Friday, March 20, 2020

Our Indefinite Staycation

We are lucky, and unlucky, to be seniors in these uncertain times. Hub and I are not confined at home with kids to entertain 24/7. On the other hand we are in the age group vulnerable to coronavirus COVID-19. We are lucky to live in a home that comfortably accommodates two people. Our neighborhood is conducive to getting outdoors. However we spend too much time hovering in front of the TV listening to dire predictions, a downer for our mental health.

My yard is becoming a colorful bright spot in dreary times.
Speaking of our neighborhood...we live in a beach town ‘open’ all year. The population swells over the summer with snow birds and second-home owners, out-of-town family and friends. Most second home owners hail from Philadelphia, New York, and the Washington, D.C. area. Over the past couple of weeks many snow birds, rarely arriving before April, returned to town. City folks, last observed Labor Day and not usually seen again until Memorial Day weekend, materialized early this year, like the flowers that have sprouted prematurely in my yard.

As a result of the increased population and everyone’s desire to stock up, local stores ran out of provisions. Supplied for a winter population, they were not prepared for the influx. Local governments are concerned with their ability to service the increasing numbers in town, especially if many get sick. Towns are urging folks NOT to spend their home confinement time at the shore. But folks will spend time wherever they want. Everyone – individuals, businesses, governments – are adapting to the new temporary normal, with hiccups as they adjust.

Monday was a landmark day in our town. Our favorite ice cream shop opened for the season – take-out only. Hub walked over to get our first delicious taste in months. He was surprised to see quite a few people with the same idea. People queued up, standing several feet apart. Hub waited outside until a space opened, went in, ordered, quickly received his precious package and walked home. A slice of ’normalness’ in strange times.

I ordered curbside pickup from our local grocery store. I called in the order and a couple of hours later drove to the store and stopped in front of the entrance. A clerk delivered my groceries to the car, placing the bags on the back seat. The store was out of some items ordered, but nothing vital. 

One morning I ordered sandwiches from the bagel shop, open for take-out and delivery only. Again I drove, but this time walked into the store to pay and pick up my breakfast. I feel it is important to patronize the few locally owned businesses open. They need our support to remain open and with any luck survive until better times.

I am cooking more than what, in the past, I would term ‘the norm’. Soup from scratch, salads with more than a couple of ingredients, vegetable dishes and casseroles. Trying to keep meals healthy and not too high in calories, and definitely consuming less salt and sugar.

I confess I am not exercising enough. No yoga or zumba or tap classes to frequent, no gym to stop by. Hub and I take walks when the weather obliges and I do my stretches at home, but it is not the same. I need the motivation of a class.  

What would we do without the internet? Zoom is on the lips of people of all ages. Meetings, religious services, programs now moving online, concerts, virtual visits to museums, the list goes on. It is not the same as personal contact, but beats being completely isolated from ‘regular’ life.

Going forward special projects are on my to-do list. I reviewed piles of papers and shredded. There are stacks of pictures to sift through, drawers to clean out, thrift shop bags to fill, books to read, virtual scrabble with family...

Our staycation continues indefinitely, but we look forward to restarting activities missed – going anywhere unconcerned about social distancing, socializing with family and friends, attending meetings and programs, traveling (anywhere!).

Until then everyone stay safe, healthy, and sane at home.
Looking forward to gardening this year!


  1. Yes. WE are all in for the long haul. Our state is talking into June...

  2. I am so glad to live somewhere that has plenty of grocery stores, and if one is out of something, others are likely to have it. Other than hand sanitizer or TP, that is. Stay safe and hunkered down, Meryl. Love your post.

  3. I just retired in January after working many years in healthcare. I have been unpacking from my move to my house.I am in the high risk age group but no chronic illnesses with a compromised immune system. Now with the healthcare emergency, I am considering going back to work.

  4. I think many of us are in the same boat, we are seeing a big influx of the city people coming from away to open up their camps in the country and escape the city where if there are problems they will not have to deal with them. We are in for the long haul on this one and now just have to deal with whatever comes.

  5. We are not going to see life return to the way it was, and it's anyone's guess what's ahead. I can't even look too far because it's all blurry. At the same time I don't feel anxiety since I don't control any of this.

  6. My grocery store is a block away and there was a line there this morning. Seniors can get right in between 7-9am but I didn't want to show my ID so I'll wait for a slow moment.