Home Sweet Home

We headed north over the weekend. We’ll miss the last two weeks with our winter friends and all the fun and laughter, but it was time because of the reality of the situation we are all in.

What we saw along the way was certainly different. There were a lot of trucks rolling which is not the normal case on a weekend. The Hampton Inn staff where we stayed were spraying and wiping down all surfaces. We saw people stopping at fast food restaurants to use restrooms and buy food, but they were voluntarily eating in their vehicles in the parking lot. At a rest stop, one family of five was eating their own food out of the back of their vehicle. It reminded me of the pre-fast food days.

Once home, one of the strangest things is the lack of traffic. It’s pretty eerie.

Have I been out? Yes, once to get groceries and seeds – food for the body and food for the soul. πŸ™‚ Today, I’m going out to pick up a prescription but will be using the drive through option for the first time.

I went to our local Hannaford grocery store to avoid a larger crowd at Walmart. Many of the shelves were bare, but I was able to put together enough food for a couple of weeks.

I’ve survived growing up very poor, sat with a baby in the gas lines of the oil crisis of 1973, worked through the night of Y2K, grieved with the nation on 9/11, and lost money in the 2008 financial crisis. But, never, did I think the most wanted item in America in a flu pandemic and the topic of conversation would be toilet paper. I hope you have some because there definitely is not any out there to buy. πŸ™‚

So, what now? Well, we’ll pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and figure out how to use time productively. There will be no ‘books’ to read, but there are thousands to download from the closed library. There is an attic to reorganize so we can get insulation installed when this is over and a garage that could be painted. I have sewing and quilting projects, some seed starting and gardening webinars.

Is it weird knowing I ‘have’ to stay home for three weeks? Yes. But, I will survive. Besides, where would I go – everything, and I mean everything is closed. πŸ™‚

So, I’ve put on my positive hat, hunkered down, and will do my share because we’re all depending upon each other to survive this and return to what we call normalcy. But before you go, let us know how you’re spending your time because we may pick up some good ideas.

Now, if Mother Nature would just stop the snow falling outside because she’s tending to tick me off. πŸ™‚

About NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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65 Responses to Home Sweet Home

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Welcome home, Judy. I’m sorry to say that we were giddy to see some snow. It’s been so long. My wife cleared the back steps, because she wanted to πŸ™‚

    We will get through this. At least you got through Hartford without sitting in traffic.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Judy, it is sad to have to cut your trip short, but wise to be home. Life as we know it is very uncertain as individual states begin to make up their own rules. I sincerely wish the Nation would go into total lock down for two weeks and be done with it. This piece by piece approach isn’t cutting it.

    How we keep busy; this week we launched the kayak on the river for a few hours, I played tennis with friends, (organized league play is suspended), downloaded two new books to my Kindle, cooking, baking and a few little home projects. Trying to be outside as much as possible.

    I sincerely hope Mother Nature hears your request and brings sunshine to your corner of the world very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you – the daily state and federal changes would be easier to just do it once and be done. Kind of like ripping off a bandaid quickly versus slowly. πŸ™‚ Kayaking is a good thing – fresh air and sunshine which are both good meds. Baking reminds me I did happen to pick up a bag of chocolate chips yesterday so maybe I’ll put them to use today. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nancy says:

    Welcome home! And some how all this shall pass. Stay safe and stay healthy. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nancy says:

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day! πŸ€

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oddment says:

    A positive hat! I have lost mine, but maybe I’ll find it before this is over. When? Next month? Next year? Yes, we’ve seen a lot in our lifetime and we’ve heard the stories from our ancestors about their lifetimes. I’ve seen the ration books from World War II. There have been tough times, but I swear communication was better before we had so much of it. Too much flim-flam at too great a cost.

    Very glad you are home and at least somewhat supplied!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad you are home and found enough provisions to last for a while. You and I must have been on the same wavelength recently. I was just thinking about all the things you mentioned (and more) I have survived in my lifetime. I have some projects to work on during this unplanned staycation. Working on taxes and cleaning out four filing cabinet drawers and a closet are at the top of my list. But today I am cooking and baking.

    Happy St. Patricks Day! Luck of the Irish to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joyce says:

    Your beautifully written post brought me to a place of peace and appreciation – thank you! We’ve been so spoiled with “instant everything” that this slow down is needed! Instead of “recreational shopping” for quarter yards of quilting fabric I’ll never use in my lifetime, I’m determined to finish what I’ve got started here. I’m baking cookies and bread instead of complaining there’s nothing left to buy. I sent both local daughters home with art supplies and educational games I’ve been hoarding for gifts. And I’m enjoying the daily pics of them being used! The girls run out for things every now and then and pick up and deliver items for us, so we’re all set for awhile. Even so, if the humans in this house had to go hungry, we’d do it – but God help us if the (6!) cats did! Sam’s online still has Purina Chow so I had two 20 lb. bags delivered and can breathe a sigh of deep relief!
    I’m glad you’re home safe, Judy, and enjoying the simple, but very fulfilling things around you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • YES, I’ll be looking at using fabric I have also. πŸ™‚ Your grands will have trouble being bored with your supplies and guidance. I haven’t been mindful of what or how much food we’re eating since I was a kid and it was in short supply because of money. Now, I look at food and think we need a protein to keep us until the next meal, and the rest is fluff that can be there or not. I did enjoy the chuckle at the cat food because when I was at the store there was a lady pushing one cart while pulling another one that were loaded with dog food. I wanted to ask how big or how many but refrained. πŸ™‚ Stay safe and by all means tell me what you’re doing with that fabric.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. pastpeter says:

    Welcome back!! The lack of traffic is certainly weird. In NY all schools and government offices are closed. We have good friends and neighbors who bring us groceries. Being among the β€œold and vulnerable” is a strange feeling. The younger generation sees all this differently – Our 30-somethings are just returning from a scuba diving week in Hawaii! We have their cats, but are instructed to crate them and leave them outside so nobody has to meet… I fear we are such individualists that we will suffer much, like Italy. And Pres spoke truth about it being July-Aug before there is much improvement. Stay well! Happy quilting and gardening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Applause to your good friends and neighbors because that is how it is suppose to work in this type of crisis. It is interesting how the younger crowd is approaching it. I watched some spring breakers comment this morning and couldn’t do anything except shake my head. I think you are correct, this will drag on longer than it should because some will not heed the suggested precautions. And, yes, I don’t like being in that ‘senior’ group that requires extra precaution either. You and Marion stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We were recently talking about all the things we’ve survived. Some were heartbreaking and some just inconvenient (talking about the gas shortage here!). We are hunkered in hoping for good weather so I can walk outdoors. We are having a mild spring (or pre-spring) but today is gloomy and rainy. Somehow that fits the mood. Maybe some sunshine tomorrow and a nice 70 degree day on Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Murphy's Law says:

    Glad you’re home safe and sound! I’ve also been thinking about all the crises I’ve lived through in my 80 years. Never witnessed this level of panic or shameful hoarding before. Is the world as we know it imploding?

    Good news that you were able to find enough supplies to tide you over. One advantage of being ‘seniors’ is we learned a long time ago how to conserve and how to go without. It will serve us well now.

    On a happy note, my granddaughter, who lives in Hamden, CT, made it her business to be at a local Target when they opened today. She was able to buy TOILET PAPER! Imagine that! πŸ€—πŸ€—
    Maybe I’m hopelessly naive, but I’m taking this as a sign that store shelves will be restocking on a regular basis again and the hoarding will stop.

    I’m spending my self-isolation reading, baking, cleaning out nooks and crannies I sometimes skip over, checking expiration dates on everything, and weeding out things that we haven’t used, touched, seen or thought about since the Eisenhower administration!!! Yeah, it’s time. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Also getting outside more if only to replace stale house air with fresh air. My lungs will probably collapse from the shock! πŸ€—

    Stay healthy friend. Stay safe. Stay home. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely think this is a wakeup call. We use to live in a community and approach a crisis together and at that level. Today we are at a ‘world’ level, and it’s pretty ugly. Hooray for your granddaughter’s shopping skills. We can hope the hoarders are running out of space and will let the rest of us buy a normal amount. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the chuckle about the Eisenhower administration. I cleaned closets before we left for SC, and found stuff I didn’t even know I still owned. πŸ™‚ I read an interesting medical article about the 1918 H1N1 flu pandemic extolling the virtues of fresh air and sunshine. They reduced the number of fatalities by housing patients in tents outside with good ventilation and access to the sun. Another one of those common sense things we may have forgotten? Stay safe, my friend.


  11. I have been thinking of and worrying about you. As a worrier, I have plenty of worry to go around. πŸ˜‰ I am so very glad you decided to come home early. This homebody thinks home is best and is always happy when people are home. Please, please do keep us updated with your thoughts, projects, etc. Those of who write are bearing witness to what we hope is a once in a 100 year event. Sounds rather grand, doesn’t it? But to me, the lives of everyday folks are worth noting and reading. It’s one of the things I cherish about blogging and the wonderful community I have become a part of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a worrier too so that is why we are home and settled in our space to weather this storm. The blogging community is always important, but this time it even fills a social need to stay in touch with friends. If we all pull together and do what we’re asked, maybe we can live to write about it and enjoy our summer in a normal way. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ally Bean says:

    I, too, have noticed how eerily quiet it is on the roads, around the neighborhood. I’m comfortable staying home, but my husband is still out there working each day so I’m not entirely shielded from the virus. Am hoping that this virus will soon be something for the history books and that we get a bit of spring-like weather to bring some cheer to our days here. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sheree says:

    Feels less of an issue for us because we already worked from home, plus we have toilet paper in our (French) supermarkets.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Eliza Waters says:

    I’ve been wondering how your trip was and glad to hear you made it back safely. It is odd that the roads are so empty.
    I feel lucky to live in a beautiful rural area where Nature rules and we can benefit from lots of healthy walks in the fresh air. I would go stir crazy in a small apartment, unable to go out.
    I don’t mind the dusting of snow, it is pretty and it definitely won’t last long. Are your bulbs coming up?


  15. I, too, learned early in life that our family had to make do with everything — fabric scraps, leftover food, even trips in the car to conserve gasoline. And this quarantine feels a bit like that. Thank goodness I had a mom who instilled in me the will to save and to use everything. We’ll make it. (I hope.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Growing up as we did, we understand and can adapt to conservation of a variety of things. I start to fix a meal and look at the ingredients trying to figure out how I can stretch it in case we can’t get back out to a store. We’ll make it, it just won’t be fun. I hated to leave the Pawley’s Island area so soon because it certainly is a beautiful landscape to enjoy. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. We had a bit of snow overnight here in Woodstock/KIngston NY area, but much is melting now. Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m glad you made it home safely and were able to get food in to last a couple of weeks. I don’t get the TP thing either, but here we are. My Mom always had emergency supplies and kept the necessities stocked up and it must have sunk into my psyche because I have always done the same. Hopefully, after this more people will start doing the same so, there’s very little need for any panic buying in the future. Well, one can hope!

    You sound like you have lots to keep you busy! I’m looking forward to seeing your quilting project(s) when they’re done, and your beautiful garden in full bloom.

    I’m going to be backyard birding and making trips out to the ponds, hiking, taking my walk up to the mailbox in the afternoons, and painting at home since my watercolor class has been canceled for at least a week. They’re taking it week by week. πŸ˜€

    It snowed here last night and I’m loving it! We need it and it’s so pretty! Of course, I’m a newbie at living where it snows so forgive me for being so cheerful and happy about it. In a few years, I may not like it this far into March either. ❄

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I can certainly understand your desire to get home (despite the snow). Hunkering down just feels better in our own nest. I feel like I have a lot to do too but I fear that I won’t use my time very wisely… too easy to get sidelined by my electronics. Whatever happens, though, I’m pretty sure we’ll get through this. Wouldn’t it be nice if more people learned how to cook good, healthy meals at home? Stay healthy, Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You brought up a couple of good points. Yes, electronics seem to pull every so often and distract for a while because this is issue keeps changing. And, I can certainly say that I’ve put a lot more effort into what we are eating because I’m not sure when I can get back to the grocery store. You and your hubby stay healthy too, and we’ll look forward to moving beyond this.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. The digital version of our library will be an excellent source of entertainment and I recently discovered apps connected to the library website which have a huge collection of up to date magazines, including all my favourite craft and home and garden issues, all to read for free. I’m happy!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Marilyn says:

    When we reach MI I’ll let you know what we’re doing to fill our time. Leaving this Sunday. Now that we’ve decided, I’m anxious to get home.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. germac4 says:

    Good post Judy.. we are not going to the UK as planned but now I realise there are a million things to be done home…namely get the pumpkin vine under control so that we can plant an autumn crop. I also want to find a way of storing our family photos. We have SO many albums… and the photos need to be digitalised for our daughters and grandchildren. ( another Grandbaby on the way and due in September) sure hope the hospitals can cope with all this and mothers giving birth.
    A silver lining is having blogs and interesting posts to read from all over the world. Welcome home Judy.πŸŒžπŸ‘ŒπŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not traveling right now seems like a prudent decision based on what is going on. I know from just returning from the beach, it is hard to enjoy yourself with this crisis swirling all around. Ah, a new grandbaby – now there is something to focus on, and I hope mothers have a safe space to deliver away from all this. And, you are so right – the blogging community is a silver lining. Stay safe and good luck with your photos. If you figure out a good plan, please share.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Sorry you had to cut short your winter stay, and also that you had to endure snow again. But all things being equal, there is no place like home. With or without toilet paper. πŸ˜‰ I have a sister who winters in Arizona, and she decided to leave a few weeks early for the same reasons. She’s on the road back to Michigan, but she unfortunately has a bit of an obsessive-compulsive disorder with food, cleanliness, etc. So I’m not sure how she’ll do with restaurants, take out, fast foods, restrooms, etc. It should make for some interesting phone conversations after she arrives home! Enjoy being back home, and yes do get those public library e-books to read. πŸ™‚ – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m wishing your sister a safe and comfortable trip back. Even if one takes food in their car, there are those needed restroom and gas stops. I’ve never used so much hand sanitizer in my life because of all the doors I ended up touching. Everyone else was doing the same thing plus trying to do things with their elbows and arms. It would have been funny, but it wasn’t. Maybe you’ll get a blog post of your telephone conversation with her. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  23. It seems to me you’re doing all the sensible things and being positive. It’s so easy to be scared and cable news does not help. They convey this mounting sense of barely disguised apocalypse and that is good – it gets us all to sit up and take precautions – but it may also contribute to the panic buying and depletion of tp! It is pretty quiet in many places here too. ‘Eerie’ is a good word.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. DrJunieper says:

    Since they expected a few feet of snow 1500 feet above us, I expected the leftovers of that. And yes, we got it … in California, while the daffodils were blooming! My surroundings is where I like to be right now. At least, people act normal. In Sacramento it is eerie and depressing, like a ghost town. On St. Paddy’s day, the very few who were walking around had no green on. Hope when we’re a month further, people have come to their senses, and look at their heaps of toilet paper, wondering what had possessed them:):)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would be nice if at some point they realized how unnecessary hoarding a staple was and how detrimental it was to their fellow humans. We are expecting snow this week but that is more our normal. Stay safe and enjoy your daffodils.


  25. The only comparable experience I can think of was 9/11. I was in DC on business when it happened, we were stranded at the hotel for several days until a colleague wrangled a rental car. Then we drove back to Wisconsin where we lived at the time. It all seemed very surreal. Anyhow, I hope spring blooms come your way in the near future and that you stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I don’t know how I’ve messed your blog as we have many blogging friends in common…. Yes, hoarding I’ve seen — remembering the Cuban Missile Crisis, my mom took me to the market with her and many shelves were bare. My mom lived through some crazy times and taught me to always have enough water and canned goods/rice to last if necessary… but I had not thot of TP. Good news is that we own a biz so have a few weeks… I miss gardening… no land in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Brenda says:

    It must have felt good to get home. Getting stuck a condo for who-knows-how-long would have been pretty ugly. I’m gung ho to get the gardens going—-but it’s still pretty nippy, so am mostly at the dreaming stage. We started a community email group to keep in touch and share what’s going on. It’s been an unexpected benefit of this whole mess. Otherwise, as you know, I have plenty of spinning and weaving to occupy my time. I even started a blog documenting my antique wheels and fiber tools. I’d been meaning to do it for a long time, so dove in. Take care–we’ll soon be gardening, plague or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. joey says:

    Last week I went to the eye dr where they were cleaning as I went. Even gave me a fresh pen & told me to keep it after I signed. Then I went to the vet, and when I signed, the tech offered me hand sanitizer and wiped the counter down.

    The grocery store — well, I mean, what can you do?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This has in some ways been very humbling. Some of the people we encounter in our daily lives we took for granted. With this situation, there are a lot of bright lights and its impressive to observe them in a whole new way, and that certainly includes the people trying to keep their businesses safe for everyone. As far as the grocery stores go, I have to reluctantly admit that I never considered them front line, but wow was I wrong. Without the grocery store workers right now, we’d be up you know what creek without a paddle.


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