautiful, my husband and I are companionable to each other as we go about our tasks. I’m cooking and baking, doing a tiny bit of dusting, keeping house tidy and manageable. An exercise routine is helpful. Jogging around my garden and back into the house up and down various sets of stairs and back out again to do it again, 3 times in all. I hope to increase this to 4 times next week. Netflix is great.
Our older son Mike stops by every once in a while to deliver food and have a coffee. We are very blessed that he is close by. Skype with family in different parts of SA every now and then. What’s app family group. And with friends. Humour is shared …
I have NO idea what ‘normality’ will be when the pandemic is over.
Stay safe and well Marian, family too ..
You, my friend, are moving from fall to winter as I move from spring to summer-like weather. You are in a different hemisphere on the other “side” of the world. Still, we are together. Even before the pandemic (which has made the world seem smaller, in a way), we were friends.
I’m so glad that most everyone who wants to be, has a digital connection to friends and family. Still, we miss “touch” and face to face communication. Won’t we appreciate it, when some restrictions are removed. 😀
Here in Jacksonville, the beach is open 6-11 am and 5-8 pm. The mayor has been criticized for this, but it may be a safety valve for some. I’m glad you have contact with one son. Our grandchildren are expected over later on this afternoon, but they will remain outside, spreading mulch around shrubs, etc.
ps I meant to add that your photographs are lovely, the quotes too –
Oh, thank you, Susan.
You mentioned that you and your husband are companionable these days. So are Cliff and I. Early in the #StayHome order, however, we had a brief blow-up. I’ll probably write about it next week!
We have only altered our daily life slightly, Marian. Stuart no longer has morning coffee with a dozen men his age in the neighborhood coffee shop. And he does his work from home. He was planning to retire (again!) on July 1 anyway, so this change could be seen as a stepping stone to retirement. I am keeping the pace of writing one chapter per week for a book on grandparenting.
So, of course, I miss grandchildren and children the most! We are all working from home and being careful. But so far we have each stayed in our respective states. Sometimes that is a state of loneliness for us. But the children have their hands fuller than full.
Normal would be the first time we can be together again.
Why do I remember the name for Stuart’s kaffeeklatch with his buddies: Meetloaf? Right or wrong, it’s perfect.
I know you miss your grands and their parents. “What a day of rejoicing that will be!” when you all get together. Zoom and Skype only go so far. What’s missing is the personal touch, that’s for sure.
Brava on your writing accomplishments. Writing during the Corona Virus may mean fewer distractions though I’m not sure about that. I’m certainly glad neither you nor I are planning a book launch this year. One of our favorite Florida authors, a New York Times best-seller, has had to go digital with his launch. I know it’s disappointing for him and his fans.
Like you, our routine has remained the same although Cliff no longer heads with his computer to a coffee shop to work for 3-4 hours. I’m glad we have a big enough house, so I have to wonder where he is sometimes – ha!
Thanks for making time in your busy day to visit here, Shirley.
Today I was chatting with a friend about good things that have come from this situation, such as connecting with old friends and bluer skies in big cities. Also talked to a former editor who summed up the pandemic like this: “If this was a movie you might say great story but not very believable.”
Hi, Lorrie. I like your editor friend’s comment. It’s a cliche, but truth REALLY is stranger than fiction. Cliff says he’s heard some audio books about germ warfare worldwide, although I’m not sure this is what it really is.
I guess it’s like the Spanish flu of 1918 but with digital connections galore and advances in medical science.
It’s always great to hear from you!
This morning, my husband left to drive back to his job. 800 miles. He has about another three weeks or so and then his full retirement. He actually pushed it back as originally it was to be April 9th. Our house sold down south; we have our retirement house here. Having him here for 3 weeks was a trial for us in more ways than one.
I have been here by myself for eight months and got used to quite a solo routine! There have been many projects to work on, and the first grass cutting of the year. All of my doctors appointments have gone off calendar except for skin cancer surgery done 3 weeks ago. We miss the camaraderie of this little town. The meet-and-greets that spontaneously happen on the street just aren’t right now.
It sounds as though you are going through a huge transition in addition to the upheaval brought on by the Corona Virus, Ginger.
Your husband and you were in close company for a while, and now he’s left for another 3 weeks, after which you will have to adjust again. I understand to a certain extent what you are going through.
Years ago, when my husband traveled full-time with his art/music performances, I was in charge with 2 teenagers and a career during the week. Then, when he came home for the weekend, I had to shift again. It was stressful, as I know you have experienced. It helps if one spouse is not home full-time even during “regular” retirement. even without the “shelter in place” orders. After his retirement from being “on the road,” Cliff left in the morning to a coffee shop and worked on his art projects for 4-5 hours, which gave me some breathing room. Maybe your husband enjoys golf or time with his buddies when he returns. You’ll find your equilibrium at some point. 🙂
Best wishes on your solo routine, for now. Moving from one house to another is in itself high on the top stress list. Thank you for sharing here. I send good thoughts your way – now and in the days ahead, Ginger!
Marian, it’s neat how your blog followers make the rest of us feel connected during this time of crisis.
Yes, Melodie. If this virus had to hit, it’s good thing it happened in this era of digital connectivity. Also, it didn’t happen in the dead of winter either. Most folks can get out and at least take walks. I hope Stuart is progressing with his therapy and soon you can resume a more normal routine.
Thanks for returning to round out the chat today. 🙂
We’ve been sheltering in place since March 12 and plan our first outing for this Friday, April 24… Plenty to keep us busy–planting veggy seeds for the garden, cleaning up fallen trees from recent storms, reading, watching the news (twice a day), cooking, baking, contacting family via FaceTime and attending a few meetings (including church services and exercise classes) via Zoom. We are so fortunate because we have food, shelter and family… There are so many who do not have even those basics. This is a time for reaching out, even if it’s virtually–we gave so much to give. <3 Stay safe and stay well, dear Marian! xo
Bette, your life sounds a lot like mine (ours). Zoom compensates for face-to-face Pilates classes, my writers’ group, and other pre-school teachers at church.
Like you, I ache for those whose lives have been turned upside down. Today, we got takeout from a Syrian restaurant which is hurting. The owner has been in business for just a year and can’t qualify for a “crisis” loan. She is worried that even after restrictions are lifted people will be scared to return. We’ll patronize her more than usual – her food is SO tasty.
Also, food banks in our city are desperate for contributions, so we have helped there. Yes, we can give virtually to real needs.
Thanks, Bette, for positive reminders to be grateful!
I can’t believe how many comments you’ve already gathered today! Incredible. What’s also incredible, but in a negative way, is that I’ve never read anything by Shakespeare. I should have had you as my English teacher. Of course, our English teacher in high school’s job was teach us how to speak, read, and understand English. Not, “old English” or literature. We had that in Dutch. One day, when I’m retired, I will tackle something by him!
And, you know what we’ve been up to during this pandemic as well. In a way, nothing had changed, yet everything g has changed. Take care, my friend!!
You would probably gotten an “A” in my English literature class. You’re smart and conscientious. I tried to make my class exciting because if my students were bored, I’d be bored too, not good!
As to the comments: I’m thankful people can connect here + I’ve been at this for a long time. Judging from your last post, you are safe, can spread out toiletries, etc. and have a contented Maya. I loved all the photos! Thanks, Liesbet. ((( )))
Marian — I’m using sheltering-in-place as an opportunity to boost the amount of time I invest in reading and writing. I don’t know about elsewhere, but in Idaho, people who have dogs are allowed to go out (with face masks) and walk them (seen as essential), so I still get my miles in every day (hallelujah!) and take photos while I’m out (yippee-skippee).
If there’s a silver lining, Laurie, you are bound to find it. You have more of everything you love: reading, writing, and feeding steps into your Fitbit (or whatever device you have). The same for me: wearing masks when I go out and taking photos too: yesterday two grandkids helping to spread mulch around the shrubs.
Our mayor has opened up the beach with restricted hours and just for exercise. I believe it’s a safety valve for some, especially apartment dwellers. Thanks for the “yippee-skippee” reply here, Laurie! 😀
I enjoyed this post about the birds and the bees, though I expected at first it would be a post about sex. 😂 Ivan is setting up his hives right now, too. A lovely sign of spring. And how interesting to know that Will died on his birthday (which happens to be today!)
Yes, I admit that it was my intention: to lure readers into a post including Shakespeare and the glories of nature. If you were like me, you arrived at marriage a virgin. Now you know much more about the birds and the bees – ha!
Thanks for your post about Kanye West’s decision. May he attract others in the Kardashian family to follow his path of faith. 🙂
Hi Marian, I know this is hard on so many people, but for me it’s been a blessing. I’ve been a mom since 15; now at 61 I finally get to be home and relax. I prayed thanks to God that we closed the restaurant in October. I feel for those who are still open and struggling. I’ve been home bound since March 15,. Pablo is still going out to work but he’s alone in his office.
My doctor ordered me home because since I had cancer before I’m high risk. Oh, but I love being home. I’ve never had the chance before. When I was, it was caring for kids, grandkids, and serving the public. But now just Coco my dog and myself till Pablo gets home at six thirty. I’m in heaven! I meet with Bible study and church through Zoom. Watch movies without interruption. I work out early to then just lounge. My daughter made us masks, and we have gloves, and we never go out without them. Stay safe.
“But my God shall supply all your need,” echoes in all you say here. You have worked hard all your life, and now you have a breather, a well-deserved one! Thank you for letting us know you are happy and safe. Virtual hugs, Gloria! ((( )))
Hi, Marian! I’ve spent the time working on crafts, editing a book, and writing one. I’m used to working at home, so not much has changed for me, other than my favorite bookstores and crafts stores being closed.
God has brought me comfort and strength during this time.
I’m glad to hear the God of all comfort is giving you strength during this trying time. Your interests work as well in isolation as they have in times past when things seemed more normal. Thanks, L. Marie!
For some reason, I just received this post in the email today (rather than yesterday).
I’m sorry about this, but not surprised. My email subscription service MailerLite, free to all subscribers like you, had a snafu in their system which lasted all day yesterday. As a result, I was not able to send my blog post via MailerLite (sort of like MailChimp) even though WordPress published this post as usual early Wednesday morning. So it goes. . . !
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens
I’m at peace with what is happening. I’m living the way I’ve been longing for. … Taking my time, slowly. … smelling the roses … and listening to morning birdsong on my walk, rather that the noisy traffic of people charging off into their days. The air is cleaner and I have great hopes that people will wake up and begin to understand and want only things that are important … family, friends, and our beloved earth.
Yes I know people who are suffering through this … the sick and dying, those who have lost jobs. But I truly believe that all of this will help us all to change and make all of us into better people and a world filled with empathy.
Joan, you have expressed a side of the pandemic I’ve been thinking about too. While the virus rages, our planet is being cleansed: fewer carbon emissions, one example.
Yet, I am saddened by the effect on small businesses, like the Syrian restaurant from which we got take-out today. Also, deaths during the pandemic: losing loved ones and not being able to bid them farewell must be the hardest thing of all.
And like you, I’ve noticed more acts of kindness, replacing some of the hideous rancor I noticed ramping up just as the virus broke lose on the planet. Thanks for your point of view, Joan.
You and Bill stay safe until we get to the other side of this. 🙂
Loved the quotes Marian. Indeed Mother Nature is laying down the law, and while she breathes in, the animals and nature are taking in the gift as the earth rests. Stay safe! 🙂 <3
I couldn’t have said it better, Debby! This afternoon a neighbor expressed similar sentiments: I remember the word “enough” was in her comment.
“. . . the earth rests!” 🙂
And Amen 🙂
Before I start , dear Marian , you overlooked my message last week ( I’m just after Melodie) I didn’t want you to think I’d forgot .
Mmmmmmm! Such lovely quotes especially Shakespeare. There is some lovely messages too from all your followers so uplifting .
Nature hasn’t stopped has it Marian , we have , and by doing so , there are so many beautiful things to see.
We can not help being saddened on a daily basis what are hearing but we have grab some happy moments as an antidote because it’s we have at the moment.
I have really enjoyed the time with my husband ( we haven’t fell out once but there is still time 😊) just sitting with crossword or walking in nature has been a complete joy. Arthur has been a joy too ( our naughty King Charles Spaniel) he’s made us laugh every day .
I’ve just sent a comment to Laurie about him , have a read .
I think we have to keep going and keep smiling what say you ?
If you check back, you’ll see my apology delivered with a RED face and link to a song by Brenda Lee. So sorry . . . !
I’m glad you are enjoying nature and Arthur’s antics. You mention too that you haven’t fallen out once with your hubby. You are doing better than Cliff and I. Our 8-minute blow-up (Just guessing, didn’t time it!) happened shortly after the “shelter in place” began. You’ll find out about it in next week’s post. :-/
Yes, we have to keep going, keep smiling – and accept the snafus. Thanks for being such a dear, accepting friend, and alerting me to my mess-up last week. oxo ((( )))
I enjoyed reading this post, and all the interesting comments.
I have had a lot to keep me busy. My daughter, a licensed therapist in Washington state, had emergency surgery about three weeks ago to remove what her doctor believed was a cancerous growth. And my oldest granddaughter and her husband, who live in Syracuse, NY, both tested positive for covid-19 on April 10. So, I have been doing a lot of praying and fasting. Praying for my children and grandchildren is something that I do every day, anyway. But fasting is a whole new experience for me, because I like to eat. 😉
My granddaughter and her husband are doing much better now, both of them almost back to normal, thank the Lord! I chatted with my granddaughter recently and she said that she was doing a deep cleaning of their apartment, and also working hard to catch up on her social anthropology doctoral studies. Her husband is still working for Harvard, where they met as students about five years ago, but now he is working online from home.
It took a long time, but my daughter finally got the pathology report and she did not have cancer! So for all these good reports, I have been doing a lot of praising and happy dancing around the house, lately!
In addition to praying, fasting, and happy dancing, I have been keeping up with my typical daily routines, like exercise (I do planks, ride my stationary bike, and run in the yard playing keep away with our two rescue dogs), plus I am writing every day in my memoir. I’m still on the first draft, but getting near the end, yaay. Then I will have a tremendous amount of rewriting and editing to do, because this is a very rough first draft. But at least I will have something to edit! I first tried to write this story in 1975, when I was in my early twenties. I wasn’t close to being ready to write about it then, but I am definitely ready now.
Another thing that I have been doing a lot of lately is graphic design on my computer. I have designed dozens of potential covers for my book, and finally I believe that I have The One. Yes, I know that it typically isn’t advisable for an author to design her own cover. But, well, I have a tendency to go my own way on some things. 😀
As for catching up on housework, I’m sorry to say that it still needs dusting. I am considering buying a robot vacuum cleaner and a robot mop with my stimulus money. As I have been reading up on those lovely devices, it has occurred to me that someone needs to invent a drone that does the dusting. Wouldn’t that be fun? But it would certainly drive the dogs a little crazy.
Speaking of dogs going crazy, we had a Texas horned lizard in our yard yesterday. Did you know they can squirt blood out of their eyes?! Seriously. It squirted blood on our big dog, which worked to scare her away. Then it saw me coming and played dead. Fun!
You asked what will make my life seem normal again? Hugs!! And Sunday morning worship in church, not just online. Wednesday evening Bible study in church, not just via YouTube and group text. Thursday evening prayer hour in church. Seeing my stepdaughter, whom I love like my own daughter, every weekend in person, instead of on video chat. She works for the department of defense in a mission essential job on a special ops military base that is a little over 70 miles from our house, and all personnel on that base are under orders to restrict their travel to within 60 miles. This order was recently extended until after June 30.
Going out to eat with my husband and friends, instead of just getting takeout, will be wonderful. Going to the grocery store without wearing a mask. And being able to travel again: my brother’s springtime wedding in Missouri has been postponed until the fall, my son’s summer wedding in the Dominican Republic has been postponed until next year, and driving to California to see my oldest son, my other granddaughter, and my 7-year-old great-grandson has been postponed indefinitely. 🙁
Oh, how I miss normal! But the peace that I have found through intermittent fasting, continuous praying, and daily Bible study has been amazing. Our God is an awesome God! Through all the ‘shock and awe’ of this great shaking — which I agree that the Lord allowed, but did not cause — may our hearts be drawn ever closer to our gracious Savior. Amen!
You are so kind to share your activities this past month here. I can identify with much of what you say. I found especially convicting the line: “But fasting is a whole new experience for me, because I like to eat.” Although our pastor has advised prayer and fasting, I’ve not embraced the last part because I admit I like to eat. II Chron. 7:14 nails it!
I am happy to hear that your daughter does NOT have cancer. And on a lighter note: Your story of the Texas horned lizard. You certainly enlightened me on that on.
Like you, I’ve been dusting too, in spurts. What I wouldn’t give for a Dusting Drone. Great idea!
Also, I ‘m glad you are continuing with exercise. My Pilates instructor keeps me on my toes with planks and squats via Zoom. She told us she bought some stock in Zoom, even before the pandemic began. Smart woman. Also on Zoom for me: my writers’ club and church pre-school teachers meet-ups.
I can echo your thoughts about memoir writing. My story would have been entirely different, and less authentic probably, had I written it in my 40s or 50. Ideas take time to marinate. You are writing out of victory now, and the LORD will help you shape it into the story He wants you to tell. Kudos on the working on the cover. Even if you decide to go with a designer, you’ll likely get the images that fit perfectly because it comes directly from you, the author.
Here’s to continued fellowship with God, digital connection to others and more happy dances!
Eek, I should have proofread my loooooong comment, before posting. There are at least a dozen “thats” I wish I could delete. 😂
Linda Lee, I actually didn’t notice the repetition you refer to because your comment was SO interesting and chock-full of trials and victories. No worries!
Aww, thank you! Here’s a safe, social-distancing ((HUG)) all the way from New Mexico. ❤❤
I’m resting and walking and trying to help my broken arm.
This is the time to rest and heal. I’m glad your legs are good for walking! ((( )))
This is wonderful, Marian. I often feel I’m living in a Shakespearean tragedy with the king becoming more and more unhinged. We’ll see where this ends, but I fear it won’t be in a happily-ever-after way. Lots of prayers and donations needed.
I’m so grateful for nature’s reassurance (along with my Governor Cuomo). Fortunately, there hasn’t been much virus in the Finger Lakes, especially not in my county, but everyone is careful about masks, physical distancing, etc.
We both have sons who keep bees. My North Carolina son had a massive swarm this year, the largest he’d ever seen, so went from 3 hives to 5 hives in an hour. Nature here provides comfort even if it’s been a cold spring. I have bluebird eggs and yesterday the tree swallow built her nest in a box near my house. A local organic grower delivers a bag of vegetables every Friday and another grower is raising my garden plants in his green house. I’ve never felt so grateful for my community. Best to you and your family. Stay well and safe.
Like you, sitting in the comfort of home and able to take walks, I feel a strong impulse to help the needy. In my county, school children who get subsidized school breakfasts and lunch will continue to get them via school bus delivery, but I’m concerned about the others. Cars line up at food pantries looking for help. I trust Catholic Charities to streamline the process and so I donate.
I listen to Gov. Cuomo on the news. He is measured, makes sense, but careful to insert some optimism. I hope he runs for a higher office someday.
Here’s to bluebird and swallow eggs, vegetable delivery, and the continued goodwill in your community. This is lovely to read. Thank you, Elaine!
I find the statistics can become overwhelming so I am doing my best not to be obsessive on that front. It is heartening to see wildlife flourishing as we humans take a step back .From dolphins in the grand canal of Venice to lions sleeping on the roads of South Africa. to the baby bunny tucked in our inner city backyard bush.I am focused on gratitude for our safe and secure home and the many adventures we have had over the decades.
Welcome, Sue! You are observant and have a heart open to gratitude, a wonderful thing during these trying days.
I wonder if you found me via Liesbet’s blog, a fellow traveler. Congratulations for your many accomplishments, including a good attitude about our current crisis. Be safe – enjoy the day – and thanks for reading and commenting here. You hope you will visit again!
Daughter Lori called on Mother’s Day to leave cards and flowers… Seeing her through the French doors had my heart singing. Then, there are FaceTime calls with great-granddaughter Olivia who is six–we read together, draw, chit-chat about everything under the sun–every Wednesday! Spending quality time with Hubby… Grate for Zoom meetings too! Great is His Faithfulness! <3 Blessings, dear Marian.
Bette, I’m glad you are carrying on rich traditions with Olivia and being honored by your daughter. and hubby. In spite of their limitations, Zoom meetings help maintain connections.
Yes, “Great is His Faithfulness!”