Last time they closed everything down, Dave and I figured we’d be home a couple of weeks. Priorities were TP, PT (paper towels), and Clorox. A couple of months in, we’d sourced the paper and cleaning supplies, but we found ourselves wanting other stuff. Life in front of screens was exhausting and boring.
It looks like rolling shutdowns are coming soon. I’m not happy about that or the feckless leadership that led to it (not so much in my state, but plenty at the tiptop of US government), but I’ll cry later. Once I’m stuck back in the house.
In the meantime, I’m making a list. It’s a mix of some things I want to do while I temporarily can and things I want to get into the house for when we have to go back inside.
- Get a haircut. I’ll probably several inches shorter than I normally would, just in case it’s another six months before salons are open again. (Research Flowbee?)
- Find good walking shoes by trying them on in a store. Then buy multiple pairs. During the shutdown I do four or five miles most days, so I walked the cushioning out of a couple of pairs of shoes. The replacements I got online took forever to come and hurt my feet.
- Drive to the ocean, walk the shore, and eat at a clam shack/ice cream stand. Repeat weekly if possible.
- Stock up on jigsaw puzzles. Also get some more playing cards and board games. Even though we’ve never been much of a board game family, we did sometimes haul games out of the closet to play this spring. We might have enjoyed it, except that every game in the house, despite mostly collecting dust over the past 15 years, had pieces missing. Lord knows where all they got to. Maybe underneath the floorboards the Scotty dog and checker King live in little green houses and roll craps with Yahtze dice while the Knaves and Jack of Hearts look on.
- Visit a bookstore. Even if I don’t buy anything, just being in a space full of books fills me with joy.
- Get into crafting, a pastime that could produce useful, or at least interesting-looking, items and take a bunch of time. Something old-fashioned. Decoupage, knitting, rug-hooking, birdhouse kits, crochet? I’m clumsy, but I’m sure there’s got to be a craft I can do. It’s true that in my years as a Pioneer Girl, I’d never been able to earn a crafts badge. Macaroni necklaces and potholders constructed using a looping kit didn’t reach the badge threshold. Other PGs made beautiful lacy creations. My crochet hooks bloodied my finger while the yarn slipped and tangled. Probably not crochet, then, but part of me wants to try again. Even if I fail, I’ll have spent a bunch of time doing something other than staring at a screen. Even if the time was spent swearing and bleeding.
- Protest. Get to know other protestors a bit in person before we go back inside.
- Start a food-related hobby. I could buy fun hot sauces and toppings from food stores, or maybe, just maybe…I could learn to churn butter? Supposedly this can be done in a food processor, though I have never worked up the courage to operate ours. However, the way that seems most popular among foodies is to do it by hand. I pictured one of those big wooden tubs, but probably I’ll look for a hand-cranked butter churn. Google says the churning takes about 25-30 minutes, so this would come in handy for news-watching time.
- Have coffee outdoors with friends.
- Look into the kind of hobby you do in the basement, like setting up a miniature railway or making chainmail (crochet on steroids!). Chainmail requires lots of metal rings, some hand tools–no crochet hooks, as far as I can see–and, best of all, acres of time. With luck, I’ll have a shirt completed just in time for the zombie apocalypse. Or the next shutdown.