I am an American. I live in an integrated neighborhood in a diverse city: we are in an uproar right now.
I am a biologist. We are in an uncontrolled outbreak of a new, highly contagious virus with a high fatality rate.
I am the daughter of parents who were raised in the Great Depression.
I am an autoimmune disease patient. My latest blood results just came in, and I am losing ground.
I can see the storm clouds on the horizon, but right now I am maintaining my peace and making plans for my future as I knit in the garden, surrounded by shafts of sunlight coming through the leaves of the tree above me.
In the eye of a perfect storm, I am outdoors seeking peace in my garden with the sunshine all around me. In a little while I’m going to head into the house and do what I can to address the issues swirling around me.
Another week. It is just crazy, but with sunny warm weather the days seem to be going a little faster. The lawns have been mowed and I am working in the gardens now clearing out the debris of last fall and planting seeds into the bare spots. I managed to get my new roses planted and am now working on clearing out the gardens in the back… so many dandelions for the bees right now, so I feel a little guilty. Luckily there are lots of other things that I can get done out there before I dig and clear those last gardens.
So the pandemic is kind of overwhelming for me right now. The news here in the US is full of people storming the governmental offices and demonstrating to be allowed to reopen the economy. I get that, but what is insane is people demanding that their lives be returned to normal. You know, no more masks! Packed beaches! I want to go to the movies and to restaurants. I want everything to be the way it was! I refuse to take a vaccine! I don’t care that we don’t have testing! This is just affecting old people anyway, and it’s just fake news, so let’s just go back to normal!!!!!
This was me five years ago when I was first diagnosed with scleroderma, Sjogren’s disease, and all the rest that came crashing down on me in the months that followed as all of the test results and specialists visits happened. I get it. The loss of your former life can be crushing. Get over it. To pretend something is not happening is not “living without fear”, but rather just burying your head in the sand. It is happening. Be brave. Put on your mask, make the adjustments that you need to in your life, plan for the long haul, hope for the best, and plan for the worst. We will make it, but not if we all just act selfishly.
I finished The Splendid and the Vile this week. Oh, my goodness. This is the book that I needed right at this moment. Imagine blackouts, nightly bombings, fires, thousands of casualities, and a pretty darn hopeless outcome as the nation prepares for invasion. Your allies are gone, and your friends just don’t want to get involved. In the midst of almost certain disaster Churchill emerged in Great Britain as the man that they needed at that time. Hugely energetic, positive, honest, ecentric, and ruthlessly demanding of the people around him, Churchill played a long game over years navigating his nation’s way though what can only be described as desperate times. His leadership and the development of central operations that placed and maintained a wartime footing over years was just inspiring for me and a great counterpoint to the nightly news. This book unpacked the early WWII years and made the people involved in the British effort come alive. I am so glad that I read it.
Now I am again picking away at several books at once trying to settle on one to carry me through the next week. I started a book called She by Pete Brassett because I had the audible version along with the book; I also kind of like British detective books so it was appealing. Oops. A book about a serial killer. What was I thinking of? I then started a science fiction book that is the last in a series that I’ve been reading. The Last Emperox by John Scalzi is set in a scenario where civilization as they know it is collapsing and the rich, powerful corporations are all scrambling to secure as much profit and security as they can in the unfolding chaos and uncertain future. There are machinations, betrayals, assassinations, and blantantly unscrupulous business practices that completely ignore the welfare of “the little people”. What was I thinking!! This is perhaps not the best book for me to be reading at the moment. I can go back to American Dirt (desperate mom tries to escape Mexican cartel and get to America and safety… maybe not) or return to The Mirror and the Light (more political maneuvering with a unhinged leader at the helm; death and betrayal is everywhere…), or just give up and read some nice Japanese cat comic books that I have. That’s the ticket! I am going to focus on The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home for a few days!
My needles have been busy this week. You know how it is. You can work for days and days without seeing any progress, and then suddenly it is apparent how much you have actually gotten done.
Then there is the knitted Maya cat that I am making for my son. The knitted Jonesy needs a friend, right?!
You can’t see the cat in the above knitted cat rug? Huh. Maybe I should show it to you in another format.
I’ve also been knitting and knitting on my new V-Neck Boxy sweater. I am about 9 inches below the armhole now and am approaching something that might be looking a little like a sweater.
Things are starting to come to life out back. I have an immense shrub by my back deck that is almost as high as the rain gutters. It is now covered in blossoms.
Remember my very unhappy roses that I put back outside after they spent a winter being babied in the house under grow lights? They are slowly toughening up, and today I saw this:
Well, that’s all for the week.
Please, please, everyone, be safe!
Remember to read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.
The last few days have been beautiful and sunny. My neighbor mowed my front lawn over the weekend and I got out there to plant my new roses and to clean up the front flower beds. Things are starting to look pretty good out there!
How can I not be happy looking out at the new growth on my dwarf mugo pine ? Seriously, the colors of my pot of pansies and the phlox groundcover beyond is making me feel pretty darn good in the mornings. I reseeded the little bare patch in the picture and now it looks even better. Wait until the new grass emerges!!
I see lots of robins and squirrels in the yard, and there is a really persistent squirrel that kind of keeps track of me while I’m working out there. Have I been able to get a picture of this little guy? No, I have not! He has the bushiest tail I have ever seen, and he watches me from the peak of the garage roof as I work. Every time I raise the camera to grab a shot he flips that tail at me and vanishes over the peak of the roof.
All of my plants are now outside and going though the transition of adapting to the stronger sunlight out there. New leaves are starting to emerge, and lots of the old leaves are getting burnt by the sun and dying. The lantana especially is not happy with me. Suck it up little guys! Life can be brutal; you can’t hang out under the indoor grow lights any longer. Summer is coming and out you go to get ready for it! The perennials in the yard are starting to come back and there are lots of buds on the plants. Good times are coming.