Thursday, April 30, 2020

Rainy Rainy April

So much rain, it's making everything grow and green up and stay cool.  Somewhere I saw that this was the coolest April in a while, so although I have a couple little chairs on my balcony with a little storage table and a place to have flowers, until this week it hasn't been warm enough to think about populating the plant shelves, much less consider sitting out for a morning coffee.  Last week there was a freeze warning, so no, there are not enough blankets or hot coffee for me to sit out in 40F on a weekend morning. This after a winter where NoVA had a single snow flurry.  Oh 2020, you're such a jokester... watch May hit the oven setting. These masks are going to get really uncomfortable. Insult to injury.

So anyway, when it is dry and warm I try to get outside for a bit to stretch my legs and get the lungs working in the fresh air more than what an open balcony door can offer.  Yesterday was one of those days, so as work ended around 2pm I made my way over to the green spaces near the office. When did I do this before?  Must have been last year sometime, right?  Oh no, it was March 19. While I do walk back and forth most week days to get about 30 minutes activity and fresh air, it's nice to wander aimlessly and yes, I took off my mask for a bit to breathe in the fresh cut grass and the scent of ponds and fountains - oh that smell. Crisp and clean and bright and, dare I say, hopeful. You know that whole feeling. It creeps in and says that life is good and we can be grateful for the little things like blue sky and a shaded path. Fuzzy little ducklings. Girls who are struggling but so strong. A son in a different country living his own life. A son who turned 20 last week and turns into a turtle. And a husband who is so very tired, but still safe.

My days are spent thinking of them, no matter what else I'm doing or not doing.

Masks are still on the machine, my assembly line is moving along slowly. I attempted a double-sided one but it just didn't sit right, so the rest will have an inner and an outer as normal. Currently I'm on the lookout for a good middle filter material so I don't have to chop up a sheet.

Bread baking continues each week. My parents did a drive-by and dropped off 5lb of all-purpose that hasn't been available in my grocery store for weeks. It was awesome. This week's loaf featured chia and flax seed baked in and I think I'm getting better at it, the whole bread thing.  But what I've also realized is the pot I use to bake in is just too big. I've ordered a small cast iron pot which will hopefully pop out a better shaped loaf.

I enjoy writing letters and sending cards so ordered some fun new paper products from Greymount. It's a small company that I was happy to support.

The two Starbucks near me are closed, but Bread and Water and Commonwealth Joe are still running.  I don't especially love the coffee from Bread and Water but their almond croissant is divine.  Commonwealth Joe makes better coffee and is a further walk, so perhaps my best option is to visit both on Saturday to work off that croissant. It's even better on lovely days that the ordering and waiting at B&W is all outdoors.


It's hard to fill a page these days, isn't it? Besides TV and crafting and home stuff and worrying about my family the stories are slowing to a trickle. That's my doing, I know, because watching SGN proves that there's so much more happening that I'm just not tapping into, and I know that I'll look back on these days and wonder why I didn't take advantage of the time and space available. That will part of the recovery from COVID-times too, not just the time warp but the frustrations from every angle - wanting to do too much, doing too little, not knowing what to do.

I've been lucky to get away without contemplating this for so many weeks thanks to having my job to go to. Filling a few hours at home here and there is far different than facing days on end with no rules or guidelines.

It's giving me a lot to ponder: what do I want to get out of this challenge? Or better phrased: do I want to get anything out of this challenge? After all, I didn't ask for it. None of us did. Yet here are. So I ask myself: what am I going to do with it?

I have no answers.

With that, I bid farewell to April. Bring on May. I won't ask "how bad can it possibly be?" because that is a road I don't think anyone wants to go down.

But if it brings my husband home safe and sound? Maybe? Yeah... bring on May. I'm waiting.

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