Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Cautious Plan

We are now just a few days away from reopening Ohio. The thought makes me have a prickling sensation that is not exactly positive or negative. I suppose it is a defensive feeling, like one stepping into an area with known dangers and being on high alert, waiting, watchful. On Monday Gov. DeWine outlined his plan for businesses to start to reopen. On May 1st, elective medical procedures that do not require an overnight hospital stay can resume. (So, dentists! Which is quite a good thing, since all of the children except Rosie and Malachi are due for their check ups. They had theirs that first week of March, one of our last normal weeks before all this began. . .) On May 4th, general business offices, manufacturing, construction and distribution companies can reopen, with health guidelines in place. On May 12th, retail and consumer services can reopen under the same  health guidelines. Restaurants, gyms and day cares will still be closed for now, however.




On Monday, the health guidelines included mandatory mask-wearing for all employees and customers/clients but as of yesterday the new chart showed masks as being recommended but not mandated. I know other states, like Illinois, are now requiring face masks to be worn in any public area. I personally will continue to wear my face mask if I am in a public area with others nearby but I probably will not wear one if I am, for instance, out at a park or nature area with just my children with me.


Photo by Judah
Photo by Rosie
 The boys are sorely disappointed over the probable loss of their Little League season. While we haven't had a confirmed cancellation yet and our local group was still accepting registrations as of a few days ago, we cannot move forward with it right now. There is rumor of a fall season, if things are better by then. Another disappointment for the boys is the cancellation of all in-person 4-H activities through August. This means no monthly meetings, no field trips, no camp, no summer judging of projects and very likely no fair in September.

Photo by Rosie - I love this one!

Photo by Rosie - my favorite

Photo  by Rosie
School ends on May 8th for all the children except Malachi. On that day I will go to the school gym and turn in all their packet work. Malachi continues to finish 5th grade with OHVA on May 29th. Benjamin had his first meeting with his teacher and classmates through Zoom last week. As he sat at the dining room table, smiling and talking excitedly with people he hasn't seen since March 12th, my heart broke for him. My heart hurts for our seniors and the losses they are experiencing - no prom, no senior trips, no graduation ceremony. The other night around 8:30 a decorated car drove up and down the streets, horn blasting away. It was a bit too dark to see what was going on but I assumed it was for graduation since we had just heard that all in-person graduation ceremonies had been cancelled. Someone on our Facebook group confirmed this. One person loudly complained but a lot of others supported honoring our seniors in any way we can. It doesn't make up, at all, for what they have lost out on but it is something. Now there is talk of having a parade with a car decorated for each student and we as a town can line the streets in front of our houses (properly social distancing, of course!) and cheer for them as they go by. 


Last week we pulled out the "buzzards", as Benjamin calls them ๐Ÿ˜‚, and a few of the boys got hair cuts one afternoon. While I normally cut hair for everyone this time Rosie wanted to try and Benjamin had no problem letting her try. Judah decided that his shoulder length hair needed to go so he let me give him a hair cut after dinner one night and even allowed me to blow dry it after he washed it. He hadn't cut his hair since last year when baseball season started. He has a LOT. OF. HAIR.


I've mowed, got a little poison ivy already, even this early in the season, and gone through all our clothes to get rid of what we no longer need or have outgrown. I went through  my own closet on Monday and got rid of half of what was in there - I somehow have accumulated way more that I actually need! It feels good to have clean, organized closets again and to have all the winter things packed away.


All throughout this past week, though, I have felt very tired. It's a cycle of optimism, energy, production, then weariness followed by resentment followed by despair. The weather has been mostly good; the days have been sunny and warm and I feel mostly cheerful and hopeful. At night I cry and lay awake for long stretches of time, seized with worry and fear about the future. I am awake long before my alarm goes off at 6; I get up, more tired than I was when I went to bed and fix some coffee and take a shower before starting the day.


I have been continuing in this strange spiritual state this week; mostly living in my head (which is a very great fault of mine; balance is the best way to achieve peace!) I have pulled out all of my gwersi from OBOD and have been going through all of them, reading poetry, writing poems of my own and have been in a restless, almost frantic state of consumption of those booklets and research about the upcoming festival of Beltane. I have seized upon Beltane as a very significant event this year, and I am still not quite sure why I feel that way. What does it mean; this coming together of the Masculine and Feminine Divine, and what is the significance of their joining and the result of it? Why does this so overwhelmingly speak to me this  year? The festivals I most connect with have been Imbolc, Mabon and Samhain. I totally *get* what this festival is about but I never felt very personally connected to it, perhaps because I have such a complicated and unhealthy (trying to heal and grow from it though) view of my own self and my own sexuality. (Because dontcha know sexual thoughts or urges of any kind whatsoever are sinful unless you are with a person you are married to and you have those thoughts about only that specific person! If you deviate from those guidelines you are a depraved human being! Asexuality seems like a blessed state. . .)


Once again, this is a subject best suited to another place, another time. Moving on. . .


I put the restriction on myself that I cannot take time to read and write until everything else is taken care of first, so I have been expending huge amounts of physical energy every morning manically cleaning, overseeing schoolwork, cooking, doing yardwork, doing laundry, organizing and decluttering (because jfc how can my kids, especially the girls, have SO MANY FREAKING TOYS?!?!?! It's like a glitter bomb went off in their room, only instead of glitter - or perhaps in addition to - it's toys. . .everywhere. . .all the time. . .). Then, I have a few hours in the afternoon to take things more slowly and do what I like; sew a few masks to mail out the next day, read a bit, think, write. Then when I come back out the general areas of the home I find that it is a mess all over again. ๐Ÿ˜‘ Cycles. . .
photo by Judah

I actually did manage to do my watercolor of our bridge and that pleased me, though the finished piece isn't as good as I wish it could be. It was also very rushed as I was afraid I was spending too much time on it. I am out of practice and I struggle with trees. I am also very very much a beginner. That is one thing I want to work on more as I find time here and there. My cheap round brushes are starting to split at the ends so the next thing to do is to try to reshape them if I can. If not, it may be time to spring for some better brushes when it is safe to go on such a frivolous shopping expedition (or perhaps, I can order some from Amazon). I think I will put this picture in Malachi's room since he loves going to the bridge to fish and has spent a lot of time there over the last few years!


I made this hagstone necklace from a stone Malachi brought me from the creek awhile ago. My dear friend Weston sent me the bear claw necklace last week, all the way from New Orleans! :D

Yesterday we went to a section of the local wildlife area that we hadn't explored before. Rosie and Judah came with me and they both took some lovely photos; Rosie is becoming quite a good little photographer! It reached nearly 80 degrees and Judah became hot and tired after awhile and Rosie, though a tireless little trooper for the first half of the trek, needed carried piggy back on the return journey, but she perked up soon enough when we drove down the hill into the town nearby and got her a hamburger happy meal from the drive-through. She was delighted with the red haired troll doll that came with it.




The next exciting thing is Benjamin's birthday this weekend. He has a long list of complicated items he wants for his birthday (where does one, exactly, locally find a stuffed Megalodon? And yes, he knows the precise differences between the ancient, extinct shark and the current, less exciting ones). He wants a three-tiered chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and NO ICE CREAM. We generally go to the Air Force Museum for his birthday but as it is closed this year due to Covid-19, we will have to think of an acceptable substitute.

Photo by Rosie
The day is already chugging along so it's time to finish this rambling post and get things done! Be gentle with yourselves and with others and never lose hope - things will cycle round.

We made it to the fishing pond!

Much love my friends,

Sarah

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