I’ve noticed that lots of bloggers and vloggers and Instagrammers are posting their “Isolation Diary” these days. This is ours.
For many people these days of isolation are a shock to their system. Learning to slow down to a stroll when they are used to speeding through their busy lives. But I find that Hubby and I are quite easily falling into a strolling rhythm that is very familiar to me. I realized this morning that the rhythm we have fallen into is my parents’ rhythm. The busy but not hurrying, strolling, calm, companionable days of two people whom I love very much. And that recognition is itself comforting.
Of course, I’m not talking about the actual activities my parents did. We don’t live on a farm; there are no animals to care for, no maple sap to boil, no woodlot to cull, much to Hubby’s chagrin. He’d love to have a woodlot. But there is a garden to ready for spring planting. And he’s currently working on a ramp to more easily be able to haul our heavy Grummon canoe in and out of the river. Next will come a set of steps beside the ramp, so we can go for a morning paddle.
I do not spend my time in the same way my mother did: baking, crocheting blankets for all and sundry, pickling and preserving, wallpapering bedrooms, making curtains, or any of the myriad of activities my mother was so good at. She even turned her hand to making wedding cakes for a while. But I do knit and read, two interests we share.
And, like Mum, around mid-morning each day, I put my boots on and go out to find my other half, see what he is doing, discuss dinner plans, or grocery shopping. Or politics. This time of year, Mum used to cross the brook where my step-father was boiling a big vat of sap, or find him in the barn forking hay down to the cows if it was still too early for them to be in the pasture. She’d sit on a near-by log or lean against the barn door and they’d chat.
When our weather is fine like today, Hubby heads outside once he’s had his morning cup of tea. I tidy, do other chores, answer blog comments, stay in touch with friends on Facebook. Then I’ll take my cup of tea outside to see what Hubby is doing. And we’ll chat while he works and I sip my tea. Today he was lying on his back with his head stuck under the deck to see if he can figure out how to stop one corner that is sinking despite the fact that it was only built a couple of years ago. He sat up when we heard the killdeer that is nesting somewhere nearby. Then he pottered off to the garden and I sat on the deck to finish my tea.
Our isolation diary contains lots and lots of walking. One day last week we walked the trail and hunted for pussy-willows. The annual pussy-willow harvest is a sure sign of spring. We came home with a beautiful bouquet as well as having accomplished our daily exercise.
I’ve been walking alone some days, listening to audiobooks on my phone. I’m currently listening to The Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner, a book which was recommended by both Maria and Wendy from York on a post a while ago. Surprisingly the book is read by the octogenarian author herself. I’m alternating it with an entertaining little cosy mystery series I happened upon a while ago. So as you can guess I am not totally averse to walking by myself… not at all. Ha.
On Saturday, even though it threatened rain all day, I had a great walk. I actually love the monochromatic nature of the world in the early spring. The browns and tan juxtaposed against a cloudy sky.
And I wasn’t totally alone for the whole walk. I stopped to say hello to these two beautiful creatures.
I miss being around animals. I recall my step-father standing with his arms folded, leaning on the pasture fence, with Myrt, one of his horses, standing patiently near-by on the other side. He loved his horses. I’m sure he was discussing plans for expansion of the pasture, or telling her when they’d next go logging. I went with him and Myrt to the woods logging one time, and it’s one of my favourite memories. But on Saturday, I didn’t lean on this fence for long. I think that Ghost was sure I had a treat in my pocket.
Today, though, after I finished my tea, I strolled around back to where Hubby was building what he calls Project #333 in his efforts to make the vegetable garden neater. Every year he says he’s going to downsize the garden. I’m still waiting on that one. Here’s a peek at what we’re doing. I am only the assistant builder, as you’ll notice.
Okay, as my grandmother always used to say, and now my mother says, “Enough of that.” I stopped the filming because you didn’t need to be subjected to the discussions and machinations of assembling the other poles, and seeing if the whole thing could be moved without collapsing. It could.
Then I went inside to change because we were going for my first bike ride of the season. And after that, we had lunch, I read for a while, and then wrote this blog post.
Later Hubby and I will have a glass of wine, make dinner, and watch a little television, followed by more reading, and bed.
So that’s more or less what Hubby and I have been up to. Our “Isolation Diary,” more or less. That is when I’m not drinking tea and partying at the Chateau Laurier with you guys. Our days have fallen into a pretty mundane rhythm. But a rhythm that I find comforting. And which neither of us find boring. Not now that we can get outside, to do things, to exercise, or just to sit out of the wind on the deck in the sun with a cup of tea. Mundanity does have its comforts, you know.
And I smiled to myself this morning as I was drinking tea and standing talking to Hubby with his head stuck under the deck. It so reminded me of Mum and Lloyd, of their easy companionship. How they were two very different people who had their own interests and opinions, and yet lived a peaceful, companionable life together on the farm. And wasn’t that just what Mum needed after so many years of the stress of being a single, working parent with four kids.
That’s where I learned to be patient, I guess. Or at least that’s what Mum says. Being around Lloyd who never seemed to get ruffled. When things became chaotic, or panicky for the rest of us, he would sit down, and say “Well, now. Let’s just think the situation over a while.”
You know, our isolation diary looks pretty darned good. When I think over our situation, Hubby and I are lucky. We are able to easily get outside. We have things close by to occupy us. And we have each other. Of course, I’m worried about Mum, and about my sister who works as a pharmacist, and whose husband has Alzheimer’s. And about friends who have compromising health conditions. But we’re very lucky that our fears and worries are small compared to so many others who are not as fortunate. And we’re grateful.
What’s your “Isolation Diary” look like, my friends? Do you have a rhythm to your days? And do you find the mundanity chaffing, or comforting?
P.S. The book link to Lady in Waiting is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a small commission.