It’s been almost two months now of altered reality, that is, staying-in-place and avoiding personal contact with people outside my household. In the beginning, it felt like a “snow day,” kind of nice to stay home and take care of the little things you never have time to do. But when I started venturing out for walks, the empty streets felt almost post-apocalyptic. As the weather improved, more and more people appeared on the streets, but it’s not the same. One person or the other steps off the path or takes to the street to avoid getting too close. Even though Indiana is starting the process of opening up in the next few weeks, my new reality will persist much longer because I want to be around to enjoy life after a vaccine is developed.
Even though I miss interacting with people, I try to look on the bright side. One of the more exciting things this spring has been the discovery of a cardinal nest in a bush beside the garage. Mother cardinal laid these eggs in warmer days. If you look closely you will see the one baby that hatched and survived a night of below freezing weather.
A good friend moved away last year, and before leaving town she gave us some of her irises. Their vibrant blooms are beautiful reminders of a very special person.
It seems like everyone is baking sourdough bread these days. I have fond memories of my mother baking loaves of bread every week during my childhood, and I always looked forward to the one loaf of raisin bread she’d make as a special treat. I baked these two loaves last Sunday. As you know, homemade bread always tastes best fresh out of the oven, which is why the one loaf is nearly gone.
Signs of the times–we continue to make face masks for friends and family (and others, as needed) and we’re washing our groceries in soap and water before putting them away. I love the colors of the fruits and vegetables, and I’m thankful to have a variety of meats in the freezer.
Gardening has been a bit of a challenge due to the recent cold wave. Even though I know I should wait until after Mother’s Day to plant, I’ve managed to start my garden in late April the past few years. The zucchini I grew from seeds appear to have survived the cold so far, but unfortunately, most of my tomato plants paid the price for my eagerness. Our local greenhouse hasn’t been able to keep up with demand for tomatoes, and when I stopped there a few days ago, I found only a few spindly heirlooms. If they live, it will be fun to see what kinds of fruits they produce.
Elfie wants me to tell you that she’s been helping me knit a sweater. She’s a very good kitty, and doesn’t chase the balls of yarn, no matter how tempting they might look.
Until this spring, I’d never heard of Zoom, but now I’m on it several times a week. I started by attending Zoom knitting nights hosted by yarn shops. Then both of my book groups turned to Zoom when it became evident it will be a long time before we meet in person. I’m also taking piano and horn lessons on Zoom, and find I’m less nervous than when sitting next to my teacher. And last night I really enjoyed giving a presentation to students in a class at UCLA. One of the students participated all the way from Australia!