We are truly in strange times right now.
For the first time in my 60+ years, I am seeing new things! Like the present quarantine because of a scary virus that no one knows much about and everyone is going a little crazy to make sure they don't get acquainted with the intruder (and have enough toilet paper while they wait this thing out!).
I have been inside my house for exactly 84 hours straight until this morning. Not only is the coronavirus something I don't want to come in contact with, I have been sick with a bad case of bronchitis trying to get well so I could get out a bit and not cause someone to have heart failure when they heard my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad cough. I didn't want to end up being quarantined somewhere other than my own house because I was perceived a threat!
So I've been thinking...what could I do to encourage some folks?! We have a lot of doomsdayers out there on Social Media and people who wouldn't know a good word if it fell from the sky and conked 'em on the head. So since I consider myself a positive, half-glass-full kind of person, I would like to get on the bandwagon here and inject a little positivity into your day to hopefully counteract a bit of the negativity.
First of all, the human race is a resilient body of beings. We sometimes forget our past and how our forefathers and mothers had times of testing that make some of these days look like a picnic in the park. They struggled through harsh winters without enough to eat, didn't know during Civil War times if their whole family might be slaughtered in their home while quietly eating a meal, risked their lives for freedoms that no human should have to fight for but is their right just because they are a human being, sent their sons off to foreign wars where those on the foreign fields and at home had very little to eat, struggled to stay warm and well, lived under the fear of invasion, and enjoyed absolutely no comforts as we know them. They suffered strange new illnesses that were unchartered territory and caused thousands of deaths of not only adults but innocent children. Now, that's the hard truth.
But here's the positive that I can pull out of this time in this day at this hour:
We live in a day where medical breakthroughs are happening every day and give us hope for cures not just for coronavirus but for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so many other diseases. Did you know that in the early sixties being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis was a death sentence? My aunt died from it at a young age, but today someone can live a longer, much more productive life with MS because of the advances in treatment. We have the best of the best working tirelessly to research cures for disease and the spread of it. We are so blessed!
We live in a country where human life is valued, whether we are a helpless special needs baby or a very frail elderly person who can no longer be productive in the way a lot of the rest of the world judges human worth . We have leaders who care about human dignity and work tirelessly to promote that basic human right to live and be considered. Too many lives have already been lost to coronavirus, and one is too many, and there are compassionate people who are giving their time and skills to stop the spread. We should be thanking them, not criticizing them.
We still have food on our shelves and the infrastructure to get it there!
We still enjoy luxuries that some people in developing countries can only hope for and have lived their entire histories without...like clean water, indoor plumbing, central heat, accessible food, the right to vote because we live in a democratic republic...services to help you no matter your social or economic status. I call these luxuries and indeed they are; we just take them for granted. Those are just a few for starters.
But most of all, we still are free, even during this mandatory self-quarantine! We might be having to stay closer to home, economize, and use our resources more sparingly, but we can take a long walk in a beautiful park, call and
FaceTime our loved ones, and take a walk or a ride in the country if we so desire. It's a time of thinking of others and their wellbeing first and pulling together for the common cause.
Just my two cents' worth.
The other thing I thought you might enjoy is to see a few of my favorite pictures I've taken over the years as a photographer and that are still some of my favorites and bring me joy, even though I am technically retired from photography. I hope they make you smile! Here ya go...
“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”
--Franklin D. Roosevelt
, *On this post's title...desperate times call for desperate measures...I've been stocking up on my favorite foods to carry me thru, like P-A-S-T-A, hence Corona Macarona! My first restaurant venture after the restaurants open back up will have to be Olive Garden...or Provino's...or Carraba's...wherever there is pasta, I'm in!
Also, I did finally get out for a drive today and a quick grocery store run. I saw fields of green and cotton stalks, trees budding the most tender spring colors of green...hot pink azaleas...cows and goats and blue sky...even a few human beings. That was my favorite part.
Life is good.
Recently I was talking with my aunt on the phone and she said she would love to see some pictures of my little house...this post is for you, Auntie...
Ten months ago I bought a tiny brick mid-century ranch (848 sf) in which I planned to camp out and find self-renewal. I say "camp out" because it's not quite the type of house I would've purchased in the past to live in. I guess you could say I've lowered my standards in the space I need, the decor I accept, and the amenities I feel I need. Years ago I would have required that something be super-deep-cleaned, painted from head to toe, fairly modern and updated, and a bit coiffed in a certain way for her majesty to move in. But in recent years, as I've grown older and realized what I really need is a quiet space that nurtures my soul, I have also realized that some things I used to regard as a necessity are no longer a necessity. So I bought what I could afford, but I did have a few requirements to check off my list: 1) Did I say affordable? 2) Safety and location (go together), 3) Move-in ready (i.e., working plumbing, working HVAC, decent roof with no leaks), 4) Something with potential in case I later want to do some upgrades, which is (if you know me well) what I do. So I gathered up the necessities I need for daily living, hired some movers, and moved right on in. I spent the first night in peaceful bliss as I made up a twin mattress on the floor, praying there was not a resident mouse family nearby who would like to get better acquainted.
In the last ten months, this little house has been a haven of rest for me. It's provided me with shelter, quietness, solitude, and solace. In many ways, it's been sacred to me...a sacred place set apart for renewal, healing, finding direction, and a place where I could feel God's presence again in my life. I cannot put a price tag on the progress that has been made in my physical and mental health as I've lived here, single-handedly taking on the world for really the first time in my life. I can't deny that there were some scary moments, some uncertain days, and at least a million tears that flowed out of my broken heart. But as I've healed and nurtured myself, I've reached far into my soul to look for the person I am meant to be and with whom I had lost touch in the last two decades of my life. It's been good to get to know me again...what inspires me, what brings me health and wellbeing, what produces joy and hope and contentment in my heart, and to recognize those things that are unhealthy for me, and be able to say "not anymore" to those. Because, unlike my opinion of myself in recent years, I now know that I am a person worthy of love and joy and respect, and I do have the ability to make my own happiness. I don't blame anyone for the sad state that I had become other than myself, because it's been way too long that I've allowed myself to forget what I really want in life. I will be forever grateful for this time I've had to heal and move forward in so many positive ways.
So back to this little house.
I started in right away making it mine, as I edited furniture and belongings...some of which I'd carted around for years as I moved from house to house to house, never really feeling that I had a place where I belonged or where I lived long enough to really make it my own. I had had stuff in storage for so long, I'd forgotten what I had and re-bought some of it. Such a sad waste of money :(. But let me tell you, if you've never really edited your "stuff," keeping only those things which provide usefulness or that you find really beautiful and life-giving, it is freeing! I have never felt so free as I do in this little house with just what I need, but no longer surrounded with stuff that I'm hanging onto for all the wrong reasons.
I didn't get to paint before moving in (and still haven't), so what did I do? I scrubbed and cleaned and hung pictures over unsightly places on the walls. I covered the bad spots on the wooden floors with adorable rugs. I prepared food in the dated kitchen on a stove that has seen better days and bathed in the shower that has also seen better days. But I'm clean, fed, cooled and heated, and as content as a little baby swaddled in her blanket. I have found true peace in this little place. I'll never forget my precious mother-in-law and her philosophy she held many years ago. She would not hang a picture on the wall until the walls were properly painted; she would not paint until the floors were re-done. She had an order in which she thought things should be done and she wouldn't budge. But do you know what I think? I think life is too short to be so rigid. Sometimes we have to accept "good enough," break out of our "I can only do it this way" mold, and just live life! My sweet mother-in-law passed away before she hung one picture on her walls in the last house where she lived, and that is something I was just not willing to do. Pictures of family make me happy! Favorite artwork gives me joy and inspiration! I want to enjoy them now before I die, don't you?
I am solid proof that you can take what you can afford, make it your own, and overcome less-than-favorite wallpaper, imperfect walls and floors, a slightly crumbling driveway...and feel like it's heaven on earth... You just take what you have, put with it what you can afford and makes you happy, a little hard work and, voila, before you know it you're living the good life. Here are a few pictures to show you what I've done with this heaven-sent place...
But mostly they're for Aunt Martha.
"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."
- Charles Dickens
Posted by CC
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