Thursday, April 9, 2020

Situation Odd

We are now in week four of our personal lockdown. I count ours as beginning from the time Grace's school closed. The week leading up to the decision to close the schools was fairly stressful for me. I engaged in many online arguments with people convinced there was nothing to worry about. I did not like having the bulk of the decisions out of my hands and to decide whether or not I would have to be That Mom. For a day or two, it looked like they were going to attempt to ride it out until conditions demanded otherwise. But soon sanity prevailed. After I knew I would be allowed to keep Grace home without dreadful confrontation or a cascade of consequences for her, my stress level dropped dramatically. Aside from Grace's return to the house during the day, nothing much has really changed here. Dave already works from home. The other children are already homeschooled. We chug along as close to normal as probably anyone could be.

In the immediate aftermath of all the shutdowns, the Internet was awash in exciting ideas to fill your newfound free time. To which I answer, what free time? The bulk of my cancelled activity happened in the evenings. It's true it's been nice spending 6-9pm at home instead of driving all over creation, but 7 o'clock at night isn't exactly the best time to dive into a new household project. We caved and bought Disney Plus in order to binge watch The Mandalorian. This is the way, yall. 

Aside that, nothing is really different or new. I have always been terrible at time management so the days evaporate in the way they always evaporate. We did not have concrete plans or vacations cancelled.  We had hoped to take a day trip to the Tennessee Aquarium over Spring Break, but since we have a yearlong membership that lasts until October, this wasn't a permanently lost opportunity. It's not like we have a habit or tradition of taking a Spring Break trip anyway. We just carry on. 

In spite of all the normal, things are not normal. We have shifted our days. We stay up too late and sleep too late. I am always running after the schedule we kept a few weeks ago and failing. Schoolwork creeps along at 2/3rds pace. The laundry is still behind. 

The reason is I keep getting sucked into the internet. So much new data, information, and speculation every hour of the day. I try to pull myself away, but nothing feels as urgent. You might suppose that this means I am very stressed about the current situation, but the truth is I am not. I have my moments, of course. We all do, but I generally do not feel particularly anxious. 

I think the reason is that life doesn't feel any more precarious than it usually does. We have been living without guaranteed income for years. Many times we stare down the prospect of an extended dry spell and somehow have managed to pull together enough income to make it through without too much pain. I usually can only see three months in front of me anyway. This pandemic doesn't feel much different to me at the moment. Dave has had an alarming number of clients either cancel or put their plans on hold so I know, eventually, we might feel the pinch. Talk to me in June or July. Then I might be anxious. Hopefully, though, life will open up before we get that far. Right now, though, I don't have to think too hard about what happens next.

I feel like we are living in suspended animation. I'm not motivated to keep the more rigorous school schedule, but I don't feel free to chuck it all and concentrate on household projects since I am not going anywhere anyway. This whole situation is just odd. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Laundry in the Time of Corona**

There's a screenshot floating around Facebook that says something like, "I always wondered what regular people were doing during historic events, but it turns out I am doing laundry-barely."

I, too, am barely doing laundry. In all the minute by minute drama of last week--the increasing confirmed cases, the cancellation decisions beginning to descend--I let the laundry go. I sat and hit refresh over and over, while mentally chiding myself to get up and work on the laundry.

Finally we hit the breaking point, and I had a lot of laundry to do in very short order. As I was moving baskets of clothes around, a fresh basket from the dryer sat a little bit too long. This load was the adults' more casual but still needs a hanger color clothes. As I put the shirts on hangers, several of them were wrinkly, more wrinkly than I am normally willing to tolerate. I sighed and started to think about which shirts needed to go back in the dryer with a wet washcloth. (This is my lazy person method of ironing.)

All of a sudden, I realized we aren't going to see ANYBODY before we wear these clothes again. We can wear them a bit wrinkly and then wash them again, and all will be well without any extra effort on my part. Satisfied, I put the clothes in the closet, and moved on to the next load.

**I know it's tired, but I couldn't resist.

Thursday, February 13, 2020


One of my quirky traits is that I love linens. I like sheets and blankets of different types and weights. And I especially love flannel sheets. I love the silly prints and the cozy warmth of flannels. Every year, I peruse the sheets in Target and online and have to fight the urge to buy more and more and more sheets. This might make you think I own an overflowing closet of sheets. This is not the case.

In reality, we own two sets of plain beige flannel sheets, probably bought at Target (maybe Penney's?). We only really need two sets. Beige was chosen for its long term washing durability. We don't really have storage room for more. That's about it. It is utilitarian. I make do and flip through catalogs.

This year for Christmas, Dave decided it was time to splurge and get me another set of flannels. Not just any flannels, though. LLBean Flannels! I have read the catalog description of these sheets for years. They sound so dreamy. Then I look at the price. Ouch! But if it's a Christmas gift, I have no choice but to buy the luxury set of flannels, right?

After some deliberation, I decided which set I wanted to get and soon these babies right here in Bay Blue were in my house.

Y'all. Y'all.

I cannot describe how great these sheets are. They are everything I ever dreamed and more. They feel like the softest, coziest cotton socks you've ever put on your feet. Except they're sheets! And it's your whole body, not just your feet!

If you tend to overheat at night, these probably aren't for you, but if you shiver like a sad dog left out in the cold, these are the greatest flannels in the history of flannel sheets. It's a real piece of luxury and worth the splurge if you can swing it. They make me feel like a millionaire instead of the thousandaire that I am.

NB: I am not getting paid for this ringing endorsement. If LLBean wants to sponsor me with some more sheets, I am willing to talk. Please.