Mary Beth Writes

I have a bit of a hangover since I stayed up till nearly 2AM reading. Reading is such pleasure.

Our new adventure today was … ta-da … fetching our grocery order from our grocery store. We made the order on Wednesday but the earliest time to pick it up was today. Len did that and while he was out, wild guy that he is, he also filled the car with gas.

The store was 100% out of flour. Really? We still have enough to make two more loaves so I bet we will survive. But isn’t this interesting? 

Many of us are accusing some of us of hoarding.  Maybe.  Or is it that when we are all eating at home, the way ingredients get from farm and field into us is radically different?  Maybe it isn’t hoarding so much as it is another hundred million people deciding, “Well, since I’m here anyway, homemade bread tastes so much better than the stuff in plastic bags.”

Making and placing the order ahead of time is a small but real mental shift.  Okay, now we have to think 3-4 days in advance.  We make and place the list; it can be changed or added to up till the day before. Nothing about this is onerous – but it feels big. I wonder if this is what it felt like for our grandparents and great-grandparents to start buying eggs and milk and bread at a store. 

Easier, but can this possibly become normal?

This being at home feels strangely familiar to a few very unique days in my whole life. I am remembering each time we came home with a new baby. Our medical care providers were a hospital midwife team. We always came home 6-10 hours after the baby arrived – but with strict instructions for me to go straight to bed. Len would bring the newborn to me for a day or two. A nurse would visit me at home the next day. I was cared for and attended to – but each time there was this stalled feeling in my life. Something just ended. Something is beginning. Most of what lies ahead will probably be fine and sometimes even wonderful. There will be love. But there are also new things to worry about. This tiny, vulnerable infant. Me. The other kids. Len’s energy. Len’s job that will need him back pretty quickly.

It was a time out of time. Soon enough ‘the regular’ would kick in and I’d be back to running up and down the stairs, feeding the baby, making macaroni and peas for toddlers, calling Len to pick up something on the way home. Reading late into the night while I nursed the baby.   

But there is that time of transition when nothing is exactly wrong, but everything is changing. And one has to pay attention and be careful.

It feels like that, to me, now.

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It feels that way to me too

Me too. Be well. And thank you. Patricia

I have been on our neighborhood site ever since this mess started and putting my two cents in... Today Dave texted that he'd made the rounds at several stores and was reporting what they did/didn't have... Several people thanked him for it and several in panic mode told him to !!! STOP SHOPPING!!! You are coming in contact with too many people... Dave said that he was shopping for himself, his ex wife, her parents and a niegbor... He's fine but the other 4 are all quarantined at home so he selflessly was shopping for them... Dave was told to leave grocery's at the door and to NOT go in... Others told him NOT to do it at all because of the risk involved... I told Dave to ignore the Negative Nancy's and to continue helping those who don't option of going out and doing it themselves... People told him of the other options but it's what he wanted to do... You DON'T stop caring about people you've known in their time of need.. He's NOT going in their houses because he's not an idiot and didn't want to be exposed... I told him that as a caregiver I'm doing the same only I have to go in to do what I do for him but keep my distance and leave as soon as I'm done... I hope to G.O.D. every time that I'm NOT bringing the virus in with me because it would be a death sentence in his vulnerable condition... ¿Who's going to do it if I don't? is the question I have for these people... There are the selfless who do it because someone has to and then you have the complainers who sit on their hands and do nothing if it's not for themselves... I know who I chose to be...

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Quarantine Diary #17 3/30/2020

Why are people (lots of them) on Facebook posting photos of landscapes? The instructions say one should post a picture of a landscape one took somewhere, one should not say where that place is, and no people should be included, especially not the posting-person.  

Why? I don’t get it. I don’t mind but I really don’t get how this connects to anything.

A friend’s husband’s company had a virtual meeting this morning about the future of their company. Things are changing but not shutting down. They will still have income and insurance.  Thought you might like to know.  

Quarantine Diary #16 3/29/2020

I’ve been busy today so I’m a little late getting to this diary. Doing what, you ask? Oh, brilliant things like washing the bathroom and doing laundry and going for a blustery walk. Took the plastic off the particular windows we wrap in the fall.

Spent a chunk of the morning reading about the lead-up to the Revolutionary War battles at Saratoga. More about that later.  Reading about brave and canny, stupid and ego-centric politicians of an entirely different era is part of my coping strategy for life in the US. We aren’t the first to live in fraught times. Not by a long shot.

Quarantine Diary #15 3/28/2020

The Long-Awaited Groceries (The hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” is in my brain right now) came last night at 9PM – when it was raining. A woman named Sarah, late 30’s, brown ponytail, not-posh sweatpants and hoodie – carried ALL our groceries across the street from her car to our porch. This included 8-packs of Gatorade plus boxes of seltzer water, plus lots of other heavy stuff. Did I mention it was raining?

Quarantine #14 3/27/2020

Last night we did another wild and crazy thing. We got in our car and went for a drive! The first thing we remarked to each other was that we had not been in the car together in weeks.  It felt a little odd to be in there, next to each other, about to GO SOMEPLACE! Maybe this is the way it feels to be the family dog when they let you sit in the front seat and EVERYTHING IS SO AMAZING!

We drove west into the rosy sunset, filled with excitement to, um, see the sky.  Quarantines are easiest on people who have a low bar for excitement.

Quarantine Diary #13 3/26/2020

What do you miss?  What, in our new pandemical world do you miss most from our pre-pandemical world?You know, the one we lived in till two weeks ago?

I don’t mean the heartbreaking realities such as safe medical care providers and enough places to go should one become ill and the loved ones that we are losing.

I just mean, what are we getting used to? Or trying to get used to. What might we never go back to?

Quarantine Diary #12 3/25/2020

Right now it is 11:00AM.  Got up this morning at the regular time. Did regular things. Came to the office to write. Worked (hardly at all) on a project, wrapped an item for eBay. Announced to Len at 10:30 that I was sleepy and going to take a nap.

You know what he said?  He said, “Me, too.”

The following half hour he took the sofa and I took our bed and both of us slept like toddlers on cots.

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