Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Covid Journal, Day 80: Wild Flowers

59 this morning, cloudy but soon clearing. The day warmed up to 84, too hot but with a nice breeze.

We worked in the garden again this morning, putting down more cardboard and mulch. The garden is worrying--despite good care and fertilizer some plants still look yellow. The peas are stunted, but then they were from a 10-cent seed packet. Even so, the garden looks like it needs more nitrogen. I guess the heavy rains all winter and spring have washed out many of the nutrients. We have to replace some plants but will wait for more rain before we do that.

On this day of more disquieting news, we tried to keep some semblance of normal in our lives here on the hill. It's not easy. I hear the news, see photos that are shocking and saddening, read accounts of what is happening. I am proud of many of my grandchildren who are also following the news and making informed posts about what they see and hear. I might not always agree with all of them--or even all of my sons for that matter--but I am glad that they are involved and informed. Those are the basics of good citizenship.

So I baked cookies, chocolate chip, to provide some small creature comfort for our tired minds. And made bread, and chicken alfredo.

Cooking is the one small thing I can do, comfort food for troubled times. I picked flowers too, daisies and clover from along our road. I had to go to the mouth of the holler to meet the watchmaker who repaired a vintage man's watch for me, so on the way home I stopped to admire the field of daisies and tall grass, and brought a few flowers home with me.

I picked more red clover to dry too. Such a pretty plant.

I also stopped for a good chat with our mail carrier. Our road is narrow, so one car has to pull over in most places to let another go by--which usually results in both stopping to have a chat. Our mail carrier is a busy man, raising cattle, hogs, chickens and sheep. He was early today so he could get home and get to the hay fields. The weather is perfect for putting up hay, and rain is on the way the next few days. More normalcy, talking gardens and hay. On the way up the road a neighbor waved--she was putting in a new raised-bed garden, with plants we'd given her from our little greenhouse.

These are small things, but they remind me of how good and simple our life here can be. I don't know the watchmaker or the mail carrier's politics, but it doesn't matter. They're good, hardworking people and that is what's important to me. I am often odd man out here, with my more liberal point of view, but that doesn't mean I can't be friends with those who think differently. The only people I cannot be friends with are those with racist views. That, I cannot and will not tolerate.

We are still mostly at home. It feels odd to go out and even stranger to go into a store. I've been in three stores since March and generally cannot wait to get out of them. I notice that when I'm wearing a mask I do not make eye contact, I just do what I need to do and leave. So unlike me, but I noticed that other people were the same. At most stores here locally, only half of the people seem to be wearing masks.

Larry is already in bed, worn out from a long day of garden work, mowing, cleaning out the chicken house and a few other things. I am on my way to join him. Perhaps tomorrow will bring peace to at least some towns and cities. I will pray that to be true.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


  1. While I was in the back of beyond recently, we stopped in a small town for so provisions. No one was wearing masks, no one was social distancing, everyone was friendly! It was normal life, not the new normal, thank goodness.

  2. The contrast between peaceful activity and what is happening in the world - even close by - is disconcerting. What is happening in the USA is a long way from England but very moving and is, of course, making us reflect on the way our own society works.
    Yesterday I had to go for a hospital checkup and I wore a mask for the first time. I found it very uncomfortable and claustrophobic. I got used to it a bit after a while but initially had to concentrate not to panic.
    Interesting what you said about eye contact though. I was finding it even more important than usual to make eye contact because the rest of my face was covered. I was also worried people wouldn't know who I was! I found that people didn't always understand what I was saying through the muffled material and twice had to lower it in order to communicate - which is sort of counterproductive.

  3. I am glad that you managed to find things to do that helped you to make sense of what is going on in your country right now. It must be so upsetting to read what is going on in the news.

    I do hope you manage to revive your plants.


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