I got back home from running errands right before the storm hit. My phone gave that loud alarm with a flash flood warning stating to shelter in place, that it was a matter of life and death. For hours the rain poured and the thunder was constant. It was exciting but the noise level was exhausting.
After the storm, we had a beautiful sunset. Today the rain should be here at 11 a.m. and last until the sun goes down again. I guess this is the Monsoon season I’ve heard so much about.
Have a great weekend everyone!
What are your plans for the weekend? Are you having any unusual weather?
Yesterday I went to my first NFL football game. Since I’ve learned you cannot bring a purse into a game unless it’s clear plastic, I decided to wear leggings with deep pockets for what I believed were my essentials: my cell phone with the digital ticket, my driver’s license, my vaccination card, a debit card and an N-95 mask.
I was surprised to find out that I didn’t need anything but the digital ticket. I saw only two people wearing masks in our section. Maybe in other areas of the stadium it was different? Walking in from the parking lot, I saw nobody wearing a mask. I ended up using my mask as a napkin, because my husband bought us hot dogs and fries and of course forgot napkins.
It was exciting to watch live football, but it was also overwhelming to be in a crowd. I haven’t been in one since it seems a lifetime — but in reality it was pre COVID. I was exhausted by the time we got home — but also thrilled to have the experience. What a contrast to March 2020 — plus the stark difference between Arizona and California, where I lived in 2020. I decided to look back on what I was feeling when we first found out about COVID and sheltered in place to flatten the curve.
Here’s a look back on my post about DAY ONE of the three-week shut-down to flatten the curve:
I was pretty shaken up yesterday, but I’m pleased to report that I’m doing better today. I got my full walk around the park and neighborhood before the rain started. I saw a favorite neighbor and we chatted while standing six feet apart. He said, “We’ll get through this.”
I was assigned a couple magazine stories by an editor and I think that helped me the most. I have a tight deadline and had to get busy. That kept me from turning on the news, watching the DOW, and reading all the headlines on the web rather than writing.
Life is pretty much the same for me as it is most days. I walk and then work from home. It’s nice to know my daughter is in the guest room working from home, too, right down the hall. My son is in the Bay Area and he’s under the same orders to shelter in place but they started before us. He’s calling everyday to let me know he’s okay. I really appreciate that.
We will get through this. We have so many uncertainties ahead of us. That’s what gets me anxious. I try to think through all the possibilities of what COULD happen and it gets me scared. It’s much better to stay busy at home while we are “sheltering in place.”
What are your memories about the first day of shelter in place? How did you prepare, who were you with and did you think it would go on longer than three weeks?
Last year in May our daughter was staying with us. We had taken up tennis, sort of, and we were swimming in our backyard pool with a bungee cord tied around our waists anchored to a weighted umbrella stand. My big concern at the time was wanting the city pool to open and being able to swim with our team.
This morning we woke up to a flood in our courtyard and we had to turn the water off to the house while we wait for someone to fix it. I decided to drive to the city pool in my new town, because I can shower and wash my hair after my swim. I got about halfway there and realized I forgot a towel. So, I turned around and came home, driving 30 minutes for nothing. Now I’m not motivated to return. It’s one of those days…But better than last year, for sure.
Here’s a look back to my thoughts from last May:
First the good news. Things are opening up a little bit in our county and my daughter and I played tennis two mornings in a row. Prior to this week, the tennis courts were padlocked. I found that almost as annoying as the pool being closed. It looks so wrong to see padlocks and yellow tape wrapping around our park, parking lots, playground equipment, etc.
Before we became a full-on swim family, my kids took tennis lessons. My daughter was at preschool at the time and two of her good friends were taking lessons with her. My son had his buddies in his group as well. The instructor was a big goofy tennis pro who the kids called “Charlie Farlie.”
I took lessons in high school with my mom at the University of Washington, some sort of fun extension class. It was in the Hutchinson gym and there were huge windows up several stories in height. My mom and I both managed to hit the ball out those windows — several times — and we weren’t even trying! I’m mentioning this because my daughter and I do have some sort of background in tennis, although we’re hardly proficient at it.
Fast forward to when we decided to homeschool my daughter for middle school. We had several homeschool families on the swim team and I envied their schedules. There were no late nights after practice completing pages of math problems or filling out worksheets for them. These homeschooled kids were really smart, well behaved and looked so happy. So we gave it a whirl. We went through a phase where we started our day with a bike ride around the park, played tennis together and then returned home to hit the books.
This week brought me back to those days. We had fun reminiscing about them and laughed at our bad shots while enjoying the cool mornings. I got a better workout than I do walking around the park. I got my heart rate up because my tennis is mostly running to corners of the court to pick up balls.
Now for the bad news. The city may not open up the pool. It’s been closed since shelter in place began 55 days ago. I was going to write a letter to the city to complain when our team was no longer allowed to use the pool, but individuals could lap swim. By the time I was composing my scathing letter, the pool had closed altogether.
Our town’s main industry is tourism. The hotels have been shuttered along with vacation rentals for two months. There’s no way to enjoy our beautiful weather, golf courses, tennis courts and hiking trials unless you are a resident. That means the city budget is devastated. Along with the pool, the city is talking about closing the library, animal shelter and cutting salaries, too.
We have one of the most gorgeous pools in state. Our Piranha Swim Team has a history of more than 50 years — one of the longest running teams in California. The kids who go through the program can swim in college if they choose. I think our success rate of kids going on to the next level is close to 90 percent. It was the single best thing we did for our kids in terms of activities. They were Piranhas from age five until they went to college. My daughter represented Piranhas in the summer after she went to college. I can go on and on about how great the team was for my kids, and now for me as a swimmer, too. It helped develop their healthy lifestyles, competitive spirits, and their character.
I’ll be devastated is the pool doesn’t reopen.
What was your May 2020 like compared to this year?
After spending March 2020 through April 2021 mostly at home, quietly in solitude, reading, writing, packing and unpacking because of our move, I have been more social the past two weeks (post vaccines) than in the past year. It’s fun but tiring and stressful, too.
Tomorrow my son, his girlfriend and a sister come for a long weekend. It will be their first visit to our new home. Last weekend, we got together with friends from Palm Springs who we discovered moved less than five minutes from our new house. A few days before that, we got together with a Palm Springs couple from our old neighborhood who were visiting Arizona.My daughter also managed to drive down from the Bay Area for her first visit at our new home. So much socializing and I’ve been used to solitude. It’s a weird feeling. I enjoy the interaction, but it’s almost as though I’m afraid to get out and it’s more tiring than I remember.
My son told me that since he’s now fully vaccinated, he’s going for it. He said it’s the only way to get past the shelter in place feelings. So they are flying and coming here. Of course I can’t wait.
Then for Mother’s Day, my daughter bought me a ticket to fly to Seattle. My mom is in assisted living up there a few miles from where the first bad COVID breakout happened in a nursing home. I missed my mom’s 88 and 89 birthdays due to COVID and I did say the first thing I wanted to do when things were normal was visit her. I called the home and they said all restrictions are off for in-person visits. I cried, I was so excited.
My daughter said that our son was bragging about “winning” my birthday with the best gifts, so she had to step up her game to “win” Mother’s Day. I kind of like their competitive spirit when I’m the one benefitting from it. I’ll get to see Mom and my Aunt, too (mom’s little sister). Plus, I get to see my best girlfriend from college days.
It’s a dream come true, but I’m filled with apprehension. The idea of the airport, plane getting a rental car seems overwhelming. But I’ll do it.
What are your thoughts about returning to normal? What did you like about sheltering in place?
What weird things did we do a year ago when the year of lockdowns began? I’m calling it COVID quirks. I remember worrying about catching the virus from surfaces.Today, we learn that’s a rare occurrence. I wore latex gloves when I left the house. I wiped down purchases from Amazon or the grocery store with alcohol or sanitizer. The playground, drinking fountains and bathrooms at our park were all circled with yellow crime tape. The tennis courts had massive padlocks on them.
And my big goal in life was to buy toilet paper! I found some weird brands on Amazon from Asia that took a month to arrive. Beyond thin and unusable, I finally tossed the rolls out when Charmin and Cottonelle were stocked. The meat counter was bare at the store along with pasta, rice and canned foods.
Last April, I had no idea we’d sell our house and pull up our roots in California. That was the furthest thing in my mind. I was busy writing for trade magazines and my daughter was still employed in her dream job doing social media for a swim company. She was working remotely from our home in the guest room. My husband took over our master bedroom and turned it into his office. I’d wake up to his voice on the phone at 6 a.m. and skedaddle out of bed to my son’s empty room that I soon took over as my safe space and office.
Here’s what I wrote a year ago tomorrow:
21 Days. Isn’t that something? My daughter came home a few days before we got the order. I’m so glad she made it here. She’s been a joy to have around along with her fur baby Waffles. We have plenty of room to have my husband, me and my daughter all working from home — together — yet apart.
Here’s a few thoughts I have about these strange days:
ONE I go from super calm and productive to anxiety ridden from day to day.
TWO I’m losing track of the days and the time. Twice I have woken up thinking it’s 6 a.m. and started the coffee only to look at the clock in the kitchen that reads 11:40 p.m.
THREE My routine of daily three pages of writing, my three mile walk and Bible readings to start my day are more important than ever. All three help me stay grounded.
FOUR I’m reading lots of good books. Sitting in my back yard in the sun reading is one of my favorite things to do.
FIVE 10,000 people have died in our country. My heart goes out to all the people suffering and losing loved ones.
SIX We are now told to wear masks when we leave the house. I’m using a make-shift one from my quilting supplies. It’s hard to breathe during my morning walks, though, and my glasses fog up.
SEVEN My writing jobs are completed and turned in and now I’m in uncharted territory without every minute of my day focused on meeting deadlines.
EIGHT My daughter and I cleaned and organized the food cupboards and the laundry room. It feels good to have clean spaces.
NINE I’m reaching out to family via phone and email. It’s important to stay in touch with your loved ones.
What are your thoughts and memories about COVID Quirks during the start of the pandemic?
It was a little more than a year ago that COVID-19 was hitting our daily lives. We had no idea what was heading our way. Our kids got orders to shelter in place a few days before us. They live in the Bay Area and we were in Southern California. A year later, my husband got his first shot and I’m scouring through pages on my computer to find an appointment for me. Once we are vaccinated will our world open up? Will I want to be in crowds? Or has this isolated lifestyle become something I won’t want to shed?
This is what happened to me mid-March 2020:
I was doing okay, but yesterday when my kids called me and said they were under mandatory “shelter in place,” I started to panic. I’m wondering if the world will ever get back to normal? They were working remotely in my son’s house in the Bay Area.
The mandatory shelter in place started today. Yesterday they were told to prepare to be home for at least two weeks. My daughter is working remotely and decided to get out of the city and drove home last night. It’s so nice to have her home! I wonder how long she will be here?
My dad agreed to let me grocery shop for him and I found everything he needed except for toilet paper, of course! While I was driving from his home, my daughter called and Waffles, her pug, ate something and was trying to throw up, but nothing was coming up. I told her to call a vet and I got really stressed out again! She called back in tears and said that the vets she called would NOT take new patients in their practice due to the Coronavirus! I was in the car and while she was talking to me and I noticed a big white pick up truck on my tail! Then he swerved in the lane next to me, and started yelling and screaming, giving me the finger. He threw a milkshake at me! It hit my windshield and the car was covered. I’m still shaking.
What in the h*ck is going on, folks? Is this really the time to become completely unhinged?
Let’s take a moment to breathe some fresh air, calm down, take a walk and enjoy your families. And love up our dogs and cats, too!
What are some of your memories from one year ago? Did your area shut down or did it stay mostly open?
Do you remember early 2020? We were caught up in the impeachment drama in January and February (deja vu). Our family traveled by plane to Colorado for one of our best friend’s daughter’s wedding. It was before COVID was much of a thing. We weren’t worried about flying the kids in from San Francisco to Denver, or renting an airbnb for all of us together.
But on the flight home to Palm Springs it was upsetting. The man in the seat directly behind us was groaning, moaning while coughing up phlegm and blowing his nose constantly. It was so unsettling. A month later, I’m sure nobody would have allowed this man on a flight!
With the family at a wedding in CO. The bride was friends with both kids and her mom is one of my best friends.
Little did we know the groom’s father had COVID at the time. He was a doctor and most likely got it at work in the hospital. Thankfully, after a serious case he got better and we didn’t hear of anyone else at the wedding getting infected.
Turn the page from February to March and we were told to shelter in place. Here’s what I wrote about DAY ONE:
Views from my neighborhood park.
I was pretty shaken up yesterday after the order to shelter in place, but I’m pleased to report that I’m doing better today. I got my full walk in around the park and neighborhood before the rain started. I got to see a favorite neighbor of mine and chat while standing six feet apart. He said, “We’ll get through this.”
I got assigned a couple magazine stories by an editor and I think that helped me the most. I have a tight deadline and had to get busy. That kept me from turning on the news, watching the diving DOW, and reading all the headlines on the web rather than writing.
Life is pretty much the same for me as it is most days. I walk and then work from home. It’s nice to know my daughter is in the guest room working from home, too, right down the hall. My son is in the Bay Area and he’s under the same orders to shelter in place. He’s calling everyday to let me know he’s okay. I really appreciate that.
We will get through this. We have so many uncertainties ahead of us. That’s what gets me anxious. I try work through all the possibilities of what COULD happen and it gets me scared. It’s much better to stay busy at home while we are “sheltering in place.”
This cutie pie came home with my daughter. He and the cat are practicing social distancing.
What do you remember about the first day you were told to shelter in place? What were your thoughts and feelings?