Two weeks ago, I was sitting in the living room at Four Purls Yarn Shop in Winter Haven,FL chatting with customers, hanging out with my friend Caleisha, at a meet and greet for my trunk show, part of the festivities Four Purls hosted for their 10th Anniversay celebration and the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl. It was a very good, very fun, very yarny day. I stopped at a restaurant on my way home and got crab cakes and when I got home life was good.
Many of you probably had an equally good weekend, with friends and family and activities, loaded with hugs and handshakes. Little did we know that soon the Corona virus that seemed so far away would pull us apart and keep us in our homes, away from friends and family and our favorite restaurants, and activities.
And we went to work, and we went to church and we visited our grandparents. We went to restaurants and sporting events, concerts and weddings, and the beach. Groups of less than 100, then 50, then 10. Stay 3 feet apart, no better make that 6 feet apart.
The oak trees in my backyard have showered me with their allergy causing pollen for the past 10 years. Everything is covered in yellow dust. I wake up in the morning coughing. I'm scared. Do I have it? Who did I touch? Who did I kiss? Did I give it to my niece at her wedding? I have some coffee and a Claritin. I'm fine. I go to work.
Everyone is talking about it. Except my one co-worker. She's coughing...a lot. Is she ok? Wait, where was her husband traveling? People start to get upset. She is sent home. We wipe down her desk and those close to hers with Chlorox wipes, realizing that if she has the virus, she infected us days ago.
Companies are starting to send workers home to work. When will we go home? We complain to our boss, she sends us home. We get more work done, but to quote Major Tom, its lonely out in space. We start having lunch time conference calls just to talk and stay in touch.
I call my 87 year old mother...no answer. Is she okay? WHERE is she? Did she go out? Is she insane? She calls me later. "Oh, I was at church" Again...no answer. Is she okay? WHERE is she? "Oh, I was at Publix." Despite our offers to do her grocery shopping, she refuses. But mom...she doesn't want to hear it.
My daughter calls. She is at her apartment with her roommates 200 miles away at college. She's fine, but just returned from Atlanta for spring break. They didn't do much...concert was canceled, the aquarium closed. They have 3 rolls of toilet paper, some peanut butter and a package of Hawaiian rolls. I send her an Amazon pantry box full of non-perishables. I get the shipping notice...it will arrive not in 2 days, but in 10. I am helpless. I put more money in her checking account. They survive a day on their peanut butter on tiny rolls. They adult their way to Target at 7am and stand in line for toilet paper and groceries. They are fine.
I haven't seen my boyfriend in 2 weeks. We talk everyday. Sometimes the conversations are silly, sometimes they are serious, sometimes scary. I am supposed to drive over to his house 2 hours away on Thursday...I chicken out. I leave Friday after work. Traffic is horrible. I almost start to cry, but I hold it back. We make dinner and drink pineapple flavored vodka and watch a movie. In the morning, we make our typical amazing breakfast. He brings out a box full of seeds. We spend the next couple of hours planting all the seeds...peppers, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, basil, lettuce, flowers. It is 2pm. I am on my phone constantly, checking, checking, checking...everyone is fine. We find a u-pick farm and go pick blueberries. We come home, shower, nap and make curry. Everything is fine.
Despite my worrying. Every one I love is fine. So, I am going to pay attention to reaching out and staying connected, but I am going to stop worrying. I can only do a small part in slowing the spread. I have a big mouth and a lot of words. I can write about my own experiences. I can show you pretty pictures that might help you realize the their are spots of sunshine amongst the cloud hanging over us. I can show you the yarn, I just wish you could feel it.