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Home sweet home—what I see and feel

Travel Tales by Jan Wheatcroft

Home is a familiar, safe place and I am glad to be in it. I have a front stoop with a chair where I sit and watch the bees pollinate—hopefully—my Meyer Lemon tree blossoms. Masked walkers pass by, birds sing and the sun feeds me vitamin D, and I read and feel peaceful. 

Since we have to stay home, I try to find the positive side of this situation, since living in the negative only makes things worse. Every day I look at the calendar on my desk and it is all blank. I can do anything I choose within these walls. I have projects to work on and many ideas in my head of new ones to try. And there is no rush to finish anything as there are no deadlines to heed. The time and choices are mine.

I try to keep a routine. It helps me to keep my life in order and not feel as if I might fly apart or as if there is no meaning in what I do. For instance I always make my bed when I get up. That way it gets done. When my bed is neat, my room feels ordered and I feel settled.

I do my dishes and put them away. I am not under pressure to wash them as no one is coming to eat, but a clean kitchen feels nice to me. I don’t have a dishwasher so I can’t hide the dishes away. These small chores remind me to stay in the moment and that there is normalcy in the world even during these times. 

People are wonderful. The telephone is a great connection to friends and surprisingly I now receive many less spam and recorded calls during the day. I really don’t miss them.

I am a part of two Zoom groups, which keeps me in touch with people I really miss. Zoom group one is the Some Crust Gang. We speak every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning just as we used to meet at Some Crust for morning coffee and peanut butter toast. It is grounding and holds us together. Michael and Lisa have their morning coffees, Dr. Bill drinks his green juices and arranges his background to resemble a desert vacation spot but he doesn’t fool us. Parissa and Georgia lounge on their beds and Alan and Joellen have their tea. Anne makes her peanut butter toast or oatmeal. Life is as it should be and we all care about each other. My day goes so smoothly after that chat.

On Monday nights, the Stitch and Bitch Group meets on Zoom and we all work on our projects as we talk. We have been meeting together for at least two years on Mondays doing hand work and sharing our stories. There are now at least 10 of us at our Zoom get together. It is easygoing and productive and so pleasurable just as it had been when we met at the Square I Gallery, where we will surely reassemble when it is safe to do so.

I am so thankful for FaceTime as I am able to talk face-to-face with two special people in my life—my English friend, Frances, and my Swedish friend, Susanna. It makes such a difference to me to see their lovely faces in their homes and to know that they are alright. We chat as if I were there visiting them. It makes things normal.

I mentioned before about taking walks in the local neighborhoods. Of course it provides exercise, which I very much need and never get enough of. This represents my traveling. I can pick a different street and as I walk I peer into everyone’s front yard and examine the different plants and how they are arranged; by color, shape, texture and height.

I really enjoy the trees, their bark, their size, how they twist and grow and how many different types and species grow together here. It stimulates me and my next project will be a garden-themed stitchery.

There is so much free time available so that I feel open to develop my artistic pursuits at my own speed with no pressure and more freedom.

It is hard to basically be in one space most of the time, knowing you can’t hop up and be somewhere else just for a change. My friend in England writes, “It is home, park, park, home, home to park and back again.” Before one never thought about it. You just went where you had to go and did what you wanted to do. Now we have the time to think about the important things in life and what we want to emphasize when life slowly comes back to a more normal state. 

Will we want to have so much? Will we keep such a high pressured life style? Will people become more important to us, whether we know them or will never meet them? Will we listen better and make better choices? What are our values and can we reaccess them?

Walk in the sun and enjoy the clear skies, (really blue now), the clouds overhead floating and drifting by and the snow on the mountains behind us. This is what I see. This is how I feel.

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