Staying Home

So, “Stay at Home” is in order.

I wasn’t really prepared. Who was, really? But I’m a pretty good introvert. Or so I thought.

I used to teach at a community college, with classes, meetings, etc. After long days, I retreated home and rarely went out. I used up all my interaction energy at work.

Then I retired, and I changed. In my head, though, I was still an introvert.

Now I’ve been home the bulk of the time for over four weeks.

First to go was my weekly writing group. Six women, rowdy and sometimes bawdy, all strongly opinionated. We got together weekly to talk, laugh, gripe, eat, and share our writing. I can’t believe how much I miss them.

Then it was the farmers market. My book group. Then my other book group. And then my monthly writing group. And the library. The library!

Coffee with friends. Lunch with friends. Wandering downtown Bisbee and poking into shops. Stopping to chat with friends and even strangers. All gone. 

Short trips are gone. No browsing for plants at Lowe’s. No trips to Tucson, so no Costco, no Trader Joe’s, no Sprouts Market.

Not even my late winter trip to Bahía Kino (on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico), my home away from home.

And it hasn’t helped at all that the bulk of this four weeks has been cool and overcast, not the sunny late winter-early spring typical of southeastern Arizona. I began feeling lonesome. Yeah, isolated. 

But it’s worse for Tricia who was passing through, traveling in her van. She parked in my yard by the barn for a few days. She’s been stuck here for about a month now. She’s chomping at the bit to be able to finish her wanders.

No, the van doesn’t have horns. Those are Italian cypress trees behind my property.

My “daughter” Katie (we adopted each other last year) is up in Denver and wants to visit.

I have a plane ticket to visit my sister and family in Louisville. In June. Can I safely fly in June? Even if I can, I probably wont feel safe. I’ll be canceling next month. 

But there are magical moments.

Emails and phone calls from friends I hadn’t been in touch with for a long time. Web gatherings. Musical groups playing together but separately on the web. 

The occasional visit from a friend. We sit on my patio, far apart.

Random acts of kindness.

And now sunshine is finally here, and days are hanging out in the low to mid seventies. My garden is blooming.

My old girl Chloe loves to sit among the flowers.

There was a killer full moonrise.

The swallows came back to the nest they built last year and even mudded it up a bit before mama laid her eggs.

I’ve made a few visits to Whitewater Draw.

Mama and one of her babies in the barn at Whitewater.

And I made bread for the first time in over twenty years!

So hang in there, folks. Find some fun and beauty right where you are. I guarantee you they’re there.

Published by Emilie

I'm a retired instructor from a community college where I taught Developmental English and Reading as well as English as a Second Language. I'm also now a published author of a bilingual children's book entitled. Luisa the Green Sea Turtle - Luisa la Tortuga Verde del Mar. It's available from me, through Amazon, and is in a few (more and more each day!) bookstores.

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  1. I love the moon photo with the cloud in front, very nice. And the owls, how nice to see them right there. I hardly ever see an owl. They are so cool looking. Your flowers are gorgeous and your bread looks great. I have been baking my own bread for a couple years now. Great post, loved all the photos Emilie.

  2. I’ll second Cinda’s comment on the great photos! And, it is amazing how many people have been making bread in this last month!

    1. Well, it’s not like we don’t have time to make bread! It was hard getting the yeast though. I finally bought it through Bisbee Coffee Company.

  3. Staying Home: We ARE homebodies, but shopping every two of three weeks in masks and gloves and carrying our own disinfectant spray is a little creepy. “Video teleconferenced” 1st time ever with my GP today to refill some meds. Also kinda weird.
    Good essay. Enjoyed the pics. Love the mask. Miss you; miss the desert.

    1. A friend made the mask and sent it to me when she found out I didn’t have a decent one. Yes, mask and gloves and a little bottle of rubbing alcohol in my pocket. Once a week to Safeway. That’s about it. Except thankfully I have countryside around here and I have a patio in my front yard.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I certainly miss seeing you. I am sorry about your cancelled trip. I’m glad that you can connect with as many people as you do. But face-to-face conversations and hugs are much more fun. I hope that I’ll get to see you soon…in person. I guess I’m an introverted extrovert. 🙂 I can enjoy spending time alone, but I do miss activities with friends. Frankly, I’m rather tired of my own company. Yes, much fixing, sorting and organizing is going on. But I can only take so much of this. Except for food and meds, I can order everything else on line. I would love to be able to browse through some thrift shops with Jill or Emilie Jr. I have the feeling that the indefinite parameters of what we are dealing with…no END date…are driving me and others crazy. I find intolerable to be easier to deal with when I know WHEN it will again be tolerable. Until then, be kind to yourself and each other. We are old coots with a lot of grit. See you on the other side of this.

    1. Bruce, at least you also live in a rural area so you can get out a bit. Plus you have a yard. I worry about people in tiny apartments. Single moms cooped up with kids. Battered women trapped with their abusers. They are the ones who will have the most difficulties getting through this.
      Miss you. Love you.

  5. Awwwww this was a beautiful read!
    Your home is incredible, I love swallows nest and Chloe is such a gorgeous little dog! Hang in there, it wont be long until we can share these moments with loved ones again!

  6. Always enjoy your interesting and entertaining posts. This one is very meaningful as it is so personal and we can all relate. Wonderful photos, especially the moonrise with the windmill farm. So very cool! My heart is in warm Arizona while still freezing on Long Island.

  7. What a great post. Your writng group sounds like a great bunch of friends and must be missed immensely. The picture of the downtown street is wonderful. It reminds me quite a bit of when I lived in Colorado. Thanks for sharing.

    1. David, I’m trying to follow your blog, but I keep getting “not found” messages. I can’t seem to get into your home page or where ever it is so I can follow. Thanks for the read and comment!

  8. Hi Emilie, I enjoyed this very much. Sorry we never met. I live in Mexico, but studied at U of A years ago with Shelton and Oren. Also I was writer in residence in Bisbee with the Arizona Arts Council back in the Seventies. I knew Will Inman and loved your obit in the Havana Times. Good to see you are not only holding up but being creative during the lockdown. Un abrazo muy fuerte.

      1. I used to think I couldn’t write without drinking. “Wasted days and wasted nights,” as Freddie Fender used to sing. Now I am writing more than twice as much as I did back in the day.

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