Sunday, March 22, 2020

Batten Down The Hatches!

This photo of the jacaranda and other flowers blooming denotes a time of calm and serenity. Spring. On the outside, and if walking the streets, it seems that way.  But, inside, in our hearts and minds, we all are slightly tied in knots wondering what is coming next.

The only thing I can equate this to is when living on the Gulf Coast for close to fifty years, hurricane season came.  First they would announce that "maybe" something was going to come into the Gulf.  My ears would perk up for further details and listening carefully was always important if it was heading our way.

Often, however, there wasn't great forewarning and once, one morning there was nothing but a little tropical depression but by the next day, in the Bay area south of Houston, we had had 42 inches of rain in 24 hours.  No planning for that other then trying to get everything off the floors in case there was flooding.  For me and my children, there was not, but, for others who lived right on the shore lines, their homes were inundated.

If I learned anything from those years was to be prepared as much as possible.  I had all "important" papers in one carryout container to be sure to take.  I always had huge bottles of water stored in the garage on high shelves, just in case along with canned goods and food that could be eaten without cooking.......

Often we were the first car out of town, sort of, making the trek to Lufkin where my big brother lived.

The station wagon would have kids, animals, cages, food and as many clothes and board games as we could cram in.  Those were the days of no cell phones or that kind of thing.  We could get to Lufkin in a little more then 3 hours while those that waited suffered through anywhere from 10 to 24 hours to go the same distance.  So glad there are not hurricanes in San Miguel or tornadoes!

One never knew what one would come home to - total destruction, flooded houses, downed trees or who knew what.  Certainly, always, no electricity. Sometimes for up to three weeks.  Since most storms hit in the summertime, that meant no air conditioning  The kids and I learned that sleeping on the marble floors in the foyer were the coolest place to be.  Cooking on a grill outside was another.

So being prepared was one important ingredient.  The other was "taking it one day at a time".  As I just said, you never knew what you would go through or come home to but, somehow, we all got through it!

Of course "Batten Down the Hatches" refers to sailboats and boats.  The loss often was complete in Galveston Bay and Clear Lake, but that too, eventually was overcome, one way or the other. 

This virus that is barreling toward us or around us, to me, is similar.  At first there was a week of semi-panic, then the second week was having a plan and implementing it after lots of reading of what to do.

Now we wait and STAY HOME.  I have found all kinds of things to do.  Slowing down is one of them now that I realize that I don't have many, many things to accomplish but possibly a few each day!  A BIG surprise.

Some of the things I'm doing is cooking, listening to CDs that I haven't listened to in years, watched movies that I have stored in the drawer, working in the garden, rearranging the closets and setting aside clothes to sell or donate, reading new books and thinking about reading a few of my favorites again.  That's a start.  There are a couple of big projects of going through old photos that I have not felt like doing yet.

I'm trying to stay on a schedule by getting up at the same time and going to bed at the same time.  It helps.  There was an urge at the beginning to go around in pajamas but I feel better getting dressed, fixing my hair and sometimes putting on though I'm going somewhere or company is coming.  Neither of which is going to happen until we get the "all clear" signal, whenever that might be.

By using the webcams of San Miguel, I can see that most everywhere is empty of pedestrians.  Unlike anything I have ever seen.  That is a good thing as we are sheltering in place!

I think of all of you so often and wonder how many of you are in the USA, France, Spain, Italy
and other countries who read this blog.  We are ALL in this together and somehow we will all get
through this eventually.  Hopefully we will be stronger when this is over.  Knowing there are others who care and who will help if and when needed.

Be Safe!  Stay Home! And, please write and tell me how you are doing and what you are doing in these days of quiet.  I care!


alcuban said...

That's a nice, very heartfelt post. The first two days for us weren't too bad, it felt a bit like a camping trip without leaving the house. But it's not all fun, there is a bit of apprehension too: How long is this going to last? How long before i can see friends? Stew is cooking up a storm and bless him for that. I hope we get out of this soon.

Babs said...

Thank goodness ya'll have eachother and Stew loves to cook! I haven't resorted to pb&j yet but all this cooking is aggravating. Actually today I'm going to make a few dishes that serve multiple meals and then won't have to cook every day.

Yes, the apprehension is upsetting. The questions keep coming. Watching the pundits on TV that talk about a 22 year old would be saved before someone over 70 does not add to my calmness or probably yours either.

I miss seeing ya'll and others! Hang in there.

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

With spring just started we have been putzing in the garden. The freezer is stocked and we are in good shape. We are allowed outside for a walk so long as we keep our distance from others. One of us goes shopping once a week. The grocery stores have implemented limits of two for pretty much everything to prevent hoarding. Now some stores will permit only 15 people into the store at a time. Bizarre times and quite scary. Most restaurants will deliver food and you prepay with an e-transfer. The delivery driver will place your order on your door step, ring the bell and take six steps back while you retrieve your order. We buy mostly from local businesses to help them stay alive. The big box stores can weather the storm. Hopefully banks and landlords will be kind to all those who got laid off.

Be well and healthy, it will het worse before it bets better...

Retired Teacher said...

Here in the Ohio, the governor has issued a stay-at-home order beginning at midnight tonight, but I have already been doing that for more than a week. Thank goodness we are still allowed to go outside to take walks (or jog or bicycle), so I will be able to continue get some exercise and a bit of relief from cabin fever.
Take good care of yourself...both physically and mentally. It may be a long haul, but we shall get through this.

R. P. said...

Like the cuttings that we transplant in the garden. They seem to be on their way to a slow wilting death with the sudden shock to their system. We are the cuttings in this world moment. We are in a bit of a wilting shock. But, alas, something grabs us and we start to bloom where we are in this new world. So be it, so it is.

Lovely piece, dear friend.
Gracias, Robert

Dana Hill said...

Good to hear you are well, Barbara. Greetings from Oakland CA. We have been hunkered down here in northern California for two weeks now, and expect at least two more weeks of the same. We have decided not to shop personally for groceries, although our stores also limit numbers of people and many have seniors hours first thing in the morning. Instead, we have been ordering supplies online, mostly from smaller stores, and it's been quite an adventure. We are cleaning records, Wayne likes to pick up vinyl at thrift shops and we have several piles of records too dirty to play yet. We have been watching mysteries and reading. I have been cooking, which I love, and we are working on the gardens. It has been interesting to slow down, as you say. One or two accomplishments a day is just fine. So is a nap in the afternoon. May we all remain healthy and may our friends with job/apartment/small business concerns come through OK.

Babs said...

Peter, so great to hear from you in Canada and to hear what you are doing to protect yourselves and get ready for a long haul at home.........Trying to maintain an upbeat positive outlook seems to be the way to get through this.

Thanks so much for taking time to write.
Think of ya'll often!

Babs said...

Hi Bill - Thanks for taking time to ocmment. I know you will garden, paint, and keep yourself busy, but, at the same time wish that you were in Mexico. You will be....just not right away.....

Robert, thanks so much for commenting. We are entering the really DRY season
before the summer rains in June, so water water water those plants and you will
be surprised to see them blooming soon..........

Dana, what a thrill to hear from you after a long quiet time. Sounds like you have it figured out, cooking, gardening and NAPS, along with a project or two. Life will ramp back up soon enough so enjoy the bliss of not having too much to do.....So So good to hear from you!

Dan in NC said...

Babs-HELP! SWMBO has decided that it it truly an opportunity with this new pandemic to do a DEEP Spring cleaning here in NC! We don’t have snow, but the yellow pine pollen is thick enough to be counted as substantially more than a “dusting”!! Curtains down and in the wash, windows washed, wooden floors, dusted, mopped, and polished! I look like Tom Cruise in Risky Business when I slip/slide my way to bed!! Decks have been hosed 2x, and need to be done again! And yes, the grass has been cut and edged! I don’t know if this virus will have an effect on me, but this “ stay- cation” most likely have me pushing up daisy’s! Take it easy they say! Keep safe, and RELAX! ( well, as much as possible) Cheers!

Babs said...

Dan, I know you told me once what SWMBO stands for but I can't remember. I think the S stands for she...........
Sounds like you have been staying out of trouble doing "honey dos". Wow! Would
love to have you here for 1/2 a day.

Today I tried to sweep the porch with a broom in one hand and the cane in the other. I wish someone had videoed it as I held onto the big house columns at one point and the chairs along with the cane and the broom. It was quite a workout. NOT doing
that again.

Josefina hasn't been here in two weeks and I got desperate to sweep up dust, flower petals and to trim the fern which is out of control.

Now that you have all your chores done, sit back, relax and STAY HOME!

Thanks for taking time to write and say "Hi" to Mary!

GinnyClaes said...

So appreciate your keeping us abreast of the situation in SMA. We are so concerned for the lovely, kind people of SM. I look forward to your honest account of the situation. Stay safe and well.

Babs said...

Thanks for taking time to read and comment on the post Ginny! I need to do an update and I will try to do that tomorrow.

We ARE all hunkered down and very, very few things are open here now........
People are taking it all very seriously.

We now have 2 confirmed cases in SMA. One was someone who arrived here after traveling with it. The other is someone here who had not traveling or connection that is known.

More tomorrow.