Maine, like most states is in lockdown. So, this is just me doing some Maine Musings.
All the changes that have been piled on us have happened so quickly- the words social distancing did not even have a meaning a month ago! And now we have self isolating, sheltering, etc. So many, many changes to our lives.
For me, a week ago Thursday was the hardest day. I did not know what was what. Now I have a new normal- strange, but doable. I, like many, live alone with a dog. I don’t talk with anyone face to face, but I can skype with family members, do face time, and write emails, and yes, call them! And, living in the country makes some things easier than in cities. We can go for a walk along the road, or drive somewhere and look at a beach, without worrying about social distancing.
But, the new norm has definitely effected us all. And, I think many changes are here for a long, long time.
Taber’s pillow project for SHELTER IN PLACE has been a huge success. And, people have said that it has been a nice thing for them. We still have plenty of pillow tops available. If you know anyone that might like to make a couple of pillows please, please, let them know that we want to help!
YOU NEED TO USE A COUPON CODE TO GET THE DISCOUNT. Add the desired pillow top fabric to a shopping cart and enter : STAYIN for the discount to be applied.
The Pillows are available here : https://www.brickhousefabrics.com/Stay_In_Covid19.html
During this week I did talk to customers about orders. And, what I mostly heard was frustration, being stuck at home, going stir crazy.
The idea that one can not just run out to the market, should not go to get a coffee, these are what seems to bother people. One person said they felt isolated. He was used to going to sit with people every morning and having coffee. Another was just angry, and I mean angry, about being forced to stay home. And, then there are the grandparents who can not see their grandchildren. We all have things that seem hard.
But, for me it is a bit different- what I find hard is not that I can’t do things, but the idea. It is the idea that I can not do things which I find odd. Even though my off time is normally at home, taking a breath, it is the idea of not being allowed to do things, that hits hardest.
One postal worker said people are so bored they are coming in to buy a single stamp!
Everyone’s situation is different.
My older sister is living in a very small apartment with her husband who has a very compromised immune system, her daughter, and two cats. They are walking in a wooded park every morning.
My older son is working from home with three kids aged 7 – 16. They have specific schedules, with an afternoon exercise class!
I have a niece whose husband is an emergency room physician. She worries if the hospital gets locked down, he would be in there for two weeks.
And, all of us worry about passing the virus on to others.
So, what makes you feel better?
I think one has to concentrate on small things.
One lady said yellow makes her feel good. So, she has a yellow face cloth on her kitchen counter, in her car, everywhere!
One lady is using the time to make quilts- she has started three! And, is excited about each one.
Remember those chain letters from grade school? Well, I decided a cyber wave “Hello” would be nice… so I sent one to a few people and asked them to pass it on! Like those old fashioned letters that we got in the mail.
I am not a blog reader. But, every once in a while I take a look at Claudia Diller’s. She is a Maine artist whose blog is a series of weekly paintings, with the thoughts behind them. I love the paintings, and enjoy her messages. Her website is here… Claudia Diller
Don’t get stuck!
I think the thing is, even though many of us are stuck inside, to not be stuck… to not sink into negativity. For those whose jobs have been compromised, that is hard. There are money worries, health worries, and here, toilet paper worries. We are all having to rethink how we live. So much has happened in such a short amount of time that the learning curve and adjustments have been difficult.
So, reach out to others, do something for someone else… make a pot holder, a couple of napkins, anything… I think helping another, being aware of others, can help us get through this.
And, try to thank people…I think of the people at the post office, the health care providers, the clerks at the markets… these all put themselves at risk so our lives can keep going. I think showing how much we appreciate them, with a smile and a thankyou, can mean a lot! Kindness and gratitude mean a lot.
And share! I went to the market last Thursday. I only needed a few things. And, I wanted to get some rice, as I was nearly out. There was a lady in the rice aisle who took every single rice package of every kind and flavor of rice, and piled them into her cart. She knew I was there, but, there was no acknowledgement of another who was waiting to get to the shelves with the rice.
And, take time for oneself– I like to drink my weekend breakfast coffee with the sun warm on my back. So, I am going to really, really try to enjoy that, and look forward to the next weekend with the sun on my back, and coffee to be enjoyed!
My Childhood Neighborhood Project
Hard times make us look back as well as wonder about the future.
Last fall, I had been thinking a lot about my childhood. And, a project evolved about the neighborhood. This was well before all of the present challenges started.
I grew up on a road, on a hill, that did not have many houses on it. And, at the bottom of the hill, another hilly road crossed it, which is where our school bus stop was.
Then it flattened out, ran for a block, where it intersected with a major street. Right before it intersected with that street, there was another short street that ran down hill. At the top of it was another bus stop.
And, we all, except for two families, went to the same school, at basically the same bus stop. And, if asked, I would have said there weren’t that many kids in the neighborhood. But, some of the houses had been sold over time, and had new families living in them. And, up the hill a few houses had been built.
When I counted all the kids up there were over 40! The spread in ages was over 20 years!
Being in the middle of that age spread I knew a lot of kids!
Well, I found a store on ETsy that sold ribbons, and I ordered 8 colors. They were just colors I liked. And, I went for narrow satin ribbons. I cut them about 30″ in length. Then I singed the cut edges to seal them. Then I made a loop on one end and fastened it with super glue. But, that did not hold well. So, I redid with an industrial strength, waterproof epoxy. One drop did it!
I lined all the ribbons up by color. And, using a Sharpie pen I started writing down the names of all the kids that had been in the neighborhood- one to a ribbon. The colors were not matched to a person, I just picked the ribbons up in the order in which I had laid them out. I went from the top of the hill, by house.
So, the first house had the children’s names in order of age, then the second house had the names from the first family that lived in it, and then the names of the children of the second family to live in that house. Down the hill I went, across the flattened spot and down the hill near the big street. Then I went to the top of the hill with the road that crossed ours, and all the way down it.
When I had finished I took a piece of clothes line and stung the ribbons onto it, tying a knot between each family. They went on in the order of the houses- top to bottom of each hill.
And I hung it outside on two trees.
All winter I have been seeing the fluttering ribbons, and it has been a wonderful thing-there have been thoughts filled with nostalgia, thoughts for what might have been, as well as for what might be. And, even a sense of amazement that I got it done! Those dancing ribbons have added a lot to my daily life.
Is there a project that you might like to do ? That might give you some happiness and hope? With the internet one can order anything to work on. So, is there a way to use this time to do something to add some meaning for you in this hard time? Can you think of a way to not be stuck?
There is one more thing…
I don’t know anyone who has died.
But, there are so many people who have had friends and loved ones pass away.
I want to send heartfelt condolences to all who have lost
those near and dear.
I can not imagine the sorrow and pain you are going through.
With love to all.