Here we are all together, yet apart. Life sure has taken a crazy turn, hasn’t it? I live in a small, rural community in Indiana, and today we now have ten confirmed COVID-19 cases, and now one death. I didn’t know the man – well, I had heard his name before, and I probably knew him at one time, because he was a hunting dog trainer, and I used to sell guns (sounds like I heard a few gasps out there, but yeah, I worked in my parent’s gun shop back in the day.) Anyway, when you live in a small town, chances are you know everyone one way or another. Anyway, as my heart goes out to his family and friends.
There’s been lots of changes in our lives due to this pandemic. I have to admit, this change in lifestyles has given me the opportunity to WAKE up! I’m now working 5 days split between two weeks. So half time. In shaking up my routine, I’ve realized what a robot I’d become. A slave to the clock! Have you had any epiphanies during this shake up?
My son, his fiance’, and their almost two year old are “quarantined” with us. My son works with my husband, so he and his fiance’ feel it would be silly for them to stay away from us. So now my afternoons are filled with being a grandma to Miss Blakely. Her mama is a stay-at-home mom, and she likes to hang out at our house for a change of scenery (and a break!).
Blakely and I have spent time digging in dirt, repotting a plant, starting some tomatoes, and hauling gravel with tablespoons. If I try to do some sewing, Blakely spends time rearranging the fabric scraps in my bins. She’s an outdoor girl for sure, and if she could live in the swing outside, she would! Why is swinging a child so boring and monotonous? When she heads to the swingset, all of me cringes. I’d much rather run circles around her. But – I’m a gramma, and grammas make it happen. So I swing her and sing, “You Are My Sunshine,” while she bobs her head back and forth, grinning and lip syncing. She doesn’t talk much yet, but for some reason, when she wants to sing along, she just opens and shuts her mouth like she’s pretending to sing along. It is quite adorable.
When I’m not hanging out with Blakely, I’ve been doing a lot of sewing. Other people I talk to are painting inside their house, cleaning closets and doing spring cleaning. But nope. Not me. Maybe I should be, but I feel like life is so full of duty and obligation. When I get time for me, I’m going to use it for something I love to do.
I had signed up for a quilt along at the local quilt shop after Christmas. As it worked out, I have yet to attend a meeting! In January, I was sick. In February, I was in Arizona visiting my daughter. In March, the meeting was cancelled due to the pandemic. And tonight was to be the next meeting, so due to the social distancing, it is cancelled again. Luckily, we are still working on the assignments for the class timeline. Nancy, who owns the local quilt shop, brilliantly created a Facebook page (It’s called, Show & Tell…share your creativity!!!), so we could post pictures of our work. It’s fun to share our work, see what others have come up with and it holds me accountable!
The quilt pattern is Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. The ironic thing is that I don’t really love the pattern. It’s not one that I would have chosen. The truth, and this is the ironic part, is that I signed up for this quilt along, because I wanted to be part of a quilting collective. I wanted a reason to leave the house – besides going to work, grocery shopping, church….yeah, that’s about it. So what did I get? A social distancing version.
People talk about how awful this social distancing stuff has been, how crazy they are going, and how it has changed their lives, but for me – well, I’m just not going to work as much. I get my groceries on-line or through grocery curbside pick up – that’s different. I’m a bit annoyed by the shortage of things that used to make my life easier, but we’re making do and getting by. I never lived a life of luxury before and have lived in near poverty, so as long as the heat comes on in my house and I have running water, I can get by. I guess it’s not the “things” or the routine that I miss as much as things like – taking my mom’s arm when we walk. Now we walk about ten feet apart, wearing masks, and our visits are all outside and never end with a hug or a kiss.
Blakely is expecting a little sister in August. Her name is Ellison. I have a bunny quilt started for her. The bunny part of the quilt is from the Fancy Forest quilt pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. These bunnies are so fun to make. In fact, I just love making all those little animals. I made a small version of the assorted animals in that pattern book, and it hangs in my family room. I was naming the animals for Blakely one day, as she pointed at them on the wall, and of all the animal names, she decided to say, “Hedgehog.” Not bunny, owl, fox. Nope, she had to say hedgehog. And let me tell you, it’s pretty dang cute. Sounds sort of like, “Gog-gog.”
I made four sunflower appliques, because Ellison’s mommy thinks Ellison is going to be a sunflower kinda girl, to put on the corners of the quilt. They are from the Quilter’s Patch pattern book by Edyta Sitar.
I plan to finish the top of Ellison’s quilt this week, as the fabric that I ordered to complete it just arrived yesterday! I’ve been ordering a lot of our day to day necessities from Amazon, so a package of fabric was a nice break in those boring packages.
Although on that note, I will ask the obvious – did you ever imagine in your lifetime and this day and age to have a toilet paper shortage???
So what have you been doing to keep your spirits up? There’s a fear and uncertainty that is graying the energy of the earth. It’s a worse pollution than you would ever get from a factory. You may not be able to see it, but it’s there! I’m sure you can feel it.
I think it’s up to all of us to keep creating, because creativity sends beautiful light into the world that brightens lives and hearts. On top of creating, I’ve spent time reading – blogs, fictional books, spiritual books…..I have read this book before, but decided to re-read it, Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron. It’s a great book based on Tibetan Buddhist teachings.
Well, if you’re still reading, thank you! Stay well and safe and create away!!!