Sunday, July 05, 2020

On Vacation, On Staying Home

The late-afternoon view from my reading chair in the gazebo.

The first week of my three-week vacation is over. Of course, for me, "vacation" simply means I don't do any church work. Otherwise, I'm still working but not having to ponder a message for Sunday frees up brain space for pondering other writing.  
Before the creative writing and painting begins, I'm "polishing" the memoir about my father, which cleans up and tightens the text. Also, I continue to maintain balance by spending each evening out in the gardens, watering and weeding. I have another three weeks of vacation at the end of August when I'll get to enjoy the evenings NOT watering and weeding.  

Writing, watering and weeding: these are my vacation plans. Not much different than my pre-vacation plans of worship, writing, watering and weeding. When you do work you enjoy, nothing seems like work, but my brain appreciates the chance to think less serious thoughts.

Two times on Friday, I was asked how I fared during the pandemic lockdown. 
My answer was honest: I didn't impact my work, but I've realized how happy I am to stay home. I'm loving this simplified life. I'm wearing last year's walking shoes. I'm wearing last year's sun dresses. I'm only washing my hair twice a week because it's in a braid or ponytail all the time. I don't need more stuff, I don't want to eat restaurant food anymore. I'm writing and gardening, hanging out with the chickens, puttering in my not new but improved greenhouse. Home is where my heart is happy.

My husband, the extrovert, is missing people but I'm not. Humans are hard work. Humans are exhausting. 
I went grocery shopping on Thursday, wearing a mask, and once I was back in the truck, my face was aching. I realized I'd clenched my jaw the entire time. Even wearing a mask, I'm finding it stressful to be in stores. I don't like wearing a mask, either, no one does, but if it's the best way to protect my mother and my husband from contracting a virus that would kill them, I'm all in. 
I'm here for the common good. I'm here to do the greatest good for the greatest number. 
I'm here to be in service to others.  
I clench my jaw because I can't believe how many people -- and 99% of store employees -- are not masked. It's an airborne virus! It's in the air because it's expelled when people breathe and talk. Wearing a mask is such a simple way of protecting each other; I'd rather wear a mask than be injected with an untested vaccine with side effects (I'm not anti-vaccine; just wary of medicine that's not been fully tested). 
At least by wearing a mask, I stopped holding my breath in the grocery store so I'm less likely to pass out in the cookie aisle. 

I'm quite happy to stay home, watching my chick grow, working my way through a high stack of books, going for boat rides with my husband, and counting my tomatoes. 
As well as my blessings. 
I know I'm lucky I don't have to leave the property for work. I know I'm lucky to be safe and loved and protected here, well-fed and happy. I know I'm lucky to be healthy and pain-free, and not waiting on rescheduled appointments. 
Eight tiny green tomatoes, and eight hundred blessings.


You can pass an afternoon just watching the chickens...


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