Let’s Stay Home

Hi Friends!

You have been in my heart so often lately as we all walk together through this unprecedented moment in time. ♥ I truly hope that all of you and your families are well. How are you doing?  Please let us know…

If you are new to our blog, “Welcome!” Please say “Hi” in the comments…

My family is adjusting to all of the changes and just taking things one day at a time.  Here in Illinois we have been under a Stay At Home order for three weeks already. My husband has been working remotely from home. We have turned our dining room into his temporary office with his computers gracing our dining room table. I am trying to be extra quiet to help out. 😉 We both feel so grateful that he is able to work from home during this unsettled time.

We have both been taking extra precautions to stay healthy so that we can continue to help my parents as care partners. A few weeks ago, we began doing our grocery shopping online and having groceries delivered to our front porch to avoid all the stores. We have recently begun wearing masks when we must leave home.

At present, there are thirty-three known cases of Coronavirus in our town and over sixty Coronavirus patients in our local hospital. So, we continue to heed the advice of the scientists and doctors, our state governor, and local leaders. By staying home and social distancing, we are trying our very best to help flatten the curve.

Personally, this quiet time of staying at home feels like an unfamiliar ‘pause’ for me. Since the beginning of the year, life as a care partner had been very, very busy with doctors’ appointments, hospitalizations, and extended stays with my parents to help out. It always feels like an honor to spend time with my dear parents. They are still my best teachers as they show me how to live our best lives with bravery, resilience, and everlasting love!

For the past month, however, their Senior Community has been on lockdown. Everyone there is healthy… and they are using an abundance of caution to avoid the Coronavirus in their building. Three meals each day are delivered to their apartment. I’m so grateful that my parents have one another for company! All activities have been cancelled and their gathering spaces must remain empty. Everyone there is doing their part to Stay At Home. So far, it has been working…

It’s definitely a worrisome time, though, as a care partner who cannot visit! Lots of phone calls and Skype ‘visits’ are helping to keep us close, but nothing can take the place of real visits to help out in so many ways. So, it’s a challenging time for us. I am still able to drop off packages of medicine and other essentials at the lobby and staff members deliver them to my parents’ apartment. Last week, after dropping off a package, I followed the outdoor path along to their apartment and made a surprise phone call to invite Mom and Dad out onto their second-floor balcony. It was so nice to chat (loudly!) together for a few minutes as a family! ♥

Now I am savoring this unexpected ‘pause’ in quiet ways, giving myself much grace to feel all of the feelings. Reading, soaking up creative inspiration, writing in my Self-Care bullet journal, listening to podcasts, attending virtual WW Workshops, talking with friends, and writing letters help to lift my spirits. The online communities of creatives have been connecting with one another more often, as we encourage one another to share our handmade kindness with the world. I spent time tidying up my little Paper Garden studio downstairs and plan to spend lots of time creating handmade cards in the weeks to come. 🙂 I’m so very grateful that my creative spirit is slowly returning!

Spending time in nature has also been nourishing my heart and soul. I’m savoring daily walks through my garden, practicing ‘the art of noticing,’ as the perennials awaken during my very favorite season. I have also been taking brisk, solo walks (with lots of social distancing) through the neighborhood enjoying the sunshine and birdsong, as the Forsythia and Magnolias begin to bloom.

Unhurried time and ‘white space’ on my calendar have led to simple, new mindfulness practices. They are just small changes, but they feel very meaningful. During this heartbreaking time in our world, I have been even more aware of the importance of practicing gratitude. Every morning, as I hang the flag on our front porch, I quietly thank all of the doctors, nurses, first responders, scientists, store clerks, mail carriers, delivery people, and other essential workers who are doing such brave work while we stay at home.

Each evening, as I take down the flag, I think of all of the teachers who are working so hard to prepare meaningful lessons for their students while they cannot gather together in their classrooms. I think of the students who suddenly have to adapt to this new way of learning and their parents who have been pressed into the role of homeschooling. I also think of all the volunteers who are helping in food pantries and distributing boxes of food for those who have suddenly found themselves unemployed due to the Coronavirus. It’s humbling to see so many people who have come together to help during this frightening time.

I have also begun counting my blessings out loud each time I wash my hands! We are constantly washing our hands these days and practicing gratitude each time I use soap and water helps to soften the effect of all the breaking news. Although life feels very different now, there is still much to be thankful for each day. It helps us to remain hopeful that if we all do our part, there will be brighter days ahead!

Let’s stay home, stay safe, and stay positive!

♥ ♥ ♥

 

We are all in this together…

Please let us know how things are going in your corner of the world.

How are YOU coping with all that is happening?

 

Sending warm blessings for Easter and Passover,

Dawn

 

 

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Let’s Stay Home

  1. Glad to hear you, hubby and parents are all well and coping. We’re in Day 28 and have 23 to go. I go out for groceries when necessary with mask and gloves. I’m an introvert and being retired, we’re use to a more quiet lifestyle, but I have to say this is so eerie. I can’t wait to get this over and get some kind of normalcy back. I miss people. Will I continue to act responsibly and do everything I can to help flatten the curve, of course, but the strangeness of this plays heavy on the mind after a while and each day just slips into the next. I’m sewing but need to find a new project, and I garden on days when the temps and sun allow it. Those days feel more normal. 🙂 Continue to take care and together we’ll all get through this.

    • So glad you and your family are well and navigating this terrible time, Judy! It’s a real blessing to be retired, although our age puts us at greater risk. I’ve had to be very selective about the amount of news that I watch. Too much news keep s me awake with worry. I agree that this feels totally different from our usual time at home. It truly is unnerving. The coming weeks will challenge us all, no matter where in the world we live.
      I’m very grateful that we both can find peace in our gardens and through our creative passions, especially now. There will be more opportunities to help make a difference, too. Stay safe and healthy, Judy! So glad that you always gather here with us!💗

  2. Dawn, you have been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been thinking of you and your parents and wondering how you and your family have been coping with the crisis we all are facing. I’m so glad to hear your parents are safe and there are no problems for them except missing you and their social activities. This must be a very confusing time for them. That’s so sweet you were able to have a conversation up to their balcony. Very creative, my friend.
    We are well and are staying close to home like you. We venture out early each morning to walk the Heritage Trail. It’s wonderful to still do this while keeping social distances. We had a lovely visit with our whole family on Skype this afternoon. It is the first Easter I can remember that we were not seated at our table together. After having returned from our voyage of 57 days around South America, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen our family. I’m so glad John can still work from home. So many folks are out of work. It’s a very serious time, but I do feel we all need to do what the experts tell us. Hopefully the curve will flatten soon. Happy Easter to you and your family, dear friend. xoxo

    • Happy Easter, dear Martha Ellen! I think we all feel the real loss of family gatherings during this unprecedented time. It was a blessing that we were both able to Skype with our loved ones today. We also missed having everyone here for Easter, but we all must the help out to save lives.
      I’m truly grateful that you and Grayden had a safe adventure and returned from your voyage before the Coronavirus could spread to your ship! You must still be savoring all that you experienced and learned each day. I’m looking forward to hearing all about your travels. You always share such lovely memories of your adventures, my friend!
      I’m sure that your morning walks together along the Heritage Trail bring you much peace during this time. I’m sure that you are also busy with creative passions. Of course, I’m curious to hear all of your news. I promise to write soon!
      Easter Blessings to you, Grayden, and Samuel! Stay safe!💗

  3. We have been in “stay at home” mode since mid-March, but we’re managing. I still go to the grocery store once a week (with a mask on) and then I keep 6′ distance from anyone I see. Hopefully, we’ll flatten the curve and be back to the new normal by the end of May.
    xo,
    Karen

    • So glad to know that you are doing well, Karen! Lives across the world have really been turned upside down by the Coronavirus. I hope that scientists will guide us (and that everyone will listen) when the time comes to begin to safely open our country again. It’s hard to imagine just what that will look like!
      You were on my mind each time I heard news from California, Karen. Stay safe… and retreat to the garden as often as possible in the coming weeks! Thank you for being here, Karen!

  4. Hello Dawn, lovely to hear what you’re doing to nurture yourself and build resilience. I love that you managed a long distance conversation with your parents on their balcony. I bet they loved that. I do feel this is a time for a reset. And we can use this time to check in with ourselves and be more mindful. In New Zealand we’re almost 3 weeks into a four week Level 4 lock down – only essential services, everyone else stays at home, borders closed except for Kiwi’s returning and countries sending planes to rescue their people stuck here. Anyone returning goes into supervised 14 day isolation. So far we’ve had 5 deaths, all elderly with underlying health conditions. Most of them have been from one care facility – which is a bit worrying as my Dad and his partner are also in one, in lockdown. We’ll hear in the next week whether our Level 4 lockdown will be extended or we’ll go to Level 3 – in parts of the country at least. For me, I live a quiet life anyway – it’s just meant I can’t wander off whenever i get itchy feet. But I’m also watching my tendency to think I need to get busy and do all kinds of things during this time. I’m grateful we’re having quite warm temperatures and the garden is supplying a bounty of veggies and fruit. I feel for all those having a tough time and losing jobs. Thanks for sharing your life and your photos with us. xox

    • Kindred spirits, dear Vicky! It does feel like a time of reset. We may both emerge from our cocoons with new self-discoveries when the danger passes. My Self-Care journal teaches me important lessons… and I always listen! I know that you feel the same way.
      My parents recently asked how you are doing and how your exciting plans are coming along. We are all cheering you on from afar. I hope your dad and his partner will stay healthy during this worrisome time, Vicky. The concern over community spread is always there for our seniors. Friendships, hobbies, and activities play such an important role in good health. So, when the time is right, I hope that our parents can resume their enjoyable golden years. I wish your dad a huge stack of interesting books to read and my dad the chance to drive and plan fun, little adventures with my mom!
      Vicky, I have been so impressed by your Prime Minister during this pandemic. I have watched several of her news conferences. Her calm, well-planned strategies seem to be working. I especially admire the attention she is giving to New Zealand’s youngest citizens!
      Your beautiful garden is rewarding you with an abundance of fruits and veggies this Autumn as it helps to renew your spirits. Hopefully, you will be able to plan a little getaway before long, my friend. Stay well! Sending air hugs across the seas! 💗

  5. A belated Happy Easter to you, Dawn. I, too, have been wondering how you are doing, especially with the needs of your parents. Both Tom and I miss our family and friends, and we miss our church community and are activities. Everything thus far has been cancelled for the garden club, but, we are all keeping connected online and still hoping to hold a walk this year. I think the next month will determine whether or not that will happen. We are so very fortunate to be able to connect via technology. I made a point to dress up for Easter services yesterday, in which we were seated on our couch in the living room. Still . . . we have this and it is a comfort. We are doing well and already used to being here together as Tom has an office/business here. The good news is that it is in ample space above the barn (which is really a garage, but, we take editorial liberty 🙂 ). The hard part is keeping our social distance with each other. haha We have been huggers for 5 decades. Old habits . . . Here’s to flattening that curve.

    • Oh, Penny! Your kind thoughts are much appreciated. 💕Heartfelt thanks! We are taking things day-by-day. I was helping out during an extended stay at my parents’ apartment when their lockdown was announced. I believe that it was a very wise decision to help keep all of the seniors healthy! The building director very kindly let me stay one extra day since I had already been staying in their apartment for a while, helping as a care partner. In the final hours, I scurried around doing everything that I could think of, before leaving with gentle, goodbye air hugs. I drove home in tears, not knowing when visitors would be able to enter the building again. My parents so value their Independent Living lifestyle and we can see that it helps them thrive, even during health challenges. We had a special Skype visit for Easter. We are all grateful that they chose an apartment with a large balcony overlooking a lovely, wooded area. So, at least they can walk around on their balcony in the fresh air. My mom wakes up very early and loves watching the sun rise every morning to start her day!
      Just the other day, I was thinking about the Garden Walk and wondering if the Garden Faire would happen this year. You have already done so much planning for this event, Penny! Hopefully, we will soon learn more how the coming months will play out.
      I love that you dressed up for Easter services! I dressed up a bit (well, I added a colorful scarf!) and had already decorated for Easter and Springtime, even though we wouldn’t be hosting our traditional Easter family gathering this year. A bit of tradition is very comforting during these uncertain times…
      I love knowing that Tom has a home office above the barn. 😊 So, working from home is another nice bit of normalcy at your house. (I must admit that I immediately imagined how lovely a creative studio space would be in your barn!😉) Social distancing can be challenging. I’m a hugger, too! Sending you big, squishy air hugs, Penny! Hope you and Tom will stay safe and healthy! Thank you for always being here, sweet friend!💗

  6. Dawn, I’m so glad to hear your parents are healthy and have each other to beat the boredom and stave off loneliness! These last few weeks have felt very long, as my head swirls with worry, then gratitude; anxiety, then calm. It’s a time to feel ALL the feelings, and just take things day by day. Or, minute by minute. Hopefully when this is all over, it’ll feel like just a tiny blip. Or, at least, we will adopt some of the good habits to come out of this, like self-care, keeping connections healthy with loved ones, and making do with less. I especially enjoy your beautiful garden photos. Seeing the color pop out of the ground gives me a lot of hope right now!

    • So good to hear from you, Carol! I’m very happy to know that you are well. I’m really missing my library friends! I’m feeling all the feelings, just like you. It would be such a positive thing to continue some of our new lifestyle habits after things settle into a ‘new normal.’ I’m certain that this terrible pandemic is teaching us some important life lessons!
      The daffodils survived through all four seasons last week ~ temperatures near 80°, high winds, hail, thunderstorms, and snowflakes! They were dancing in the wind when I tried to photograph them. I finally captured a few during the ‘golden hour’ when the sun was just right! ☀️I just love seeing the day-to-day changes in the garden in the Springtime!
      Take extra good care of yourself, Carol! Stay strong! I look forward to seeing you again soon! Sending air hugs!💗

  7. Other than not going grocery shopping every week things are not much different than usual here. My spouse is wearing a mask when shopping and we’re disinfecting all packages from the store but other than that the days are quiet. I read, write, knit, do genealogy research and some other things since I’m pretty much housebound at the best of times. There is no fear here, neither of us is worried about catching the virus. My spouse’s children are all well too. Do take care of yourself. All the best.

    • So good to know that you are all doing well, Aquila! It sounds like you are handling the changes and enjoying your quiet days and favorite activities. Staying busy with your usual routine is a good thing. Take extra good care of one another! Thank you so much for visiting today, Aquila. Stay safe! 💗

  8. I’m so sorry the seniors who need company the most are being deprived of it to keep them safe. I’m glad you found a way to connect with them though. I stop by a neighbors on my walk and say good morning. She stands on her porch and we shout back and forth. She doesn’t put her hearing aids in. My daughter and I are doing well. This is ordinary for me and she says she is uniquely designed to work from home. I’ve never seen her so happy. No more long commutes each day. She’d like it to continue. I spend a lot of time alone anyway but this is extreme and makes me appreciate getting out even more than usual. Soon enough but I don’t want it to be too soon. We don’t want another wave of this. Keep taking care. I’m going to have to get some bird houses. They are so cute.

    • So glad to know that you and your daughter are doing well, Marlene! It’s really nice that you have one another for company. Daily walks and connecting with neighbors are so good for our health! After my walks, my heart always feels lighter. It’s so inspiring to watch Springtime arriving day-by-day (even though snowflakes were blowing around in the wind this afternoon). You are so right, we just can’t rush this. We must listen to the scientists and doctors.
      Take good care of one another, Marlene! Stay safe!💗

  9. Has a Tale of Two Cities been on any one else’s mind? It has drifted into my thoughts several times as this pandemic has unfolded. I sit here in my lovely, safe, comfortable home in the country while a virus rages around the globe. People are sick and people are dying. Doctors, first responders, nurses and grocery store workers man the front lines. All overwhelmed. And people are out of work and businesses shuttered. And I am asked to stay home. During the last world wide crisis my dad was asked to go to war; to leave his family and fight in the trenches in a foreign country. And I am asked to stay home. And I can do this since I feel as if I have been training for this my whole life! I am an introvert by nature, a nester, a homebody. This is right up my alley and yet even I feel the stress of it all. The shortages at the grocery store as if we live in some third world country. I cannot make multiple trips to town to find things and that defeats the reason we are asked to stay home. So I make do with what I have on hand as my grandmothers did during the depression, and I garden when I can and try to keep up with the mowing, we have had a glorious spring, and try my best to keep my home bound troops entertained! I try to be grateful every day and pray for our earth that we will recover.
    I love that you count your blessing when you wash your hands…I am getting tired of the birthday song! And speaking of birthdays my mom turned 97. We FaceTimed with family and I know she loved that but I was sad for her that it could not have been more!
    But Spring is here and just that alone raises my spirits. I love to watch the sun come up each day, like your mom it is my favorite time. And my silly little rescue terrier with the crooked ears keeps us laughing daily whether we want to or not! In so many ways life is good. My tomatoes are doing well and the lettuce is up! I just pray this country listens to the doctors and scientists and we are careful how we resume life to keep the most vulnerable safe.

    • You have been on my heart so often lately, Chris. It is so good to hear from you and to know that you are well. What a blessing that you are retired and helping your family every day, my friend! Sending extra-special birthday hugs for your mom!💕
      Our hearts are with people everywhere during this global crisis. So many lives lost or turned upside down. It is so difficult to watch the news day after day. Each day, I pray that our leaders listen to the doctors and scientists so that we can slowly reopen our country in the safest way possible.
      A daily gratitude practice is really helping me. Tonight I read about a movement to honor and thank our healthcare heroes and first responders by tying a white ribbon on a tree, our mailbox, the front of the house, or in a front window. So, first thing tomorrow morning, I’m going to tie a big white ribbon around our Maple tree in the front yard! I hope the idea will catch on quickly. It’s such a simple, meaningful way of showing our gratitude! Be safe, be well, dear Chris! Sending air hugs all the way to Texas! 💗

  10. Dawn!!
    I have been thinking about you and your parents and I am so relieved to hear that things are as good as they can be at this moment in time. I always want to send you the “perfect” letter…and then no letter gets sent…I kid you not- I have three half written letters to you downstairs! Reading your blog always brings me such joy because it brings me closer to YOU!! Thank you for all the kind thoughts regarding school- it has been a strange and frustrating challenge.
    I am leaving a note here, just to say hello. But I am going to go downstairs RIGHT now to draw you a picture and I will mail it you!! Sending love from Chicago ❤ ❤ ❤

    • What a joy to hear from you, Mo! Hope your whole family is doing well during this unsettled time. I have been thinking of you, too! In fact, this morning I thought that perhaps we should plan a virtual tea party. It’s so nurturing to spend time together… while we are apart! I also thought of you this afternoon as I listened to the governor’s announcement that Illinois schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year. I support this decision 100% to keep everyone safe and to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. It just made me so sad for the students and their teachers. I know you will find creative ways to use eLearning to wrap up the curriculum… but it will feel so different this year!
      Every letter you write, Mo, feels like a perfect little ‘visit’ when friends are apart. Big hugs for everyone at your house! Stay safe! Stay healthy! Stay hopeful! 💗

  11. Hi Dawn,
    I hope you are still doing well staying at home during these challenging weeks. i miss our library crafting days but know that those days may not even return this year with Covid-19, time will tell. I have been spending much time crafting at home and now that the weather has gotten nice, my flowers are looking great with all the extra time i have. My garden 6 self watering pots for the tomato’s on my patio. I also planted herbs and in regular type pots, I also am taking my two dogs for a walk every day before the kids are outside. i would like to think that they are loving me being home so much.
    Hugs,
    Patty

    • So good to hear from you, Patty! I really miss our wonderful library and our crafty ‘tribe,’ too. I wonder if they might plan a virtual Crop one day? I think it will be such a long time until our lives return to a new normal. During this unprecedented time, it has been challenging to find my creative mojo. Whenever inspiration strikes, though, I enjoy my creative time immensely! I’ve been listening to Oldies in my little Paper Garden downstairs while I make cards. The music takes me back to much simpler times.

      Your garden sounds so lovely, Patty! All of our rain in May has made my garden flourish, too. My Friendship Garden bed is in full bloom this week. The Peonies are taller than ever! Early morning walks are such a nice way to begin the day. 😊
      Thanks for stopping to visit and joining in the conversation, Patty! Keep taking extra good care of yourself. Sending big hugs! Be well, my friend!💗

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