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.
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.
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.
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.