We are very lucky.
We have a yard to get out in and good weather, good health, and both my husband and I are still employed. The children are doing well and adjusting nicely to this learn-from-home scenario. The baby chicks are still all going strong. Marital bliss prevails. We have a well stocked fridge and pantry. And we have masks provided by our talented neighbor who sews.
We worry about our friends and our parents. We worry about our extended family. And hell- I don’t have to know you to worry about you either, this thing has killed 21,000 people in the US (according to the CDC as of right this second) and 117,000 worldwide. This isn’t a “wow it’ll really hit home when someone close to me dies.” Nope. I know this is what we’re facing. And I do worry, but for now it isn’t overwhelming me.
So please know we are taking it seriously, but I can’t downplay that our past two weeks have been pleasant and enjoyable either. This, to be clear, does indeed feel like a dick move on some levels, but seize that happiness when you can, I say, and so we have been doing exactly that. “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.” (variously quoted as being from Isaiah in the bible and the philosopher Epicurus). So it is like that.
Also, hi-ho: here is where all us kids of alcoholic parents shine- because that being bathed in low levels of chaos (or potential for chaos) growing up really means we are at home in the chaos now. Coping strategies coming in for some pinch-hitting during the pandemic.
I’m doing what I can though. I know it isn’t easy for everyone. I know people are struggling. I give away bouquets of flowers as fast as I can and as far and wide as possible. I send books and food and plants and seed packets to my parents. And seeds and gifts to my brother. Food, check ins, and a mask with a cover of a crown royal bag (for some levity) for my uncle. (talented neighbor sewed the mask, I just added the crown royal fabric to the outside.) Long texts, emails, and check ins with my extended family and friends. “I’m thinking of you” is what I want all of them to know, as often as I can. I hope it’s enough.
Around the house I’m flower arranging fast and furiously. The weather is rainy and windy, and it’s cool then it’s hot… and then turns back to mild. It’s hell on the flower longevity- so if I can bring them in we can enjoy them for longer right now inside than out. Also, I think surrounding ourselves with flowers… it’s a conscious choice and it makes me happy. I love them during normal circumstances. Right now the flowers in the house just go to eleven, is all.
Flowers everywhere in the house is maybe (though I hate the term for some reason) a kind of self-care. I find swept floors, clean kitchen counters, and a clean bedroom similarly helpful as the flowers for keeping a clear and relaxed headspace- so it’s worth my time and effort to ensure we have that, as often as I can.
On Good Friday my husband and I were both off and he had the idea to spend the day making it a good Friday. We took the girls and headed out on an epic walk all over the town. The weather was fantastic as we walked through a mostly quite, mostly closed town.
The river was closed to tubers, and the color of the river was shockingly beautiful. It took us 3 hours and 15,000 steps and we enjoyed every bit of it- no one (not even the four year old) complained. We saw baby ducks, and deer taking over empty vacation rentals, and cats sitting on rooftops. It was fantastic.
When we got home we got ready for Formal Friday- a concept the older girls saw on Jimmy Kimmel that they wanted to do. (The four year old kept cutely calling it Normal Friday.) We made a nice dinner and all got dressed up and had a grand ol’ time.
We then drank too much wine (but not enough for a hangover thank goodness) and watched old home family movies.
It was a very good Friday, indeed.
In other, other news over the last week or so, I moved our oldest’s desk from her room (where is was more a catchall for things than a place for homework) out to the front room for another work station for us all to share, as needed.
Taking out the recycling one evening last week I well and truly ATE it as I stepped out on the back deck. (Not the night of too much wine, mind you- this was a sober fall, scouts honor.) It was one of those wipeouts that while on the way down you’re SURE you’re about to break something. I ended up with only a bruised knee- thank goodness. Because now (also always) is not the time for a broken leg and a hospital visit. There is something about the combination of rain, normal grime, and the breaking down pecan leaves and algae from the wet weather that combined into this incredibly slick layer on the deck. Nothing a truly cathartic session with the power washer couldn’t solve though.
That’s all I got.
Stay safe out there and grab that happiness when you have the chance for it. And if that’s in your religious wheelhouse, y’all have a Happy Easter.