There is No Normal #COVID19

You hear, read and see this constantly: It’s our new normal; It’s the new normal. What the heck is that? What do our days and nights look like? Will “Groundhog Day” ever end?

Since we navigated the sale and closing of your Cherry Hill, New Jersey home in the middle of this #COVID19 crisis and permanently moved to the home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire we bought in 2016, it’s very difficult to be happy in our #HappyPlace. I’m having good days and bad, just like most of us. I stocked the pantry and refrigerator; arranged an online fruits and vegetables delivery every other week, and continued to unpack boxes and reorganize the house – given that we are planning a major renovation later this year. (Who knows if THAT will happen.)

We are blessed to have a spectacular view of #LakeWinnipesaukee and we can find

places to walk or drive where there are no people around. We’re gloving up and plan to wear face masks for protection – and to protect others, given that we’re self-isolating at least two weeks. A few people have volunteered to pick up any groceries we might need – and I may take them up on that later this week when we run our of milk and bananas.

Speaking of bananas, why is my mother and mother-in-law seemingly living in a world of denial? My mom seems to have finally embraced the fact that she must stay away from other people. But is she really doing that? When she tells me she’s wearing gloves, she actually means her regular gloves; the ones she wears to drive. When she says she’s ‘staying in,’ that means except to go out probably once a day to the store to get “one or two things” she says she “needs.”

Closing on our Cherry Hill, NJ house officially took place March 27. Until that moment, mom kept saying on the phone, “Let me know if you want us to come over.” By “us,” she meant her, my brother and sister-in-law. Oy. It was all my brother and I could do to just gloss over those statements from mom. Until March 27, she kept saying she was praying the whole thing would just ‘go away.’

Now, about 10-days later, she’s inside her senior citizen apartment building. BUT – she keeps going down to the library (a common room) where I’m sure she’s touching things, such as the remote control, sitting in a chair – touching it. and who knows what else. She claims to not be touching anything. Oh, she’s wearing those ‘gloves.’ But we have no clue whether she’ll get through this OK. I’m sure many people have parents, relatives and friends who are acting in a similar way.

My mother-in-law is allowing her cleaning person to come into her place in Florida. She’s also mentioned to my husband, by phone, that she’s visited a few neighbors. Hopefully, she means from six-feet away; but who knows.  She’s also going to the farmer’s market in her community to get fresh fruits and vegetables. She visits that market in normal times, so I can only guess that she may not be taking appropriate precautions with anything she purchases or know how the vendors are handling their merchandise.

Our son continues his full-time job at a retailer considered an essential business. No one is allowed in the store. All purchases are made by phone, credit card and taken to the curb for customer pick-up. I’m worries about him every single day. He’s a smart guy and completely award of this crisis. His anxiety level is likely high; never mind any possible depression or isolation concerns.

What this all comes down to is: we can only control our house; our car; our purchases -our behavior. When crisis happens, I like to plan things I can look forward to: the renovation, for example. We still need to get one more estimate and we hope that contractor can come by later in April – but who knows? Meantime, I peruse Pinterest, Wayfair, HGTV posts dreaming about what our place will look like – some day.  I add to that what the house will look like a year from now. More immediate plans include trying to plan the spring gardening, planting herbs; maybe some tomatoes; will I start my summer flowers from seeds?

I’ve mentioned to Doug about planning a future road trip or vacation. Who knows when we can do that. Will our families be able to visit this summer? We have no clue. I’m trying to be optimistic, positive, upbeat – it’s not easy. Now, I have to go wash my hands. Be well.

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