Allyson Johnson

Pieces of my Mind

Archive for the month “May, 2020”

Life in a COVID-19 Hot Spot: Week 11 – Celebration!

20200520_170602_resizedwebI was due to have a milestone birthday this month, and we had planned a big family reunion picnic at a central location convenient to my two sons, my sister, and a couple of nieces and nephews. Of course, several weeks ago it was clear that was not going to happen. My friends and relatives compensated with a cascade of birthday cards. It was not quite the same.

“We can still have a picnic,” said my husband. But the morning of my birthday dawned dark and damp – unseasonable rain. Not even a vestigial picnic would be possible. We ate hot soup inside. It wasn’t very comfortable, as we had decided to take advantage of the lack of foreseeable company to get the carpets cleaned, so all the furniture was piled around the edges of the room. Oh well, I told myself. I’ll have a whole year to celebrate this birthday, as soon as I get a chance.

By early afternoon the sun was out, and I was just getting my shoes on to go for a bike ride when the doorbell rang. I opened the door, and there were my two sons standing on the lawn.  They had brought lawn chairs, a bottle of chilled sparkling prosecco with their own champagne glasses, a custom-crayoned picture of a frog from my 3-year-old grand-daughter,  a bouquet of origami flowers from my 11-year-old grandson, and a very classy wooden jigsaw puzzle to help pass the time.

I brought out my birthday cards, my husband brought out a birthday cake, I opened a couple of other presents from my husband and my oldest friend, we sipped the prosecco, and we had a lovely hour-long visit with our sons sitting 6 feet apart on our back patio.  Such a great surprise. 

So, we harvest bits of joy here and there.

Life in a COVID-19 Hot Spot – Week 10: The Choices are getting hard

Today I drove to a produce market and bought fruit.  Not amazing, except it is the first time in two months that I have driven my car. (My husband has used it on alternate weeks to keep the battery charged.)

At the market, I wore my face mask.  The market allowed only 10 customers at a time.  Within the market, duct-taped arrows on the floor directed me around the fruit and vegetable stands – if I missed something, no turning back.  I avoided putting my choices in bags as much as possible – everything went into one bag at the check-out station, which was shielded by plastic curtains except where  I could insert my credit card for the check-out.

For a decade we have been asked to bring our own reusable bags to shop. Now reusable bags are possible vectors of infection, and the plastic bag makers are staging a comeback.  All I can do is to pile my fruit and vegetables all together in one cart, let the checkout clerk sort, and put my purchases into one paper bag.

Public transportation, re-usable bags, cluster housing – all those ecologically correct ideas are now hazardous – how can we save the planet now?

Life in a COVID-19 Hot Spot – Week 9 – Tallying up the Cloistered Life

What I’ve finished:

Six face masks (see above)

Three jigsaw puzzles,

An old-fashioned rag doll with a matching toddler size outfit for my granddaughter – including a face mask for wearing outside.

 

What I’ve read: Bloomberg Business Week (weekly) , Time (weekly), The New Yorker (weekly) and nine books  (click for links to my reviews on Amazon):

        The Horse and his Boy – C. S. Lewis

        Milkman – Anna Burns

        The Fourth Hand – John Irving

         The Belton Estate – Anthony Trollope

         The Chinese Have a Word for ItBoye de Menthe: 

         Paris by the Book – Liam Callanan

          Celtic Myths and Legends – Eoin Neeson:

          South of Broad – Pat Conroy

          Season of the Witch – David Talbot

What I’ve grown:

Hair: at least two inches of shag.  Kudos to my hairdresser Heinz, – 10 weeks between haircuts and I haven’t really had a bad hair day yet.

Orchids: moved from my mother’s garden.  Largely neglected. Vitalized by timely spring rains.

Amaryllis: benign neglect works well

Roses: Most fragrant – Double Delight, Secret, Just Joey

Most perfect for bouquets: Fame (but no smell)

 

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