Hey folks,

It has been a year or so, since I have posted anything. Several things happened right after the Pandemic hit and well,….. I am just climbing out of my hole. I don’t even think I have done more than stick my head out and ducked back in. We will say I am back in my den, holed up as it does not seem safe outside yet. My husband says I am a hermit now, and I need to build a hermitage in my garden at the top of the steps. I am good with that. In some medieval gardens they would hire hermits to live in their gardens as part of the “interests” So, may need to see what I can come up with.

So, yeah, The Pandemic. Gosh it has been a scary year or so. For anyone in the far future, the Pandemic started in Wohan , China some time in late 2019 to early 2020. We started documenting cases in January and it started getting serious in March 2020. It hits like a super serious case of the flu. Some people recovered and some did not. It was serious enough that my husband and myself started working from Home the last week of March 2020.

In February 2020 I was suppose to be attending an SCA event and found that my father had passed and I would need to attend the funeral. My husband attended with me, but neither of my daughters. Megan was in charge of the food for that SCA weekend and she felt she could not leave. My youngest, Morgan had been off and on the streets and in jail for the last year and we had no way to really reach her. I had seen my Father in January and knew he was going downhill and would not be with us much longer. I believe he gave up long before that. When we would visit it was so obvious that he did not want us there. He was hurting he said, and that he was old, and when we get old, we would know how bad it was. Can I just say here, he has become a sad man over the years, hateful and mistrusting. He would not let Randy and Nola ( my sister and brother in law) help him with his finances and get him the care he needed. We believe it was all about control of the inheritance. Heavens knows we did not see any nor will we. He let the house we grew up in go for taxes. My grandparents house was sold to a cousin, my uncle timbered out the woods above the house due to he had been paying my grandmothers taxes for some time. People wonder why I moved from the Tricities to Knoxville….. there was little left.

My youngest Died at the end of March 2020. It was from a drug overdose, and it really did not surprise me due to when she went to the hospital in Nov 2019 for an overdose and we tried to get her in rehab… she was gone before anyone could talk with her. She had been in and out of jail for petty theft and drug charges since they lost their apartment and Michael and herself had been living with some folks on the street. We tried to catch her when she was released from jail, but again was gone before we could . Michael was in Jail when it happened…. he felt bad about it. One of her street friend reached out to me after her death. He gave some closure, but really was a sad person, but like my daughter, I could not save. She leaves behind her beloved Michael and two sons, Christian and Ethan.

During this time, my mother in law began showing signs of Severe Dementia and could no longer walk on her own, soon followed by no longer bring able to eat on her own. Bill and I would go over nightly to help Bennie get her into bed, sometimes to help her eat and drink and by the end, help clean her up and change clothes. She ended with Hospice Care at home for the last two weeks, because her doctor would not admit that the end was in sight. ( Or he would not admit to Bennie) Bennie would not admit till the last week that there was a problem that might end in death. We had been trying to get him to get a lift to help with getting her in bed, but he put that off as well.

The week or so before she passed, Hospice had us giving her Morphine for pain. The last full day was Saturday and I brought a few books with me and read to her and held her hand. One of the last things she said to me was to tell me to journal. I have tried several times, but it has always been too much. So here I am, trying again. She passed on July 19th ,2020.

It is now June 2021, We are still working from home and I hope that never ends. It is less stress, I have cats to talk to, my garden to walk in on breaks and lunches. I pick up my neighbor Ms. Betty’s mail at lunch most days and I can throw in a load of wash on break when necessary. I have the ever flowing pot of tea. I have birdfeeders outside the two windows in the living room which has allowed me to observe birds and squirrels. I have named one of the two main squirrels with the skinny tail, which we believe was the one we saved from the downspout last winter. His/Her name is Poppy. I figured it would work either way. I have made headway on my garden and yard, getting beds built, my steps built in the back and I will continue for as long as I can.

I have developed some issues and pain in my shoulder joints and hips. The hips seem to contribute to my restless leg syndrome, which keeps me up nights. The shoulders may be bursitis from gardening. Actual gardening seems to make it feel better, but it hurts to pull or reach.

And now as things are returning to the “new normal” Bill and I have agreed to give up the SCA for various reasons, but most of all for our mental health and reduction of drama. Bill is looking to go back to Masonic Lodge and I may do a garden club or Tennessee Master Gardeners. I have also become involved with a Germanic group / Pennsylvania Dutch-Deitch . It is pagan, but very progressive and they have several guilds that appeal to me. I have always loved the hex signs and herbs. But it gives me a religious/spiritual home. I can be a ‘nobody” with no responsibilities, and I can learn about a new culture and history. I have already learned quite a bit, and may even take the Pennsylvania Dutch Language class online. I missed the last online Ritual, I hope they still feel I am serious about this tradition. it is called Urglaawe. ( Whoot, I have learned to spell it without looking !!) I believe my Mothers Fathers side of the Family may have been PA Deitch. I know my mother’s grandmother on that side taught her numbers in German and she was very proud of her German background.

I am suspicious that I have a case of agoraphobia, as I do not like to leave the house and spending more than one night away from home makes it worse. I cannot commit myself to do so. Sometime soon we are to make an overnight trip to see Bill’s Aunt, his Dad’s Sister. Bill has only recently gotten me to go to a restaurant, I still really don’t enjoy it or relax. I still wear my mask out, especially in Krogers. I don’t really enjoy restaurants as they are so noisy and would rather get it and eat at home, but I cannot get Bill to do it. My favorite place at the moment is out back in our swing . I have a fire pit there, my garden to view ( and taunt me to work in it) And either this summer or next I hope to get a table and chairs set up there.

So, life just seems so unsure.. too many things are in flux and have been. I really am a logical person. I know I cannot control life. At best we plan, and wait for those plans to be destroyed. If I stay here at home I can pay my bills and take care of my health….. It is as safe as I can make it.