In all our years of being married, I don’t think Stanton has ever written a grocery list. Never started one, rarely contributed to one. This isn’t a criticism, friends, just a fact.
Food: In our relationship, it’s my thing, I guess. Kind of like how, say, pest control is his. We all have our interests and skill sets.
The other day, I started a grocery list. Mayonnaise, wine/beer, I wrote. Then I put it aside.
Later, when I returned to add to the list, I blinked. Now there was a third bullet point, featuring handwriting not my own, stating hot sauce.
I started laughing, somewhat maniacally (this is what weeks of social distancing can do to a person). Nearby, Grace smiled and said, “What, Mom?”
I held up the list. “Dad.”
Grace squinted at Stanton’s neat, precise penmanship. “Hot sauce?”
“Dad never writes grocery lists,” I explained. “So for him to do this, he really wanted hot sauce. If, God forbid, we had to be quarantined…Dad didn’t want to do it without hot sauce.”
Canned goods? Tylenol? People-can’t-get-enough-of-it toilet paper?
Uh-uh. Not even in the ballpark, friends. If the Leddy family finds itself quarantined, what we’ll have stockpiled is, that’s right, hot sauce.
As well as mayonnaise, wine and beer. #prepared 😉
I started laughing, somewhat maniacally (this is what weeks of social distancing can do to a person).
Stanton and I celebrated our 12th anniversary earlier this week. Grace and Anna very sweetly surprised us with decorations and party hats for breakfast. (If we’re connected on Facebook, then you might know this because of the picture I posted. 🙂 ) We had a different celebration than originally planned, due to the coronavirus pandemic of course. It was a very sweet anniversary, though, and I genuinely loved it.
For dinner that evening, Stanton and I ordered takeout from a local Thai restaurant we’d been meaning to try for a while. We ate in the breakfast nook with the girls. It was, simply, very sweet.
I asked Stanton to make a toast. The four of us raised our glasses.
“To love,” Stanton said. “And happy moments—we’ve had lots of those. And you know…” He paused, smiled. “We’ve had some funny ones too.”
The girls laughed. I thought about the hot sauce (and a few other things) and laughed too.
“To love and funny moments,” I said, clinking my glass with the three others surrounding it.
A good anniversary toast, and everyday-family-dinner toast too.
A couple of days ago, my sister emailed me the link to John Krasinski’s new “Some Good News” YouTube show. Stanton and I watched it together. Totally loved it.
If you’ve been reading my writing for any length of time, then you probably know I’m also all about “some good news.” Thus, a disclaimer: This post is, like all my others, fairly light. There’s positive energy, even during difficult times.
I understand that this brand of creative nonfiction doesn’t jibe with everyone, especially now. I get that. So if, like John Krasinski’s, my glass-half-full perspective causes your eyes to instinctively roll and your index finger to automatically reload the CDC or NPR website for the latest COVID-19 updates…I get that, I do.
If, on the other hand, you’d like to take a moment, take a breath…then maybe keep reading here.
There’s positive energy, even during difficult times.
Something I’ve started to do, which I haven’t done since becoming a mom, is…locking the bathroom door. Yes, this is my new normal. Why, you may ask?
Here’s why, friends: Zoom meetings.
Toilet paper shortages and Zoom: These are two of the things we’ll most clearly remember, years from now. I’m convinced of this.
Both Grace and Anna have been “meeting” with their classes through Zoom. Also, Google Meet. Whatever the platform, however, there often are technical difficulties.
“Mom!” Grace will jump up from the couch, laptop in hand, looking for me. “I can’t un-mute my microphone! People can SEE me, but they can’t HEAR me!”
A few times (for instance, yesterday morning), I’ve been in the process of finishing getting dressed. Exactly: not yet fully clothed. A few times, then, I’ve had a mini panic attack. My daughters’ classmates—and their parents, who are un-muting their microphones—are going to get to know me on a whole other level. Aaagghhh.
Thus, after an eight-year hiatus, I once again lock the bathroom door.
Toilet paper shortages and Zoom: These are two of the things we’ll most clearly remember…
This past weekend, Stanton and I converted our guest bedroom into a home office. Previously, Stanton would catch up on work at the desk in our room. His “work at home” has increased, though, and I wanted our room to feel more like a personal, peaceful space again, and less like a corporate headquarters.
Stanton disassembled the guest bed. He moved all the pieces, plus the mattress and box spring, to the basement. Then he moved the desk into the former guest bedroom/current home office (after also disassembling and then reassembling the desk, once realizing it was too wide to fit through various doorways).
The furniture rearranging revealed dust bunnies galore, as well as dusty flooring that the girls immediately wrote their names across and drew smiley faces into.
“Please let me just clean this up,” I said, in between dust-bunny-triggered sneezes.
Fun times, friends. Fun times.
The desk Stanton’s using now, actually, is my desk. It literally is called a writing desk, designed for writing, and resembles this one. I found my desk not at Pottery Barn, though, but a used furniture shop. Vintage, you know. 😉 What can I say, I love a good bargain.
Although I love my (writing) desk, I usually write and work in our family room, at the rectangular table in the dining space. I like to be in the mix of things; I get good energy here. So it made perfect sense to furnish Stanton’s new home office with my desk.
But that day, I looked at my desk…and I felt a twinge in my heart. The majority of my work and writing projects are on hold for the moment, and I understand why, 100 percent. I understand, and it’s OK. Looking at my writing desk, though, it was as if I were seeing, physically, another pause in my path as a writer.
When this global pause passes, one thing I’ll welcome back, happily, is the ability to tell more stories again.
…dusty flooring that the girls immediately wrote their names across and drew smiley faces into.
Like many others, our family is spending lots more time at home now. Lots. The girls have been riding their bikes and scooters around the neighborhood, on the nearby Rail Trail, all over.
“I hope we’re not making too much noise,” I recently called over to my next-door neighbor on the right, a retired gentleman.
He smiled. “No, it’s nice to hear some noise.”
I’ve seen and chatted with so many of my neighbors so much these past few weeks, and it’s been really nice. It’s also been really funny at times.
My other next-door neighbor, on the left, celebrated her birthday yesterday. “Happy birthday!” I said, and then mentioned my birthday was soon too. Her wife’s birthday was the day after mine, she replied.
“So many April birthdays! Wait a minute.” I shook my head, remembering. “That’s right—we had this conversation last year.” And I kind of think we had the same conversation the year before that too.
All good, friends, all good. My oldest friends and I joke that we, too, have been having the same handful of conversations over and over again, across 30+ years. Some things don’t change, and they don’t get old either.
“…it’s nice to hear some noise.”
I’m no John Krasinski, but I am curious: What’s your good news? What’s going on in your life that’s made you smile lately?
Here are some of my things:
1.) I started playing the piano again. I took lessons when I was younger, but stopped sometime in high school and haven’t played much since. Grace has been taking piano lessons for two years now, but we’re taking a break because her music studio is closed, currently.
So I’ve been helping Grace with the songs from her lesson book, and enjoying playing them myself too. The girls get a kick out of hearing me tap out single notes at a time, with a chord thrown in every now and then. I’m not breaking out the “Moonlight Sonata” or anything like that, but it’s been fun.
2.) A very sweet friend kindly dropped off a six-pack of cupcakes from my favorite local coffee shop/bakery. It was the sweetest surprise. Ironically, I had driven past Perfect Blend the night before, on my way home from grocery shopping, and thought to myself, Man, I really miss going there. This gesture, then, truly touched my heart.
3.) Around the same time as this cupcake surprise, another sweet friend texted me with a question regarding a technical difficulty. Amazingly, I knew how to help answer this question. I believe this was the first time in my life I’ve ever known the answer to an IT-related question, so…not only is that some good news, it’s also record-breaking.
To sum it all up… We have answers to questions (as well as technical difficulties). We have cupcakes. We don’t have the “Moonlight Sonata,” but we have music nonetheless.
And we have hot sauce. We will, in fact, always have hot sauce.
Photo credit: Pixabay
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