The Quarantimes Week 5: Dude.

April 15th, 2020

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The girls and I went for a long walk along the river down by the timber dam while Jon was at work. This is the same walk we attempted as a family a few weeks ago, but I went into it this time with a different attitude. I told them they didn’t have to wear warm clothes if they didn’t want to and could run ahead to their heart’s desires, as long as they didn’t go too close to the river. 

I also assigned an objective: collecting wildflowers for the flower presses the Easter Bunny bought. I guess the Easter Bunny didn’t realize that flowers don’t really bloom in Vermont until May. We found a few — coltsfoot, which I just learned is not the same thing as dandelion, and a tender little purple number whose name I do not know. Anyone?


There was some mud, some tributary-crossing (not the same thing as the river, technically), some swamp wading, some bare feet, some blood. But I did not lose my cool once. I sure was tired, though.

We got back to the car and Phoebe, now naked, having stripped off her muddy clothes, was not interested in fastening her seatbelt. Lately I just let them take their sweet time strapping in. We are not in a hurry to get anywhere anymore, and it buys me some “rest” time in the front seat of the car. Around ten minutes later, I finally turned around.  

“DUDE, will you strap yourself in already?”

Phoebe: “Why did you call me dude?”

“It’s a term of endearment,” I explained, “for people I love who can be really, really annoying.”



And no, that is not a complaint. It’s hard, it’s trying, I may not be cut out for it, but I am grateful for it. 

In fact, this week has been a make-or-break one for us, because until now, my mom, part of my very small quarantine pod, was spending 4-5 days a week at my house watching the girls while I worked. But this week, she has not been able to come, and so I have been alone with my kids until Jon returns from work every day, around 4pm. 

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That means I have not been able to hole up with my best friend, my MacBook, and write in isolation all day. It means I’m behind on work, really behind on email, behind on board duties, behind on personal correspondence, and certainly behind on reading the millions of bright ideas I get emailed every single goddamned day by brands earnestly looking out for me right now.

But we’ve done a lot of coloring. And cooking. And flower picking. And cat torturing. There’s been a lot of fresh air. A lot of carbs. A lot of homemade desserts.  

We’ve also done so much Zooming. Circus Zoom, school Zoom, dance Zoom, art Zoom. My kids are over Zoom, and I am, too.


This morning, when I asked the girls, point blank, why they suck so bad at Zoom, Eliza said, “It’s funny. We like to Zoom with Nana.” She paused to think about this, then elaborated. “I think that’s because we really like Nana. We don’t really like other people.”

At dinner last night the other three-quarters of my family discussed such philosophical questions as “What do you like better, people or flowers?” The answer to every single question was not people. Being a person who typically likes people, I wondered how I ended up in this family of misanthropes.

But we are really getting to know each other, and I am truly grateful for that.

What I’m reading:

Slowly getting through Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries

A note on books. Getting books from the library is harder than ever right now, but as we settle into this thing, I am determined to buy books from my local bookstore rather than Amazon. 

What I’m listening to:

 I have not yet started but plan to tune into the podcast from The Atlantic: Floodlines

What I’m eating:

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I’m getting better and better at roast chicken thanks to Rebop Farm and my new lifestyle as a stay-at-home mom until 4pm every day, which is when I start the freelance nightshift. 

What I’m working on:

For Box: Remote for Real: Keeping company culture alive when your people are all remote

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One Response to “The Quarantimes Week 5: Dude.”

  1. Dude, you made my day! AND it’s only 10:23!!

    I love your humor!

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