From yesterday: There is a puzzle on the dining room table and eggs in the kitchen ready to be made into pysanky. Hoping to encourage Julia to do a drawing a day to post here. Trying to put some kind of schedule of our days together. Loose to be sure. Motivation is lagging this morning and I haven’t made the call to nudge Julia or I into action. All I’ve done is answer a few emails and do the census online. Very, very curious about how we find our rhythm during this time. Considering all the time we have, we may just have time to live in these questions.
I made a big pot of beef stew yesterday and we have enough milk, eggs, cheese, rice and pasta to avoid markets for days. The freezer is stocked with chicken breasts, soup, puttanesca sauce and frozen potatoes. We are running out of bananas and spinach. I usually don’t think about which fruit or veggie will go bad quickly, but avoiding stores . . . . What is a reasonable and responsible amount to time between shoppings?
The new normal. I still have no idea of what it looks like. Do any of us?
My friend in Turin emailed four days ago. I has no idea that I was worried about her but when I saw her email, tears came to my eyes. She describes a bit of life on the ground there. The silver lining is more time with beloved housemates. The clouds are isolation, certificates necessary for leaving the house for infrequent shopping trips, a partner who is still working and so may be bringing ‘it’ home on any particular day. I sent her a rambling email whose central message is that we are waiting.
An Italian travel/cooking blog that I enjoy posted a description of life in Florence here. It was more of what my friend told me and with a few pictures. The message is to eat as well as possible. And so, cook.
Today: For more than two weeks, since I first understood that the virus was going to change our lives very soon, I have been cooking. I didn’t even realize it when I started. Like some old woman, I heard of pending doom and I got out pots and pans. I did not run out and buy ingredients for everything I could think of to cook, but gathered things as I had time to cook. Doing it that way, . I did a more comprehensive food shopping last week and now, I am thinking further about buying food that will allow me to stay out of stores for a week or more at a time. We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and those things don’t last that long. I usually stop at a grocery at least every 3 or 4 days for bananas and milk. I rarely plan all the week’s meals and pick up extra stuff on my way to and from the days’ rounds.
One thing that is good for us is walking outside. On Saturday, Cheshire and Justin met us at a park with hiking trails and we walked. The parking lot and the road leading to the park were jammed with cars, but the place was big enough to allow us all to walk without getting too close to anyone. On nice days this week, we’ve been out in the neighborhood. We’ve been here for months now and I tend to drive. I’ve missed so many interesting houses or just seen them quickly passing by. And slowly, there are first flowers to see—crocus, tiny violets and the greens of more bulb plants.
I have not allowed myself to drift into fear. I am in decent to good spirits. My nature is to mobilize, to make lists, to find tasks to do, to keep busy. And I am doing that. Every so often my mind drifts to the ‘what if’s’. Like some dystopian novel . . .life turns over, shifts and changes direction every day, how far will those changes go? Even if we are at the end of the changes today, will Julia and I really be able to live in isolation for a month or more? And what if I get sick? I guess one of the very good reasons to keep Julia and I busy is the when of getting sick. When I/we get sick, then we will spend the days watching movies and eating out of the freezer.
This afternoon, I have a bit of respite because Julia is visiting with her therapist online. A visit from Cheshire, the last night of our weekend guest, eggs and the puzzle are on the menu for tonight. I hope that is enough.