The following is a true story. The names are not mentioned to protect the innocent from embarrassment. When I was in elementary school my sisters and I played with the three sisters who lived up the block. In the summer we built forts in a vacant lot, played kick ball, and had tea parties with our dolls. In the winter we went to their house to play school because in the big bedroom upstairs they had a chalk board, plenty of chalk, and lots of writing paper. We fought over who got to be the teacher, gave each other spelling tests, and practiced arithmetic time tables. A tiny bathroom just big enough for a stool and sink was just around the corner. One day their father announced that, “Toilet paper costs money, and he had made a new rule. From now on we could use only one square of paper if we went number one and two squares if we went number two.” I don’t know if anybody followed the rule because I ran home to use the bathroom and my sister Julie held it. One day my sister surprisingly used their bathroom. On the way home I asked if she had followed the rule. She laughed and explained she had used 10 squares of paper for only going number one. She was never one to follow rules. I just mention this story because of all the toilet paper hoarding during this pandemic. I hope that rationing of toilet paper will never be as extreme as those rules.
As a flaming extrovert this “staying at home” is very frustrating. All of my social activities such as exercise class, book club, and garden club have been cancelled. I get my energy from interacting with people. My husband, an introvert, has been practicing social distancing all his life and is only concerned that the post office remains open. Since most stores are closed I can’t get my “retail therapy.” Thank goodness for catalogs. I sent out an order for books and gardening supplies. Who knows when I will ever get those orders. I am limiting my phone calls to one a day. Texting and emails are ok but I really like to hear the voices of my friends and relatives. Conversations are filled with shopping updates about what is no longer available, and the limits on what is available. A cold may no longer be just a cold. I take my temp three times a day. Crafters who quilt, crochet, knit, scrapbook or sew are lucky. Some craft stores in big cities are even delivering craft items. When I whined as a child (which was often), my mother always said, “It could be worse.” Well, lately it seems that every day is worse. I have started limiting TV and walking outside more often.
My niece Anna delivered a baby boy on March 24. Her last name is now Ender, and she and her husband had been playfully choosing names that would go with their last name. Some choices were Cal (Calender) and Bart (Bartender). I suggested Rear (Rearender). They were not amused! The healthy baby boy’s name is Wyatt Ender. No, the middle name is not Earp. Congrats to the new family. Even in pandemics life goes on, and new life comes into the world.
During trying times like these it is important to nourish the soul and the body. My husband wrote this poem which has inspired me when I am anxious.
by James Little
Time meant forever.
It was not too late.
It would not happen.
What would I do?
Now I think in days,
Every day is an opportunity
to be productive,
to be helpful,
to be understanding,
to be kind,
to be forgiving,
to be gentle
So when it is just a matter of hours,
I can say it was all worthwhile.
I did say nourish the soul and the body. This recipe should take care of the body.