We are almost done with our two week self imposed quarantine, after leaving California and traveling across the country back to Minnesota. In the meantime a shelter in place order has started, so after the quarantine period is over we will continue to spend most of our time at home.
I don’t know where the time goes, even when I am home all the time. It would help if I got going earlier in the morning, or was productive later into the evening. People ask if I am a “morning person” or a “night owl”. What is the term if you are neither? I have trouble waking up in the morning, but I also start to get tired and unproductive by about 9:00 pm.
It took almost a week to get through mail and related paperwork, unpack everything we had brought on the snowbirding trip, and do all the laundry. The house was grungy and needed cleaning. I am still working on knitting the same pair of socks I started in California. We have been watching Outlander on Netflix. Every episode I notice the beautiful 18th century knitted shawls, capelets, wraps, wrist warmers and other accessories worn by the ladies.
We have been going on walks every day. Since we are in a rural area, we usually do not see anyone else out at the same time. The other day we drove to a dam on the Otter Tail River a couple of miles away and walked around a bit, just to get out of the house. There were no people anywhere.
Like many others, we have experimented with new forms of socializing remotely. We had not seen my dad in the nursing home since January, and now we are not allowed in. We were able to arrange a Facetime visit. It was good to see him and know he is OK. We participated in an online game using our phones and Zoom, with our son and his girlfriend and members of her family. We were in four different locations but enjoyed time together laughing and connecting. There have been a couple more sessions using Zoom with different groups of family members and friends.
I am careful about not wasting food since we have a limited supply of fresh produce during the quarantine period. I kicked myself one evening when I got distracted and incinerated some broccoli I was baking in the oven. There was not much left in the refrigerator and I would not be able to run out to the store and get more. It made me appreciate the fact that in past times (and in some places today) every bite of food on hand might be needed for survival.
We had one loaf of fresh bread. It was a seedy multi grain bread that was one of the few options available when we stopped at the store in South Dakota. There were a couple of partial loaves of multi grain bread in the freezer from before we left for Arizona. I hauled out our bread maker that was still in the garage from when we moved here last summer. The only flour in the house is white flour, so I made a loaf of french bread that turned out well. I used to have some very old whole wheat flour but I am now regretting tossing it out before we left on the snowbirding trip. I look forward to trying other more healthy recipes once I can get to the store and buy some different types of grains and flour.
I don’t know how I functioned when working full time and also raising a family and doing other things. I know that I was stressed out much of the time. I usually did not get enough sleep, and only the most important tasks got done. The closets were a disaster. There was always a backlog of paperwork. There were years when the only television I watched was the news while working in the kitchen. I missed several entire TV series, because (before streaming) I could not remember when they were on or be available every week at the same time.
I have the most amount of time on my hands that I have ever had or ever will have. I am plugging away at necessary tasks, having time to knit, watching TV in the evenings and reading for a half hour before bed. Being retired at home under self quarantine is the opposite of working full time at home, with children at home trying to do school remotely or needing care. I don’t know how those families are making it work. My prayers go out to the many people having their lives disrupted, fighting for their life in the hospital, having to work more hours than before while at risk of being exposed to the virus, or in some cases not even having a place to shelter at home.
In the time since we have been back in Minnesota most of the snow has melted, except for some drifts and shaded areas. The lake is still frozen. Everything is brown and drab, except the sunsets. A winter storm is in the weather forecast for tomorrow night, including wind, rain, freezing rain, and up to three inches of snow. We are already having a “snow day” at home, so we’ll keep hunkering down as usual.