It’s been a quiet week of mellow spring weather. There were a few blue sky sunny afternoons in which I had my cocktail out on the bedroom porch next to Chatpeau, and one evening, she preferred to stay out there rather than join us inside. It’s been lightly raining this morning, and the robins were singing in full song on my walk, anticipating the worms which would soon appear. Forsythia made a cheerful patch of bright yellow amidst branches that are just about to burst open. They’ve mowed some of the greens on the golf course and the smell gives such hope for summer days to come, for times to change.
After all this time of coronavirus, we have a predictable structure to our days. I pick up groceries which are delivered to Rita’s porch on Mondays. Wednesdays, I pick up a box of produce and homemade bread, curbside, at the local Max’s Market. Sunday mornings at 8:00, Don braves the nearby IGA to purchase beer, which is the moment it’s legal for them to sell it. There are intermittent have-to-go-inside stops at the state liquor store for whiskey and wine. Now that the hardware stores have curbside pick up for the various projects Don is working on, we could avoid all human contact, if we just gave up alcohol. Well, that’s not going to happen.
The highlight of the week for me is the Zoom Family Game Event, which Sarah organizes on the week-ends. With Joy and her family back in this country, we are a rowdy crowd of 12, gathered in our separate spaces, pints of beer visible in the adults’ hands. We all play and laugh at our silly answers and cheer for who nailed it. Eamon, the youngest, and I, the oldest, compete for last place–the nuances in questions often go right by him, and I’m not quick enough–and it’s a tight race. When the games are over, and the kids begin to get restless, we discuss what each of us is having for dinner that night, and what movies or shows we’ve been watching. Lately, we are beginning to look pretty ragged and scruffy. Everybody’s hairdos are in need of professional help, and the list of ailments is growing longer. Val’s neck is still sore and it’s moved down her back; Sarah’s cheek and eye is swollen from a bug bite; I now have a new stye in my other eye; Joy does not know why all the life has gone out of her hair. I ask how the online classes are going for the kids, and there’s either a sullen shrug or thumbs down response. It feels too exhausting to discuss our unknown future, and after nearly two hours, the air in the party balloons has leaked out, and it’s time to go make dinner.
On to another week, with a big change here. Joy and her family complete their 14-day quarantine tomorrow, and they are moving in to the lakehouse. It’s another step forward on their long journey from Finland. They’ve found a home to rent back in Billings, starting on May 1st, and during their shelter in place stay at our house, they have many logistics to sort out in getting furniture out of storage to set up home, and getting Fletcher back from California–with probably another 14-day quarantine when he arrives. I hope they will find a soft landing here, and even solace, in the peacefulness by the water. Nobody got sick in their 14 days of quarantine, and for all the struggles yet to come, I am deeply grateful for our health, our safety, and all the love that lives in our family.
“Solace is the art of asking the beautiful question, of ourselves, of our world or of one another, in fiercely difficult and un-beautiful moments. solace is what we must look for when the mind cannot bear the pain, the loss or the suffering that eventually touches every life and every endeavor; when longing does not come to fruition in a form we can recognize, when people we know and love disappear, when hope must take a different form than the one we have shaped for it…” David Whyte, Consolations