One year plus

My sister’s glass collection catches the light. She died roughly this time last year. How grateful I am that she’s not here to panic and worry about the virus. She suffered from COPD, sleep apnea, asthma, CHF, and was on oxygen. Worse, because of her ever increasing need, people were constantly trooping through her apartment — sometimes five a week.

The entire time she lived in her subsidized housing (almost a year), she didn’t manage to trek down the hall to throw out any garbage. So, if she had dismissed everyone out of a rational fear of contagion, the garbage would’ve piled up in a matter of days, waiting for yours truly.

We were both spared.

My brother refused to wear protective garb during the AIDS crisis, a decision both humane and medically supported in retrospect. It did make me worry, though, that maybe he wouldn’t wear protective gear for this crisis, either.

I needn’t have. It’s mandated. And he’s no idiot. There were 8 cases at Stonybrook Hospital during his shift on Saturday. His partner, also an ER doctor, is home with a cold. No fever.

Schools are closed here in the burbs of Boston until at least the end of April. Seventy-five cases in my county. Restaurants can stay open, but must remove enough tables to leave six feet between patrons.

We are aggressively self-quarantining. K’s office got the order to work from home for two weeks. I have three things on Zoom this week.

K did go to the grocery store yesterday because we were out of bread and down to the last three eggs. At Wegman’s, there was almost no bread. Not a single bag of flour. And of course, the usual clear outs: Purell, TP, and paper towels. Thankfully, very few people were out at dinner time.

Woolworth’s has a good idea: setting aside a couple of hours a day for senior shopping.

I probably continue to read too much news, but counter it with restaurant competitions, Project Runway, and British or Aussie crime dramas.

Almost 3,000. That’s how many words I eliminated today. It’s incredibly satisfying to see the fat and cut it out.

When I posted a picture of this orchid on Instagram and said I had no idea what made it bloom (I know NOtHinG about these plants and it hadn’t bloomed for years), one follower said. “Probably because you needed it to.”

I love that, don’t you?

I wish for all of you to be well and maybe find a small miracle in your day.

20 thoughts on “One year plus

  1. RainSluice

    I decided to look up the meanings of blue: trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Dear N. Also found blue is love and healing. So many shapes, sizes and transparencies – your arrangements and photos speak of all that. Yes, we are worried about all the healthcare workers on the front lines. I know your brother to be mainly fearless and one who errs on the side of humane, always. I’m glad he’s not being an idiot 🙂 Also sorry his partner has a cold, but so very good there’s no fever, right? My D’s had a cold and cough but no fever or even tiredness. So far I haven’t gotten his cold but it would be odd if I didn’t. I’m teaching an art class for teens remotely tomorrow, and hoping to help get a coding class going online as well. Interesting challenges – I am fortunate for sure, I do not have to go out except to shop. People have sucked everything out of the grocery stores here and one has to wonder what the food pipeline looks like right now. K only gets 2 weeks?? I am just trying to stay out of the way of trouble or inadvertently causing any more trouble for others. It is extra nice to look forward to landing here at your blog and anticipating the enjoyment of your art, spun of words, cloth, images or other lovely surprises. Stay well.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Hi Maggie. Noreen had a real affinity for color. Always did. Teaching online? How great! I’ve been thinking about the same. Writing class will of course be on Zoom this week, but I’m thinking about all the kids home from school. Glad D has no fever. When I was sick a couple weeks back, also: no fever. I imagine that K’s office will extend the time.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Oh how I wish! There was one in town when I moved here in 1986, but it’s been gone for years. I saw a tweet.

  2. Nanette

    Our Coles and Woolworths have done the same, it starts tomorrow. I was thinking it such a great idea for the old and disabled folks, when a friend messaged to say how good I could go do my shopping without being knocked out of the way by over zealous shoppers……I forget I’m a senior 😄
    The blue glass is beautiful, an uplifting legacy.
    I have a sniffle, a sore throat and a cough, but no fever, more hay fever I think, strong scented flowers are blooming, normally I wouldn’t think twice, but now we examine every symptom.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I forget I’m a senior too. It’s one of the minor weirdnesses of the pandemic.

      It’s all about the fever. If you don’t progress to one, I really wouldn’t worry (she said. But that’s what I’ve read).

  3. Marti

    I gaze at the blue pumpkin and it holds such mystery; it is quite touching to me that you display your sister’s collections. My sister loved cobalt blue, had glasses, vases and even dishes made out of blue glass. We had a delicate and sometimes volatile relationship. She was two years younger than me and sadly, died in 2015.

    Re the virus: My daughters happen to live in the 7 CA counties that are now on three week mandatory lock down. One lives in San Francisco, sells educational software and works at home so this is not that much of a hardship but she and her partner like to entertain, go visit friends etc and this is going to require some discipline on their part.

    My other daughter lives in the East Bay and both she and her husband are working from home. She is an ESL teacher for a private arts college in San Francisco so is now going through the joys of teaching on-line which is difficult for her because she enjoys her students and is a very hands on teacher. Many of her students are from China and several self quarantined last month. Her husband is a data analyst for Kaiser Insurance and has to now also work from home during this 3 week lock down PLUS their children, our 10 yr old twin grandchildren are also home for three weeks. This week they are on Zoom for on-line instruction, next week is spring break and then back to on- line instruction. It helps to have a sense of humor: their living room is now “Mom’s classroom”, a part of the den/family room is “Dad’s office” and the twins upstairs bedrooms are “5th grade central”.

    Here in New Mexico we now have 21 cases, 4 overnight but they are all ages from 20 to over 70. On Friday a couple of the hospitals started drive through testing but by this afternoon, one of them had to close due to running out of supplies. People are frantic and want to get tested even though they haven’t traveled to exposed places or show symptoms. The Dept of Health here is trying to get people to understand that you simply don’t drive to the test sites without prior approval. Restaurants are only dong takeout or deliveries. . Schools, churches, events cancelled but the schools here are providing meals for those children who rely on them. My husband is waiting to see if gyms will be closed because even though he is 77, he loves his workouts. He does have some weights, etc. here and we do have trails behind the house for walking if it should come to that…me I’m a walker but not at all into gyms but then my favorite exercise is dance and I can even do it without music!

    1. deemallon Post author

      I hope you and your family weather this with humor and health! I taught a writing class on zoom today and there are always little hiccups, but I’ve found it to be a great resource. My only niece is sheltering in place out in Richmond, CA, even though that county isn’t one of the seven. Both of her jobs evaporated (dog walking and leading bday parties at a rock climbing gym). I saw a doc on Maddow last night who said the entire nation should be on lock down.

  4. Joanne

    Loved seeing all the blue glass. And the orchid. My white was looking SO GOOD and then developed mealy bugs and the flower stems got eaten. I am beyond sad. I cleaned the plants (12 orchids) many many times but can never get all the little furry white bugs. I can’t buy spray as those kinds of businesses are closed.

    When I got to the flour shelves Sunday a woman just picked up the last 2 bags of all purpose. Looked at me- and said ‘want one?” and I nodded. Then we both selected packages of dry yeast. and I got a bag of sugar- just in case 3 weeks turns into 3 months. I went back later to get tea bags- same reason- just in case it’s three months–which when you read last paragraph will be what it is..

    My son is not enjoying his 2 weeks (California) working from home and now it’s been extended to 3 additional weeks. Writing code on a laptop is cruel punishment- he wants his gigantic screen at work and his desk. He purchased the entire set of books (Captain and Commander) from Amazon. Is half way thru them.

    Found a sick guy (fever/cough) who tested positive just about 2 miles from my house. Major shopping area and he was at work- has been at work, sick. So………clock is ticking for big outbreak. Testing site is going up within walking distance of my house. Little tents. Drive thru etc. Sigh. Had your soup for lunch. Best part of the day.

    1. deemallon Post author

      How nice that the fellow shopper shared the last of the flour. I’ve never been a bread baker but hope to give it a try during this time.

      It is very alarming that you are so near a hot spot! Stay well.

  5. ravenandsparrow

    The mysterious luminosity of blue glass….so suggestive of depth and secrets. I’m glad you are feeling active, productive and well. I’m wondering if this interlude will force us into simpler, more introspective lives, and if time will uphold the change.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Time is the big unknown, isn’t it? For me this self isolating isn’t all that different from how I live day to day … but after weeks? Hope you and your family are doing well.

    1. deemallon Post author

      My sister’s beach glass collection is huge. She lived on Cape Ann for many many years. A lot of that kind of collecting is over now.


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