Lodge Life: Quarantine Reflections

We’re thoroughly settled into our new normal here, seven weeks into quarantine. Our minds are wandering in different directions, wondering what’s to come, curious if Ben will begin his new school on time in the fall, wondering when we go back to Seattle if Hannah will be in a crib still, hopeful for some permanent life changes and optimism towards prioritizing family even more so as a result of quarantine. I’m also curious if we’ll view life as “before COVID” and “after COVID.” I imagine this will shape our generation.

This last week in particular I’ve been taking pleasure in a lot of the small things, like getting my favorite buttermilk bread from a local Seattle bakery and some really good jam from our most recent grocery haul. I’m realizing how much I’ve taken for granted, especially the privilege of having fresh food available on a whim.

Lately I’ve been thinking I should probably drum up some goals for how I’d like to best utilize my time {not that I have any extra time!} while under quarantine.

A few goals I came up with include:

  1. Grow. I’m in the planning process of planting vegetables, herbs and some flowers in my new raised beds. I am so looking forward to educating myself about gardening basics and enjoying the fruits {err mostly vegetables} of my labor. It’s been lovely to have a personal project to focus on.
  2. Read. I don’t have any metrics here but I just want to take more time to sit and read on my own. I loaded up my Kindle with three new books this week, now I just have to decide which one to start first!
  3. Run. I’d like to hit my 13.1 mile marker, hopefully on May 23rd {rescheduling my own personal half marathon}, and throughout this and into the future I’d like to run a minimum of 3 days per week.
  4. Bake bread. Again, no real metrics here. I’d like to try my hand at ciabatta bread as well as focaccia bread. Several years ago I tried the “artisan bread in five minutes a day” bread approach and I plan to revisit that very shortly. Send me any of your favorite bread recipes!
  5. Reflect. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection these past seven weeks and hope to only continue that. I’d like to get into daily intention and goal setting and further my gratitude practice.

I certainly can include many more things, like focus on family or be more present, but I feel like that’s something that I’ve emphasized from the outset. It feels like we’re going back in time to the 1950s, but with modern technology, and having to re-focus and slow the heck down and make some major priority shifts.

It’s been such a blessing to be able to FaceTime or talk with our parents and our siblings more regularly and catch up on FaceTime or Zoom with other friends. Ben does a weekly Zoom chat with his classmates and another FaceTime call with his teacher(s). What an absolute saving grace technology is.

I’ve already become enormously more resourceful than I was two months ago. It’s been quite a fun challenge to make groceries last at least two weeks, to use what we have on hand and to plan out how we use our fresh foods based on their lifespan. I just calculated I’ve cooked 147 consecutive meals {breakfast, lunch and dinner} over the last seven weeks {not counting snacks, which would nearly double that}.

One thing I’ve openly struggled with during the pandemic has been pertaining to the concept of homeschooling. Ben is very reluctant to sit down and watch the videos from his teachers or do the worksheets they send every day and I’m very hesitant to “make” him do that. We’re all happier when we’re just playing, reading and having fun together, though some days I’m able to sprinkle in a bit of literacy. My children are learning oodles right now – it just looks a little different than it would if they were in school.

More recently I’ve been lamenting over some things I’m longing for. We absolutely love our life in Seattle and I’m missing our neighborhood, our friends and Seattle family, Ben’s school and community. I’m really missing spring in Seattle. Our city and neighborhood are exquisite and truly shine in the springtime with the daffodils and tulips in bloom. The city’s cherry and apple blossoms are spectacular. Of course we’re surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty out here in the mountains and my goodness gracious it is amazing and I’m tremendously grateful for it.

One thing in particular I have been missing is my regular trips to my favorite cafe in Seattle, Madison Kitchen. Hannah and I would make at least one pilgrimage there a week. Usually I’d run the 1.6 miles there with her in the stroller {plus an extra loop if she fell asleep!}, then we’d get our latte, steamed milk and scone to share. Once she got restless we’d venture across the street to the Madison Park playground and eventually run home, usually with a pit stop at the grocery store or the pharmacy added in there too. For now, my nap time Nespresso lattes will do just fine!

Even out here in the mountains I’m itching to hit the hiking trails and visit our favorite Leavenworth restaurants and just feel safe going out in public again. It’s been more than three weeks since I’ve been in a car!

Gratitude was one of the first emotions I was flooded with as reality of the pandemic set in. Every morning when I take the kids for a walk I share different things I’m feeling particularly grateful for that day. The biggest ones always include our family and our mountain home where we can weather this storm safely together. We’re not “stuck” at home, we’re safe at home and we’re doing just fine. We hope you are too!

In any case, we are making the most of this time together and thoroughly enjoying all the time we are spending in the mountains. While it hasn’t been without its challenges, we plan to look back on this time fondly.