As I’m writing this, it is definitely not hay-making time. Not literally so. First of all, it’s way too early in the year for hay. Second, it’s one of those typically gray Western Washingtonian days when everything is dripping wet from the past hours’ drizzle. Yet, here I feel I’m making hay these days.
Indeed, the adage comes from farming. As so many others do. Such as “You mustn’t count your chicken before they’re hatched”, great as the temptation might be. I have always been a skeptical person as to expectations. Some people check this off as being negative. I call it being armed, being prepared for worse case and worst-case scenarios – and ever so much happier when everything works out after all. Like making hay. (And anybody who works as a writer knows that I’m not talking hay as in money. I wish …)
As a matter of fact, so far, I have been quietly enjoying the shelter-in-place that was ordered a few weeks ago by the state government. I finally get to hear and see all the song birds we have in our backyard. The other day I watched a squirrel mother carry three little ones from one nest to another through our backyard. I wouldn’t have watched didn’t I have all this time on my hand and little opportunity to go anywhere. Nor little wish either under the circumstances. Nature comes right to our home. We just need to sit on the patio and watch. Or huddle up behind a window.
As doing groceries has lost its fun for me – it’s sweeping into a store, rushing down the aisles and grabbing what’s on the list, no more contemplating what fanciness I might want to create – I’m coming back to old family favorites again. Cooking is still a joy. Now, I’m doing it all without any books again, just using what we have, combining new things, letting my imagination play on variations. I even baked twice during the past week – and let me tell you, that’s a rare thing for me! I never even baked once during the last Christmas season (which might have been good for my “hip gold” as Germans call their muffin tops).
Never having had the chance to buy a single face mask, as stores were wiped out of them as soon as the word was out that Corona beer is not the same as the virus, I am rediscovering my improvising gifts. I’ve never managed to operate a sewing machine (though my late mother tried so hard to get hers and me work together) and consequently never owned one. So, now I’m hand-sewing masks for my family. It takes ages, but, hey, I can watch, respectively listen to movies while I’m sewing. How I came up with an arm length list of Titanic movies and the idea to compare them … don’t ask me. Maybe it’s just that I’m pretty sure I prefer sitting in a cozy home with all my creature comforts than in a deck chair on a doomed luxury liner. Anyhow, I’m finally seeing all that’s out there on the topic, and I find new treasure, while my old favorite Titanic movie from 1953 is still the new favorite.
Above all, I find myself connecting more closely with my friends, old and newer. I find my teleworking husband an utter inspiration as to sticking to a schedule and getting work done. These days I find I have published four (!) books within as many months, whereas I had planned it within six months originally. Now my head is free for further future projects. And you bet, I’m working on that, using the opportunity of time gained.
Of course, I’m not immune to the fearful situation that is lurking out there. I’m very well aware what some people are facing in order to help keep our community, our nation going and our creature comforts if not our lives saved. I’m aware that my families (both sides) and my friends have fared lucky so far, and I surely don’t take it for granted. All the more I’m grateful for the opportunities that come my way, small as they may seem. And be it just a ray of sunshine to sit outside on the patio in times when it’s too early for making hay or to count chicken. But never too early to make use of what we have.Print This Post