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Staid at home

GAYS MILLS - Like most people, we are staying at home and we are staid (steady and serious in manner, sedate) as the spring of 2020 unfolds around us. The seasonal shift demands movement, involvement, and outdoor projects, and this year that means staying at or near home. Awakening gradually as it always does, this spring says life goes on, altered, yes, but as welcome as ever.

Luckily, maintaining social distances outside is not a problem in the yard. The food garden is very safe and quite needful of preparation right now; the therapeutic benefits of a garden kick in even before anything is planted. Raking, yard cleanup, mulching flower beds, pruning shrubs, dealing with moles, weeding the rhubarb patch, etc., are all pleasant activities (and great sleep enhancers) after even the mild winter we’ve just ‘enjoyed.’ 

It’s interesting to see the variety of masks that people wear: surgical masks, dust masks, masks that painters use, a few N95s, and of course all manner of homemade contrivances, many of which qualify as fashionable accessories. Some favor a bandana, a flash of color that can be worn as a scarf and turned around, bandit-style when needed.  Which brings up a thought: are bankers going to get used to folks walking into their businesses looking like they are going to rob them?

The stay-at-home protocol has made us all more likely to become couch potatoes. TV watching, and especially streaming (if you’re able) has become extremely popular.  Even without the extensive sports schedules that are now absent, the computers and TV sets are working overtime. Books are being read too, recipes tried, houses organized and deep cleaned, games played, hobbies pursued; the new reality is like an extended snow day without the snow.

It’s interesting watching news and talk shows these days. We get to see inside commentators’ homes for their take on things as they broadcast from home. I’m sure they spend hours making their backdrops look their best for the possible millions who will visit their homes. Many of the tele-guests have walls of books behind them, which is impressive.

One thing I have found hard to do is going to the hardware store and meeting them outside with items you have called in and ordered.  A: Thank you for doing that, but B:  A hardware store is the kind of place you want to go to just to browse around. You may have a list of items to get, but just seeing the displays triggers many, Oh-yeah-I-need-some-of-that-too moments. I imagine hardware store employees will be overjoyed when they are back to normal again.

So, we don’t know how long this current situation will last, but we have adjusted. The opening up of our lives will probably be gradual, measured, and monitored. It will be great to go shopping on our own again, shake hands with friends, and maybe stop for a slab of pie at a café on the way home.