It’s been two weeks of social distancing in Ohio and tonight at midnight marks the beginning of another two weeks of mandatory shelter-in-place. At Quill Cottage, it has been business as usual. These are the benefits of being hermits during the winter months.
It seems that boredom is setting in for those who have been social distancing, and reality is starting to settle in for those who haven’t that maybe, y’know, they should. For us, though, our to-do list is huge, and this time is passing quickly because we’re more busy now than we have been in years.
Kyle and some neighborhood fellas took down four pine trees on the south side of the house, which opened up lots of sunlight for our new raised garden. During a rainy day, Kyle built the beds in his workshop and all there is left for us to do is put them in place and fill them with soil. All the while, I’ve been tending to the plants inside, putting seeds in dirt, and spring cleaning the house.
As we all are staying close to home, our neighborhood community is coming together to take care of each other. I traded a fresh loaf of bread to one neighbor for six duck eggs, and then gave those duck eggs to another neighbor as a thank you for the huge smoked pork butt they shared with us. Just yesterday as the order came down to shelter-in-place from our governor, I wandered over to another neighbor’s yard while they sat around a fire and asked if they had more Girl Scout cookies to sell. I bought ten boxes and sent some with my dad to share with my sister.
I shouldn’t have seen my dad yesterday, to be honest, as he is well within the age and demographic for people who aren’t coming safely out the other side of the virus. But knowing this, I couldn’t resist one last hug from my daddy before we had to go goodness knows how long without seeing each other again. He dropped off a blue barrel we’ll be using to collect rain water, and picked up a few things we had borrowed and some of Kyle’s home brewed beer for Granny’s caretaker, Berthine. Truly, it was just an excuse to get that hug in while we still could. I could lie and say I’m not worried, but I am. Still, my family is being level-headed and is taking the precautions necessary to keep them all safe. All I can do now is hope for the best.
Projects are plentiful, though, and I know that keeping active will help alleviate boredom and stave off worry. The garden will be a large focus in the coming weeks, as will the new compost bin we’re building. We’re well stocked on creative activities, too. Lots of books, instruments, cooking supplies, paints, and so forth. Plus, there’s a new batch of beer brewing that will need tended to in a month.
It’s strange to me that a need for a shift in lifestyle hit me mid-December. We didn’t know this virus was coming, and we didn’t know how much it would change life as we know it. But by following my instincts, we are more prepared for this New Normal than we would have been a year ago. Or even six months ago. Quill Cottage is ready for what is coming.