As soon as COVID-19 hovered in the air we breathe, I went into full-on “Gone With the Wind” Scarlett O’Hara mode, ripping up bedsheets to make toilet paper and stockpiling moonshine for antiseptic. Of course, Scarlett was useless in an emergency. For the majority of the Civil War, she whined and married rich men.
I’m also pretty useless in emergencies. When I knew the shelter-in-place edict was coming, I didn’t stockpile food, I scurried to the library to check out all the books.
After hoarding four months of library books, I told everyone in the house (my husband, my daughter and her two children, ages 3 and 8) to check their 72-hour kits.
They responded, “What 72-hour kits?” Not a good start.
In the shed, I located an emergency essentials bag that looked like it had housed a family of weasels. Along with 10 years of dust, it contained an expired can of roasted almonds, a box of matches, a pair of underwear and a spatula.
We were doomed.
Tossing my hair like Scarlett, I tied on my shopping bonnet and sang out “fiddle-dee-dee” as I headed to the grocery store for provisions. By the time I got there, options were limited, unless I was keen on making a casserole with canned asparagus, creamed squid and buckwheat flour. I figured we’d just be creative with dinner. (Lesson learned: 3-year-old granddaughters don’t like creative dinners.)
Our meals usually consist of some type of egg for breakfast, leftover Easter candy for lunch and something with hamburger or chicken for dinner. Could be spaghetti, could be soup. Hard to tell.
This has been the worst staycation ever. I do not recommend.
Both my husband and I can work from home, so we take turns sharing the home office space. One person works in the office with a comfy chair every other day, while the other person sits on a workout ball at a TV table in the bedroom. It’s . . . complicated. And we’re adjusting to each other’s work behaviors.
Husband: Can you not leave dozens of half-empty water glasses by the computer?
Me: You silly scalawag! Are they half-empty? Or half-full?
Anyway, our attorneys are working out the final details.
My puppy, Jedi, is over-the-moon excited to have me around, LITERALLY sitting on my feet all day. She got even clingier when the earthquake rattled our home (not funny Mother Nature) and she made me carry her 60-pound furry body from room-to-room for the next week.
As life was boiled down to its necessities, I realized how often (in the before-times) I would bored-shop, bored-Starbucks and bored-TV-binge. Since March, I’ve narrowed that list down to bored TV binging. (Between “Better Call Saul” and “Ozark” I definitely know I should avoid the Mexican drug cartel.)
As warmer weather approaches, I miss shopping for new spring clothes. Looking back on how Scarlett made dresses out of her velvet draperies, I tried channeling her creative spirit again. It was tough to made clothes out of our window coverings since we only have wooden blinds. But I did my best. Pictures not available.
We’re still in lock-down mode. I replenish our milk and produce once a week. We walk the dog a dozen times a day. We work and eat and read and play games and get on each other’s nerves and fight and makeup and write hopeful messages on the sidewalk in colorful chalk.
Like Scarlett, there are lots of things I’ll worry about tomorrow. But if we have books to read, food to eat and our family is safe, I’m very content in my little corner of the world.
Originally published in the Davis Clipper