Quarantine Ramblings

So here it is……the long awaited quarantine post. Everybody has one right? This one won’t be political or preachy. I just want to share our personal story and a few take away a from these months of social isolation due to Covid-19.

One thing we’ve learned is that we are blessed. My husband and oldest child are able to work from home. My university and high school children are online for school. My seasonal job at a local ski area ended two weeks early, so I got some welcome time off.

My son’s school was the first thing to shut down. We figured he’d have a few weeks off so we did a little winter hiking and some “butt sledding” down the steep trails of Mount Avalon in Crawford Notch New Hampshire. It was the last outdoor adventure we’d have for a bit. When we got down, I did my usual jaunt over to the Highland Center, a popular rest stop for Appalachian Trail hikers. I figured I’d use the bathroom and grab a cup of their steaming hot coffee. As I entered the building, I sensed something was off. They were indeed shutting down the building due to the pandemic. Here is a photo of my youngest from that fateful day. He now says it was the most fun hike he’s ever been on with me and he’ll never forget sledding down that mountain.

The next thing I knew, we were all at home working and I had to feed and support everyone working on their computers. This meant standing in long lines as there was lots of hoarding of toilet paper, sanitizing products, flour….the list goes on. As we haven’t lived here very long, we were not prepared with a freezer chest and did not have lots of extra space. I’m usually an every other day shopper because I like to cook with fresh ingredients. I came to the conclusion that once a week would have to do on the shopping front and I had to remember EVERYTHING. I came up with a meal planning system that was posted on the refrigerator along with a shopping list. If you needed something, you had to add it to the list. I would read the list out loud just before I left with my dust mask in hand.

We also were worried about our middle child. She’d gone to the UK to visit friends as a graduation gift for her spring break. Would she be able to get back? Phew! She just made it back at the end of her trip. She was the last plane out of the UK and the last plane out of JFK to her destination. Talk about threading the needle!

Then we had a bathroom that was in BAD need of updating go from bad to unusable. Unable to have anybody to come out to do the job, we got to work, which was NOT our original plan. We tore that bathroom down to the studs. We mail ordered nearly all of our supplies, picking some up curbside. My husband even met a trucker downtown and unloaded supplies directly from his truck! Here are some photos of our bathroom renovation which is still ongoing. We are STILL waiting on a lighting order!

My youngest was supposed to go back to school on May 4th. That turned into remaining online through the end of the school year. The seasons were changing and so we decided that since we were all here, we would start a badly needed lawn. We switched gears from working indoors to working outdoors. We rented equipment, leveled off the land, pulled roots and put down loam. It’s since been a lot of watering and hard work, but one month later, we have the beginnings of actual grass!

In short, we’ve learned during this quarantine an appreciation of family, family time, sitting together around the table after a hard days work and some valuable lessons in self reliance. We are continuing some of our new habits. I’m cooking much more and as a whole we are eating out far less. The savings is real people!

We also continue to donate to local food banks, shop local when possible, give to our favorite charities and continue to pay anyone we were already paying before the quarantine to pay forward our good fortune as much as we are able. Stay safe everyone and feel free to share your story in the comments. We can all learn from sharing stories.

Ciao for now……Karen

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