How to stay grounded (literally)

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woman eating popcorn

As I write this, it is March 20-something, 2020. It may be a Sunday. Or Thursday? I don’t know. By the time you read this things may have changed, so take everything I write with a grain of salt.

I’m no scientist. Anyone who knows me knows I barely paid attention in science classes. Ask me about something basic that everyone knows like the hydrologic cycle. Go ahead, ask me. My answer: I DON’T KNOW. I was busy passing notes to Tari Boyko. I did not have time for science I was “never going to use.”

Quarantine fail

What I do know from my obsession with news and media is that we, as a society, have no idea how to really quarantine. We are worse than dogs — at least most of them can master “sit” and “stay.”

In the past, our ancestors made do. They were sometimes (often) uncomfortable. They went without — for long periods of time. They rationed everything and for the most part went along. They did this for years.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m about to stand outside nursing homes and shout into the windows “how did you DO this for entire world wars? The Depression? I need direction. Am I supposed to be saving and washing tin foil? Is that for food use or to make into hats?” Help me wise elders. Where is our Rosie the Riveter? Val the Virus Fighter?

In 2020 with the entire world at our fingertips via the internet, the media is daily reporting on people who just had to go shopping — with their entire grown family — almost daily. I’m reading people who just “had” to pop into the craft store, browse the home decor aisle, get Starbucks and pick up some paint for the family room. Now is not the time to decide you need to refinish that guest room. Put your inner decorator on hold or use up what you have stashed in the house. Mix those paint cans together. You might like it! Or not.

All those people posting that social media meme claiming they could live in a secluded cabin off the grid for a month with only essentials for a million dollars are liars. Apparently, as a whole, we freak if we run out of craft paint and Pop Tarts. Yes, essential shopping is necessary. What we don’t need is people wandering the aisles of Target because they are “bored.”

Get your “Live, Love, Laugh” faux-farmhouse sign when the plague has passed.

I swear the Midwest should have just claimed it was a “Level 4 Snow Emergency.” People would have stocked up on bread and chips and hunkered down for a week straight.

Meals

I would have sworn I was not a shopper but cutting me off from thrift stores, random Amazon purchasing, and eating out multiple times weekly has been an eye-opener. We used to spend an inordinate amount of time going out to eat.

Look, we have been going through some things since 2020 decided to be RELENTLESS. Here at Seabolt Central, we medicate broken hearts with copious amounts of chips and salsa. Ditto pasta, burgers and so on.

I used to joke that if we missed a week at the local Mexican restaurant, they would think we died. Now that they have closed for the duration that is no longer funny. I hope they’re okay. They need us.

On the upside, it turns out our kitchen is pretty awesome. I don’t know if everyone knows this, but in most homes, the room with the coffee maker can also be used to prepare meals.

We are blessed to live where we do. I can walk to the neighboring farm market. The bakery and local meat markets are just minutes away. I have been able to get all we need, thank you, Lord.

We are remembering how to cook. We are eating at the table as a family with regularity not seen since one of us was in a highchair. It’s not like any of us have anywhere to be on the weekends.

We are blessed that some of us are considered “essential.” I am grateful for that. The rest of us are “holding down the fort.” Also, sometimes, we are eating way too many cookies and being terrified of the news. It’s a balance.

Now, the Government is begging us to just “Netflix and chill” for two weeks. Apparently, far too many people who are not required to leave their homes insist on doing so anyway.

Who knew all those online gamers huddled in their houses never leaving the computer were actually PIONEERS? When possible just remain socially distant. Stop carrying the virus hither and yon. Walk with distance and wave from afar.

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask someone to pass the remote.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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