Quarantine Week 3: Savage Nature Walks

March 31st, 2020

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During this quarantine, we are so fortunate to live in the country, with miles of people-free vista in every direction. Every person in my family thrives on being outside in nature. Unfortunately, we experience this joy in different ways, which is why going on a “nature hike” as a family is the quickest way to put us all in a bad mood.

Case in point, Saturday, when I decided to go check out a local trail I’ve had my eye on for years. It’s on a piece of conservation land down by the Timber Dam in Guilford — Grassy Meadow, it’s called. You park by the side of the road and follow a very well-marked, wide path alongside the river for about a mile and back.

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If there is one thing my kids are really, really bad at, it’s walking in a straight line outside. One of them is descending a steep river embankment to a rushing torrent of near-freezing March water while the other is picking dead plant matter off the ground and rushing up to me, demanding that I hold her “bouquet.” 

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Once my little river goddess gets wind of the fact that we’re assembling bouquets, she wants in on the action, too, and I soon find myself holding two handfuls of dried-up allergens, trying desperately not to crush them or, god forbid, mix them up, and praying ticks don’t crawl out of them and up my arm.

Jon, meanwhile, is annoyed. 

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Long story short, it ended up being a little bit Lord-of-the-Flies-y what with the rebellious 5-year-olds who are always “so hot” even when it’s 40 degrees and raining. We spent the last portion of the adventure making vague threats about keeping their clothes on as the drizzle got chillier. 

Nearly every “nature walk” we take ends with me in a mood. 

What I’m reading:

The non-fiction dictionary expose Word by Word, by Kory Stamper

Homeschooling is NOT the Same as Crisis Schooling: advice during coronavirus COVID -19 shut downs on some random person’s blog. 

“You are NOT homeschooling. You are CRISIS schooling. There is a huge difference. You may choose to homeschool after this, but this is not what homeschooling looks like, not even remotely.”

I feel this deeply but also would like to add that when you have preschoolers, consistency and rhythm is so important to their feeling of security and the parents’ sanity. Which is why I do treat this time as a pivot to homeschool, but of course with lower expectations than I’d have for actual school. With school cancelled for the rest of the year and summer camp a great unknown, we are in this for the long haul. I love what she says about “giving yourself a lot of grace,” though. That’s why I let my kids watch TV for five straight hours on Sunday morning so I could do some yoga alone and some bullet journaling while Jon went for a solo walk.

It Took a Global Pandemic, But Generation X is Finally Getting Love on Paper City — as a latchkey kid in the ’70s, yes.

A question I have been asking myself every day: Is My Chest Tightness Anxiety or the Coronavirus?

What I’m watching: 

What the World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love alright

Also, Tiger King, obviously. I cannot get enough of this shit. Although I’ve only been able to pull off one episode so far.

What I’m eating:

Today, this 7-pound happy chicken I got at Rebop Farm’s amazing farm store on Saturday, which took three days to defrost in my fridge and will take god knows how long to finish cooking, along with this ridiculously enormous potato from my Guilford Food Coop order.

 

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What I’m working on: 

For Box, the second post in the series Remote for Real, based on an interview with CISO Lakshmi Hanspal: Persistent security in a time of uncertainty

 

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