“Normal is a setting on a dryer,” said a friend of my many moons ago. Like most things Doug told me, it was very true, and oh so wise. It means there is no normal in real life and what is “normal” for me is definitely not “normal” for you. “Normal” is a setting on a dryer.
I think about “normal” a lot right now. I had to go to the grocery store today and “normal” is wearing gloves, wiping down my purchases and stripping down in the garage before putting all my clothes and jacket in the washing machine. Then I shower. I wonder if this time was the opportunity for exposure. I dry off and clean the knobs on all the doors I touched getting into the house. The family is great at helping me, ferrying the sanitized products into the kitchen from the work station I set up in the back of the Jeep in the garage.
THIS is now normal. After three weeks, I don’t even have to call them, they come to the garage when they hear me pull in.
Normal is having my family on the same property 99% of the time. Since I last posted, First Born Son opted to take a leave from work, followed by a couple of weeks of holidays. He is responsible for his new cow and calves so he leaves to do chores twice a day. The Big Guy and Second Born Son are working from home.
It wasn’t the easiest process to get the boys to understand what sacrifices they would have to make. There are girlfriends to consider and in spite of the fact that they are both charming, friendly and wonderful young women, now is not the time bounce from household to household. Eventually we had a “Come To Jesus” chat about social behaviours. They could be responsible or they could be lumped in with the hordes of irresponsible spring break-lovin’ youth plastered all over social media, who have subsequently come down with COVID-19.
Both of them were invited to decide where they wanted to stay to ride out this as-yet-undetermined-timeframe; here or at the boo’s house. They both opted to stay here, but I don’t for a minute think it was an easy decision for either of them. It’s a tough stage of life to have your wings clipped, 19-almost 20 and 22-almost 23. FBS has lived away from home pretty much since he left for college until he returned home last spring, but continued to function fairly independently. SBS is gearing up to head to college. You are independent or at least expect to embrace a level of independence. I was not a popular person for a couple of days, but ultimately they respected our position and have been reasonable in their frustrations – directed at fate rather than family.
Three of us are office-oriented in our work and share space whether it is in the downstairs office or in the upstairs dining room. Webinars, Zoom and teleconferences are juggled and managed to ensure privacy or simply peace and quiet.
Normal is stopping to watch the Prime Minister’s address each day, as well as the Premier’s . Oft times this messaging impacts one of our jobs so it’s worth the time to tune in.
Normal is also appreciating little things more. Things like a good night’s sleep, because we’ve been struggling with that, as so many people have. The other night SBS commented on how often we are together at the same time, usually for meals, and how nice that was. Normal is also trying to figure out how to put a meal together with random items left in the fridge when the full grocery list isn’t filled. Coleslaw with pancakes? You BETCHA!
Normal is the feeling of organization and accomplishment the past two weeks have given us. With beautiful weather, we have been able to get outside chores done much earlier this year.
Normal is jumping when the dogs bark as though someone is coming up the driveway. No one comes here. We miss that but we know it’s for the best. We don’t go anywhere either.
In the spirit of “the glass half full”, I’m getting AMAZING mileage on the Jeep; only used a quarter of a tank in three weeks!
Normal is Facetiming people I would usually see week to week. It’s nice to see a different face. There’s so much talk about what the world will look like when this is behind us. What will the “new normal” look like?
For now, normal is reminding ourselves just about every damn day that we live in an amazing country; that remarkable people are putting themselves out there to deal with this health crisis, and all they ask in return is that we stay at home. It’s the least we can do.
The VERY least.