Day 28- Fun night and hoping for more to come

Last night was a fun night and hoping for more to come. For a typical Friday night, this was nothing out of the ordinary but under current conditions it was quite extraordinary.

A week or two ago when word leaked of a shelter in place coming soon, we jumped on the bandwagon like everybody else and scrambled to stock up on what seemed important, and at that moment it was Lou Malnati’s. One of our favorite weekend go tos, sit down though, not the carry out. But with shelter in place coming soon, carry out would have to suffice so we loaded up on three, deep dish, half baked pizzas to stow away in our freezer.

A few days ago on the Nextdoor app a movie suggestion piqued my interest, ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’. The recommendation noted that even her high school and college aged sons enjoyed this movie.

Last night was a perfect pizza movie night. We indulged in our half sausage, half spinach onion, deep dish delight. It was delicious! If you’ve never tried spinach onion, maybe now is the time! And the movie, fantastic! Shia Labeouf and Dakota Johnson had leading roles, but the real star, Zack Gottsagen, an actor with Down Syndrome, hands down stole the show! This movie captured our attention, and that’s no easy feat! For my college aged son, my husband and me, the action thrilled, many scenes brought us laughter and the storyline made us all feel good. For a Friday night, the end of the work week night, the night where you just let go of the busyness and craziness from the past five days, I am happy to say that last night was a fun night and hoping for more to come.

Day 27 – Normally, 2:55 on THIS Friday …

Normally, 2:55 on THIS Friday … yes THIS Friday, at 2:55, when the students go flying down the hallway, there’s no keeping them quiet and it’s tough slowing them down as they race for the doors for the start of Spring Break. And, we the teachers, we have precisely 35 minutes to get everything done because contractually we can leave at 3:30, and THIS particular Friday is most definitely a 3:30 kind of day. With great anticipation of a warm, sunny beach, or quiet little road trip, or a flight to some place obscure to visit a family member, that’s what THIS Friday is all about. It’s similar to that 7 yr. old on Christmas Eve kind of feeling, going to bed with pure excitement in anticipation of what Christmas morning will bring. Even those not going anywhere on THIS Friday, me included, but just knowing for a whole week, schedule is loose, relaxed, perhaps get a few around the house things done, maybe a few extra morning or midday trips to Panera or coffee or lunch with a friend and maybe a couple of dinners out.

But today, THIS Friday, is THIS Friday, but it’s not THIS Friday because today at 2:55 there won’t be any kids flying down the hallway, there won’t be any teachers scrambling to get things done by 3:30 and the presence of that 7 yr. old child on Christmas Eve on THIS Friday is not present. So what will THIS Friday bring at precisely 3:00 (even that race to 3:30 has changed), I don’t know because as far as I can see, at least for now, my schedule is a little more loose and relaxed, a few more things have been getting done around the house, but the midday trips to Panera or coffee or lunch with a friend and the dinners out, for now those will be dinners in so maybe I need to rephrase, and instead of … Normally, 2:55 on THIS Friday … it might just look like … 2:55 on THIS Friday very Normal.

Day 26 – Fitter and Fatter

Fitter and Fatter, that’s what came to mind yesterday as my husband and I took a long walk to embrace the sunshine and the balminess of 55 degrees. Social distancing proved to be almost obstacle course like, people running and jogging and walking and leashes in tow. So many that, at times, it seemed more relaxing to walk on the street curb rather than the sidewalk in order to avoid the constant moving to the side to create a six foot distance between ourselves and the others out doing exactly the same thing. It was a beautiful sight, people moving, exercising, getting some cardio, working muscles, getting steps, … so many getting fitter.

Fitter, yes, if this shelter down goes on for long enough, society will be fitter (more fit, in better shape).

Fatter, good possibility, if this shelter down goes on for long enough, society will be fatter (excess weight gain, clothes feeling a bit snug).

So many getting fatter, … at school, I’m on my feet a lot, moving from student to student, walking from table to table during lunch duty, walking quickly from my classroom to the copy room way more times than I’d like to admit because each trip there I remember I forgot something. At home, my classroom is on my screen, my conversations with colleagues on my phone and no copies to make. I’m quite stationary for a good part of the day. My food at school is pretty finite, with the exception of the bag of dry roasted almonds in my desk. Here, food is definitely infinite, I’m hungry, I grab food and it might even be potato chips. And dinners now, we all have some time to cook and we are all enjoying the creativity that this at home time is allowing us, and yes, the food has been delicious!

At the end of this staying at home, sheltering down, social distancing to the max, what will become? Will we be fitter or will we be fatter or perhaps all will be both a bit fitter and fatter?

Day 25 – Coffee or Tea?

Coffee or Tea, this is the question. Never having been a coffee person, a few years ago I got curious about lattes and tried an iced one, I loved it! Makes no sense, right, since I do not like coffee, yet a latte is technically coffee. The latte I like is made with skim milk, no flavoring but a sprinkle of cinnamon and every once in a while a few crystals of the naturally brown sugar. Cold or hot, I like them either way. This newly acquired taste became quite a habit, almost daily. Couldn’t wait to start my day with one. Starbucks, Panera, Dunkin Donuts, most any of these could satisfy my craving.

This year I decided to turn it back into the treat it should be and I made myself a deal, only three times a week. I stuck to this deal pretty well but yes, sometimes I’d cheat on the weekends. Then, in early February I caught something, we’ll call it a virus but with some strangely familiar symptoms. Nonetheless, after I finally began to feel better, my tastes changed and for a few weeks even the thought of a latte repulsed me. I turned to an old friend, Bigelow Lemon Lift tea and ever since then a new love story has blossomed.

I can’t wait to turn on the tea kettle and begin my day with my new best friend. And the beauty of tea, it’s the gift that just keeps giving. My cup gets cold or empty and simply I add more hot water and it’s the friend that can never overstay their stay. For now the question is pretty easy to answer, coffee or tea?

Day 24 – A different vibe

There’s a different vibe, especially at night, around my house now. What used to be the normal pattern, my husband and 22 year old son, this time of year for sure, huddled around the tv in the family room, watching sports, basketball in particular, until a commercial break, then with the click, onto another sporting event so as not to miss a moment of action or a single second of game time, then click, back to the previous channel. Me, I would quietly, without announcement, head back to the bedroom, because even if I did announce that I was going to watch tv elsewhere, would barely garner notice because of some foul being committed or some amazing 3-point shot that was apparently even more spectacular than the one that happened two minutes earlier.

But now, last night, the three of us, sitting together in the family, carrying on some conversation all the while comparing thoughts on the amazing talents displayed on American Idol. Each of us impressed by these young talents, some country, some pop, some with individuality so unique that quite possibly they’re defining the next generation of vocal style in the music industry. And the stories behind these bright talents, some with backgrounds so sad or incredible, that we all wanted to scream, “Keep them, don’t let them go!” to the judges, that I have to say have very, very tough decisions to make. And when it was done, I think we all realized how fun it was, a new way of viewing, in the family room, three of us, not just two, tv clicker lying idol, fresh conversations, new type of excitement … certainly it was, a different vibe.

Day 23 – It's beautiful, but, it is March 23rd!

Outside, everything is white! It’s beautiful, but, it is March 23rd! The tulips are 4 or 5 inches out of the ground and the daffodils even more. There are signs of buds on trees and the rabbits have been making their presence. The first day of spring arrived a day or two ago and then Mother Nature decides she is bored and wants to play a trick on us all. Very funny Mother Nature, you got us good! I think I heard her quiet laugh as she finds delight in the reaction from those of us who thought we had conquered winter.

Every branch balances an inch of pure white from its trunk to the tip of its tiniest twig. And the branches blend in with the sky that is absent of blue, And the ground, covered in pure white, absent of green, reflects the great whiteness above it. It is calming, it is cleansing, it is pure, pure white … it’s beautiful, but, it is March 23rd.

Day 22 – Time does stop all the while flying by

Time does stop all the while flying by, as I’m thinking about how today is the start of a new week. Only a week ago, I was feeling pretty hesitant, nervous, not knowing what the week was going to bring. First week of working from home, setting up class from home, being surrounded by the same human beings in one household for pretty much 24/7. Looking ahead it seemed like it was going to be a task like no other, and time, I predicted was going to move at quarter speed. Yes, the week did have its quarter speed moments, but like any new job or task or mountain that’s placed in front of one that must be climbed, that mountain gets climbed, task completed and new job conquered. Looking back on last week, being faced with so many challenges, I think the challenges were a good thing. They kept my mind busy, gave me unforeseen situations to ponder, and lots of problem solving to conquer. All in all, what could have been a week that seemed to be two weeks long, at times was probably four, but at moments passed by at hyperspeed. Crazy how it works, and never apparent when in the midst of it, and no scientific theory to prove it true, but I do believe … time does stop all the while flying by.