Things I Miss

Lately things seem to be all about changing—even while staying the same.

I say that because there hasn't been much new going on in my life during this age of Covid. I've followed all the safety guidelines, limited my social contacts, and lived/worked within my bubble for oh...about six months now. Each day is pretty much the same. I rise, write, market my books, garden, cook, clean, and if I'm lucky, maybe write some more.

So, it’s same-old/same-old every day. And that, in and of itself, is a change. 

Things I miss doing though:

  • Browsing a store like Home Depot or Sam’s Club. I haven’t been in either of those stores since the panic began.
  • Grocery shopping. I’ve been inside my Kroger store once since May. I long to pick out my own vegetables and choose my own packages of meat. 
  • Seeing my children and grandchildren. They live a state away. And they have active lives. Since I care for my elderly father, I worry about bringing the darned virus back to him should I visit them, and vice versa. 
  • An occasional dinner out. Since we’ve graduated to take-out, we have enjoyed some meals from our favorite restaurants, but wouldn’t it be nice to linger again over a meal and have actual dinner conversations? 
  • Traveling. As much as I hate to admit it—because for years I traveled so much for my day job and for the longest time, didn’t care if I ever saw an airport or hotel lobby again—I’m getting itchy travel feet. I find myself thinking about that drive I’ve been wanting to take through New England, or a long weekend at my favorite beach. And then I stop myself. 
Maybe subconsciously, I’m longing for change.

But fall is here. And to me, fall always signifies change. New beginnings. Fresh starts. As a student and then a teacher for many years, September and a new school year was a chance to start over—you know, new clothes, new shoes, new pencil box (dating myself here). I guess I've never shaken that sentiment, even though I haven't stepped into a classroom for some time. 

Still, I’ll take advantage of the seasonal attitude change and spruce up my life a bit. As I write this, my garden is waning. I have some tomatoes left to ripen, and some turnips nearly ready to eat. Soon, it will be time to put the garden to bed until spring. The yard needs some attention too—flower beds cleaned out, and I need to create a few new beds where I had some shrubbery removed a few weeks ago.

In the meantime, I'll also give the house a good fall cleaning, and perhaps throw a few coats of paint on some furniture I’ve been threatening to upcycle. I’ll break out my cowgirl boots (ahem, all 9 pair...) and give them a good polishing before winter and begin thinking about retiring my flipflops (maybe). Probably wouldn’t hurt to wash some windows, too.

As much as things stay the same, we often need change—and change can be good—even if we make the change happen ourselves. I'm grateful for the cool mornings and pleasant afternoons lately. Later, I'll be happy to exchange mowing the yard for salting the front porch steps. I love fall, and I don't mind winter. I'll just hole up and write more.