So. Uh. Have any of you found yourselves sewing through your fabric stash a bit faster than you’d anticipated when making your New Year’s Resolutions?

Oh, not asking for any particular reason–just–you know. Around the time I published that last post, I stopped looking at my closet full of fabric as an Embarrassing Monument to Lack of Self-Control and started seeing it as a fabulous sandy beach in which I can bury my ostrich head. Which might work better if I weren’t refreshing the John Hopkins site and three local news sources approximately once every three minutes.

It’s been three weeks of school closures here. And since that announcement, we’ve seen the near shut-down of the provincial economy, with all in-person non-essential workplaces closed down, as well as colleges and universities, border closings both external and internal and now all public gatherings limited to five people max. No visitors to hospitals or long-term care homes. All outdoor public spaces closed. Grocery stores only letting in one person per family, and only a small number of people at a time.  Everyone swimming around in their own little home fish-bowl.

You will be shocked to learn that I am sewing things I don’t need. You will also be shocked to learn that I have been making more mistakes while sewing than I normally do. I have finally found the time to sew up Frances’s rain jacket (Jalie City Coat) with some breathable waterproof fabric I bought from Discovery Fabrics last year. The jacket is sewn up and hemmed and pretty much done except for the zipper, which is on its way in the mail. Your guess is as good as mine as to when it’ll actually get here.  (The pattern is meant for buttons, but I think a zipper makes better sense for a waterproof jacket, so I’m going to try a replacement.) But I guess at least now Frances has a waterproof cape-like garment.

Otherwise, I have been sewing myself completely frivolous and unnecessary jersey garments; honestly, who knows when I’m going to leave the house except for daily walks and occasional grocery visits?  What use are tailored wool pants in these circumstances? Maybe it’s time to finally make myself a pair of leggings with a pocket for the insulin pump. … Actually, that’s not a bad thought.

I’d post my latest projects, but that would require getting dressed, and possibly wiping the stunned look off my face. What are the chances?

Tell you what: if I look in the mirror and see a facial expression that isn’t some version of “WTF?” I’ll consider taking pictures of the new projects and doing a proper post.

It’s not just the hoard that’s become a sudden advantage.

Frances’s medical condition is extremely rare; fewer than fifteen people have been diagnosed with what she has. We’ve had years of practice in navigating symptoms and syndromes that doctors don’t understand yet.  Those medical issues often mean cancelling plans and not going out much. And I work in a field where exponential growth in something has catastrophic public health consequences (among other things) and that’s just … Tuesday.  So while everything is different, nothing is different, if you know what I mean.

But weirdly, the same things that have been sometimes very costly disadvantages–being a chronically ill single mom to a kid with a very rare condition, and no family support–are the very reasons why I am now working from home with my regular job for my regular pay, when all of my colleagues are working weird schedules and overtime on the front lines.

Our dog has gone from bug-eyed ecstasy every day because her humans are staying home again to taking us completely for granted and sometimes hiding in the basement.  Still, she’s the clear winner of our current situation. Playtime on demand and endless laps for naptime and walks every day.

So much of this is so incoherent and formless still that I can’t think of a way to tie this post off with a neat bow. It’s weird, and yet its deeply familiar. It’s excruciating, yet marked mostly by unending tedium. My day to day is largely wonderful, spending lots of time with my favourite human and the Impossible Puppy and watching spring unfold, but in a town and world that is holding its breath and wondering how bad this is going to get.  I think all we can do right now is let this be wide open, and hold our uncertainty and others’ very gently.

8 thoughts on “

  1. Andrea
    Yours is the first post or article I can really relate to. Last year my daughter was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer and we spent weeks in the hospital, 5 hours from home and then many many days driving up and down I5 and staying at the McDonald houses, whichever had space. I would joke that you dont reserve a hotel room till we hit Salem because they always found us a room eventually.

    My job as a teacher is less glamorous and well paid than those of my friends who commute to silicon valley or Seattle to work for tech giants. But it turns out you dont get laid off if your child is sick. And you can send sub plans. Fast forward a year and the lock downs and teach from home all feels like ‘same old’. I’ve got this. We’re just grateful we can video conference with the doctor, take a walk and are not living out of a backpack and doing laundry at the hospital.

    Keep sewing. Be safe.

    1. I’m sorry you and your daughter went through that. It sounds like she’s doing better?

      And thank you. I’m glad it resonated with you. I hope you and your family are staying safe and well!

  2. I am so glad you got the job thing sorted out. I know how important it was for you and for Wonderful Daughter. I hope the zipper turns up. Our mail (rural mailbox at the foot of the lane way) is coming about once a week. Only one person stayed at work – I am not sure why, as rural delivery is pretty distanced. I am wiping down the mailbox just in case.
    Aw, please post the sewing projects. The WD can take the pictures.
    I need some fun in my life.
    I don’t care wh

  3. ? the end of that comment got eaten. Maybe it is in the mail. What I was saying is that I don’t care what you are sewing, I just love looking at your results. Damn, you’re good.

  4. I ended up stopping working to care for my daughter – also with an odd condition – a couple of years ago and am finding this situation a bit odd, but not so unusual. And I’m also making weird stuff, but it’s fun.

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