It’s hard to believe that in just a month, it will be a year of lockdowns, shelter in place, and two weeks to flatten the curve.
I have been too busy lately worrying about much of that. My life these days has already been sort of a shelter in place, since I moved back up to the mountains in my hometown in Colorado, where this time of year, it is too cold to do much else besides stay inside.
I’ve been slowly getting the house in order and yesterday, when I picked my son up in the Front Range, I stopped and got a larger fridge. Right now it’s hard to find a full sized fridge, and if I could, the shipping costs up here would kill me, so I have two mini-fridges now that keep everything just cool enough. I actually like it. One fridge for veggies and leftovers and things I don’t need all the time, and another fridge for milk and meats and things I use all the time. I couldn’t put a turkey in either of them, but I don’t like turkey, so it’s fine.
I’ve got a small kitchen, which is very rustic. I am my own dishwasher now. Honestly, I don’t miss having a dishwasher all that much, but it’s usually just my son and me. We had my parents over for dinner a little over a week ago, so there were a few more plates and forks to wash, but otherwise, it doesn’t take much longer to wash a sink full of dishes by hand than it did to rinse everything, load it into the dishwasher and run a load, and likely still not have everything come clean.
There is something to be said about washing your dishes by hand, which I think people are missing out on a little bit. It forces you to take a little time. It’s very meditative.
Tonight I have been organizing, sorting, washing dishes, cleaning cabinets and the stovetop. I have everything just about how I want it with the exception of adding in some counterspace and a different water heater. There are few repairs and renovations to make, but what do you expect out of a 108 year old house?
Some might call this kitchen run down and run in fear, (the same people who are nervous about everything and like to cry about it), but seriously, in some places in Europe, this would be considered rustic, charming, old world. As I’ve said, it’s a work in progress. The way people light their hair on fire about this sort of thing, you’ve think they never saw Under the Tuscan Sun. Not every house is perfect. Not every kitchen is a dream kitchen. It used to be that people just lived and they made due with what they had. There is something to be said of that, and I know that for the last six years, I was very spoiled.
Yesterday I was able to write a little, which felt great. The day before I wrote much, much more. I feel like I’m getting back into the groove again, and maybe that has a little to do with getting settled in. My office is nearly exactly how I need it to be, complete with my Keurig, my books, and now steady wifi signal. Penny spends most of the time with me while I am writing, or bothering me to play fetch. My son does his online schooling in an environment with few distractions and good accoustics. I am hoping to get back into podcasting, but it’s hard to do this when you don’t have guests.
We keep busy, watch shows together, play fetch with Penny, and usually everyday there has been a reason for my folks to come over or for me to drop in and see them. We have lightsaber fights and walk the dog a few times a day, where she often just sniffs around in the snow until we have to go back inside. Once the weather warms up, I’ll get cracking on more renovations, but right now, the idea of having the doors and windows open to ventilate paint fumes is not putting me in my happy place.
It’s strange how the family landscape changes. We don’t watch a lot of tv. If we do watch together, it’s in the office and it’s Disney Plus or Netflix. We sit close in a little room and I don’t miss having a big TV or a couch. I think in some ways these things have divided families over the years.
There are some things to get used to. The altitude is one. Not really for breathing, since we’ve acclimated, but more how things cook. Heat dissipates so much more quickly, so it takes about ten minutes to boil a pot of water instead of four or five. Once dinner is ready, you eat fast if you like hot food, because it cools off very quickly. Sometimes the wind is awful, but this house has weathered through over a hundred winters, and probably has another hundred in it.
There is something nice about not having to sit through stop lights at intersections, or having to spend money for ANY kind of entertainment. In the city, boredom usually motivated us to go on the town and buy just random stuff to keep us entertained. We haven’t really felt that urge here. Trips to bigger towns are planned out, since they don’t happen very often and everything up here is expensive anyway, so you try to economize. $50 gets you a lot further in the city when it comes to groceries in the city than it does here, but jeez, to have to fight the traffic down there just to get anywhere…I’m not sure if it’s worth it sometimes.
For now, i think I like visiting the city, and I’ll stick to my mountain town for home.