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Writing Pieces


By April 13, 20204 Comments

Being in quarantine is reminding me of how my parents lived.


Without fanfare.  Or computers.

Cooking.  Three meals a day.  Making a list and buying the food for a week or two at a time.   Then , in the morning, making a decision on what you’re going to pull from the basement freezer.

Working outside in the garden.  Weeding. Pulling brush.   Family raking on Sundays.

Cleaning.  Vacuuming, changing sheets, cleaning toilets, doing laundry, mopping.

And the daily ceremony of a whiskey sour in front of the CBS evening news at 5:30.

Well, that’s pretty much how I’m living now.

In quarantine.

I remember saying to my husband when we first got together, that I wanted to plant the flowers….not manage someone else doing it.

Well…it’s taken a few years, but I’m doing it now.

In quarantine.

Before all this happened, I rarely cooked.  We went out all the time.  Met friends.  Or got take out.  And had a movie night.

If I bought groceries it was on the day I needed them.  Following a recipe book I stuffed in my cart.

We had Abolino who did all the outside gardening…maintenance….pruning…spring spruce up.

And Rosa. A godsend.  I don’t even have a vacuum cleaner.  Just a dust buster.  Because when Rosa came, she brought everything with her.

But no longer.  I’m in quarantine.  I’m in charge.

Cleaning the toilets.  I haven’t done that in forty years.  Do they still have the stuff that turns the toilet blue?  Can you order it on Amazon?

Changing the duvet cover. What a nightmare that is.  And it’s all wrinkled now because the cleaner is closed.  And I draw the line at ironing.

Mopping the mudroom.  Don’t have a mop either.  Squeegeeing the shower glass.  Oye.

I sound spoiled.  I am spoiled.  But a lot of us are in this embarrassing, entitled boat.

The quarantine.

So…here’s the crazy thing.

I’m sort of liking it.

Enjoying the routine.  The simplicity of taking care of my own life.

The pleasure of frying the onions.  Sweeping the porch.  Pulling the weeds.

I’m home.  I’m busy.  I’m doing chores and completing them.  It feels good.

Living more in the moment.  Going where the day takes me.

I’m satisfied.

My parents were satisfied with their lives.  In fact, that might be the very thing that happiness comes down to.

They were satisfied with their lives.

Maybe it took a quarantine to slow things down enough for me to finally recognize it.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Sandy Mayer says:

    Yes, Mary…nicely written! We’re pretty much doing the same, but no cows to milk! It’s funny but I just wrote about the same topic in my blog yesterday. “ Great minds think alike”! (
    Stay safe and healthy…love to you and Gordon,

  • Careyleah says:

    Thank you, Mary. I really love getting your posts from time to time.

    One thing that has become crystal clear to me is a deeper understanding of my privilege, especially my white, female privilege. I can be sad about being in the over 70 group, about not hugging family and friends, about only have the back roads and local sandy beach here in Maine to walk on…but it is not a counter balance to the pain, and LACK of so much that many people are experiencing. I am fortunate. I am grateful.

    Your words do lift my spirits!

  • Connie Price says:

    Mary, I said this to my daughter today. Yes, I am comfortable with this lifestyle. It is the way I was raised. We went out to dinner, maybe 3 times a year. The rest of the time, my mom cooked and on Sundays in the summer, m dad barbqued steaks. We never had a cleaning lady and my dad mowed the lawn and washed the car on the weekends. If something broke, they went to the hardware store, bought a part and came home and fixed it. Yep, that is what we are doing now. So good, so familiar, so relaxing, thanks for your blog. I like it.

  • Bob says:

    Ahhh, yes…”living in the moment”… something everyone should take out of this bizarre experience no matter how you are forced to deal with it…As always Mary, thanks for reminding us and stating it so sweetly. Xoxox, bob

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